ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme Encore review

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ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme Encore

ASUS brings a respin towards X299 with the new processors in mind, meet the new flagship, the ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme Encore. It's fast, it's extreme and it will make a grown man giggle. We'll pair it with the new 18-core Core i9 10980XE from Intel. 

We've seen many-core plethora from AMD and now Intel with their Cascade Lake-X series HEDT processors. With the recent introduction of Ryzen 3000 and the announcement of Threadripper 3000 processors the processor market and channel once again is turned up-side-down with a plethora of procs to choose from. Three years ago Intel got a serious awakening call from team red and as such, they needed to step up their business model, significantly. Intel’s primary processor business for the desktop consumer market had been releasing and refreshing quad-core processors for too many years. You can't really blame them either as there was little competition - hence they had no rush and have been relaxed all the way. A shift in that paradigm changed everything. All of a sudden there were 6 and 8 cores processors, nice and fast. But then, two years ago, Intel got hit by another problem, with the industry and the world in general changing, everything online is attacked in some way or form. Yes, processor vulnerabilities started to really hurt Intel, more than AMD. And albeit 98% of them have been patched in software some way or the other, it did have a subtle effect on performance, as well as Intel's long-lasting reputation. Current processors have been hardened for Spectre and Meltdown varieties as well as other vulnerabilities. For that though in the desktop segment you will need the next-gen desktop series processors running up-to 10-cores. Comet Lake is said to be hit the market early 2020. It would offer up to ten cores on socket 1200. Processors that will be vulnerability hardened.

With that introductory paragraph out of the way, we now move towards the HEDT platform, here we break away from that 8-cores and move towards the familiar X299 chipset based platform, which remained compatible with the new Cascade Lake-X line of processors. 

ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme Encore

For our motherboard review today we look st the new flagship ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme Encore. ASUS actually released three new X299 motherboards alongside Cascade Lake-X processors, the ROG Rampage VI Encore Extreme Encore which we review today, but also the ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II and the Prime X299-A II. The three musketeers will all be positioned in the high-end segment of the market. The 16-phase ROG Rampage VI Encore Extreme Encore (USD $649) and 12-phase ROG Strix X299-E Gaming II feature a 1.77in live dash and a healthy combo of M2 slots. All boards can manage 256 GB of ram. The tested product has been fitted with an Aquantia 10 Gbit/s network chip, in addition to the standard Intel Gigabit network chip, and then an Intel AX2000 WiFi 6 adapter. 

Form factor E-ATX (SSI CEB)
Chipset Intel X299 (platform "Basin Falls")
RAM 8x DDR4 DIMM, quad PC4-34133U/DDR4-4266 (OC), max. 256GB (UDIMM)
Extension slots 3x PCIe 3.0 x16 (2x x16, 1x x4), 1x PCIe 3.0 x4, 2x M.2/M-Key (PCIe 3.0 x4, 22110/2280/2260/2242, DIMM.2), 1x M.2/M-Key (PCIe 3.0 x4, 2210/2280/2260/2242), 1x M.2/M-Key (PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA, 2280/2260/2242), 1x U.2 miniSAS HD/SFF-8643 (PCIe 3.0 x4)
External connectors 1x USB-C 3.2 (ASM3242), 1x USB-C 3.1 (ASM3142), 1x USB-A 3.1 (ASM3142), 8x USB-A 3.0, 1x USB-A 2.0, 1x 10GBase-T (Aquantia AQtion AQC-107), 1x Gb LAN (Intel I219-V), 5x jack, 1x toslink
Internal connectors 1x USB-C 3.1 (20-Pin Key-A Header, ASM3142), 4x USB 3.0, 4x USB-A 2.0, 6x SATA 6Gb/s (X299), 1x TPM-Header, 1x VROC-Header, 1x ASUS Node, 1x ASUS OLED panel
Header Cooling 2x CPU fan 4-Pin, 5x fan 4-Pin, 2x pump 4-Pin, 2x Thermal-sensor, 1x flow rate-sensor, 1x Waterblock-sensor
Header Lighting 2x RGB-Header 4-Pin (5050), 2x RGB-Header 3-Pin (WS2812B)
Buttons/Switches Power-Button (internal), SafeBoot-Button (internal), Retry-Button (internal), clear-CMOS-Button (external), FlexKey-Button (internal), USB BIOS Flashback (external), BIOS switch (internal), MemOK switch (internal), SlowMode switch (internal), pause switch (internal)
Audio 7.1 (Realtek ALC1220/SupremeFX), DAC (ESS 9018Q2C Sabre)
RAID level 0/1/5/10 (X299)
Multi-GPU NVIDIA 3-Way SLI (x16/x16, x16/x16/x4), AMD 3-Way-CrossFireX (x16/x16, x16/x16/x4)
Power connections 1x 24-Pin ATX, 2x 8-Pin EPS12V, 1x 6-Pin PCIe, 1x 4-pin molex
Graphics NA
Lighting RGB, 4 zones (chipset cooler, I/O cover, page right, jack-sockets)
Special features audio+solid capacitors, 1x M.2-passive cooler, Bluetooth 5.0 + WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2x2, Intel AX200), display, voltage measurement points, Dual-BIOS, I/O-shield integrated, front panel, Backplate

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