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Asus Rampage II GENE review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 165
inc VAT

This Core i7 board has plenty of features including a Creative X-Fi sound processor, but it's expensive.

Specifications

LGA1366, microATX, Intel X58 chipset, supports: Core i7, Core i7 Extreme Edition

http://www.ilgs.co.uk

Asus’s Rampage II GENE is a stunning looking microATX Core i7 motherboard, and its black and red Republic of Gamers logo makes it quite clear who this board is aimed at. It even comes with an external LCD to help diagnose faults.

The board’s twin PCI-E x16 graphics card slots support both CrossFireX and SLI, so you can link a pair of Nvidia or ATI graphics cards. Alongside these is a PCI-E x4 slot and a PCI slot for other expansion cards. Six memory slots are present and will accept up to 24GB of RAM. Six SATA ports and an IDE connector allow you to connect plenty of storage.

Most motherboards have integrated audio processors that don’t really make the most of your sound. We were pleased to see that on-board audio is provided by a Creative X-Fi processor, with full hardware EAX support and decoding for a range of gaming and home theatre audio standards. On the back panel, you’ll find six USB ports, eSATA and FireWire ports and analogue and optical S/PDIF audio outputs. There’s also a PS/2 keyboard connector in case you want to free up USB port.

This isn’t the best performing Core i7 motherboard we’ve reviewed – MSI’s £124 X58M outperforms it a little at standard settings. However, the difference is negligible, and it’s the difference in price that’s considerably more significant. The Rampage II GENE does a lot, but it’s an expensive way to build a Core i7 system.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor socket LGA1366
Form factor microATX
Size 244x224mm
Processor support Core i7, Core i7 Extreme Edition
Processor external bus 400MHz (1,600MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridge Intel X58
Chipset south bridge Intel ICH10R
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics No
Supported memory type DDR3 1066/1333
Memory slots 6
Maximum memory 24GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £165
Supplier http://www.ilgs.co.uk
Details www.asus.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 2
Dual graphics architecture SLI, CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots 1
PCI-E x1 slots 0
PCI slots 1
Fan headers 5
Floppy ports 0
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 6
RAID chipset (max disks) Intel ICH10R (6x SATAII, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)

Features

Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Creative X-Fi (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF out)
USB2 ports / headers 6/3
Firewire ports / headers 1/1
Legacy ports 1x PS/2
Other ports eSATA
Cables included 2x SATA, 1x IDE, SLI connector
Brackets included none
Software included none

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 500MHz

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