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ASUS Rampage II Gene mATX LGA1366 Motherboard Review

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3oh6

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<center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/asus_logo-2.png" alt="ASUS Logo">


<b>ASUS Rampage II Gene LGA1366 mATX Motherboard Review</b></center>



<b>Price:</b> $293+ CND <a href="http://hardwarecanucks.pricecanada.com/detail.php?product_id=598825&sku=RAMPAGEIIGENE">Price Comparison</a>
<b>Manufacturer Product Page:</b> <a href="http://ca.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=179&l3=815&l4=0&model=2853&modelmenu=1">ASUSTek Computer Inc.</a>
<b>TechWIKI Info:</b> <a href="http://techwiki.hardwarecanucks.com/product/2MDI1NA/ASUS-ROG-Rampage-2-GENE-mATX/">ASUS Rampage II Gene - TechWIKI</a>
<b>Manufacturer's Part Number:</b> RAMPAGEIIGENE
<b>Warranty:</b> 3 Year Limited Warranty


<p style="text-align: justify;">Bigger, faster, stronger, better; that is how things usually work in today's world. In the electronics and computer hardware world, that isn't quite the case. Despite the motherboard form factor seemingly expanding with more and more top end enthusiast motherboards coming out in slightly bloated ATX sizes, there are still a lot of users who want smaller and sleeker. Laptops for years have been battling the power versus size equation trying to jam as much processing power as possible into the same form factor. The home computer market has been stagnant for years, accepting the ATX form factor as the default size that a computer is going to have to be. m-ATX or micro-ATX emerged a number of years ago as an answer to the HTPC markets need for a smaller form factor to accommodate entertainment system size cases. This form factor has long been ignored by enthusiast motherboard manufacturers relegating m-ATX motherboards to be middle of the pack and pedestrian in overclocking.

ASUS decided that they wanted to change that perception with one fell swoop and released an m-ATX version of their extremely popular Rampage line of motherboards. Today we will be looking at the ASUS Rampage II Gene. The Gene is a fully featured m-ATX motherboard supporting the latest Intel i7 processors, six DDR3 DIMM slots, dual PCI-E 16X expansion slots for full CrossFireX and SLI support, powered by the Intel X58 chipset and all that it has to offer. DFI has been the only manufacturer that has kept the m-ATX market happy with P35/P45/X48 enthusiast level m-ATX motherboards. ASUS clearly saw a spot in the market that had room for another player and jumped into the game. The difference between the Rampage II Gene and the majority of m-ATX motherboards designed for the HTPC market with underpowered onboard video, is that the Gene packs all the punch of its full ATX brothers, but in an m-ATX form factor.

The Gene is a fully functioning Intel X58 powered motherboard, complete with the overclocking heritage of the ROG line and ready for whatever hardware you can throw at it. This motherboard is designed to challenge small form factor case modders and builders into seeing what they can do with the smaller foot print. Imagine a LAN box with a set of components inside that make the full size cases at your next LAN party shake in their boots. The Rampage II Gene is not trying to be an HTPC m-ATX motherboard, it wants to be a fully featured ATX board without all the bulk. As such, we will be testing and critiquing this motherboard as if it were any other high-end enthusiast ATX or E-ATX motherboard on the market. Will the Gene be just another generic m-ATX offering with a lot of hype, or will the Rampage II Gene be the little board that can, accomplishing everything the big boys do?</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/index-1.jpg" alt="ASUS Rampage II Gene"></center>
 
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3oh6

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Specifications & Features

Specifications & Features

<p style="text-align: justify;">We start off the Specifications & Features section with a quick refresher look at the Intel X58 chipset diagram. The reason being that it has been a while since we presented it in our motherboard reviews and to reiterate the fact that the ASUS Rampage II Gene is a fully fledged X58 based motherboard.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sli/specs-1.png" alt="ASUS Rampage II Gene"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">The Gene uses up the full 36 PCI-E 2.0 lanes through the dual PCI-E 16X slots and the PCI-E 4X slot. ASUS has also maximized the available USB ports by offering six USB 2.0 ports at the rear I/O panel with additional headers onboard for up to a total of twelve. All six SATA II and the single eSATA offered by the ICH10R south bridge are offered as well. Our point is, the Rampage II Gene really doesn't limit much in the way of what the full ATX motherboards offer. Here is the complete list of specifications found on the ASUS web site outlining all of the Gene's specifications...we apologize for the length.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/specs-2.png" alt="ASUS Rampage II Gene"></center>


