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  • jontech - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    But sounds kind of cool,.

    Helps that Asus makes it :)
    Reply
  • Paulman - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    Asus Republic of Gamers also holds Starcraft tournaments, as well! That's how I first heard of their brand. In fact, the ASUS ROG Starcraft II Summer 2012 tournament is on right now and I'm watching a game vs. EG.IdrA and EG.Puma (same team, but one American teammate versus a Korean teammate).

    For more info on this tourney, see: http://rog.asus.com/142982012/gaming/join-the-rog-...
    Reply
  • primeval - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    A fun tournament thus far.

    For the branding portion of this article, I highly recommend checking out some of ASUS ROG's commercials. They have been playing throughout the aforementioned tournament and I have to say they are probably the best hardware commercials I have ever seen in terms of production quality. I think that if you see a few of those commercials, you may be able to further rationalize the branding award.
    Reply
  • Meaker10 - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    1x/16x/8x/16x would kill any dual card setup in a micro atx case, kinda defeating the point.... Reply
  • just4U - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    the 8x slot is rather pointless... Reply
  • danjw - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    I would rather see an article on the Ivybridge ROG motherboards then the Sandybridge-E ones. These are very niche boards, though I guess that is only slightly less true of the Ivybridge boards. For heavily threaded and memory intensive applications Sandybridge-E will win. But not really on much else, though they are chosen by some just because they are the most expensive. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    Also, Sandy Bridge overclocks higher and throws out less heat, because of the silly design choice that Intel made in regards to the heat spreader compound.

    Not a problem for those who are up to the task of removing the IHS or lapping.
    Sad part is that Ivy Bridge actually has nice thermals and power consumption at stock; which could have translated well for enthusiasts.

    IvyBridge-E should be out within the next year, haswell will get released and the cycle shall continue.
    Hopefully we get 8 core Ivybridge-E chips, which is severely lacking on the Socket 2011 platform with the 3930K's being die harvested 8 core chips, plus most socket 2011 motherboards will take an Ivybridge-e chip anyway, when they're released.
    Reply
  • danjw - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    I was just looking at "leaked" slide that shows Ivy Bridge-E out in Q3 2013 and Haswell out in Q2 2013. I really don't see what the point is of an Ivy Bridge-E if Haswell beats it to the market. With Sandy Bridge-E they released it before the Ivy Bridge tock. I just don't see why that would make much sense. Reply
  • Assimilator87 - Saturday, August 04, 2012 - link

    Haswell will probably be limited to four cores, whereas Ivy Bridge-E will scale up to ten cores. Reply
  • Flunk - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    Ivy Bridge is more of a notebook oriented update anyway. The much better integrated graphics don't really matter to us anyway. Reply
  • G-Man - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    Fantastic article, Ian! You must have been working on this for a long time. Thanks for a great read. Reply
  • B - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    Ian -

    I would like to point out that under that nice metal Creative X-FI chip badge is, in fact, a Realtek processor. The Soundblaster piece of this is a merely a software implementation. I have this motherboard and was quite disappointed to discover this.

    Thanks for great and thorough article.
    Reply
  • just4U - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    Indeed.. It's a little bit of a letdown. It will be nice if they are pushed away from the realtek chip now that Gigabyte is into similiar type boards which utilize the Creative recon chips. Reply
  • primonatron - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    The article should be edited to specificy that it's only a Relatek chip, not a Creative one, at this point it's just blatent false advertising.

    When doing the review, did Anandtech actually do a Windows 7 install on it themselves?
    They would have known if they did.
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    As per my comment above, it states this in the tenth page. And yes, I do install Windows 7 fresh on every board I test. It would be crazy not to. I see the whole install procedure at least twice a week, as well as installing each vendors drivers and software. The ASUS install procedure for drivers is all one-button automatic, no user input required, no giant screens flashing up on the screen to ask to confirm this that or the other.

