When you talk about gaming, overclocking and performance there are always a couple of names that pop up. One name that is sure to pop up in the conversation is the name of Asus. Asus has been making great products (along with the not so great) for many years. However, with the launch of Intel’s Nehalem and AMD’s Phenom II Asus has really took off. Their flagship Republic of Gamers (ROG) line has simply been stellar. It is one of these that we are taking a look at today. In the lab we have the Asus ROG Rampage III Extreme (RIIIE). This $380 board packs a ton of features and performance into an attractive red and black ATX package. Let’s see just what $380 gets you for performance.
One of the things that make Asus products so enticing is simply the number of add-in features that you get with almost every level of product. I am not sure if all of these features would ever be used by one single consumer, but they are there and all of them work. These little extras can make it challenging to properly review an Asus board (they certainly take more time to test out properly) as most of these are not just simple software adds. With the launching of Asus’ X79 line up the feature list increased as Asus pushed more of the ROG line’s signature items down into the top level of the mainstream products. It makes for some very well rounded products. While we were busy testing out the normal feature set we also had to find ways to cover some of the new items like SSD caching and USB 3.0 Boost for both performance and ease of use. We have already told you about the features, let’s get into the performance numbers and see what we have with the Asus P9X79 Deluxe.
As we round out our coverage of the Asus Republic of Gamers Rampage IV Gene we are taking a look at both the synthetic and real-world performance of this board. As we have mentioned before the Gene is the gateway into the ROG Line and shows an excellent blending of performance, features and ease of use for those that are new to playing with higher end Motherboards. Of course the Gene also serves a purpose with the enthusiasts as well it offers a very competent motherboard in a small package for gaming, small and quiet systems and even for someone looking for a solid board to build a home server on. Since we have already shown you what the Rampage IV Gene looks like on paper, let’s take the tiem to show you how it looks in the real world.
After seeing what new features Asus is bringing to the table with the Maximus V Gene (and there are a ton of them) we now get to dive into the performance side of things and see what we have. As the gateway product to the ROG lineup the Maximus V Gene has a lot to live up to, but with everything that Asus has thrown into it we are sure it can handle the pressure. So let’s dive into the Asus Republic of Gamers Maximus V Gene and see how it performs.
In the enthusiast world you can never seem to have enough power or enough headroom for your system. Although you might hear rumors of the “post PC” era or that the desktop is dead nothing could be further from the truth with regards to Asus and their Republic of Gamers line up of boards. We have covered a number of these going all the way back to before the ROG line was even established and can tell you that when it comes to this line Asus spares no expense in components or research and development. Today we have the ROG Rampage IV Formula in the lab and will be covering the design, features and component choices that Asus has made with this this board and across the entire ROG line.
Asus has been a leading developer of motherboards for more years that most people can remember. We have had many different Asus products work their way through our lab and with very few exceptions have found them all to be very high quality. About three years ago Asus decided to make something of a philosophy shift. Instead of marketing on a spec for spec basis they would attempt to work additional features into their products. Of course they did not try to just stuff everything into their systems, but made the effort to offer features that made sense to each market segment. On top of this they designed a core feature set that is very robust and allows Asus to present their entire line as an enthusiast driven offering. With the launch of Intel’s Z77 chipset and the coming of their 3rd Generation Core i7 we now have the chance to look over a section of their Z77 product line from the ROG series to entry level. So let’s kick things off right at the top and dive into the features and design of the Asus Republic of Gamers Maximus V Gene (well those features that we can talk about).
As another product comes down off of the bench we get to crack open new one. This time we break open the Asus Rampage III Gene. This Micro ATX motherboard is the baby brother to the Rampage III Extreme and has some of the same core features, just in a smaller package. The smaller size makes it perfect for installation into portable LAN party cases. With a retail price of about $230 (about $150 less than the Rampage III Extreme) it could be an amazing deal if the features and performance are even close to its big brother. Let’s tear open the box shall we?
Every now and then we like to step back and take a look at the component industry. It has not been that long ago when the number of individual component makers began to dwindle. We have already watched as ABIT, SOYO DFI, FIC, and other motherboard manufacturers have disappeared. These were once great companies and flourished in the heyday of the DIY market (the Super Socket 7, Slot A and 1, Socket A etc.). Now the market is collapsing and we see companies that once only directly sold the pieces and parts for our computers starting to assemble them for us as well. Although the three major players in the motherboard/GPU market all have presence in Europe and Asia only one has truly penetrated the North American market and stands poised to make an even bigger impact there; this is Asus.
CES 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada – We found Asus in the Trump Tower near the top of the building. I honestly think they had the entire floor up there, but we were only there to see a small portion of what Asus has to offer to the consumer. Asus, as most of you know already is one of the leading manufacturers of computer components. They also have their own channel marketing team and make quite a bit more than just motherboards, GPUs, Audio cards and networking gear.
We all know that Intel is launching a new CPU in the next few months to replace the 1366 socket and the X58 chipset. There is not a whole lot of detail around on this, but we can gauge the time of launch by the number of companies that are currently “launching” X79 motherboards. If history is any indication we are within about 3 months of seeing a new CPU from the Blue Team.
Still things are a little different this time; when we saw the P55 and P67 launches the boards were flowing to the review sites and we had previews, unboxings, and everything in-between. We even had a stack of P67 motherboards about a month before the CPU arrived on our doorstep. This time companies are being a little more… careful in how they send products out. I was not the only one to get buried under an avalanche of boxes right up to the actual launch date.
Now instead of flooding the sites with pre-production boards we are seeing the manufacturers themselves conducting the photo shoots and writing up the details. These are what the press has to talk about (unless you are lucky enough to get invited to a launch event at a company headquarters). Still that is what we have to go on so that is what we will talk about now. So far we have heard from two of the larger competitors. Asus has pushed out their Rampage IV Extreme and shown it off to a select group of journalists. These lucky few got to see a board that while containing a complete BOM (Build of Materials) was not likely to work. Some have even been able to actual take a closer look at the board in person but those have been few and far between.
Next up we have a whole line of boards from Gigabyte. Not content to just launch one Gigabyte is showing off a total of four. These boards range from their top end gaming board the G1 Assassin 2 to their more mainstream X79-UD3 (stopping along the way to pick up the crazy overclocker on the X79-UD7).
We really are looking forward to each and every one of these products. They are bringing a new socket, a new memory specification (not really but sort of) and much more. As we find out more about the X79 and Intel’s next generation CPU we will be sure you let you know. One thing we can tell you now, it is certainly not going to be boring.
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