Just in time for the full reveal of Intel's Core i9-series processors, Asus has a second salvo of top-tier X299 motherboards ready to fire off. The boys with the hard-to-pronounce name have two new mobos: the ROG Rampage VI Extreme and Rampage VI Apex. As you likely expect, both models are E-ATX exhibitions of Asus' finest engineering. What might surprise you is that these boards don't share the same basic design with different feature tiers—rather, they're designed with different philosophies and purposes in mind.
The Rampage VI Extreme is an example of "everything and the kitchen sink" motherboard design, and as a result it should be able to service almost any builder's needs. It comes with three M.2 slots, a U.2 port, three USB 3.1 connectors, and four-way Crossfire and SLI support. It also has an Aquantia-powered 10 Gb Ethernet port along an Intel I219V controller, support for 802.11ad WiGig connectivity, and Bluetooth 4.1. Audio output comes by way of an S1220 codec coupled with ESS Sabre DACs.
Meanwhile, the Rampage VI Apex was purpose-built for a different interest, and that is to be the X299 overclockers' dream. This board was built to break overclocking records, and to that end it packs only four DIMM slots, has switchable dual BIOS chips, a toggle for an "LN2 mode," and special connectors for extra thermal sensors. The board even has bare connection points for hardcore tweakers to use a multimeter on, a feature that Asus calls "ProbeIt." The Rampage VI Apex skips the nifty networking features of the Extreme, but still offers an Intel-powered Ethernet port, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2.
Asus says both of these bodacious boards will be available "shortly" in North America, and suggests that the Rampage VI Extreme will go for $650, while the Rampage VI Apex will set you back $430.
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