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First Look: Asus Rampage III Gene, Quad SLI, Ares HD 5970

This week in London Asus took the wraps off a number of up and coming products allowing us a close up preview of some of the items the company is likely to be showcasing at this year’s Computex show.

Rampage III Gene

First up was a sneak peak at the replacement for the ASUS Rampage II Gene which is one of our favorite micro-ATX motherboards.

Cunningly named the Rampage III Gene, the new board sports the moody red and black livery similar to the rest of Asus’s ROG line. All the heatsinks on the board have been revised though the changes seem to be mostly cosmetic as opposed to functional. Not that we have a problem with that; our testing didn't reveal any issues with the cooling of the board it replaces.

First Look: Asus Rampage III Gene, Quad SLI, Ares HD 5970 First Look: Asus Rampage III Gene
Click to enlarge

Apart from the visual redesign the most noticeable revisions are the addition of two USB3 and two SATA 6Gbps ports, bringing the Gene brand bang up to date with the latest available standards. The board still sports the same X58 chipset giving it two 16x PCI-E slots capable of running Crossfire or SLI for those who wish to do so. The board also still contains features such as PCB mounted start and reset buttons, a full bank of six DIMM sockets and SATA sockets mounted parallel to the motherboard for ease of cabling.

First Look: Asus Rampage III Gene, Quad SLI, Ares HD 5970 First Look: Asus Rampage III Gene

First Look: Asus Rampage III Gene, Quad SLI, Ares HD 5970 First Look: Asus Rampage III Gene
Click to enlarge

Also included is a PCI slot and a single 4 x PCI-E slot which should allow room for a sound card or similar. Asus does finally seem to have ditched the IDE port which previously sat next to the 24pin power connector.

Pricing for the board wasn't revealed but we suspect it’s likely to carry the same price premium of about £30 as the other USB 3 and SATA 6Gbps equipped ROG revisions we have seen. This would put it over £200; the Gene II was notable for its aggressive pricing so we hope Asus manage to maintain this with the new board.