- 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
Based upon our experiences with ASUS' Z77 and X79 motherboards and the added focus of the Republic of Gamers brand to support gaming and overclocking-specific in a premium package, we got everyting we expected. Understand that there is so many incredients, so many small considerations, and so much work coming together in the ROG Rampage IV series that I will forget to summarize something here, and I really recommend you comb through the previous pages if you've skipped straight to the conclusion.
With ROG we get a rock-solid foundation from ASUS' channel boards with upgraded components, a premium aesthetic, the same great Intel NIC with GameFirst prioritization, on-board sound with discrete-level performance for hi-fi gaming fidelity, and a bevy of features that will please tweakers and gamers everywhere. ROG connect provides hardware monitoring, the Digi+ PWM/VRM enables vast power control options, on-board CMOS reset, Power, and Reset buttons all cater to people who will have systems on a test bench trying to squeeze every Hert they can from their hardware.
The VRM uses 10K Nichicon GT-Series caps which best the regular 5K capacitors provide better thermal stability, which is especially important for mATX boards that might make their way into small LAN boxes that may not have optimal airflow. THe NexFET MOSFET is half the size of a normal MOSFET which allows ASUS to more efficiently and effectively lay out their power components. High-end chokes round out a high-end VRM that will allow for stable operation at high power draw up to 200W, so ROG boards may find their way in an all work no play environement with a XEON pounding out calculations or renders.
Certain staples from ASUS continue to deliver great value, usability, and an overall pleasurable user experience. The AI Suite II software package, and its TurboVEvo software make overclocking a breeze, and for those who fully-intend to manually tweak their machines, TurboVEvo does a great job at giving you a solid starting point. USB 3.0 boost delivers great overall performance, and UASP allows you SATA-like performance through a USB port. The idea of running a game library off an external hard drive doesn't seem that crazy anymore, does it? Fan Xpert continues to be a simple way to setup custom fan ramp curves so you can tune your aesthetics alongside your airflow needs.
Overclocking performance was also very good, as we were able to take our i7-3930K to 5 GHz with temperatures in the mid-70°C range, which is comfortable enough for us to use for extended gaming sessions. And mind you, this was done on just a 120mm Antec Kuhler 920. That's extremely efficient, and the relatively low voltages required at due at least in part to the high-end VRM components and 8-phase design ASUS has crafted.
The bototm line is that if you want the best today, you want X79. If you want the best in a mATX form factor, you want the ROG Rampage IV Gene. It's that simple. There's literally one competitor, and the price difference between it and the ASRock alternative isn't enough to keep me from getting the Rampage IV Gene. You can't get a processor for much less than $300 on the X79 platform, and the total cost of putting together an X79 build is comparatively very high compared to the mainstream platforms like Z77, so we wouldn't really expect you to fret too much about the $70 more the Rampage IV Gene costs, and I'd go so far to say it's even a bit contradictory. Even at its smaller stature, the Rampage IV Gene will still best many of the ATX motherboards in a +/- $20 bracket around it, and when you consider the value of ROG Connect for tweakers (and not needing extra hardware) and not needing discrete graphics for gamers, those could be worth anywhere from a $40-100 additional acquisition cost ontop of a "typical" motherboard.
While the Gene version of the Rampage IV series is meant mostly to be a more economical way to join the ROG bandwagon, it also enables performance in a small size that you simply can't get anywhere else. It's chock full of features that is exhaustive to list, and even more difficult to fully make sense of how well the entire package comes together. Gamers will love the gaming features and discrete-level audio, tweakers will love the vast overclocking options delivered by the ROG features and Digi+ VRM, and builders will love its premium aesthetic. At it's price, since I don't mind not havinga full ATX form factor since I don't plan on anything more than two-way SLI/CrossFireX, it's not a stretch to see me with a Rampage IV Gene in my shopping cart instead of a P9X79, which is probably the only other board that really competes with it at that price point. Given the value of hardware-level monitoring connections with ROG Connect and much better audio which allows me to knock the $30+ I'd probably spend on discrete audio, the Rampage IV Gene puts you ahead of the game in almost every way. The icing on the cake is a nice spread of a Kaspersky AV licesnse with a dash of Daemon Tools Pro Standard, which combine to add just shy of $100 if purchased separately.
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