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ASUS Rampage IV Gene Detailed

btarunr

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Nearly a month after going all guns blazing into the Sandy Bridge-E LGA2011 market with the Rampage IV Extreme, ASUS is close to launching its premium Republic of Gamers motherboard in the micro-ATX form-factor, the ROG Rampage IV Gene. News of this board surfaced in mid-November along with details of Rampage IV Formula, but with close to no details, not even a picture to go on. Sweclockers scored an internal presentation by ASUS that details this new kid on the block.

The Rampage IV Gene could very well be the first micro-ATX motherboard that's designed to be 3-way SLI/CrossFire capable, with PCIe slots wired to the system's main root complex. Its top-half layout is similar to that of every other X79 motherboard, with the LGA2011 processor socket sitting between two sets of DDR3 DIMM slots. In this board, each set has just two slots, each with its own 64-bit wide memory path (channel) to the processor IMC. The processor is powered by an 8-phase Digi+ II VRM. The VRM makes use of compact DrMOS chips, that are cooled by two sets of heatsinks connected by a heat pipe.



Expansion slots include three PCI-Express 3.0 x16, which are configured as x16/x16/x8, and an open-ended PCI-Express 2.0 x4, wired to the X79 PCH. Storage connectivity includes four SATA 6 Gb/s (red, from which two are wired to the X79 PCH, two to an ASMedia-made third-party controller); and three SATA 3 Gb/s ports (black, all wired to the PCH). The fourth SATA 3 Gb/s port from the PCH is assigned as eSATA. General connectivity includes SupremeFX III 8-channel audio backed by X-Fi MB software, one gigabit Ethernet connection driven by an Intel-made controller, four USB 3.0 ports (from which two are via header), USB 2.0, and PS/2 combo. There are several ASUS ROG-exclusive features, including ROG Connect, ROG GameFirst, USB BIOS Flashback, ASUS UEFI BIOS with ROG-exclusive features. We still don't have a clear release date.

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chron

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motherboards without a single pci slot at this point in time is impractical.

I still have a very good soundcard that's pci, so wtf am I supposed to do with that? lol
 
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I agree that one PCI legacy slot should have been left on it...
Many soundcards are still PCI and most of them are the best in pure analogic quality (Xonar Essence ST)
 

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My board has no ide, and no pci. I don't miss it and am glad to see newer boards dropping older legacy connections. There are some very good pci-e audio cards now, so I see no need for a pci slot.

Very nice board imo.
 
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My board has no ide, and no pci. I don't miss it and am glad to see newer boards dropping older legacy connections. There are some very good pci-e audio cards now, so I see no need for a pci slot.

Very nice board imo.
I had to drop my legacy PCI audio card and purchase a PCIe Xonar Essence STX... I can live without PCI slots but well it's something nice to have it just doesn't hurt to :)
I totally agree about the PATA/IDE part, I'm not going to miss it for sure :laugh:
 
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This board supports 3-way SLI, but the only cards that support tri-SLI are 2 slots wide. If you go with watercooling you can get them back down to single-slot widths, but if you're using a mATX board you probably have a small case without the facilities for a radiator. So... useless feature.
 
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I own the rampage 2 gene and a rampage 3 gene. I'll prolly pick this one up as well.vi also water cool on an open bench with 2 5850s and a gtx 460 for physx so this will be nice.
 
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rampage 2 gene and rampage 3 gene was having 6 dimm slots
4 dimm is downgrade
need to skip this and wait for 6/8 slots on rampage v gene ivy bridge-ep
 

brandonwh64

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I must say the rampage Gene line is one of the best boards I have seen. I used my X58 II gene for long and clocked so well!
 
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rampage 2 gene and rampage 3 gene was having 6 dimm slots
4 dimm is downgrade
need to skip this and wait for 6/8 slots on rampage v gene ivy bridge-ep
Depends ..... but Rampage 2 & 3 gene is tri-channel ram while this new board is quad-channel, so I wouldn't say that its not a downgrade at all.
 
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motherboards without a single pci slot at this point in time is impractical.

I still have a very good soundcard that's pci, so wtf am I supposed to do with that? lol
You can buy one of the 1,393,952 boards with PCI and leave this board for the PCIe purists. For us, this makes like the 14th all-PCIe board. We could use more choices :)
 
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actually its a nice design, but since intel put quad channel on it
the motherboard manufacturers get smaller area to put their vrm, chokes and other stuff without sacrifice ram slots
 

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hello next motherboard.
 
