Packaging and Overview
The box and packaging are top notch and protect the motherboard and accessories very well.
The accessory package includes six SATA6Gb/s cables, 3-in-1 thermistor cable, fan extension card cable, fan extension card, addressable RGB extension cable, RGB extension cable, 2x2 wireless antenna, wireless-AD antenna, bracket for fan extension card, Q-connector, ROG logo sticker, ROG coaster, ROG big sticker, M.2 screw kits, DIMM.2, DIMM.2 fan mount, ROG VGA holder, ROG cable labels, Rampage 6 Extreme MOS fan bracket, 4-way SLI bridge, 3-way SLI bridge, 2-way SLI HB bridge, cable mod coupon, USB drive with drivers and utilities, and user manuals.
ASUS's Rampage VI Extreme is one of the most unique looking motherboards on the market, and it integrated multiple digital/addressable RGB LEDs into the silver/clear parts of the shield that covers the motherboard. It's so beautiful when lit up, and the circuit trace-like design makes it look like some parts of the board are lighting up. Let's talk about fan headers, we have a total of eight DC/PWM mode headers built into the motherboard, and those circled in red at auto-sensing PWM/DC hybrid headers rated for 1A. Two hybrid PWM/DC mode pump fan headers are circled in blue and are rated for up to 3A, a hybrid PWM/DC high-AMP header is circled in yellow and is also a 3A header.
The motherboard has multiple built-in temperature sensors, and two headers circled in green allow you to hook up external temperature probes to act as a reference for the fans. A fan extension card is included and connects to the motherboard through the header circled in orange; it supports three other fully controllable hybrid fan headers as well as three more temperature sensor headers. Water cooling headers are circled in pink, and they can monitor water flow sensors as well as water temperature sensors. The back of the motherboard has a larger metal shield that helps to stabilize the PCB; there is also a metal bracket under the CPU VRM.
On the integrated rear IO panel we find a BIOS Flashback button, Clear CMOS button, Wireless AC antenna socket, Wireless AD antenna socket, eight USB 3.0 ports (one for Keybot and one for BIOS flashback), 10Gbit LAN, 1Gbit LAN, USB 3.1 type-A, USB 3.1 type-C, and interior illuminated 7.1 gold plated audio output jacks with S/PDIF out.
The PCI-E layout is not that simple, it's extremely complex if we dig into it, but let's start at a high level. The motherboard doesn't support 16 lane CPUs, so that helps to simplify things a bit. With a 44-lane CPU, you can run three cards at x16/x0/x16/x8 and four cards at x16/x8/x8/x8. With a 28-lane CPU, you can run two cards at x16, x0, x8,x0 or three cards at x8/x8/x8/x0. So the M.2 slot built into the motherboard that lies under the motherboard cover is routed directly to the CPU.
The DIMM.2 slot supports two extra M.2 cards. M.2_2 shares its bandwidth (x4) with the last x16 slot (operates at x8 or x4 depending on the M.2_2 slot. The CPU provides another x4 PCI-E 3.0 to the U.2 connector, but even that is flexible. The M.2_1 slot that is on the DIMM.2 card can get its bandwidth from the CPU or the PCH. If it gets bandwidth from the CPU, then it will share with the U.2 port. If it gets bandwidth from the PCH, then it will share bandwidth with the PCI-E x4 slot at the center of the motherboard.
The motherboard offers six SATA6Gb/s ports as well as a U.2 port and right-angled USB 3.0 internal header. A USB 3.1 internal header is located right below the 24-pin power connector. There also seems to be a bunch of voltage read points below the 24-pin connector, but they aren't labeled (the manual labels them).
Overclocking features are plentiful! We have a slow mode switch right above an RGB LED header. We also get the common power and reset buttons as well as a safe boot button and retry button. The retry button will reset the system and reapply your overclock settings while the safe boot will load in safe settings, so you don't need to clear your CMOS. PCI-E x16 disable DIP switches can be used to physically turn off PCI-E slots. An RSVD switch is used for extreme overclockers to help and reduce cold bugs and should only really be used if you are doing LN2 overclocking.
Another RSVD switch is located at the bottom of the motherboard to the left of a pause switch that can literally pause your system. To switch between BIOS ROM you just need to hit the BIOS switch button when the system is off, and you will see the LED switch. A Thunderbolt 3.0 GPIO header can be found to the right of an addressable RGB LED (sometimes called digital RGB) header. A VROC header and fan extension card header are also located in this area near the watercooling temperature input headers.
We have an 8-pin power plug and a 4-pin power plug for the CPU. You might notice two tiny screw holes in the VRM heat sink, that is for a ROG fan mount, although I am not sure how it works in regards to hooking up to a fan (probably supports smaller fans). The rear of the CPU socket reveals a pinhole for the DMI mod and another hole for a temperature probe.
The motherboard has a second RGB LED header at the bottom of the motherboard, and it's located near the MOLEX power connector that supplies the PCI-E slots with more power. We do find a USB 2.0 internal header to the left of a USB 3.1 internal header to the left of a MemOK! Button.
Taking the shields and heat sinks off takes a long time, but luckily, we are here to prevent you from doing that. There are many custom headers on the motherboard, such as one for a custom mono-block with RGB LEDs. We find AURA RGB LED controllers on the PCBs of many of the daughterboards.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Rampage VI Extreme Overview]
- Page 3 [ASUS Rampage VI Extreme Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [ASUS Rampage VI Extreme Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [VRM and System Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]
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