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ASUS Rampage III Gene Motherboard Unboxing Review

Level 8
The ASUS Rampage III Gene is the premier Micro ATX form factor desktop board. Gamers On the go, college dorm Overclockers, and enthusiasts alike will surely enjoy this motherboard. On the outside the Gene is similar to its big brother the Rampage III Extreme. Sharing an X58 Chipset, both the Rampage Extreme and Gene support NVIDIA 4-Way SLI & ATI CrossFireX with two second generation PCI express bi 16x graphics slots. Both motherboards have two internal SATA 6Gbp/s and an impressive two rear USB 3.0 ports. The release of the Gene edition combines the overclocking success of the Rampage III Extreme with the small size of the Micro ATX formfactor. Asus has taken the popular Rampage 3 Extreme and given it an irresistible appeal to Case Modders and budget gamers.

Click on images to enlarge


ASUS always impresses with the retail packaging of its motherboards. The Maximus IV Extreme-Z is no exception. The retail packaging follows suit with previous boards with its ROG red color scheme and bold shimmering title. As usual ASUS placed industry logos of supported technology and board features at the bottom of the box.


When we turn the box over we can see Asus has provided the user with a brief overview of the boards features. Flip open the front of the box and we find two informative pages with more detail on ROG Overclocking aspects, included software, and board features.


After working our way around the box we arrive to find the Gene perched beautifully behind a window taunting us to let it out!


Located inside the box is a neatly packaged accessories kit. The accessories kit supplied by Asus includes many useful items. Included in the kit is an NVIDIA SLI Cable for connecting two NVIDIA graphics cards for increased performance. The I/O plate or shield for securing and grounding of the motherboard rear ports to the computer case. ASUS provided a driver support DVD and case badge sticker. The support DVD includes 3D Mark Vantage Advanced, Kaspersky Anti Virus, ROG CPU-Z, as well as the required hardware drivers and software for overclocking and tweaking your system. The interesting explosion in the top right picture is a ROG sticker presumable to be installed on your computer case. Just below the Rampage III GENE User Guide we see the included SATA Drive labels for labeling your SSD, Optical and Hard Drives. The bundle of white zip ties are included for cable management. Inside the motherboard user guide you will find answers to your questions about the motherboard layout, features and options. The white USB to USB cable is used for the ASUS ROG CONNECT feature for remote BIOS Overclocking, monitoring and flashing. Below the I/O plate is a package of ASUS quick connect adapters for the motherboards front panel header. The Quick Connect adapters are a favorite of mine as the simplify and save time on the assembly of a computer system, simply plug your HDD LED, Power LED, PC Speaker, Power Button and Reset Button into the Quick Connect and effortlessly connect it to your motherboard! Both USB and Front Panel Quick connects are included. We find not just one or two SATA cabled but 8 cables, the four black and white SATA cables are equipped with locking clips to prevent unwanted loosening of cables.


Enough about the retail box, its accessories and their uses! Here is what you have been waiting for, the ASUS Rampage III Gene motherboard. Immediately I noticed the long standing theme of ROG red and black, from the sleek black PCB to the sexy red PCI express connectors and accented heat sink.


Turn the motherboard over and we find the silver LGA 1366 CPU socket back plate. The back plate provides for sturdy mounting of heavy or large CPU coolers. To the right of the back plate is a black rectangular support brackets designed to ensure proper contact of the CPU Voltage regulators and its respective cooler on the front of the board.

Heat Sink

Asus has given the Gene and appropriate cooling solution, the heatsink is remarkable blend of performance and aesthetics. The use of a uni-heatpipe and layered sweeping fins provides excellent cooling for the Voltage regulators and Intel X58 chip. Testing has shown even under extreme overclocking conditions the cooling system is able to efficiently remove heat.


The ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-z incorporates 2 PCI express lanes connected via the Intel X58 IOH with a maximum of 16x bandwith for a single Graphics card in lane one or two. For two graphics cards with lanes one and two occupied the maximum bandwidth is 12x per graphics card. when lanes one two and four are occupied by NVIDIA Dual GPU graphics cards the board supports NVIDIA 4-Way SLI. With ATI Dual Core GPU's the motherboard supports ATI CrossFire X.


The Intel 1366 CPU Socket consists of 1366 pins that make contact with the 1366 pads on the underside of an Intel Core i7 processor. The Gene offers support for CPUs ranging from a dual core Xeon to the six core twelve thread flagship i7-990X Extreme Edition. in the right hand picture below the CPU Socket is the open die "flip chip" X58 Microprocessor.


The other chip exposed by removing the heatsink is the Intel south bridge. The south bridge consists of an Intel ICH10R Chipset with six 3Gbp/s SATA technology, integrated Gigabit Ethernet controller, Intel High Definition audio.

The Above picture shows us the eight internal SATA ports, the six grey ports are 3Gb/s, the remaining two red SATA ports are full 6Gb/s bandwidth. These Ports enable users to take advantage of high performance low latency Solid State Drives.