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I absolutely love my Rampage III: Gene, it's an awesome board. Should I upgrade I'd definitely give this one a look.
 
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you want PCI on a tiny board? I mean you can't expect much in this form factor. ASUS does a great job with these boards, there is no need for PCI on a board this size, on the P9X79 yea maybe there.
 
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I agree that one PCI legacy slot should have been left on it...
Many soundcards are still PCI and most of them are the best in pure analogic quality (Xonar Essence ST)
Why man? Then they should also stick AGP on it and IDE because many ppl still have that. And floppy. You don't need that on a brand new high end board. If you have 1500 EUR to afford a new high end CPU and mobo, you also have money to replace that old PCI soundcard with a brand new PCIe one. Otherwise they can stick legacy PCI on boards for another 20 years because ppl will still use PCI. It just makes no sense at all. I have the 2 years old ASUS Rampage II Gene and i absolutely hate the PCI slot at the bottom because it just wastes my space inside the case (i had XONAR Essence STX even back then). I could move my PCIe soundcard all the way down there, but because i have stupid PCI there i need to have it sandwitched with the graphic card. Which causes interference and messes with the cooling. PCI is even older than AGP and we are still sticking with it for no good reason really...
 

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If you have 1500 EUR to afford a new high end CPU and mobo, you also have money to replace that old PCI soundcard with a brand new PCIe one.
IMO there are not that many options that are worth plonking money down to replace a Asus Xonar Essence ST (the STX is spec/tech wise a drop down due to use of a PCI <-> PCIe converter chip though I have not owned both of these for A/B testing myself) within the same price range (going up market there are but YMMV since what's good to some is poor to others when it comes to sound).
 
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Why man? Then they should also stick AGP on it and IDE because many ppl still have that. And floppy. You don't need that on a brand new high end board. If you have 1500 EUR to afford a new high end CPU and mobo, you also have money to replace that old PCI soundcard with a brand new PCIe one. Otherwise they can stick legacy PCI on boards for another 20 years because ppl will still use PCI. It just makes no sense at all. I have the 2 years old ASUS Rampage II Gene and i absolutely hate the PCI slot at the bottom because it just wastes my space inside the case (i had XONAR Essence STX even back then). I could move my PCIe soundcard all the way down there, but because i have stupid PCI there i need to have it sandwitched with the graphic card. Which causes interference and messes with the cooling. PCI is even older than AGP and we are still sticking with it for no good reason really...
You obviously don't know about the compromises you have to do by installing a PCIe bus to adapt a PCI card like the Xonar Essence ST.
To be synthetic the ST has a better clock circuit than the STX due to the PCIe adapter.
I was complaining about that because on my Rampage 4 too there is no PCI but hey I said I can live well even without it and in fact I purchased a brand new STX even though I have an ST soundcard myself.
 
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Where are the itx SB-E boards?
 
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btarunr

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levk

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PCI sound cards

Made an account specifically to make this post. I just want to let you guys know that none of the consumer oriented chipsets - P/H-61/67 nor the Z68 have native legacy PCI, any boards you see with these chipsets and a legacy PCI slot will have the same PCI to PCIe bridge supplied by whatever the motherboard manufacturer deemed fit. The argument of PCI sound cards being better than PCIe is therefore moot - doesn't really matter if your bridge is on the sound card or the motherboard. Enterprise oriented Q67 chipset still provides a native legacy PCI slot, and I would expect this to continue; however there will never be overclocking of any sort on these chipsets.

Also, since Microsoft went full software only sound since Vista and seeing as this whole thread is about a top end motherboard aimed mostly at gamers running Windows I really don't see the point of buying any sound card. But then you know, it's your money, do what you want with it.

Back on topic for this mobo goes though, I really wish these guys would get into the habit of providing a mini PCIe slot, especially in a SFF mobo. These things really don't take up any space, the obvious use is of course wifi expansion - which could also be done via USB, but mini PCIe tends to lead the trend as far as bleeding edge wifi is concerned. There are also other weird things you could put in there and all without taking up a full PCIe slot.
 

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Just FYI, most X79 high-end boards come with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth already, so the ned for Mini-PCIe doesn't exist. So far as I can tell, all the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality is pushed over the USB 2.0 bus, using 2 of the 14 USB 2.0 ports.

Gigabyte includes a PCIe x1 card, that also uses USB for the other device, but quite a few either have it built into the rear I/O towers, or via an add-on USB card, like ASUS does. Looking at the rear I/o of the Gene pictured here, I can even see where the card would go, jsut belwo the top USB 2.0 and the USB BIOS Flashback button.
 
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