by Anton Shilov
01/17/2012 | 07:49 PM
Asustek Computer has decided to wed extreme performance of Intel's latest microprocessors and modern graphics cards with miniature mATX form-factor.
Although a lot of people nowadays prefer miniature systems, the loads of PC users also demand unbeatable performance and uncompromised gaming. Asustek has introduced a new mainboard that can enable unprecedented speeds - thanks to Intel Core i7 Extreme-series microprocessors and multi-GPU graphics configurations - in a microATX case. The Asus ROG Rampage IV Gene is the first mATX mainboard with LGA2011 and two PCIe x16 slots support.
Asus Rampage IV Gene continues the legacy of Republic of Gamers motherboards by delivering gamers with enhanced performance that places a premium on fidelity and speed. The board not only supports LGA2011 microprocessors - the world's highest-performing desktop chips nowadays - with quad-channel DDR3 memory sub-syste, but also sports a number of premium capabilities, such as SupremeFX III EMI-shielded audio that guarantees better in-game sound, Intel Ethernet LAN and ROG GameFirst technology to boost online multiplayer performance as well as ROG Extreme Engine Digi+ II digital voltage regulation for improved overclocking. The board uses Black Metallic capacitors and NexFET Power Block MOSFETs for added durability and heat resistance. Unlike budget microATX boards, it supports 2-way AMD CrossFireX or Nvidia SLI.
The Rampage IV Gene is powered by Intel X79 core-logic set and despite of reduced-size mATX form-factor allows to build a very powerful gaming machine with up to Intel Core i7-3960X six-core "Sandy Bridge-E" microprocessor with PCI Express 3.0 support, 32GB of DDR3 memory, up to 2 graphics cards, up to 7 hard disk drives or solid-state drives, 16 USB ports (4xUSB 3.0), 8-channel high-quality audio as well as Asus premium features like automatic overclocking, quiet fan operation and so on.
The industry's first mATX mainboard with LGA2011 CPU support will hardly be inexpensive since it uses the same sophisticated components as enthusiast-class ATX motherboards do. Moreover, an high-end microATX system will be somewhat more expensive than an ATX one since other components, namely power supply unit, optical drives, graphics cards, etc. should be cherry-picked so that to fit them into the case and ensure maximum stability and reliability. But given the trend towards miniaturization of PCs, enthusiast-class micro-ATX systems will definitely become more widespread in the coming years.