Features & SpecificationsThe Asus Rampage II GENE list of integrated peripherals includes Firewire, Gigabit LAN, 8-Channel audio that supports EAX 4.0, eSATA, SATA RAID, EPU-6 Engine, CrossFireX/SLI support, and the list just goes on.
As mentioned before, the board not only sports the latest X58 chipset, but the ICH10R south bridge as well and it is the first and only Micro-ATX motherboard to do so.
In order to support the latest DDR3 memory running at 1333MHz, the chipset's Memory Controller Hub (MCH) features wider buses. The Rampage II GENE goes beyond official DDR3 frequencies by adding support for DDR3-2000/1800/1600 through overclocking, while DDR3-1333 is officially supported. The board can also accommodate for up to 24GB of DDR3 should you be brave enough to burn that much cash.
The board's audio is taken care of by what Asus calls the SupremeFX X-Fi which is the latest in their SupremeFX range. This audio solution uses the Analog Device AD2000B HD Audio codec, supporting output for up to 8 channels and Creative's EAX 4.0HD API. According to ADI's website, the AD2000B chip features six ADCs with 96kHz at 95dB, simultaneous recording of three stereo channels, support for quad microphone arrays, independent sample rates from 8kHz to 96kHz, and 16, 20, and 24-bit PCM resolution.
Although the X58 chipset removes IDE support altogether, Asus has restored this feature while adding an additional 2 SATA ports, one of which is external. Using the JMicron JMB363 PATA and SATA controller Asus has included a single UltraDMA 133/100/66/33 for up to 2 PATA devices along with one internal and one external SATA 3.0 Gb/s port.
The ICH10R south bridge offers six additional SATA ports. These six ports can handle standard RAID 0 for performance, RAID 1 for protection, RAID 5 and RAID10. The advanced host controller interface (AHCI) further boosts performance with Native Command Queuing (NCQ) and provides native hot plug for drive swaps.
The Rampage II GENE supports IEEE1394a (FireWire 400), providing two 1394a ports due to the inclusion of the VIA VT6308P PCI IEEE-1394 FireWire controller. The more obvious USB 2.0 support comes from the X58 chipset and therefore a total of twelve ports.
Network support is delivered by the Realtek 8111C PCI Express Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2. The AI NET2 feature remotely detects cable connections when you turn on the system and reports of any faulty connections up to 100 meters at 1 meter accuracy. It can be a useful feature, especially for those experiencing network issues due to a bad cable.