Overclocking is like sport. Throughout the world, enthusiasts experience the strength of the components and achieve the maximum possible results. When overclocking the processor and memory, much depends on the instances, but you can not drop the importance of the base - the motherboard. After all, it is the motherboard that offers all the functional that is necessary for conquering peaks in certain disciplines. And, of course, every manufacturer wants to see their products in the hands of professionals.
ASUS's ROG division this year presented a very interesting motherboard for the Kaby Lake-X and Skylake-X processors (socket LGA 2066), which is designed specifically for extreme overclocking - and not only in terms of the number of BIOS settings and any switches on the board itself. Today we will talk in details about the board itself and point out those moments that you just might not notice at first glance.
The design of the box has been slightly modified, but it remains classically bright red - it will not be hard to find it on the shelf of the store. The only useful information is the name of the product and a set of brand logos of Intel, NVIDIA and AMD.
But on the reverse side we are waiting for a lot of interesting information.
In addition to the special zone with a whole range of switches (we'll come back to it later), the manufacturer notes the presence of two DIMM.2 slots for four M.2 SSD drives, support for RGB AURA lights and a pre-installed Wi-Fi 802.11ac module.
The first thing that meets us in the box is a whole set of Republic of Gamers stickers.
The box includes:
- a user guide;
- a disk with drivers and software;
- stickers on SATA cables;
- a discount coupon to the modding shop;
- branded plastic label ROG;
- customizable overlays for the highlighted area.
- a cover on the back panel of the case;
- 4xSATA cable;
- a cable for connecting RGB tape;
- an external antenna Wi-Fi;
- a set of screws for fixing M.2 devices;
- special metal frames for fixing the fans;
- an adapter for connecting the front panel of the case.
- three different SLI bridge - for two, three and four video cards;
- two DIMM.2 boards for connection in the sum of four M.2 SSD drives.
Design and More
The design of the motherboard is slightly different from the usual one. The first thing that catches your eye is the unusual form of the printed circuit board itself.
At a cursory examination, you immediately notice that there are only four slots for installing RAM modules. It should be noted that they are located as close as possible to the processor socket, which increases the chances of achieving the maximum memory frequency and its performance. Well, more than two slots professional overclocker are not required. For example, in 2-channel mode (right slots) you can reach frequencies above 4500 MHz, and in 4-channel mode - 4133 MHz and higher.
Especially for those who use a motherboard with extreme cooling systems, the manufacturer has implemented sensors for closing contacts from condensate. Four sensors are located near the processor socket, nine sensors - near the slots for RAM and five more - near the main PCI-Express slots. If condensation forms and it is converted to water, thereby closing any contacts, the motherboard signals this by LEDs on the main side in the OC Zone area.
To install video cards and expansion cards, the user can access four PCIe x16 (physically) slots and one PCIe x4 slot.
They work in modes x16, x16 / x16, x16 / x8 / x8, x16 / x8 / x8 / x8 or x8 / x8 / x8 / x8 for processors with 44 lines of PCI-e or x16, x16 / x8 or x8 / x8 / x8 for processors with 28 lines of PCI-e.
The sound is answered by the audio codec Realtek S1220. Also included is a digital-to-analog converter ESS Sabre Hi-Fi ES9023P for the front audio outputs and an operational amplifier Texas Instruments RC4580, characterized by low distortion.
In the lower right part, you can find the switch button between two BIOS chips, the MemOK! Button, and a set of different connectors for fans and other devices.
The top right corner of the board is called OC Zone. All hardware control of the board and monitoring of some parameters are concentrated here.
It should be noted the presence of the controller ASUS PRO Clock. This is a separate base frequency generator (BCLK), which works in tandem with the TPU. It allows you to access the full frequency range during overclocking, to achieve more stable voltage supply and it also offers more settings for overclocking the system.
Motherboard ASUS ROG Rampage VI Apex is the crown of engineering thought of the ASUS ROG team. The board simply has no shortcomings, it has only exceptional merits that have been appreciated by professionals all over the world. Engineers have created a product specifically designed for extreme overclocking. And it's not just the two slots for RAM, but the OC Zone with a lot of hardware control and monitoring capabilities, as well as special condensate sensors on the back side in all major zones. To configure the system, dozens of parameters are available, some of which are expanded by the presence of an additional hardware controller Pro Clock II. And, to all the above, you need to add the presence of RGB backlight and the ability to change the appearance of the board at your discretion, thanks to nameplates and special fasteners for parts printed on a 3D printer. If you need maximum performance and maximum overclocking capabilities - Rampage IX Apex will satisfy your appetite completely!