    Ian
    Reply
  • primonatron - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    I would not put " ASUS have dug into their pockets to provide the Gene with a better-than-Realtek solution, in the SupremeFX III" since it IS a Realtek solution. Reply
  • IanCutress - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    Written in page 10:

    "In our SupremeFX III, we essentially get a Realtek codec (presumed ALC898), but by being stage III this chip is isolated from the rest of the board, has a separate EMI shield around the chip, its own PCB layer for audio tracing, a 1500 mF capacitor to reduce ripple, and gold plated audio jacks to minimize resistance. As a result, the SNR is increased to 110dB."

    Ian
    Reply
  • just4U - Saturday, August 04, 2012 - link

    It also needs to be noted that soundchips getting decent software can be a fairly substantial bump.. atleast from my point of view. I seem to recall Creative nailing a company to the wall because they used software the emulated soundblaster stuff and they were reall popular 7 years back. Reply
  • just4U - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    I've been using these for several years... and have always found that they offer more then most standard ATX boards in lesser and similiar price ranges. Your not paying the Big bucks but you have your foot in the door.. (as it were.. lol)

    They can be problematic at times mind you.. I've found that quality control can be a bit of an issue with dead boards coming in now and again. We are dealing with sensitive electronics mind you so that happens.

    I must say they do have some competition now with Gigabyte's M3s sniper boards, that do utilize a true recon3d sound chip from Creative (as opposed to a realtek chip with software emulation). My hope is that it pushes Asus towards a similiar move as the sound is a key feature for these baby boards.

    Personally I think the Gene series deserves your silver award. While high end boards can be had from all makers getting a good solid feature rich gaming MATX board is not the norm and they are almost allways a pleasure to work with.

    Great review Ian.
    Reply
  • iamkyle - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    Has anyone used the included utilities on these series of boards that can comment on their usefulness compared to some other well-known OCing utilities out there? Reply
  • Jambe - Friday, August 03, 2012 - link

    "Here on the Gene, ASUS are using two SATA 3 Gbps from the chipset (black), two SATA 6 Gbps from chipset (red) and two more SATA 6 Gbps from a controller (black, ASMedia)."

    The ASMedia 6 Gbps ports are red, not black. It might also be worth pointing out that the outside cluster is the ASMedia set and the middle one is the Intel set.
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Saturday, August 04, 2012 - link

    Many thanks for pointing this out. In my reviews I do go down the right hand side in order, especially in that paragraph. 24000 words and the odd one sometimes goes astray!

    Ian
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Saturday, August 04, 2012 - link

    Doesn't the OC Key have a Single DVI limitation? You say in your article, "As long as you've got DVI, you're fine," or something along those lines, but the reality is that most of the high end users now use dual DVI (or Displayport) for 2560x1600/1440. After all, what's the point of pimping out your drag racing ride with the highest of the high end and then shrug and say, "1920x1200/1080 for yous!"

    Soooo... the high end are not using the OC Key because the OC Key doesn't support what the high end users are doing.

    http://rog.asus.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-1128...

    Honestly, I think the OC Key is just one big wasted opportunity because of this. Anyone willing to fork over $450 on a motherboard, $500+ on a CPU, have 8 sticks of memory, have four GPU's...

    You think they need just a single-DVI OC Key? It's really rather absurd. It might be true, but people who spend that scratch will probably need the superior bandwidth sooner rather than later.
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Saturday, August 04, 2012 - link

    OC Key is not designed for gamers. It is designed for extreme overclockers who are competing for scores, most likely also using sub-zero cooling (Dry Ice, Phase or LN2). I have used it on occasion for competitive overclocking, and also have seen it used in overclocking competitions.

    That is its usage scenario.

    Ian
    Reply
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  • Laststop311 - Saturday, August 04, 2012 - link

    I have an m18x desktop replacement. Has a 4.1 Ghz on all 4 cores OC without using turbo, the i7-2960xm, 4x4GB 1866MHz RAM, Crossfire Radeon 6990m's with both with a healthy overclock.

    It chews through almost every game on my 27" dell ultrasharp external monitor at 2560x1440 at at least 45 fps soe more some less but almost ALWAYS at very min above 25-30. Once I get the money to change out the 6990m's with 7970m's in crossfire I'll be playing every game at 45+ fps at 2560x1440 and full yltra settings.