Features

<p style="text-align: justify;">Stuffy specifications aside, let's have a look at some of the more innovative or interesting features that ASUS has packed into the Rampage II Gene.</p><table align="center" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" width="662px"><tr><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>Republic Of Gamers</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/feat-1.png" style="float: left; margin: 4px 5px 0 0;" />Marketing copy about mercy rules and bragging rights aside, the Republic Of Gamers logo ensures that you are working with the top of the ASUS line of motherboards. This means a robust BIOS with voltages and features designed for the overclocker. It also means top quality components and no compromises in the design.</td><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>iROG</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/feat-2.png" style="float: left; margin: 4px 5px 0 0;" />The iROG onboard IC indicates that the Rampage II Gene will implement a very nice feature previous ROG boards have had access to. On previous Rampage motherboards this feature was known as Tweak-It but without the Tweak-It hardware present, it will be interesting to see how the real-time overclocking features are implemented.</td></tr><tr><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>Onboard Switch</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/feat-3.png" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0 0 5px;" />Onboard power, reset, and CMOS clear buttons are common place on enthusiast level motherboards, including ROG motherboards from ASUS. Despite the small surface area of the Gene, ASUS has not forgotten about us overclockers and included onboard buttons like they have on previous Rampage boards.</td><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>External LCD Poster</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/feat-4.png" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0 0 5px;" />Again, keeping with the tradition of the Rampage series. ASUS has provided the external LCD poster with the Rampage II Gene. This LCD display allows us to view POST codes to help troubleshoot the system as well as get temperature and voltage readings directly from the system. The LCD Poster is a key component to overclocking on the fly at a hardware level with the iROG IC.</td></tr><tr><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>MemOK!</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/feat-5.png" style="float: left; margin: 4px 5px 0 0;" />A new feature added to the Gene is this MemOK! button located on the motherboard. This button is designed to improve booting compatibility with performance memory modules. So no matter how much voltage your memory needs, or whether or not the SPD is programmed properly, the Gene should be able to load fail safe settings to get you into the BIOS to properly setup the memory.</td><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>COP EX</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/feat-6.png" style="float: left; margin: 4px 5px 0 0;" />We are not that familiar with this feature so we will simply copy what ASUS has to say about the COP EX feature. "The COP EX allows overclockers to increase chipset voltages without the worries of overheating. It can also be used to monitor and save an overheating GPU. The COP EX allows more freedom and less constraint for maximum performance achievement".</td></tr><tr><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>CPU Level Up</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/feat-7.png" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0 0 5px;" />ASUS uses a neat little feature that allows even those not familiar with overclocking to experience the pleasure of getting more for their money. The CPU Level Up feature offers a simple selection for the user to simply choose a higher up processor model and have the system automatically adjust to run at the same frequency as the more expensive processor.</td><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>Triple-Channel, DDR3 2000(O.C.)</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/feat-8.png" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0 0 5px;" />The Intel X58 chipset doesn't officially support high speed DDR3 memory such as DDR3 2000, but the Rampage II Gene supports memory clocks of DDR3-2000, DDR3-1800, and DDR3-1600 as well as the officially supported frequencies. We don't have an official PC3-16000 kit to test the DDR3-2000 speeds with but our Corsair Dominator PC3-15000 will certainly run those speeds without issue.</td></tr></table>
 
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3oh6

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Package & Accessories

Package & Accessories

<p style="text-align: justify;">Like the motherboard, the package and accessories are small in both size and quantity. First up is a look at the exterior followed by the interior of the ASUS Rampage II Gene package.</p><center>
package-1.jpg
package-2.jpg
package-3.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">With limited package space for advertising, ASUS utilizes a top flap to increase surface area on the package. The ROG logo is prominent on the package exterior, as is the case with most Republic Of Gamers motherboards from ASUS. ASUS does a good job of displaying a lot of information about the motherboard on the package, but at the same time keeps the esthetics pleasing and fresh. Just another typically well designed ASUS package.</p><center>
package-5.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The package itself is pretty firm and nothing out of the ordinary but does provide ample protection for the motherboard inside. There is no sleeve with an interior box containing the motherboard, there are just a couple slim layers between the motherboard and the top of the package. The motherboard is located at the top of the interior under a decorative and protective plastic cover.</p><center>
package-7.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Underneath the motherboard tray is the rather limited accessory package. We will go over the contents shortly but we can say right now, for a premium branded motherboard, we were expecting a bit more of an accessory package. The last photo above shows that the motherboard has its own little cardboard tray holding the Gene securely in place. With an extra layer of cardboard around the motherboard, we are quite satisfied with the protection the package offers the Rampage II Gene during transport. Here now is a complete list of the accessory package included with the Gene:</p>
  • 1 x IDE Ribbon Cable
  • 4 x SATA cables (2 x 90 Degree at one end)
  • Flexible 2 Way SLI bridge
  • Smart Connectors for front panel connections and 1 x USB onboard header
  • Small bag of cable ties
  • LCD Poster
  • Manual & software CD
  • Clip less Rear I/O panel
  • Large Republic Of Gamers Case sticker
<p style="text-align: justify;">As we mentioned the accessory package is quite small and although we might have been expecting more, there really isn't anything missing. Perhaps a couple more SATA cables would have been appreciated but everything else is there. We do appreciate the added cable ties that we have found in all recent ASUS enthusiast level motherboards. These are included for securing cables during a build and a nice little touch no other manufacturer has thought of.</p><center>
package-9.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The only unique piece of hardware that comes with the accessories is the LCD Poster that we have seen before on previous Rampage motherboards. The LCD Poster allows for viewing of easy to understand POST codes to help troubleshoot a non booting system, but also allows a peek inside the system by providing voltage, temperature, and overclock settings. Through the LCD Poster, we will actually be able to change voltage and overclock settings on the fly independent of software or the BIOS. Let's now take a look at the Rampage II Gene and see what we are afforded by way of the layout.</p>
 
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3oh6

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A Closer Look at the ASUS Rampage II Gene