With the Cooling assembly removed we can clearly see the 8 phase Power for the CPU. Processor Power design consists of Japaneses Solid capacitors, R30 Chokes that act as electronic filters, Drivers and Digital VRM's "Voltage Regulator Module". below and to the left of the CPU Socket is an additional 2 power phases for the Northbridge "Intel X58 ICH"


The Overclocking area of the motherboard has many features some of them we have seen before like the ProbeIT Voltage read points for measuring direct voltage of the DRAM, ICH_PCIE, ICH, IOH_PCIE, IOH, QPI/DRAM, CPU PLL, and CPU voltage via a multimeter. Located below the 24pin main ATX power connector are the Debug LED, the LCD is very useful for viewing POST codes when the system is failing to boot and helping to diagnose the issue. For those who don't wish to memorize POST codes or the manual simply view the LED debug lights below the 24 pin main power connector. the debug light indicate what device CPU, DRAM, Graphics, Boot Device is at fault during the power on self test.


The smaller red "GO" button to the left of the handy Start and reset buttons allows the user to boot with a predefigned "GO" BIOS profile at the push of a button. Starting on the bottom left is the AAFP "Advanced Audio Front Panel" connector for the Microphone and Headphone ports located on the front of most computer cases. Slightly to the right of the red IEEE 1394 FireWire 800 internal header. Just above the FireWire header is the S/PDIF "Sony Philips Digital Interface" Most commonly used to connect older generation graphics cards for DVI to HDMI audio support. The next two 4 pin connectors along the bottom of the board are used for 4 pin PWM and 3 pin non PWM fans. There are also two USB internal headers these headers enable support for an additional 4 USB 2.0 ports on the front and or rear of the chassis. On the far right is the Front Panel header for connecting the lights and buttons from the front of the case to the motherboard. Here is where you will find the Front Panel Quick Connector handy.


The I/O panel of the Rampage III Gene is very impressive and feature rich for a MATX board. The motherboard boosts 8 rear USB ports. The two ports seen colored in blue are USB 3.0 capable of 5Gbp/s bandwith. The Gene uses an Intel Gigabit Network interface cards for maximum 10/100/1000 networking capacity. Located on the far right is the on board 7.1 surround sound audio. The upper left includes a rather out dated PS2 port but very useful for Overclockers and trouble shooting as it provides reliable keyboard input in even the worst of conditions. To the right is the ROG BIOS reset button to be used when overclocking instability prevents the motherboard from passing the Power On Self Test at boot. Next on the right is an Optical audio output jack for crystal clear digital sound. The semi oval port atop the 2 USB ports right of the Ethernet is FireWire 1394. Left of the USB 3.0 ports is the ROG connect USB port and on off switch, the ROG connect port is used in remote overclocking from an external device as well as the ability to update the BIOS even when the motherboard will not pass POST.

In conclusion the Rampage III Gene has won my stamp of approval and is a suitable upgrade for any gamer, enthusiast, or overclocker looking to save money or squeeze into a smaller build.




Level 8
ASUS Rampage III Gene Motherboard BIOS Guide. Detailed information on important BIOS menus

Extreme Tweaker

The Rampage III Gene BIOS features an Extreme Tweaker page for most of your overclocking and tuning needs. Within this page you will find the ability to adjust the CPU's multiplier, base clock, voltages adn other frequencies.

Advanced CPU Configuration

Within the advanced CPU configuration menu there is a multitude of CPU features and settings that can be manipulated. Some settings to note when overclocking are HT Hyper Threading Technology, Active Processor Cores, and SpeedStep technology. Disabling and reducing these settings can help you achieve maximum CPU frequency.

Main Menu

In the main menu make sure to set the proper date, time and language. Make note of the SATA 1 through 6 devices these will be your Hard drive and optical drives. At the bottom of the page storage configuration will allow you to enable and manage RAID configurations. System Information will display the type and speed of your CPU as well as Memory capacity.

Advanced Menu

The Advanced page is the main page for peripheral management. Here you will find Chipset, onboard device configuration, USB configuration, and ROG feature settings.

Power Menu

From the Power page the APM "Advanced Power Management" configuration and Hardware Monitor sections are accessible. ACPI "Advanced Configuration and Power Interface" is an industry standard for device configuration and power management by the computers operating system. provides an open-source OS-independent reference implementation of the ACPI specification. EuP controls the Energy-using Product Low-power Compliance Mode. for the most part you can leave these settings at their default configuration.

Hardware Monitor

Within the Hardware Monitor you will find Voltage, Temperature and Fan speed readouts and controls.

Tools Menu

The Tools menu provides access to ASUS EZ Flash 2
EZ Flash 2 is a Graphical User Interface for BIOS flashing from a USB, Floppy, or other storage device containing the proper BIOS ROM file.

DrIve Xpert Configuration is an easy to use RAID utility for Mirrored or Striped arrays.

O.C. Profile Configuration

ASUS OC Profile is where you will save your current BIOS configuration or access previously saved settings. O.C. Profile allows the user to BIOS configurations under custom names for easy review.

Go_Button File

Configure a custom Overclocking profile for your CPU. The GO profile is a simplified version of the Extreme Tweaker and is activated by pressing the physical red Go_Button located on the motherboard.



Level 8
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