Recently, many companies are celebrating a milestone since their founding or launching a series of products, such as ASUS, which introduced Republic of Gamers solutions almost ten years ago. ROG models have always been able to offer their owners cutting-edge technical developments that make the board easier to use and increase the level of overclocking. Many enthusiasts probably remember the very first «motherboard» Rampage Extreme, made on the basis of the Intel X48 chipset for Socket LGA775 processors — it was once considered one of the best for overclocking DDR3 memory. Later, the series was expanded with slightly affordable Formula models, and then with compact solutions of the mATX form factor called Gene, which, in terms of their potential, were in no way inferior to older products. But the main thing that the manufacturer emphasized in these models was the gaming focus of the series. Perhaps the early representatives of the Republic of Gamers can rightly be considered the first «gaming» motherboards. Recently, ROG has added the Strix line, which has a more humane price tag than the Rampage models.
Today we’ll take a look at the ASUS ROG Rampage V Edition 10 motherboard, which was released to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Republic of Gamers series.
Unlike the previously released ROG Rampage V Extreme, the novelty is made in a monochrome style and is more suitable for modding fans, as it has a fashionable backlight and support for external LED strips. More detailed specifications can be found in the following table:
|Model||ASUS ROG Rampage V Edition 10|
|Official product page on the Web||asus.com|
|Processor socket||Socket LGA2011-3|
|Processors||Core i7 (Broadwell-E, Haswell-E), Xeon E5*|
|Memory||8 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400**/2666**/2800**/3000**/3200**/3300**/3333**, 128 GB maximum|
|PCI slots||4 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16+x0+x0+x0, x16+x0+x16+x0, x16+x8+x8+x0, x16+x8+x8+x8, x8+x8+x8+x8)
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16@x4***
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2260/2280/22110)|
|Integrated video core (in the processor)||–|
|Number of connected fans||8x 4pin (1x for water pump), 1x 5pin (Extension Fan connector)|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||4 x 3.1 Gen2 (4 connectors on the rear panel (2x A and 2x C), ASM1142)
4 x 3.1 Gen1 (4 connectors on the rear panel, ASM1074)
4 x 3.1 Gen1 (4 headers on the board, X99)
6 x 2.0 (2 connectors on the rear panel, X99)
|Serial ATA||10 x SATA 6Gb/s (Z270)|
|RAID||0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z270)|
|Built-in sound||SupremeFX (7.1, HDA): Realtek ALC1150, 2h OU RC4580
SupremeFX Hi-Fi (5.25″ module, ESS ES9018K2M)
|Networking||Intel I218-V (Gigabit Ethernet)
Intel I211-AT (Gigabit Ethernet)
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 3×3, 2,4/5 ГГц
|Dimensions, mm||305 x 272|
|Additional features||U.2 port, Thunderbolt connector, ROG Connect, Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED), POST indicator, voltage measurement pins; buttons: Start, Reset, Retry, Safe Boot, BIOS switch, MemOK!, ClrCMOS; status switches: Slow Mode, LN2 Mode, DRAM channel, PCI-E lines; support for one remote temperature sensor and a fan with a current of up to 3 A; technologies: Keybot II, Lighting Control, USB BIOS Flashback and others; support for AMD 4-Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI|
|Retail price, $||~700|
Packaging and equipment
After several years of familiarity with the Republic of Gamers, we have become accustomed to the fact that motherboards in this series come in large red boxes with a handle for easy transportation and a hinged lid-door through which you can see the device you are purchasing. But with the release of the anniversary model, the color design has changed a little — the packaging has become more modest in appearance, and the main black color is complemented by a yellow-orange tint.
In addition, the box has lost its handle, the top cover has acquired a simple mechanism and it leans back with little effort, after which you can already look at the board or take it out for further installation.