A Closer Look at the ASUS Rampage II Gene


<center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/layout-1.jpg" alt="" border="0"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">With the smaller form factor, we have the same 9.6" wide board, but almost 2.5" are lopped off the bottom of this motherboard. Even with that loss of length, the Rampage II Gene still manages to pull off a dual spaced CrossFireX or SLI layout. Obviously expansion slots are going to be at a premium as the majority of the lost length comes from the bottom portion of the motherboard, after all, you can't squish the CPU socket anymore than it is on these X58 layouts. There are also a few neat little space savers that ASUS has implemented as we will point out going around the board. Let's start with the CPU socket as we always do.</p><center>
layout-2.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">We can see the multi phase PWM encroaching on the LGA1366 socket slightly with the double row of capacitors all but butting up against the CPU hold down, but there isn't a real tight feeling around the socket. This is primarily because of the height of the chipset heat sinks. Both the PWM and north bridge heat sinks sit fairly low and don't loom over the CPU socket giving it a rather open feel for such a cramped space. You will also notice a double set of heat sink mounting holes for the CPU. The Gene accommodates both LGA1366 and LGA775 heat sinks, so no adapter hunting for you if you are coming from an LGA775 motherboard. This should relate to very straight forward processor heat sink installation. Our 8-pin EPS connector as well as the CPU fan header are tucked up to the edge of the board in the upper right hand corner. Cable management is off to a great start with this motherboard.</p><center>
layout-4.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Moving over to the six DDR3 DIMM slots, you may or may not have noticed, but there are only one set of locking tabs. It takes a couple seconds to get use to the look of those DIMM slots, but with only a single set of locking tabs at the top of the board, the top PCI-E 16X slot can be as tight to the DIMM slots as it wants. This is just one of the two space saving features ASUS has implemented in this first image. The other is the upright CMOS battery. Instead of laying flat and taking up precious real estate, the CMOS battery stands up taking only a fraction of the room. It is also in a rather easy to reach location should we have to access it. We also have another fan header up here behind the battery and our 24-pin ATX power connection stacked next to the single IDE connector.

Further down the back edge of the Rampage II Gene we come to south bridge corner. Like any other south bridge corner, we are complimented with our standard six SATA II ports at a 90 degree angle coming from the Intel ICH10R as well as a standalone black SATA II connector coming from presumably the JMicron 363 controller tucked in-between the PCI-E 16X slots. This controller is also responsible for the IDE connector we saw earlier.</p><center>
layout-6.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">In addition to yet another 4-pin fan header, we also have the front panel connectors and a host of USB onboard headers down in this corner. The south bridge heat sink is a standalone passive low profile design that should have no problem staying out of the way of the graphics cards yet still adequately cooling the south bridge without worries.

Moving along the south ridge, more connectors as well as our onboard buttons are present. All of the onboard audio connectors are found down on this edge of the motherboard alongside an onboard firewire connection and yet another 4-pin fan header. With all fan headers being 4-pin, full fan control should be possible from within the BIOS. This is something we will have to check for when going through the great blue ocean in a short while.</p><center>
layout-8.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Turning the focus north up the board we can see that our expansion slot selection is rather limited. This is an obvious set back to the small form factor, but at some point concessions have to be made for this small footprint and up until now, this is seemingly the first one. The focus of this motherboard is to offer an m-ATX motherboard with full graphics power that an ATX motherboard is capable of. Providing this power are two 16X PCI-E slots capable of CrossFireX and SLI. The spacing will allow for double slot cooled graphics cards realizing the potential for dual GTX 295's or HD4870 X2's. That is about the most GPU power one can get these days and the Rampage II Gene can provide it. Of course, with a pair of dual slot cards, we would lose full functionality of the middle PCI-E 4X slot and lower PCI slot, relegating our sound card choice to onboard. Again, with a small form factor, concessions have to be made.

One final 4-pin fan header is present just behind the audio connections seen in the second photo above. This makes a total of five on the board. All placed ideally for a CPU fan, a top case fan, a front fan, a side panel fan, and a rear case fan. ASUS has absolutely nailed the fan header placement with this small Gene motherboard.</p><center>
layout-10.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">ASUS has also done quite well with the rear I/O panel in our opinion. There are a total of six USB 2.0 connectors, a 6-pin firewire, a single eSATA connector, as well as our single gigabit network connection. We also have the full audio tower for 2, 4, 6 or 8 channel audio as well as an optical S/PDIF out port. The last of the items back here are the LCD Poster connection to the far left, and the CMOS clear button. This button is only enabled with a jumper setting near the south bridge. So if you don't want to be accidentally clearing your CMOS, you can disable this button.

The rear of the motherboard is fairly basic but not without some action with a lot of the lowRDS MOSFETs for the CPU PWM being located back here. We also notice that the north bridge heat sink of the assembly is mounted with screws, but the rest of the heat sinks are held in place with simple push pins. We prefer to see an entire suite of screws holding the heat sinks on but at least ASUS has the important one secured properly.</p><center>
layout-12.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">We will now pass over the heat sinks to see how they shape up. Starting in the bottom left corner we see the stand alone passive heat sink sitting on the Intel ICH10R south bridge. We have already seen this heat sink and commented that it is more than adequate for its job. It is actually quite nice to see a standalone heat sink here instead of unnecessarily attaching it to the north bridge via a heat pipe.

