ASUS ROG Rampage IV GENE Motherboard Review

Meet The Family - ROG Rampage IV Series

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ASUS ROG motherboards come designed for who they define as the “general enthusiast.” This is the do-it-yourselfer with a high degree of want and need for all the features found in a channel board such as the P8Z77-V Pro or P9X79, plus a host of unique and innovative capabilities with a strong focus on uncompromised gaming and reliable overclocking performance. ASUS places a strong emphasis on a well-rounded and versatile end-user experience rather than a small handful of over-the-top specifications. In other words, you shouldn’t have to tell the customer to purchase Board X to get X result. Every board in the ASUS lineup comes ready to extract the most potential from their respective chipsets, all while retaining its own sort of character and identity that the enthusiast wants in a build. In the case of a ROG motherboard, that character is loud, proud, and ready to frag.

 

ASUS summarizes their target audience of earch of the ROG series boards as shown in the super-awesome table shown below:

ROG Extreme
  • Extreme Overclocker (with maximum tuning / tweaking potential)
  • Power User
  • People who simply want the best
  • Form Factor: E-ATX / ATX
  • Multi-GPU Users
ROG Formula
  • Hardcore Gamer
  • Overclocker
  • People who demand top-notch performance
  • Form Factor:  ATX
  • Multi-GPU Users
  • Superior Integrated Audio w/ Gaming Optimized Networking
ROG Gene
  • Gamer / Overclocker
  • LAN Party-Goer
  • Case Modder
  • People who demand high-end performance in a small package (mATX)
  • Superior Integrated Audio w/ Gaming Optimized Networking

 

Rampage IV Gene

The relativistic “entry-level” of the ROG series (you’re getting the budget board of a high-end series) is occupied by the Micro ATX form-factor Rampage IV Gene. While it might be small, the Gene comes packed with the same key technologies as its larger cousins, with the only caveat being reduced room for PCIe expansion. You still get two x16 slots, and considering that a vast majority of gamers make-do with a single GPU, the Gene has all you really need. By reducing the size of the PCB, ASUS was able to shave a $70 chunk off the price of the next higher Formula board and give gamers on a tighter budget access to several great features exclusive to the ROG series, or LAN-goers the ability to slim down their machine for portability while still rocking kickass features.  It's really hard to throw high-end parts into an affordable package, but its smaller size helps it do that, it's not just smaller for the sake of being smaller.  If you want X79, and you want mATX, here's a fun exercise; go to Newegg with these filters.  As of the day of writing, you have two options, and ASUS' renowned ROG series will take the cake for the best mATX solution you can buy today.

Rampage IV Formula

The mid-range Formula is targeted at the hardcore gamer and boasts a host of key technologies needed to give them the best performance possible.  Throw in up to 4-way SLI / CrossFire graphics capability and power users will find themselves well at home.

Rampage IV Extreme

If you’re looking to push your rig to the absolute limits with an outlandish liquid nitrogen cooling setup and demand precise real-time monitoring of temps and stats, then you know that only the Extreme will do. With exclusive features like Subzero Sense, VGA Hotwire, and real-time overclocking via the included OC Key, achieving world record status is not out of reach. This flagship may be nearly twice the cost of the low-end Gene, but one look at the incredibly dense PCB and you’ll know that you are getting what you paid for.

 

Rampage IV GENE
Rampage IV Formula
Rampage IV Extreme
CPU    Intel® Socket 2011 for 2nd Generation Core™ i7 Processors
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2
Chipset    Intel® X79
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 2400(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory   8 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 2400(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Expansion Slot  2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (dual x16, red)
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x8 mode, red)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x4
 4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x16 or x16/x8/x16 or x16/x8/x8/x8, red) *2
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (dual x16, red)
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x8 mode, red)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x4
Multi-GPU / VGA  2-way SLI / CrossFireX   4-way SLI / CrossFireX
Storage  Intel® X79 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
3 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), black
1 x eSATA 3Gb/s port(s), red
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
ASMedia® ASM1061 controller : *1
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
 Intel® X79 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), black
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
ASMedia® ASM1061 controller :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), red 
LAN
   Intel®, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller
Wireless   N/A  Bluetooth V2.1+EDR
USB  ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller :
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
Intel® X79 chipset :
12 x USB 2.0 port(s) (8 at back panel, black+white, 4 at mid-board)
 ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller :
6 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
Intel® X79 chipset :
12 x USB 2.0 port(s) (6 at back panel, black+white, 6 at mid-board)
ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller:
8 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 4 at mid-board)
Intel® X79 chipset :
12 x USB 2.0 port(s) (8 at back panel, black+red, 4 at mid-board)
Audio   SupremeFX III built-in 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): 110 dB
- Output THD+N at 1kHz: 95 dB
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- SupremeFX Shielding™ Technology
- 1500 uF Audio Power Capacitor
- Gold-plated jacks
- X-Fi® Xtreme Fidelity™ 
- EAX® Advanced™ HD 5.0 
- THX® TruStudio PRO™
- Creative ALchemy 
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection 
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
Realtek® ALC898 7.1-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection 
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
Form Factor  mATX  ATX  Extended ATX

 

We are big fans of the way ASUS lays out their board families. Instead of a typical board heirarchy of varying features and components, ASUS uses the same components in their budget boards as the flagship models. The mentality here is that you shouldn't have to shell out for the higher-end motherboards to be able to maximize the potential of your overclocking headroom.  Instead, ASUS uses a high-performance foundation in the budget motherboards, and each successive model adds a tangible set of features which correspond to the pricing tier. One can see ASUS' ROG Rampage IV Series basic hardware breakdown in the table above. We see the primary performance drivers are the same with every board.  Each board will allow outsanding memory performance and power delivery, keys to making the most of overclocking headroom.  There are tiers of features you receive with each upgrade, making it easy to see what you're getting for your money.  They all have the same core features and utilities available, and you don't see any handicapping of software or hardware features on the budget motherboards. This is a very friendly structure for the end-user, whereas other approaches can be downright confusing.  A budget board might have quad-SLI capability, but limited overclocking features. A step up yields only standard Crossfire/SLI capability, but opens up more overclocking headroom. These features are conflicting, and it makes choosing the right board a bit more difficult.  With ASUS, it is as simple as choosing the features you care about, but no matter which way you go, you're hardware is not going to be handicapped.

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