Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Asus Crossblade Ranger Motherboard

aka Asus ROG's flagship AMD FM2+ ATX motherboard
aka the very first Asus ROG AMD Fusion APU motherboard


If one had clicked and read the above link, one can't help but notice that Asus had unabashedly boasted its "best" in almost everything philosophy... great marketing department, huh? lol

And the best gaming networking consists of... yes, you just can't get completely away from the Intel monster cos it lives on this AMD motherboard in the form of... 

This beautifully illustrated photo highlights its salient selling points at a glance as well as shows the back I/O ports nicely.

It's beyond any doubt that this is a fantastically feature packed  high end model but do remember that the AMD's FM2+ platform has alas remained in the middling market segment, thus far...


Classic ROG cardboard box as shown


Relatively simple for ROG standards but it comes with a large Asus ROG mouse mat

The Crossblade Ranger Motherboard

dressed in the classic Asus ROG colours on a matte black PCB

Note the much welcomed proper heatsink anchorage with metal backplates/screws (wow, 4 screws on the Southbridge heatsink alone!) and not some wimpy springy push pins


Staying on the topic of heatsinks and their anchorage, let's take a closer look and later rip them up to check what lies beneath at the same time

2 chunky discrete VRM heatsinks with metal backplates covering NexFET™ Power Block MOSFETs supplied with 8 phased (6 CPU + 2  iGPU / NB) full digital power, 2 digital phased RAM power

A well anchored way oversized Southbridge heatink with a surprisingly thick polymer TIM

Onboard Buttons & LEDs

Seen here in the first photo are the beautiful Power (Start) button, tiny but functional Reset & MemOK buttons and the essential Debug LED 

The audio isolation strip has a BIOS togglable red LED strip. Note that the SupremeFX audio section is equipped with premium Japanese-made ELNA caps. The Asus Sonic Soundstage button is seen here too.


Generous 8 x SATA3 (Raid 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD) ports and an upright USB3 front header

Expansion Slots

A rather curious motley crew of slots ranging from old world PCI to open ended PCI-e x1 slots, perhaps the mobo designer was trying to be everything to everyone

Test Setup

Thinking out of the box... had to assemble a mishmash compact test box (another ongoing project's on the main test space) in a hurry due to time and space constraints. Yeah, this mobo's arrival was disappointingly way overdue...  a long unfortunate story of misplaced priorities resulting in clashing test schedules and space.

Test results pending... may be some delay though, perhaps after completing my other ongoing projects and upcoming overseas trip/s.