ASUS Rampage II Gene mATX LGA1366 Motherboard Review
ASUS Rampage II Gene LGA1366 mATX Motherboard Review Price: $293+ CND Price Comparison
Manufacturer Product Page: ASUSTek Computer Inc.
TechWIKI Info: ASUS Rampage II Gene - TechWIKI
Manufacturer's Part Number: RAMPAGEIIGENE
Warranty: 3 Year Limited Warranty
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?