ASUS Rampage IV Formula and Gene
From what we’ve seen, ASUS is the most innovative and creative motherboard company and their efforts show in their entire Republic of Gamers product line. The Rampage IV series consists of the Extreme, Formula and Gene. Together, they form a wonderful Trifecta from the high end through the budget oriented user. The branding scheme has not changed a lot but LGA 2011 has changed the layout around the socket with the introduction of quad channel memory.
The aesthetics of the ASUS Republic of Gamer products have not changed much, and we like that approach. The styling is unique to ROG boards, and they look sleek and contemporary. The dark PCB with the red accents continues the ROG branding. The parts and accessories are extensive, the packaging is excellent and the final results of the product typify this as ASUS flagship motherboard for Intel’s socket 2011 processors.
Both the Rampage IV Formula and Gene display the best X79 overclocking prowess of any motherboard we have reviewed to date. Of course, with the Gene, we did not expect to hit 5GHz like the Formula, but we tuned the Gene to and impressive 4.6GHz stable. We feel we achieved terrific overclocks on both motherboards. ASUS’ UEFI BIOS remains superior to any BIOS and all the innovative settings are an enthusiast’s dream. From the extensive memory tweaks and Digi + VRM settings to tools such as Voltimeter II and MemOK!, ASUS has provided an outstanding package for the true overclocker. And what is truly exceptional is that ASUS provides them with all three ROG motherboards. Simply said, all the features are fantastic.
Starting with the migration to PCIE 3.0, quad channel memory supporting up to 64GB, SATA III 6G, USB 3.0, ROG Connect, and so many more features makes the Rampage IV Formuila and Gene just mouthwatering. Just imagine tri-SLI or Quad CrossFire running in 16X on the Formula, for example. The ASUS UEFI BIOS remains second to none from what we’ve seen. Extreme overclockers have features not seen elsewhere, especially for those crazy overclockers who use dry ice or LN2. The combination of ability to load a Gamer or Extreme overclock profiles with the combination of AI Suite II makes overclocking effortless and the days of endless OC tweaking are probably just about over.
The specific profiles in the BIOS may not be 100% stable but it does depend on what you consider stable. For the most part, they are nearly flawless, but we did slightly tweak the settings to obtain a 5GHz stable overclock which we think is terrific. With SandyBridge, overclocking has become more chip-dependent though; so OC performance is just one of the new selling points that motherboard manufactureres must cater to.
If there is anything adverse to point out, the Gene has the power/reset and MemOK! button tucked in next to the PCIE slots, potentially leaving them covered when running Crossfire or SLI. Besides that small point, there really is no negative to either the Rampage IV Formula or Gene. They are both top notch motherboards in their respective categories.
ASUS has really focused their Republic of Gamers products toward those consumers who want big features and top performance, and don’t mind the big price tag that accompanies it. The R4 Formula retails for $379 which is right in the middle of the pack with X79 motherboards.
For those looking for an excellent value at a lower price, the Rampage IV Gene will set you back only $300, which is near the bottom of the food chain in X79 pricing. Performance, price and features earn ASUS a huge thumbs up on each respective Rampage product.
The Pure Point: Top X79 motherboards for those who have the money to spend and want the best.
ASUS Rampage IV Formula