ASUS ROG Crossblade Ranger Review

👤by Tony Le Bourne Comments 📅06-10-14
Specifications & Features
CPU
AMD Socket FM2+ Athlon™/A- Series Processors
Supports CPU up to 4 cores
Supports AMD® Turbo Core 3.0 Technology
* Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list

Chipset
AMD A88X (Bolton D4)

Memory
4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 2666(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2250(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133/1866/1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory *
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Support AMD Memory Profile (AMP) memory
* The Max. 64GB memory capacity can be supported with DIMMs of 16GB (or above). ASUS will update QVL once the DIMMs are available on the market.
* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.
* Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).

Graphic
Integrated AMD Radeon™ R/HD8000/HD7000 Series Graphics in the A-Series APU
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DVI-D/RGB ports
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz*1
- Supports DVI-D with max. resolution 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
- Supports RGB with max. resolution 1920 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
Maximum shared memory of 2048 MB
AMD® Dual Graphics technology support
Multi-GPU Support
Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology

Expansion Slots
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (Single at x16, dual at x8/x8, red) *2
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode, black)
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
2 x PCI

Storage
AMD A88X FCH(Bolton D4) chipset :
8 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s),
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD

LAN
Intel® I211-AT, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)

Audio
ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- SupremeFX Shielding Technology
- ELNA® premium audio capacitors
Audio Feature :
- DTS Connect
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Sonic SoundStage
- Sonic SenseAmp
- Sonic Studio
- Sonic Radar II

USB Ports
ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller :
2 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue)
AMD A88X FCH(Bolton D4) chipset :
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
AMD A88X FCH(Bolton D4) chipset :
8 x USB 2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, , 6 at mid-board)

ROG Exclusive Features
Extreme Engine Digi+ III :
- Full Digital CPU/DRAM Power
- NexFET™ Power Block MOSFET
- New Alloy Chokes
- 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
ROG Extreme OC kit :
- Slow Mode
- LN2 Mode
ProbeIt
KeyBot
- CPU Level Up
- XMP
- Direct Key

UEFI BIOS features:
- GPU.DIMM Post
- Tweakers' Paradise
- ROG SSD Secure Erase
- Graphic Card Information Preview

ROG RAMDisk
GameFirst III
Extreme Tweaker
USB BIOS Flashback

Special Features
ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5 :
- The tuning key perfectly consolidates ASUS-exclusive DIGI+ Power Control, TPU, EPU, and Fan Xpert 3 optimize the digital power setting, system performance, power saving and whole system cooling configuration

ASUS Exclusive Features :
- MemOK!
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger+
- USB Charger+
- USB 3.0 Boost
- Disk Unlocker

Interactive HomeCloud
- Media Streamer

ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
- Stylish Fanless Design Heat-sink solution & MOS Heatsink
- ASUS Fan Xpert 3

ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
- Push Notice

ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-Connector

Operating System Support
Windows® 8.1
Windows® 8
Windows® 7

Back I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x DVI-D
1 x D-Sub
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
4 x USB 3.0 (blue)
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)

Internal I/O Ports
1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)
3 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 6 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x TPM header
8 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (3 x 4 -pin)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s)
1 x DRCT header(s)
1 x MemOK! button(s)
1 x Slow Mode switch(es)
7 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
1 x LN2 Mode jumper(s)
1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
1 x KeyBot Button
1 x Sonic SoundStage Button

Accessories
User's manual
I/O Shield
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
1 x 12 in 1 ROG Cable Label(s)
1 x ROG Door Hanger(s)
1 x ROG Mouse Mat

BIOS
64Mb UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.7, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI5.0a, Multi-Language BIOS
Manageability
WfM 2.0, DMI 2.7, WOL by PME, PXE

Support Disc
Drivers
ROG GameFirst III
ROG RAMDisk
ROG CPU-Z
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
DAEMON Tools Pro Standard
ASUS WebStorage
HomeCloud
ASUS Utilities

Operating System
Windows® 8.1 32/64-bit
Windows® 8 32/64-bit
Windows® 7 32/64-bit

Form Factor
ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

Management Solution
WfM 2.0, DMI 2.7, WOL by PME, PXE

Note
1: Only FM2+ APU can support up to 4096 x 2160 resolution display via HDMI port.

2: Only FM2+ processors can support PCIe 3.0.

3: 1 x USB 2.0 connectors support additional 2 USB 2.0 ports(2 ports share with ROG_EXT header).


Best gaming networking
Crossblade Ranger is fitted with state-of-the-art Intel Gigabit Ethernet that delivers better throughput with lower processing power for superior speed and increased efficiency.

The new motherboard’s networking capabilities additionally benefit from ROG-exclusive GameFirst III technology for no-delay gameplay. This advanced network-optimization software assigns top priority to game-data packets, allocating them more bandwidth to ensure the best online-gaming experience and clear, stutter-free online team-chat — all controlled with ROG’s usual intuitive flair.

ROG has even reinvented the RJ45 socket, with LANGuard technology. Advanced signal-coupling technology and premium surface-mounted capacitors improve throughput, while surge-protected and electrostatically-guarded components (ESD Guards) protect against lightning strikes and static-electricity discharges.

Best gaming audio
Flawless audio is essential for immersive gaming, so Crossblade Ranger is engineered with SupremeFX 2014. Cutting-edge isolation technologies minimize electromagnetic interference (EMI), while premium ELNA® audio capacitors and eight-channel gold-plated audio outputs provide precision-engineered audio that’s as great as a dedicated soundcard.

SupremeFX 2014 also features exclusive Sonic SenseAmp and Sonic SoundStage technologies. Sonic SenseAmp automatically detects analog-audio front-panel (AAFP) headphone impedance and adjusts the built-in amp accordingly, while Sonic SoundStage applies the best audio settings for popular game genres — just one click is all it takes to generate the perfect sound for first-person shooter (FPS), racing, combat and sports games.

Crossblade Ranger’s gaming-audio credentials include Sonic Radar II technology. Designed for first-person shooters (FPS), Sonic Radar II displays a stealthy overlay that shows what opponents and teammates are up to. Players see the precise direction and origin of in-game sounds such as gunshots, footsteps and call-outs, enabling them to hone enemy-pinpointing skills. Exclusive audio enhancement further improves in-game sound for superb hearing awareness, and the all-new Sonic Radar II includes a redesigned control panel with customizable game list.


Best gaming interface
Crossblade Ranger includes KeyBot, a clever tool that lets users instantly ‘upgrade’ an existing keyboard simply by attaching it to the dedicated USB socket.

Once connected, the KeyBot microprocessor is activated and the user is able to use their current keyboard to control multimedia playback, launch favorite applications or assign macros to specific keys — just perfect for automating complicated in-game key sequences.


Best gaming performance
ROG’s Auto Tuning technology enables Crossblade Ranger to unleash the true power of AMD APUs with just few clicks. Enabled by the TurboV Processing Unit (TPU), Auto Tuning adjusts the CPU frequencies and ratios to offer precise voltage control and advanced CPU-performance monitoring, efficiently enhancing system performance with the most stable overclocking profile — so gamers enjoy superb stability and high speeds while playing.

Crossblade Ranger is also compatible with ROG’s brilliant Front Base dual-bay gaming panel. When added to Crossblade Ranger, Front Base enables one-click performance boosting and real-time system monitoring to make gaming experiences even more enjoyable.


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