Speaking of the north bridge, sitting on top of it is a relatively decent sized heat sink with all kinds of cooling fins and design touches. The prominent design feature is the inclusion of the ROG logo in distinct red atop the gun metal grey heat sink. The NB is also a passive design and connected to the PWM heat sink via a rather large heat pipe. I think our readers know how I feel about heat pipes at this point but ASUS feels the need to link the two together to assist in passive cooling. Our previous experiences with passive north bridge heat sinks on the X58 chipset is that they need cooling help from a fan so it will be interesting to see how this design fares.</p><center>
layout-14.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Like previous Rampage motherboards, the Gene also exhibits a removable portion to the north bridge heat sink via a pair of screws. The Gene didn't come with any further attachments like the original Rampage Extreme but it indicates that the Swiftech MCW-MAX designed for the Rampage series will allow for easy mounting on the base of the Gene's heat sink. This is a one step water cooling solution developed by Swiftech and ASUS. It is nice to see the compatibility carried forward with the smaller Gene.

The PWM cooling solution is very simple and straight forward and more of a heat dissipater for the north bridge when it is being passively cooled. The single row of cooling fins mounted to the very slim plate going across the PWM MOSFETs should be more than adequate at keeping the PWM cool on the motherboard. The biggest design feature of the north bridge and PWM heat sinks is the fact that they are short, really short. This is what we will look at next during installation of the tall and wide, Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme.</p>
 
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3oh6

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Hardware Installation

Hardware Installation

<p style="text-align: justify;">It is now time for our standard "Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme" fitting. This has become the customary heat sink to test fit a motherboard with as it seems to be the standard for cooling i7 processors. With the Rampage II Gene being m-ATX, it might not be the best choice as the likelihood of a low profile heat sink being used on this board increase. With that said, we don't have a low profile heat sink handy so the TRUE it is.</p><center>
install-1.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">We don't feel like messing around so we'll get right to the meat and potatoes. You won't be able to run the TRUE in the north/south orientation with tall memory. The first image illustrates why. Even the second slot won't accommodate the taller Corsair Dominator modules. Standard height modules work fine though so that is dependent on memory. In the east/west orientation, however, the TRUE fits nicely. There is a ton of room for clearance over the north bridge heat sink which is always nice to see. As we said when going over the motherboard, these heat sinks really do sit low.</p><center>
install-3.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">In the east/west orientation with a pair of fans mounted in push/pull, we still have a lot of room on this motherboard. The fans can sit as low as the retaining clips allow and in the second photo, we can see that there is still a lot of room above the PWM heat sink. This type of heat sink is obviously going to depend highly on the case the system is in, but if you have the height, the TRUE works very nice with this board in the east/west orientation. Even in the north/south layout, and standard height memory modules, the TRUE works quite well.</p><center>
install-5.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The next step is getting a couple monster video cards mounted. As mentioned, the single locking clip on the memory modules allows plenty of room for the GTX 295 in the top slot. It really isn't even close to the DIMM slots. Over on the front side, we can see that the bottom PCI-E 16X and PCI slots are free to accept hardware with just a single dual slot cooled video card. Any single video card should fit nicely with this motherboard because they don't get much bigger than the GTX 295...and hopefully down the road they won't get any bigger.</p><center>
install-7.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Doing the unthinkable, we have now stuffed two GTX 295's into the Rampage II Gene and despite a little over hang at the back, they fit like a pair of Isotoner's. There is no overhang off the bottom of the motherboard and we still have access to all connectors along the bottom edge aside from the single JMicron SATA connector as it is perpendicular to the motherboard. If you think about it, that last photo doesn't look overly cramped or indecent, but when you think about the computing power in that tiny little package, it makes the hair on my arms stand up. Perhaps that is just the A/C kicking in, but still, this Rampage II Gene offers a lot of potential power for such a small footprint.</p>
 
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3oh6

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BIOS Rundown

BIOS Rundown

<p style="text-align: justify;">ASUS utilizes an AMI BIOS with their motherboards and does the layout a little bit different from the standard setup. The very first screen we start on in the Rampage II Gene BIOS is the Extreme Tweaker section, quite a nice feature for those constantly adjusting system settings.</p><center>
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Jammed into one lengthy section are all of our overclocking settings including sub menus to the CPU Configuration, DRAM Timings, and DRAM REF Voltage pages. The good thing is that the Page Down button on the keyboard works in the AMI BIOS allowing us to skip a whole page at a time, a huge time saver and a feature I wish was in every BIOS.

Everything is pretty self explanatory from top to bottom with the "automatic" overclocking selections appearing at the top like CPU Level UP and Memory Level Up. XMP profile settings are also selected right from the top within the Ai Overclock Tuner menu. Moving down we have access to the various DRAM and Uncore ratios. The BCLK and PCIE frequency options only appear after setting Ai Overclock Tuner to manual. The DRAM Timing Control section can be seen in the second photo above. A full collection of timings are available including individual channel RTL adjustments which is nice to see. We also really like how the current timings are shown so we know what we are currently working with.

