Asus X79 Motherboards and More
Of course, Asus had a number of motherboards and peripherals on display, as well. The main focus was on a few upcoming X79-based boards, namely the Rampage IV Formula, Extreme, and Gene, which are all members of Asus’ Republic of Gamers product family.
Here is a quick video of Asus’ own geek extraordinaire Jumpin’ J.J. Guerrero III chatting about a number of the Rampage IV’s main features, along with a couple of interesting peripherals...
For those unfamiliar with Asus’ naming convention, the Rampage IV Formula and Extreme are the full-sized ATX variants of the enthusiast-class RoG boards, while the Gene is a smaller, micro-ATX version that offers essentially the same feature set, minus a couple of expansion slots.
One of the standout features of both the Rampage IV Formula boards is their audio implementation. Asus broke out the audio circuity onto its own PCB layer to better isolate the signals. The result, although both boards still use the same Realtek HD audio codecs of older boards, is that the Rampage IVs offer 110db SNRs. To call out the feature, both boards have a lighted strip that runs from the audio connected to the Supreme FX III badge affixed to the audio chip.
Other features of the Rampage IV boards include Intel LAN controllers, and in the case of the Extreme and Formula, support for socket 1366 coolers.
Asus also had a dual-socket LGA2011 board on display running a pair of Intel 8-Core Sandy Bridge-E engineering samples. If you’re keeping count, a machine setup like this would offer 16 actual cores with support for 32 threads thanks to Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology. And in case you’re wondering, yes, I want one of these setups—bad.
Although they weren’t providing information on the board, I also spotted an Asus-branded mechanical gaming keyboard. This particular board sports the same enclosure (and presumably, the same controller) as some of X-Armor’s / iOne’s boards, it had LED backlighting, and was equipped with Cherry MX Black keyswitches.
There was also a high-end external WiFi controller on-display, which you’ll notice does not connect via USB. Instead, the controller connects directly to a wired Ethernet cable (and power). And the latest Eee Top nettop, powered Intel’s Cedar Trail platform, was also on display.
Be sure to check out all of the videos and pics, and stay tuned to HotHardware for more CES 2012 coverage over the next few days.