    So don't sit there and tell me laptops suck for LAN partys. Because actually I can carry my m18x in a little carrier like it's a backpack and set up at the lan and be ready to go in a hurry.

    And the funny part is the laptop pulls higher fps then a lot of my friends pc's and that's not even with the 6990's upgraded to 7970m's.

    ALSO the r2 version of the m18x came with a new specially designed beefier heatsink set up for the XM processor that is triple the surface area but fits right in place. So I'll also be getting that much larger cpu heatsink to crank my OC from 4.1Ghz to 4.3-4.4 or so, basically a crazy killer speed demon laptop cpu
    Reply
  • Laststop311 - Saturday, August 04, 2012 - link

    Claro Halo has a very very nice clean headphone amp (Headphone output with TPA6120 AMP IC) that can drive up to 600 ohms like a champ.

    It has incredibly high quality stereo RCA outputs for a low line level signal to a high quality stereo receiver (hardly any cards have gold plated RCA outputs which is crucial for a high quality connection to a high end receiver.) As well as a 5.1 optical output. If you require 7.1 output you can get the add on XT card that plugs in a connector on the sound card for additional gold plated 7.1 analog outputs.

    It also has 120dB s/n which is +2 better. It also has swappable OP-AMPS to customize the character of the sound exactly how you like it. You can also switch it to 32 ohm output mode from 300/600 ohm mode on the headphone amp output to adjust between huge full size cans and in ear monitors that are much more sensitive.

    Uses C Media CMI8788 8 channel sound processor with full duplex 2 channel 24bit/192khz AK4396 DAC's and 24bit/192khz AK5385 ADC for recording.

    Every input and output is gold plated.

    Claro Halo is the best sound card hands down.
    Reply
  • macforth - Saturday, August 04, 2012 - link

    A very interesting read.......Thanks for that Ian.

    I have just bought an ROG, but it's the Maximus V Extreme..I am about to build a WC setup and run 690's in SLI.

    The reason I chose the 1155 as against the 2011, is the cost of the top MB and top CPU (given the gaming world's belief that there's little gain), PCIe 3, and I don't need the abilities that the 2011 shines in. I more play games. And to be quite honest, to me ROG spells GAMER!

    It's a while since I have seen any comparison of an ROG 2011 v 1155 just for games......and certainly not since the last proliferation of 1155's game to town.

    Ahhhh it would be very very interesting!
    Reply
  • DaViper - Sunday, August 05, 2012 - link

    Very Good Article Ian Cutress, BUT wheres the rest of the ROG Brand like the Crosshair Boards. there really is nothing in the Article about anything AMD/ATI side of ROG. We that do have the AMD side do like to see reviews about them as well but most of the time we get left out and considering here shortly there will be a New Addition to that line although it's named for Gamers but instead it's aimed Squarely at OverClockers and has all the Gamers Perks Removed. Reply
  • GL1zdA - Monday, August 06, 2012 - link

    I have the Rampage IV Formula board and since the version of Daemon Tools bundled with the mainboard is outdated (and you can't upgrade it to a newer version) I e-mailed the Daemon Tools team to ask about an upgrade. They offered me upgrading to Daemon Tools Advanced with lifetimes upgrades for 10 Euro - a nice deal considered the full version would cost me 35 Euro.

    I also mailed the cfos team to ask about upgrading the outdated GameFirst software to regular cfosSpeed (I was using cfosSpeed for years on my other PC), but they never mailed back.
    Reply
  • pandemonium - Monday, August 06, 2012 - link

    That was a very inclusive article. Thank you!

    I am curious to see if newer drivers would improve 3x/4x scaling, though, for the games tested I don't remember any noted improvements from AMD's Catalyst changelogs...
    Reply
  • dj christian - Wednesday, August 08, 2012 - link

    Is this article bought by ASUS? I see no reason for the reviewer to do the same for other motherboard companies even including Intel. Reply

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