The voltage selection section is next on the large screen and like the timings, current values are shown above each section. We really like this reference so we don't have to jump around to the hardware monitoring section. ASUS has down extremely well with this BIOS and made it a very nice place to work for the overclocker. We will now go over the voltage selection options from the BIOS, and we find yet another board with no need for volt mods.</p><center><table border="0" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" width="735px"><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="100"> </td><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="100"><b>Minimum</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="100"><b>Maximum</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="100"><b>Increment</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="335"><b>Notes</b></td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">CPU Voltage</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.85000v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">2.50000v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.00625v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is Set By CPU</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">CPU PLL Voltage</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.81592v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">2.50492v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.01325v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.81592v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">QPI/DRAM Voltage</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.20000v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">2.50000v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.00625</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.20000v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">IOH Voltage</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.11341v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">2.19991v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.01325v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.11341v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">IOH PCIE Voltage</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.51106v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">2.78306v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.01325v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.51106v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">ICH Voltage</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.11341v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">2.00116v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.01325v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.11341v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">ICH PCIE Voltage</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.51106v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">2.05431v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.01325v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.51106v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">DRAM Bus Voltage</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.51106v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">2.50481v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.01325v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.60381v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">CPU Clock Skew</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">Normal</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">Delay 1500ps</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">100ps</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is AUTO</td></tr><tr>
<td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">IOH Clock Skew</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">Normal</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">Delay 1500ps</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">100ps</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is AUTO</td></tr></table></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Like we said, voltage mods need not apply here. We were just discussing this the other day in a forum about how all of these i7 motherboards are able to bench with LN2 right out of the box pretty much. So far, we haven't touched a single i7 board with a soldering iron aside from the EVGA X58 3X SLI motherboard, but that was simply for read point extensions. It is nice to see the Gene carry on this tradition as all the voltage we could ask for is available at our fingertips.</p><center>
bios-4.jpg
bios-5.jpg
bios-6.jpg
bios-7.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">After the Extreme Tweaker section, we get into the standard BIOS option screens starting with the Main screen. Next to the Main option screen is our Advanced section. The Advanced section has a bit of a grab bag of options including the CPU Configuration page we initially had access to in the Tweaker section, as well as the onboard device selections. The LCD Poster and LED Control section allow us to adjust what we want to display on the LCD Poster as well as the ability to control the onboard LED's that outline the various voltage levels of specific components.

The CPU Configuration section is quite full with a lot of options, more than most other boards in fact. Here we can enable or disable all of the CPU features like SpeedStep and Turbo mode. The Onboard Devices Configuration section does the same but for onboard devices.</p><center>
bios-8.jpg
bios-9.jpg
bios-10.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The only important screens from the Power section are that of the monitoring pages. We can see we have a full slew of Voltage, Temperature, and Fan Speed monitoring pages. We also have fan control for only four fan headers. This was a bit disappointing but the control offered is pretty decent. With the CPU and Chassis fans we have the options for simply what is shown in the last photo, nothing more precise than that. The other OPT fans offer us Duty or User control. With Duty, we can simply set a percentage we want the fans to spin at, and with User we can set minimum and maximum temperatures. These temperatures we assume are based on the optional temperature headers we can plug into the motherboard. Unfortunately, we don't receive any temperature sensors with the accessory package so the feature is kind of useless anyway.</p><center>
bios-12.jpg
bios-13.jpg
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</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The last of the BIOS sections we are going to look at today involve the built in BIOS tools. This is another section that really adds functionality to the Rampage II Gene. First off we have ASUS EZ Flash 2, a standard on ASUS motherboards for a long time now. It is simply the easiest way to flash a motherboard either from a floppy drive, USB thumb drive, or even a hard drive connected to the system. Simply load up EZ Flash 2, select the drive and the BIOS file and flash away.

The second photo above shows the O.C. Profile section. We have eight slots to save profiles to and can name each slot. In addition to that, we can also start the O.C. Profile program which allows us to save BIOS configurations to thumb drive or the hard drive. This makes it easy to share and backup BIOS configurations. We use to praise DFI for this ability but ASUS has taken it to the next level. There really isn't much else we could ask for as far as BIOS saving is concerned.

The last of the Tools is the Tweak-It Batch File. This is a first for this reviewer and after a few minutes of playing around it was evident what this tool offered. We can basically setup a batch file to adjust the listed settings and voltages, and then run it from Tweak-It. This essentially gives us the ability to change a whole bunch of settings on the fly with a single selection through Tweak-It. We only have two batch file spots to save but it is still a nice little addition to the package.</p>
 
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3oh6

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Included Software

Included Software

<p style="text-align: justify;">The included software package from ASUS is still quite similar to that of the past. The interface is the same, and some old favorites for software are still there. In addition to the older software like AI Suite and PC Probe, ASUS has expanded the software line up to include TurboV and their latest version of EPU. Here is a quick animated image showing the various menu options of the main software interface that pops up after inserting the installation disk.</p><center>
software-1.gif
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">As mentioned, the interface is identical to ASUS installation disks going back as far as P965 days or older. It is easy to navigate and easy to get the programs installed. As the saying goes, if it isn't broke, don't fix it.</p><center>
software-2.jpg
software-3.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">TurboV is an overclocking utility ASUS recently came out with that provides basic overclocking abilities including voltage adjustments from within Windows. We can also save profiles and load them from within Windows. The first thing to note is that changes in TubroV change the BIOS settings. This is generally a big no no with Windows overclocking software. If someone should set something too high for the system to run, you are now going to try to boot with those settings which can easily fail. Regardless of how well a system recovers from a failed overclock, you never want software in Windows to change settings in the BIOS.

