- ASUS ROG Rampage IV GENE Motherboard Review
- Meet The Family - ROG Rampage IV Series
- A Closer Look - Design Highlights
- A Closer Look - Topology, I/O, and Power Delivery
- Features - UEFI BIOS
- Features - Software and Utilities
- Testing - Setup and Overclocking
- Testing - Storage and USB
- Testing - CPU and Memory
- Final Thoughts
- All Pages
Features - UEFI BIOS
ASUS boards have adopted a reputation for being wonderfully easy to configure thanks to the mouse friendly UEFI BIOS. The UEFI BIOS of the Rampage IV Gene varies from those on other ASUS boards only in its color scheme, and there is no part of the interface that leaves us wanting. The visual appeal and ease of navigation makes scrubbing through menus a breeze. Rather than spending valuable time digging through layer upon layer of system settings, users can press F3 to call up a set of shortcuts to access commonly adjusted performance metrics. One major update to the BIOS as a whole is that it is now CAP based rather than ROM based. This ensures the best performance, interoperability and compatibility for the UEFI specification and Windows 8. The BIOS is presented in an ‘EZ Mode’ upon first booting up the system. The EZ mode acts as a simple dashboard for viewing basic system information and allows users to set the display language, performance mode, and boot device priority. One of my favorite things about ASUS' UEFI is that is by far the smoothest, most polished, and most usable UEFI BIOS we've used. Ontop of that, it's the most usable, as using a keyboard will make it feel like a legacy BIOS, yet almost everything is used just as smoothly with a mouse.
Those wanting to get at the real meat of the interface can dive into the ‘Advanced Mode.’ Placed at the forefront of the Advanced Mode is the 'Extreme Tweaker.' This menu acts as a hub for overclocking, allowing the user to set CPU ratios manually, select the desired Level Up setting, enable X.M.P. mode, or even load a tailored Gamers' OC Profile for day-to-day gaming. One can also manually adjust a bevy of voltage settings including CPU voltage, DRAM voltage, and the CPU I/O skew to increase overclocking potential. Modifications to memory frequency are just a click away, and users can find a great deal of powerful options within the DIGI+ Power Control menu, such as Phase frequency and Load Line Calibration settings. Those who are diligent about getting their systems just right will appreciate the ability to press F12 to send a screen capture to an attached flash drive. An easy way to show your buddies your master-tweakin' skills.
The "Advanced" tab has everything you'd expect for addtional tweaking options, including SATA and USB configuration as well as CPU power options and C-States.
For a quick look at system voltages, temps, and fan speed thresholds, there is the aptly named ‘Monitor’ tab. Only the Fan Speed Control menu offers any adjustability, but the options found there can prove quite useful. Minimum allowable fan RPMs and maximum temperature ranges can help keep your fans operating at a speed that provides a healthy amount of airflow for your overall system.
One of our favorite features of the ‘Tool’ tab is the SPD menu. It helps to diagnose DIMMs that aren't operating properly, which could be either due to faulty hardware or a failed overclock. It is especially helpful to determine which stick or slot isn't being properly detected without having to attempt a boot into the OS, only to be turned away by a blue screen. Other available functions include labeling, saving, and/or loading overclocking profiles, in addition to password protecting the BIOS itself. One can also set the overclocking preferences to be loaded at a push of the ‘Go Button’ mounted on the front of the board.
Corrupted BIOS got you down? It can happen to anyone, even if they are using an ASUS motherboard without soldered ROM chips. Providing a plug-and-play solution for the ROM is a good first line of defense against surges, as are the ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) diodes sprinkled around the board. If a UEFI update is in order, it's time to break out the EZ Flash 2 Utility. You can download the latest version of your board's BIOS to a flash drive and update over USB. The utility will go the extra mile to compare the old and new version of the BIOS to confirm that you are flashing the correct file, it'll go through the update process, and reboot. Simple and easy to use, what more do you want?
The boot menu gives you your typical boot and drive priorities as well as POST delay and "fast boot" settings, which are super-convenient when you're not tweaking and you just want to get playing.