The user will find all the necessary set of accessories in an additional box, which is located immediately under the «motherboard», namely:
- user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
- quick multilingual user manual;
- flash drive with drivers and proprietary software;
- 2 cup coasters with ROG logo;
- ten SATA 6Gb / s cables, five of which have an L-shaped connector on one end;
- an adapter for convenient connection of ASUS Q-Connector case connectors;
- proprietary plastic clips for Broadwell-E and Haswell-E processors;
- three NVIDIA SLI bridges (2-Way, 3-Way and 4-Way);
- antenna Wi-Fi 3T3R;
- a set of the Fan Extension Card expansion module, fasteners and an interface cable;
- three external temperature sensors;
- cable for connecting external RGB lighting;
- mounting screw and stand for M.2 devices;
- SupremeFX Hi-Fi module and interface cable;
- cap for the body.
The first thing you can pay attention to when looking at such a kit is an unusual cover for the rear panel — it is a regular frame, while the main part is already fixed on the board itself. Now users do not have to try to get the connectors into the holes of the plug when assembling the system, which in some cases can be called a non-trivial task.
We have already seen the Fan Extension Card in ROG series solutions more than once. This small 5.25” bay-mountable card allows you to connect an additional four PWM fans and three external thermal sensors.
But the SupremeFX Hi-Fi module is an infrequent guest even in the high-level solutions of the Republic of Gamers. It is an internal sound card with a USB interface for connecting high-quality headphones and headsets with smooth volume control. If necessary, the microphone input can be used as a line input. The module is powered by a six-pin connector, and when using the Rampage V Extreme board in a system with several video cards, it is possible that all the cables will be busy and then you will have to resort to an adapter that comes with some graphics accelerators.
Another thing that may surprise our ward is that in the age of digital technology, the manufacturer finally decided to get rid of optical media and placed the accompanying drivers and software on a “flash drive” with a capacity of several gigabytes. A commendable decision, given that very few people use the same DVD drives when assembling a modern PC.
Part of the storage capacity is strictly reserved for proprietary software, but the rest, a couple of gigabytes, can be used to transfer data without any problems.
Externally, the board looks solid. The usual red elements of the ROG series are absent, and the emphasis in the design of the ROG Rampage V Edition 10 is on black and gray tones. Given the support of AURA technology, this approach of designers is quite justified, since neutral shades will not interfere during an exciting color «performance».
In addition, compared to the usual Rampage V Extreme, the novelty now has a plastic casing in the area of the sound path and the shape of the radiators has slightly changed. Also, the protective plate under the chipset on the reverse side of the board already covers a third of the PCB along the bottom edge, where the “aura” light guide is located. The layout of the elements has changed a little, some are even missing, but in general, this is the same ATX board with a slightly increased width, which will require you to carefully connect cables, especially power supplies.
Despite the fact that ROG Rampage V Edition 10 has acquired more «gaming» features, it has not lost the ability to overclock the system. It even set several records in the world overclocking rankings on HWBot.org. To facilitate system startup and monitor its status, the board has power and reset buttons, a POST code indicator, and a set of Q-LEDs signaling the initialization process of the main PC components. During overclocking, the main voltage measurement points will also be no less useful, and during extreme overclocking, the ability to disable memory slots and PCI-E, and the Slow Mode mode, which allows you to load the OS at a lower processor frequency. In the latter case, the LN2 Mode jumper must be installed without fail, which also opens up access to higher voltages in UEFI than is provided by default.
Among other things, the board has features such as ReTry, similar to a complete power failure of the device, and Safe Boot, which allows you to start the system with default parameters while maintaining user settings. And, of course, MemOK! — thanks to it, you can start the PC with safe RAM parameters. Fans of experimenting with microcode will also appreciate the presence of two chips with firmware and a button to switch between them. If you manage to purchase an external OC Panel module, then by connecting it to the appropriate connector it will be possible to control the motherboard to an even greater extent than is possible with the means on it.
But overclocking control is not all that is needed to conquer the overclocking Olympus. The key to successful experiments in finding out the potential of the processor is also the power piping and its cooling system.
And with this, the board had no problems. The elements of the CPU power converter are cooled by an aluminum bar-radiator, which, using a heat pipe, communicates with another one that partially covers the rear panel of the motherboard. On the reverse side of the PCB, in the zone of increased heating, there is a plate that has purely mechanical functions rather than cooling ones. Another, decorative, illuminated element is installed between the processor socket and the PCI Express slot. In the old days, as a rule, the north bridge of the system logic set was located here.