Of course, like so many manufacturer supplied overclocking software, TurboV has functionality faults. Changing some voltages at certain point’s results in instant lock ups. Adjusting vCORE at any point did nothing but freeze the system on us. Again, pardon our enthusiasm, but we have seen this type of thing before and it always amazes us that a manufacturer would add a piece of software that doesn't even work. One last kick of the dead horse for us was when we went to close the software...it doesn't. It loads with Windows, not by our choice, and gives us no ability to prevent it from doing so. In addition to that, once it loads, you cannot close it. Again ASUS, we love innovative software but bug riddled invasive software is not something we appreciate with our motherboards. Our recommendation, don't bother installing TurboV, do your clocking in the BIOS and save the headache.</p><center>
software-4.gif
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Next up is the overwhelmingly disappointing EPU-6 software. This go-round EPU 6 actually works, as in, it does what it sets out to do. The software "calibrated" our system fine and all of the modes would function accordingly. Unfortunately we just don't see the point of running such software. It essentially does the same thing that SpeedStep does inherently at a hardware level. At idle, the system drops the CPU multi and lowers the vCORE. The system then speeds up when load is applied. We can adjust the various modes to enable chipset voltage downgrade and other options, but these seemingly have no effect.

With chipset downgrade enabled, we see no fluctuation from idle to load on any voltages aside from vCORE. The current CPU power rating of that the software keeps track of is laughably under valuing the watts the CPU is using, and the overall effectiveness of the software just doesn't make sense. In the medium power saving mode, which inherently saves your system power, does so by limiting how fast the CPU runs at. Instead of the stock 133 BCLK and 3.2GHz with our 965, it simply lowers the BCLK to 119 for a 3GHz operating frequency. That isn't saving energy, that is slowing down the system.

This transparent energy saving software again, once installed, does not allow itself to be closed and starts itself with Windows. In addition to that, when the system goes to sleep - or into AI Nap mode - in order for you to return from sleep, you are required to click on an OK box that pops up asking if you wanted the system to wake up. This gets annoying, very quickly. The only thing we have noticed is that when in AI Nap mode, the system turned off the Sys2 fan header and that fan stopped functioning until the system was woken up. Great, so you don't actually lower anything that the system can't lower on its own, but you shut down the cooling...sounds like a great idea to us. Again, our recommendation is to avoid EPU-6 and simply enable SpeedStep on the processor in the BIOS.</p><center>
software-5.png
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">So ASUS added new software to the fold that works to a certain degree, why leave AI Suite on the installation CD? It serves no real purpose aside from giving the user instant access to the other pieces of software. But the other pieces of software automatically run after being installed so there is no need to even open them. We found the idea of having three pieces of software that essentially do the same thing, to be rather confusing, and just useless; much like the software itself.</p><center>
software-6.png
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The last piece of software ASUS includes with the CD is the only one that actually serves a purpose and does it relatively well. It is somewhat configurable and does what it is suppose to do. PC Probe II reports voltages, fans speeds, system temperatures and doesn't fail at its job. Of course we do get some random error every time we open PC Probe II but at least it opens and functions. We still prefer a less bulky system monitor like Everest Ultimate which can integrate with the Windows side bar in Vista, and with a little configuration can display everything PC Probe II does without all the screen space used up.

One final note is that our package and installation CD advertises the inclusion of 3DMark 06. This is great except the CD sleeve comes with a 3DMark Vantage license. Getting a Vantage key was a nice surprise, but ASUS really needs to update their installation CD with Vantage and their package to illustrate Vantage is included. It isn't like Vantage just came out and this was a last minute change.</p>
 
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3oh6

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Test Setup & Methodologies

Test Setup & Methodologies


<center><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="735px"><tr><td align="left">
setup-1.jpg
</td><td align="left">
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</td><td align="right">
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</a></td><td align="right">
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</a></td></tr></table><br /><table border="0" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" width="735px"><tr><td colspan="4"><b><font color="#ffffff">Test Platform:</font></b></td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Motherboard:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">ASUS Rampage II Gene</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Processor:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Processor Cooling:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme CU<br>2 x Scythe Ultra Kaze 120MM 2000RPM 87.6CFM (DFS123812L-2000)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Thermal Paste:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Arctic Cooling MX-2</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>North Bridge Cooling:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Stock</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>South Bridge Cooling:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Stock</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>PWM Cooling:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Stock</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Memory:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Corsair Dominator-GT 3x2GB PC3-15000 7-8-7 (TR3X6G1866C7GTF)<br>Corsair Dominator 3x2GB PC3-12800 8-8-8 (TR3X6G1600C8D)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Power Supply:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Corsair HX1000W</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Video Card:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">EVGA GTX 295 (NVIDIA GeForce 185.85 WHQL)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Additional Fan:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Scythe Ultra Kaze 120MM 2000RPM 87.6CFM (DFS123812L-2000)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Hard Drives:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Seagate 7200.9 80GB SATAII 8MB cache</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>OS:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Windows Vista SP1 (with all updates)</td></tr></table></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Both kits of the Corsair Dominator memory will be checked for XMP compatibility, but we will be using the Dominator-GT modules for the rest of the testing and overclocking as it is the far superior kit.</p>

Stability Overclocking Methodology

<p style="text-align: justify;">We have not made any changes to our stability testing methodology that has been used with great success in past motherboard and memory reviews. Because of this, we will simply cut and paste our previous explanation of our stability testing methodology.

