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Old 11-07-2010, 01:27 AM   #1
Uncle Fester
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Rampage 3 Gene Review

I have just received the latest motherboard from ASUS Australia, the Rampage 3 Gene. This little board is packing the punch of its big brother the Rampage 3 Extreme but at a cut down price.
This motherboard is capable of SLI / Crossfire with 2 full 16x pci-e lanes and capable of addressing 24GB of ram. Offering the features we have come to love from ASUS including ROG connect, Extreme digi power phase, crash free bios, sata 3, and on board X-Fi SupremeFX sound.

I was lucky enough to premier the launch of this board at the RFLAN in Perth making its first public appearance in Australia, where we put this board to the test pushing it with an i7-980x processor to above 6ghz using liquid nitrogen cooling. This board remained rock solid and provided great memory clocking.


OVERVIEW





Accessories included: 1 x ROG Connect cable, 1 x SLI Cable, 1 x 2 in 1 ASUS Q-Connector Kit, 3 x 2-in-1 SATA signal cables, 1 x 2-in-1 SATA 6G cables, 1 x I/O Shield, 1 x Cable Ties Pack, 1 x 12-in-1 ROG Cable Label, 1 x ROG theme label, 1 x User's Manual. ASUS have included everything you will need to get this motherboard up and running in no time.







As you can see here it is packing a large heatsink on the North bridge, ASUS have really put some time into designing this little board to maximize its performance and keep a very compact unit. While using this motherboard temperatures on the Northbridge never exceeded 60 degrees while pushing the board to max overclocks proving they have addressed the issue people were facing with the Rampage 2 Gene and Rampage 2 Extreme.







As you will see ASUS have continued with their new ram slots making installation easy and fast with a single clip securing the ram in place. I had great fun playing with memory on this board, it was more than capable of pushing my Corsair 2000 C7 Dominators to 2200 mhz c7-8-7-20 1T stable as a rock.







ASUS are offering 8 channel audio via the X-Fi SupremeFX sound controller on board which packs a great punch saving you money on buying an aftermarket sound card. You will see the vertical USB slot next to the ROG button for flashing you bios crash free or connecting another PC too for ROG connect.








You will notice delivering the cpu power is an 8 pin connector, unlike its big brother that provides 2x 8 pin connectors we found no issue with not getting enough power on the Rampage 3 Gene. This little board was more than capable of pushing our i7-980x to above 6ghz.







You can clearly see here the solder points to monitor voltages for everything with a digital multimeter so you can easily check if you have suspicions of unstable or incorrect voltage reading via software. Sitting just above the solder points you will see 4 tiny LED's these are your boot sequence posts, you will see it jump from cpu - dram- vga and final boot cycle so you can easily see if there is an error it will hang on the LED you have an issue with. You will also notice that Asus have made the cmos battery holder vertical like they did with the Rampage 2 Gene.






While you will see the South Bridge heatsink is rather small i did not find any issue with it overheating at all it remained warm to touch but defiantly nothing to cause concern. Next to the start and reset button you will see the ASUS GO button that you can program in bios to a set profile so you can at any time boot from those saved settings. The Rampage 3 Gene has 6x Sata 3 ports and 2x 6gb/s ports for raid configuration setups.






The Rampage 3 Gene has 2 full 16x SLI/Crossfire lanes and 1x pci-e 4x slot and a single pci 1x slot. You will notice it does not have dual bios chips like the Rampage 3 Extreme but still remains a completely crash free bios. As you might notice they have incorporated a jumper to enable QPI Load Line Calibration so you can get solid voltages when pushing the Rampage 3 Gene to the max.






The I/O panel is offering 1 x PS/2 Keyboard, 1 x S/PDIF Out (Optical), 1 x IEEE 1394a, 1 x LAN(RJ45) port, 8 -Channel Audio I/O, 1 x Clr CMOS switch, 1 x ROG Connect On/Off switch, 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (Blue), 7 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports & the vertical USB port for ROG connect.

Last edited by Uncle Fester; 12-07-2010 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:28 AM   #2
Uncle Fester
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:28 AM   #3
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