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ROG Connect

“Plug and Overclock - Tweak it the hardcore way! Monitor the status of your desktop PC and tweak its parameters in real-time via a notebook—just like a race car engineer—with ROG Connect. ROG Connect links your main system to a notebook through a USB cable, allowing you to view real-time POST code and hardware status readouts on your notebook, as well as make on-the-fly parameter adjustments at a purely hardware level.” As you may have already guessed it is yet another marketing quote from the official Asus web-site. We, however, are going to find out how ROG Connect actually works and what it is good for.

As we already know, Asus Maximus III Formula mainboard comes with a special ROG Connect cable with USB connectors. It is about 185 cm, so it will be very convenient to connect a second computer or notebook to it. There is a stand-alone USB port on the mainboard back panel, so we plug one end of the cable into that port, press the ROG Connect button, and plug another end of the cable into any available USB port of the second computer system.

ROG Connect application must be installed onto a second computer system. This program offers very diverse functionality. For example, you can use RC Poster utility to monitor Asus Maximus III Formula startup status in text form or as POST-codes.

RC TweakIt utility is somewhat similar in functionality to TurboV EVO, which we are going to discuss a little later today in the chapter devoted to Asus’ brand name software. It allows us to monitor current system parameters, such as frequencies, voltages, temperatures, fan rotation speeds. We can remotely overclock Asus Maximus III Formula or load one of the presaved settings profiles.

The only thing I don’t get in this case is why would we need a second computer for that? Yes, the comparison with race cars is indeed very appealing, but it is hardly appropriate. It doesn’t make sense to install a super-computer onto a bolide where each kilogram of weight affects the speed dramatically. A racecar should have a ton of sensors that would monitor operational parameters of its engine, brakes, transmission, but it is much more convenient to process all this data in a special lab or center. However, Asus Maximus III Formula is not only equipped with sensors and diodes, it also boasts significant computational potential, i.e. it can process all the data, overclock the processor and memory and adjust any of the operational system settings. You can overclock from the BIOS with the “Go Button” button or Asus TurboV EVO utility that also supports hot keys for switching between settings profiles as needed. You can monitor all system settings using Asus PC Probe II or any other monitoring utility of choice. So, why would you need a second computer? Why would anyone want to perform all these actions remotely?

Some may say that there are people out there who have already found a way to put this technology to good use. It may be used to falsify the performance readings. The test program records current system settings before it starts working, but you can use RC TweakIt to remotely overclock the system after the tests has already started, so that you could end up with higher scores. I am sure that it is possible to find a few more unique applications for ROG Connect technology, but I am not sure that it was the intention when they developed this technology. Otherwise, it would be called “RC CheatIt” instead of “RC TweakIT”. And at this point it is simply further development of Asus technologies, which we are already familiar with. We first saw a small LCD display on the back panel of Asus Commando mainboard. Later on Asus mainboards acquired an external LCD screen that could not only display the POST codes or time, but also some monitoring data: temperatures, voltages and fan rotation speed were rotating on this screen. Today small and not very convenient screens were replaced with larger displays of notebooks or second PCs, and besides the startup status and monitoring data, we can also overclock, adjust frequencies and voltages.

I may not have found anything positive in ROG Connect technology, if it hadn’t been for one more feature that is currently in the testing stage. If you press and hold the “B” key for 4 secodns in the RC TweakIt window, you will get access to another ROG Connect feature. You will be able to remotely reflash the mainboard BIOS. This feature is called RC BIOS FlashBack.

Asus Maximus III Formula mainboard must be shut down, and all other programs must be closed on the secondary computer system for you to be able to reflash or restore the BIOS.

At this time it seems to be the only really useful application for ROG Connect technology. However, no one knows what other hidden features it has or are currently developed in Asus labs. I am sure that in time we will be able to appreciate the convenience and functionality of Asus ROG Connect, but at this point, we are not raving yet.

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