"Testing for true system stability is an arduous task and one that is hotly debated in open forums all the time. We have many years of experience watching these debates and have tried to put together a strong collection of stability tests to accommodate all schools of thought on the subject. Our stability testing methodology has also been a great success in finding a number of 24/7 overclocks on all kinds of systems. A lot of us here at HWC, myself included, use this same type of testing when setting up our own daily use machines and those that we setup for friends and family. This methodology is sound and shouldn't be taken lightly. We are definitely not like other sites that post a CPU-Z screen shot and then say the system passed all of our benchmarks. Our results should be considered a realistic sample of what one can expect from this motherboard for 24/7 operation."</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/setup-5.jpg" alt="" border="0"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Our virtual recipe of stability testing may not be considered true 24/7 stability testing but due to time constraints of a review, complete stability testing at so many different overclocks is virtually impossible. For that reason, we have designed the following list of programs to provide a very accurate portrait of complete system stability:</p><p style="text-align: justify;">We are confident in our stability testing and feel we offer a very accurate representation of what the Rampage II Gene can handle. Obviously there is more involved in a systems overclocking abilities than the motherboard. The rest of our hardware plays a key role in overclocking performance, so please keep that in mind when looking over the overclocking results we will be presenting shortly.</p>

Benchmark Methodology

<p style="text-align: justify;">Without giving too much away from the Stability & Overclocking Results section, we will mention that the Corsair Dominator-GT memory designed to run at DDR3-1866 with 7-8-7-20 timings simply weren't able to stabilize on the Rampage II Gene.<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/method-1.png" alt="Just a sample graph outlining where the results will be coming from in the up-coming benchmarks" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0px 4px 7px"> For this reason, our stock results in the benchmarks will be run with the Corsair Dominator XMP profiles at DDR3-1600 with 8-8-8-24 timings. These results will be displayed with the <b>blue</b> bars in the charts.

The <b>red</b> bars in our charts will display the benchmark results from our overall overclock which we are going to look a shortly. These settings were determined the best we could achieve given the rest of the overclocking results with the Rampage II Gene. Essentially, if we were to set this system up for daily use, the <b>red</b> results will depict how we would have the system setup and the performance we can expect. Having given away our overall overclock, we certainly have a few items to discuss; primarily dealing with memory. As mentioned, we will discuss that in a hot minute. Right now, here is a rundown of how our benchmarking setup is prepared:
  1. Windows Vista x64 w/SP1 is installed using a full format
  2. Intel Chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) are installed followed by a defragment and a reboot
  3. At time of benchmarks the latest drivers were downloaded from their official web sites as the latest drivers, most notable, NVIDIA GeForce Release 185.85 WHQL
  4. Programs and games are then installed followed by another defragment
  5. Windows updates are then completed installing all available updates followed by a defragment
  6. Benchmarks are each ran three times after a clean reboot for every iteration of the benchmark unless otherwise stated, the results are then averaged
</p>
 
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3oh6

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Stability & Overclocking Results

Stability & Overclocking Results

<p style="text-align: justify;">With the recent release of Intel D0 stepping i7 920's the reality of what determines maximum base block has really become a lot clearer. These new D0 stepping processors seem to reach much higher base clocks than the previous C0 stepping processors. This is no more evident than our comparison between our C0 i7 965 extreme processor and a newly acquired D0 i7 920 on the ASUS Rampage II Gene. Our previous base clock maximum with the i7 965 has been very little over 200 with every board we have tested. Right in the 205 base clock range is when that processor ran out of steam, which is also the case with the Gene. That all changed when we dropped in the D0 i7 920.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/setup-6.jpg" alt="" border="0"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">We only used the i7 920 for the base clock overclocking because it is far superior at base clock than our i7 965. Unfortunately the i7 965 has a much better memory controller so it will continue to be used for memory overclocking as well as overall overclocking. Needless to say, the maximum base clock a motherboard is capable of heavily depends on the CPU, but the motherboard can still limit a CPU. It really does take a combination of a good motherboard and a great CPU in order to get anywhere near 220 base clock for 24/7 stability. We start off our Stability & Overclocking section with a look at XMP profile testing on our two Corsair Dominator 3x2GB kits of memory.</p>

Corsair Dominator 3x2GB PC3-12800 8-8-8 (TR3X6G1600C8D) Stability Testing

Click for full size...
<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/ocing-1.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/small/ocing-1.png" alt="Maximum Memory Stability Testing" border="0"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">We started off as we always do with this mainstream kit and the Rampage II Gene had no problems running the XMP profile. All voltages adjusted correctly and within a couple minutes we were stability testing without any sign of issues. Unfortunately, once this kit finished testing, our nightmare began.

