Unleashing X79 power in a small package.
As I mentioned before, the Rampage IV Gene looks like a mini version of the Rampage IV Formula, with the same board layout. The only thing missing is an extra PCIe slot; also, the SB heatsink is now smaller. Overall the Rampage IV Gene comes out to roughly 24x24cm and can easily fit into any mATX and regular mid-tower chassis.
Starting from the top, the CPU area, despite the small size, is generously spaced out so you can easily fit in any heatsink, no matter how big it gets. The ceramic heatsinks for the MOSFETS have the exact same layout as the other Rampage IV motherboards.
On to the left we see the rear I/O panel. Sadly there are only two USB 3.0 ports there, eight USB 2.0 ports (on of which is used for the ROG Connect functionality) and one eSATA port. There’s also a PS/2 port, a LAN port, an Optical out and 6 audio connectors. Lastly there’s one Clear CMOS button and one ROG Connect on/off switch.
Moving below we see the three PCIe 3.0 slots. The first two are running in x16 mode, while the last one is running in x8 mode, which is equivalent to PCIe x16 speeds. In between the first two PCIe x16 slots is the PCIe2.0 x4 slot in black, which is sadly too close to the first PCIe 3.0 slot to be of any use if you’re planning to use a modern graphics card which are usually dual slot solutions. Similarly slots 2 and 3 are too close together to have a 3-way SLI or CrossFire setup, so realistically you’ll only end up having a 2-way SLI/CFX setup at most.
Just like the Rampage IV Formula, the Rampage IV Gene also has an ALC898 chipset hidden under the stainless steel SupremeFXIII cover to block electromagnetic interference. The extremely high-end 1500uF capacitors and PCB shielding, outlined by the red LEDs cutting through the board, provides a very clear sound devoid of any signal loss.
Underneath we see the Start, Reset and the Go buttons. It’s odd that these buttons were moved to the bottom, but the debug LED remains on the top right, obscured by the power cable and graphics card for the most part. The extra USB 2.0 headers are also present for up to 4 more USB 2.0 connections.
Coming to the right we see the six SATA ports, two of which are SATA II, denoted by their black color. Of the four red ports, two are SATA III controlled by the Intel chipset, and two are controlled by the ASMedia ASM1061 controller. A little to the top you’ll also notice the USB 3.0 header which is good for another two USB 3.0 connections.