Asus Rampage II Gene

Manufacturer: Asus
UK Price (as Reviewed): £172.70 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as Reviewed): $249.99 (ex. Tax)

Another week and another small form factor board hits our test benches! Asus' Gene range isn't limited to its P45 series - there is significant interest in LGA1366, X58 and Core i7 too, because it affords far greater performance and the i7-920 is currently a good buy in terms of price and performance.

The Rampage II Gene is a micro-ATX board extending from the full-size desktop Rampage II line of Core i7 boards. It doesn't quite carry over all the features you get on the ATX boards, but it's still a Republic of Gamers model, and so it's still rather special, and of course, rather pricey. Here's a quick run down of the main features the board includes.

Board Features

  • Support for Core i7 LGA1366 CPUs at 4.8-6.4GT/s QPI
  • Intel X58 northbridge and ICH10R southbridge
  • Six1.5V DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to 24GB of memory
  • One Realtek RTL8111C Gigabit Ethernet controllers
  • Two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots providing two x16 links
  • One PCI-Express x4 slot
  • One PCI slot
  • Six ICH10R SATA 3Gbps ports supporting Intel Matrix RAID 0, 1, 10, 5 and JBOD
  • One IDE port supporting two devices from JMicron JMB363
  • One eSATA port and one SATA 3Gbps ports from JMicron JMB363
  • Twelve USB 2.0 ports - six on rear I/O, six via pin-outs
  • VIA VT6315N IEEE1394a Firewire supporting two ports - one via pin-outs, one on the rear I/O
  • SONAR X-Fi Xtreme HD Audio card featuring the premium Realtek ALC889 audio codec supporting EAX 4.0 and CMSS3D.

Box Contents

Asus Rampage II Gene Review Asus Rampage II Gene Asus Rampage II Gene Review Asus Rampage II Gene
Click to enlarge

The box might be a bit small but the bundle's reasonable, aside from only having two SATA cables which strikes us as a bit mean. You get still the Asus Q-shield, the well machined rear IO plate that's nice to use, and more importantly, the Poster LCD display for easy POST error detection. Also thrown in is an IDE cable and Q-Connectors - the latter is always useful for making wiring the front panel easy - and an SLI bridge (CrossFire ones come with the graphics cards).

As usual the manual is well detailed and the driver disk comes with an auto-install function that's very welcome for the lazy among us.
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