You will notice that we don't have the Corsair Dominator-GT XMP stability testing screen shot, and that is because we couldn't get any kind of stability at 933MHz. Basically, anything over 900MHz was completely unstable. The XMP profile loads as it should with its customary high VTT, but there was no way 933MHz was going to run on the XMP profile. We then spent the better part of a week trying everything we could. We were eventually able to get 920MHz stable through loosening up Back-to-back CAS Delay, but performance takes a large hit and the memory still wouldn't run the XMP profile even with the timing adjustments. We then received another kit of memory for review, Mushkin Ascent Redline PC3-12800 6-7-6. Like the Dominator-GTs, we could not get anything over 900MHz to run. Based on the performance of the Mushkin kit on another motherboard, we are assuming it is built with the same Elpida Hyper IC's that our Dominator-GT kit is confirmed to run. This indicates a compatibility issue with the Gene and Elpida Hyper based memory kits.

It really is a shame because the Elpida Hyper are the cream of the DDR3 crop. Unfortunately we have no Samsung HCF0 kits to test with over 900MHz to completely confirm the Elpida Hyper being the problem memory. In forums, however, other users of Elpida Hyper have run into the same issues as us and those not using Elpida Hyper don't seem to have the issue. Extensive testing will need to be done but it looks like ASUS has some BIOS work on their hands to get this board running Elpida Hyper based memory kits.</p>

Base Clock/QPI Stability Overclocking

Click for full size...<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/ocing-2.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/small/ocing-2.png" alt="Maximum BCLK/QPI Overclocking" border="0"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Because of the inability to run over 900MHz with memory, we have skipped the maximum memory overclocking and went straight to the base clock testing. As mentioned, and the screen shot shows, we used our new i7 920 D0 stepping processor and managed a very respectable 215 base clock. We haven't had time to test this processor on another board yet to determine if the processor is only capable of 215, but regardless, the Rampage II Gene shows it definitely has the Rampage heritage powering it. With a 215 base clock, this 920 is covered up to 4515MHz utilizing the 21X multiplier that turbo offers. If you have a capable CPU, it looks like the Rampage II Gene is more than capable of maxing it out for 24/7 clocks on air or water with ease.</p>

Overall Stability Overclocking

Click for full size...<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/ocing-3.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/small/ocing-3.png" alt="Maximum Overall Stability Overclocking" border="0"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">With our known memory maximum and recent ability to run this 965 processor at 4.1GHz, we tried to come up with a maximum overclock that would maximize the CPU frequency, but also get as much out of our memory as we could. The result is a very impressive 4114MHz CPU frequency and 894MHz 7-8-7 memory clock running at a base clock of 179x23. Only recently have we been able to get this 965 over 4GHz stable on the EVGA Classified, but it looks like the Gene has managed to match it for clocking the CPU on air. For being such a little board, it sure packs a heck of a punch. With the right CPU, 215 base clock was easily attainable and now a 4.1GHz CPU overclock stable for 24/7 use. The only drawback is the memory issue we had with Elpida Hyper memory. Hopefully ASUS can cook up a BIOS that plays better with those memory kits and turn this board from an acceptable contender to an outright fighter ready for a title shot.</p>
 
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3oh6

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Memory Benchmarks

Memory Benchmarks



Everest Ultimate v5.01.1726<p style="text-align: justify;"><i>Everest Ultimate is the most useful tool for any and all bench markers or overclockers. With the ability to read most voltage, temperature, and fan sensors on almost every motherboard available, Everest provides the ability to customize the outputs in a number of forms for display on your desktop. In addition to this, the memory benchmarking provides a useful tool of measuring the changes to your memory sub-system when tweaking to measure the differences.</i></p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/mem_bench-1.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">We have a bit of a cut and dry comparison in today's benchmarks. On one hand we have a stock system with a typical PC3-12800 8-8-8 3x2GB kit of memory, and on the other, an aggressively overclocked system with performance memory. The Everest bandwidth results really do show how much of a performance difference overclocking the system can bring, to memory bandwidth anyway. It will be interesting to see how much of a performance difference this equates to in the real world bench marks.</p>

<center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/mem_bench-2.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">As with bandwidth, memory latency also drops drastically with the overclocked system. Processor speed also helps memory latency so we are not simply looking at the difference between DDR3-1600 8-8-8 and DDR3-1800 7-8-7.</p>

SiSoft Sandra 2009.SP2<p style="text-align: justify;"><i>SiSoft Sandra is a popular and well used benchmark in the industry but not really a friend of serious benchmarkers. The results SiSoft Sandra produces have been suspect at times basing the numbers it comes up with on system specs and not actual testing. The latest version of Sandra seems to be one of the few programs that appear to calculate memory bandwidth consistently so we decided to include it in today’s benchmarks. Like we have always said with SiSoft Sandra though, take these results for what they are and nothing more.</i></p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/mem_bench-3.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">SiSoft Sandra bandwidth results mimic those of Everest Ultimate. Despite the difference in measurement, Sandra and Everest both show just over 11% gains in bandwidth between the two setups.</p>

ScienceMark v2<p style="text-align: justify;"><i>ScienceMark is an almost ancient benchmark utility at this point in time and hasn't seen an update in a long time. It is, however, still a favorite for accurately calculating bandwidth on even the newest chipsets.</i></p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/asus/riigene/mem_bench-4.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">ScienceMark also reports substantially higher bandwidth for the overclocked setup but it is up over the 14% range for an increase. This is a good bit higher than Everest and Sandra showed for bandwidth gains.</p>
 
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