ASUS ROG Rampage VI Apex Review
Published: 27th August 2017 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
There is a minor change to regular ASUS ROG packaging with the Rampage VI Apex. Instead of the all-red with silver text we're used to there is now a black quartering reminiscent of the Crosshair VI you can see in the background. Is this a step towards a wholesale change in ASUS ROG packaging design or just a chance to go for something other than all red everything? Time will tell.
You would expect a motherboard that requires such a significant investment to come with every possible accessory the motherboard world has to offer and it most certainly does. There are cables and bridges and stickers and manuals and all manner of elements to add value to your purchase.
The PCB for the Rampage VI Apex is the first thing we noticed. That massive cutaway by the SATA ports and the lesser cutaway by the SupremeFX audio are attention grabbing if nothing else. We also think it's a brave decision to remove some real estate on a chipset that already is extremely space intensive and that is before we include all the ASUS specific features. The other element which catches the eye is how the Rampage VI Apex doesn't go with 8 DIMM slots as we usually find on X299 motherboards, but instead has converted two of them into low latency, high bandwidth storage connectors. Given that we can't recall ever seeing a rig that utilised all eight slots it isn't too much of a compromise.
With so many cores available to play with, cooling is the single most important part of the latest Intel chipsets and CPUs. Cooling has always been vital to producing either better overclocking or adding longevity to your hardware, but the Kabylake-X products require massive amounts of cooling to run at their full effectiveness and it's very easy to get them thermally throttled. To this end the Rampage VI Apex has fan and pump headers everywhere you look. Even those of you with seriously high-end custom watercooling shouldn't find themselves running out of headers to connect their fans and pumps to.
VRM temperatures have been another hot button issue and the Rampage VI Extreme seeks to solve this with the implementation of a fantastically sculpted piece of alloy connected via a thick heatpipe to a further heatsink at the rear of the board. We look forward to finding out how successful this has been at taming the X299 VRM temps.