Now, when the chipset consists only of a southbridge, even in high-level systems, a small heatsink of a simple shape is enough for it. But the manufacturer went further and provided the PCH chip with a large oblong cooler, most of the area of which is covered with a backlit plastic insert.
To organize active cooling inside the system unit, there are eight 4-pin connectors, one of which is designed to connect a liquid cooling system pump, and another one allows you to power a very powerful fan with a current consumption of up to 3 A. If this is not enough, the Fan Extension board Card will expand the total number of possible connections to 12, including three more thermal sensors in addition to the one on the motherboard itself. I think this is definitely enough for all cases of using a PC or during benching.
As for the power subsystem, it, like the previously released model, is made according to an eight-channel scheme controlled by the ASP1257 controller. All the main elements of the converter are located on the front side of the board, while on the back there are several small condensates. Power is supplied through one 8-pin and one 4-pin connector. True, the latter can not be connected if serious overclocking is not planned.
The next step in assembling a powerful computer after selecting a processor is installing an appropriate video card, or even two or even more, operating in AMD CrossFireX or NVidia SLI mode. The board has four PCI Express x16 slots, so there will be no problems with this. All of them are reinforced, a pair of slots located through one (starting from the first) is supplied with 16 high-speed interface lines, but the use of younger Core i7 models or an M.2 / U.2 solid-state drive of the second PCI-E x16 will switch to x8 mode. When installing multiple video adapters, you will need to connect additional power to the molex connector on the bottom edge of the board.
For conventional expansion cards, there are a couple more PCI-E slots with one and four lines from the chipset, which, thanks to the slots, allow you to install even full-format boards. But PCI-E x4 has one peculiarity — when installing a PCI-E x1 / x2 card, two USB 3.0 ports (aka USB 3.1 Gen1) on the motherboard itself will be disabled, and two more USB 3.1 on the rear panel if all lines.
The organization of the disk subsystem has undergone some changes compared to the ROG Rampage V Extreme. The unpopular SATA Express was dropped in favor of a more progressive and compact U.2 with NVMe support, and the number of SATA 6Gb/s channels was reduced to 10.
But this number is more than enough, given the growing popularity of small drives with a M.2 connector (NVMe is not supported). Four PCI Express 3.0 lines connected to it from the processor will ensure maximum data transfer speed. Only the installation of such disks (as well as U.2) imposes a restriction on the use of the fourth PCI-E x16 slot.
The proprietary SupremeFX audio subsystem is also based on the Realtek ALC1150 7.1 HDA codec, which is covered with a metal screen to reduce electromagnetic interference. The audio path circuits are also separated from the rest of the motherboard by an insulating gap in copper conductors, but unlike the usual «extreme» model, two TI R4580I op-amps were added.
If the built-in sound card is not enough for those who like listening to sound compositions through headphones for any reason, then they may well use the internal module inserted into the 5.25″ bay of the PC case.
It is made on the basis of the ESS ES9018K2M DAC, a pair of operational amplifiers, if necessary, can be replaced without problems.
On the back panel of the motherboard there are all modern connectors in sufficient quantity. There are four USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, two USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A and Type C, and two regular, version 2.0. The latter allow you to use Flashback technology to automatically update the firmware, just insert a “flash drive” with a previously saved microcode into the connector and press the BIOS Flashback button, and KeyBot, which gives any keyboard the ability to record macros and assign hot keys. There are also the familiar universal PS / 2 and the Clear CMOS button. Another six «mini-jacks» with an optical output will allow you to implement a 7.1-channel audio system, and three antenna connectors from the dual-band ASUS Wi-Fi Go! provide wireless network transmission speeds up to 1300 Mbps. A regular network is represented by two gigabit ports.
As you can see, the ROG Rampage V Edition 10 motherboard has everything you need to build a multifunctional system. It remains to find out what opportunities it can offer the user at the software level, and we will begin our further acquaintance with the consideration of the firmware.