ASUS Rampage II Gene mATX LGA1366 Motherboard Review

by 3oh6     |     May 12, 2009

Specifications & Features

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.

ASUS Rampage II Gene

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.

ASUS Rampage II Gene


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.

Republic Of Gamers

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.

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.
Onboard Switch

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.
External LCD Poster

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.

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.

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".
CPU Level Up

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.
Triple-Channel, DDR3 2000(O.C.)

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.

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