ASUS Announces ROG Rampage VI Series X299 Motherboards For Intel Core X-Series
These are not motherboards for the casual builder, they're intended for gamers and power users who are looking to build a burly desktop. That is something worth mentioning as even though Intel's Core X-series processors are intended for enthusiasts, there are some comparatively affordable (and somewhat tame) options among the lineup, such as the Core i5-7640X priced at $242.
Starting with the flashier of the two, the ROG Rampage Extreme VI (shown above) is a large slice of circuitry based on the Extended ATX (E-ATX) form factor, so you will want to make sure you select a case that supports these types of boards. ASUS puts all that real estate to good use by packing the ROG Rampage Extreme VI full of features, including onboard 802.11ad WiGig Wi-Fi and 10-gigabit LAN for high performance networking.
For storage chores, ASUS equipped this board with three M.2 slots to accommodate those gum stick-sized solid state drives. There is also a U.2 connector compatibility with enterprise-grade PCIe SSDs. And if that's not enough to take your storage to the next level, Intel's VROC technology combined with an optional add-in card enables M.2 RAID arrays made up of a stack of parallel drives with a direct line to the CPU.
ASUS said this board is purpose built for machines with custom liquid cooling setups, including those with bent tubing. Along with having fan and pump headers, ASUS added dual flow headers so you can monitor the coolant coursing through your lop. There's also a special connector that lets water blocks designed for this board provide flow, temps, and leakage data.
While ASUS is withholding full specifications for the ROG Rampage VI Extreme, we can see there are four reinforced PCIe 3.0 x16 slots. There is also a reinforcing backplate to help support heavily loaded setups.
One final word about this motherboard. On the product page, ASUS says the ROG Rampage VI Extreme does not support Intel's Core i7-7740X
Whereas the ROG Rampage VI Extreme is built for custom liquid cooling setups, the ROG Rampage VI Apex takes aim at overclockers, and in particular those who are chasing performance records.
"This model is purpose-built for setting records at sub-zero temperatures—not just with LN2, but also with exotic liquid helium. Our overclocking experts have already used the Apex to set 7 world records and 16 global records," ASUS boasts. "The Rampage VI Apex board hit the highest CPU frequency for an Intel Core i7 processor with 7.562GHz on all four cores and eight threads, which is significantly better than other 7.5GHz results with just two cores active. Expect more records to fall as we cement ROG’s legacy as the absolute performance leader."
Beyond its overclocking capabilities, this is another feature rich board with four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, a single PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, three M.2 slots, onboard 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2, plenty of USB 3.1 connectivity, and of course RGB lighting. It's also built to the E-ATX form factor.
There is no word yet on when either of these motherboards will be available or for how much.