A colourful, commanding 10th anniversary celebration.
With Asus’ Republic of Gamers (ROG) gamer brand turning ten, Asus has gone all out in producing the best premium board we’ve ever seen, with all the bells and whistles you could think of, plus more.
From the spring-loaded CPU socket to hold up the locking arm during CPU insertion, to the full complement of on board overclocking buttons, switches and voltage test points, to the perfect lay out of slots and components and the most impressive RGB lighting system we’ve seen, this board just oozes luxury.
And what a lighting system. With four RGB-lit regions on top of the motherboard there’s also an RGB header to connect an extra case RGB LED strip, plus there’s an under-board LED strip that runs the entire length of the right side of the board splaying RGB lighting sideways out into your case, it’s simply spectacular to behold in action as it pulses and runs up and down the length of the board. On top of this there are RGB LEDs in each of the four PCI-E gen3 x16 slot locking mechanisms which handily have an on-board switch that when flipped indicate which slots to put your 2 and 3-way SLI/CF cards into.
Connectivity wise, there’s an M.2 slot and U.2 port for some NVMe action, plus a PCI-E gen2 x4 and x1 slots each with the ends cut out to allow acceptance of physically larger x8 or x16 cards.
On the rear IO panel this board features the most USB3.1 connectivity of the boards tested, with two Type-A and Type-C ports available. This is alongside 4x USB3 ports, 2x Ethernet ports, 3x Wi-Fi SMA connectors, a PS/2 port, HD audio block, 2x USB2 ports and Clear CMOS and BIOS flashback buttons.
What’s in the box
Standard user manual and IO face plate come alongside a USB stick with all the necessary software and drivers, finally no DVDs!
Three SLI bridges are provided; a 4, 3 and 2-way. No HB SLI bridge unfortunately.
A 3x3 Wi-Fi antennae is also included, the only board offering better than a 2x2 configuration.
Cabling wise it comes with a full complement of ten SATA cables, an RGB lighting extension and three temperature sensors.
An included fan extension module supports the connection of a further three fans plus temperature sensors to your system, bumping the motherboard’s supported fan count from seven up to ten.
Then there’s the big ticket item SupremeFX Hi-Fi 5.25-inch bay unit. It’s essentially a high quality audio breakout box that brings a volume dial, 6.3mm and 3.5mm headphone jacks (rated up to 600ohms) and a 3.5mm mic/line-in to the front of your case. They aren’t dumb pass through ports either, all are backed by some serious electronics to minimize popping, distortions and fluctuations while maximising SNR and clarity for the best aural experience possible. Judging by the PCI-E 6-pin connector required to power it there’s some powerful processing going on to achieve just that.
Finally; there’s two plastic CPU insertion aids, a chassis wiring connector aid, some ROG case and cable label stickers and two 10th anniversary ROG cup coasters.
BIOS, XMP and Turbo Boost 3.0
Enabling XMP caused all cores to run at 4GHz constantly, for some blatant auto overclocking, however altering the “CPU Core Ratio” profile from Auto, to “By Core Usage” let the CPU to respect Intel’s default boost clocks while allowing its preferred single core to hit 4GHz.
One thing potential buyers might like to know, the Aura RGB lighting on the motherboard stays on even after you soft shutdown the system. However, we found that setting the “ErP Ready” option under the Advanced/APM Config menu to “Enable(S5)” caused the lights to turn off when you power the system down.
Lastly, XMP support for our RAM modules was a tad flaky. Running the y-cruncher tests with XMP enabled always caused the test to fail. After a new BIOS revision was provided, stability improved markedly but it would sometimes still fail. So memory compatibility enhancements will be something to keep an eye on in future BIOS updates.
Please note that some HTML content may have been removed from this article to improve the viewing experience on mobile devices.