The Rampage II Gene supports DDR3 memory speeds up to 2.0GHz, as well as DDR3 speeds of 1600MHz, 1333MHz, and 1066MHz. The board also has a variety of newbie-friendly ways to OC the board in BIOS in case you don’t want to experiment with base clock speeds and other settings necessary to OC your processor. The board also continues to support standard ASUS features such as Q-Connector which is designed to make connecting the pins for your case, speaker, etc easier as well as Q-Fan, which automatically adjust your fan’s RPMs based on temperature. The board has a number of other unique features though…
With their LCD Poster, ASUS provides a very simple way to diagnose issues during POST. LCD Poster is an external LCD screen that ships with the motherboard and reports the various stages during POST (memory initialization, CPU, VGA, etc). LCD Poster isn’t like the diagnostic LEDs that ship with some motherboards either. These devices require you to lookup number codes in your motherboard’s manual so you can figure out what went wrong during POST.
With LCD Poster, the diagnostic codes are translated for you, so you instantly know which device caused the POST failure, as the readout on the LCD Poster will list the device that caused the malfunction. As you can imagine, LCD Poster is a godsend when you’re trying to determine what went wrong during POST.
The LCD Poster can also be used to monitor CPU voltages and make some BIOS adjustments. ASUS includes a generous amount of cable, so you can hook the module up to your motherboard, and then run the cable to your desk for easy monitoring.
Tired of micro-ATX motherboards that compromise on integrated audio? If so, you’ll love the Rampage II Gene. ASUS equips the board with the exact same 8-channel SupremeFX X-Fi audio found on their flagship X58 motherboard, the Rampage II Extreme. Here we should note that the audio is actually driven via a CODEC from Analog Devices, only with Creative’s software solution backing it up.
On the Rampage II Extreme a riser card is used, but for the Gene ASUS integrates the chip right on the motherboard itself. Most of the key X-Fi features are supported, including EAX 4.0, the 24-bit crystallizer, X-Fi CMSS-3D, and Creative Alchemy.
One feature ASUS has added to their motherboards is EPU-6, their energy saving technology that detects system load and adjusts the motherboard’s power phases, CPU voltage/clock speed and other power functions accordingly.
A GUI is provided that allows you to tweak settings for your motherboard’s chipset, CPU, memory, drives, VGA card (you’ll need an ASUS video card with Smart Doctor), and fan so you can run these devices as efficiently as possible when it comes to power consumption. The utility provides four modes that you can choose from to enhance performance (Turbo, High Performance modes), or to save power (Medium Power Saving mode, Max Power Saving mode), you can then customize the settings for each mode if you’d like to drill down even further.
As we mentioned earlier, the Rampage II Gene supports 2-Way SLI and CrossFire, so those of you who would like to run dual GPUs can run cards from either ATI or NVIDIA without any problems. An SLI ribbon cable is included in the box, although like all X58 motherboards keep in mind that the two PCI Express graphics slots are close to one another so dual-slot cards won’t have a whole lot of room between each other for optimal airflow. Fortunately we haven’t run into any problems as a result of this on any of the X58 platforms we tested (this was also an issue on previous Intel chipsets).