Asus released more details about two of the high-end X299 motherboards, the ROG Rampage VI Apex and Extreme, that it revealed at Computex 2017.
The boards share a few common features outside of the X299 chipset. Asus said in a press release that both are designed for overclocking, feature the RGB LED support that seems all but mandatory these days, and come equipped with reinforced "SafeSlots" meant to support "heavy GPU coolers and rough handling." You'll also find built-in support for Intel's gigabit Ethernet and Optane storage technologies. (More on the latter here.)
The Rampage VI Apex made headlines earlier this year when it reached a record 7.56GHz on all four cores and eight threads with Intel's Core i7 7740K. (Others vied for the overclocking crown, too, with Gigabyte's X299-SOC Champion reaching a flat 7.5GHz with the same CPU.) Asus said in May that the board is "purpose-built for setting records at sub-zero temperatures—not just with LN2, but also with more exotic liquid helium."
It also has one DIMM slot per channel to improve memory stability and performance, and the DIMM.2 slots are positioned to "exploit airflow from off-the-shelf memory coolers, preventing thermal throttling from slowing your storage during record attempts." Asus cut the Rampage VI Apex in a way that should make it easy to manage cables, too, which is vital if you're trying to make sure nothing gets in the way of your overclocking.
The Rampage VI Extreme, as you might expect from the name, kicks things up a notch. The motherboard features 10Gb LAN support, 802.11ad Wi-Fi, and support for up to 128GB of memory, versus the Apex's gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac wireless, and support for up to 64GB of memory. (We do feel compelled to note that the Apex should be the high-end model in the series, given that its name means "the highest or culminating point," but hey.)
Besides the expanded specs, the Rampage VI Extreme boasts a reinforced backplate with a separate GPU holder and a LiveDash OLED screen that can be used to monitor fan speeds, system temperatures, and frequencies as well as custom messages and graphics. Dual flow headers allow coolant data monitoring, and a special connector "lets water blocks designed for the Extreme provide flow, temperature, and leakage data."
|Header Cell - Column 0||Asus ROG Rampage VI Apex||Asus ROG Rampage VI Extreme|
|Chipset||Intel X299||Intel X299|
|Memory||Intel Core-X-Series, 4-core: 2 x DIMM slots; up to 32GB DDR4-4500(OC)Intel Core-X-Series, 6-core and above: 4 x DIMM slots; up to 64GB DDR4-4133(OC)||8 x DIMM slots; up to 128GB DDR4-4200 (OC)|
|Multi-GPU||4 x SLI, CrossFireX||4 x SLI, CrossFireX|
|PCI-E Slots||4 x PCIe 3.0 x161 x PCIe 3.0 x4||4 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16, x16/x16, x16/x0/x16/x8, or x16/x8/x8/x8 mode with 44-LANE CPU; x16, x16/x8 orx8/x8/x8 mode with 28-LANE CPU)1 x PCIe 3.0 x4 (x16, dual x16, x16/x8/x16, or x16/x8/x8/x8)|
|Storage||Intel Core-X-Series Processors Family: 1 x ROG DIMM.2 Module support CPU_DIMM.2), with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)2 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)Intel X299 Chipset: 1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIe 3.0 x 4 mode)1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCIe 3.0 x 4 mode)1 x ROG DIMM.2 Module support(PCH_DIMM.2)Supports Intel Smart Response TechnologyIntel Optane Memory Ready||Intel Core-X-Series Processors Family:M.2 X4 with M Key design, type 2230/2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (Support PCIE SSD only)*, M.2 X4 with M Key design, type 2230/2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (Support PCIE SSD only)*Intel X299 Chipset: 1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)6 x SATA 6Gbps ports; support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10Intel Rapid Storage Technology 15 supportSupports Intel Smart Response TechnologyIntel Optane Memory Ready|
|LAN||Intel I219VAnti-surge LANGuardDual interconnect between the integrated Media Access Controller (MAC) and physical layer (PHY)||Aquantia AQC-107 10GIntel I219VAnti-surge LANGuardROG GameFirst Technology|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/acSupports dual band frequency 2.4/5GHzSupports MU-MIMO||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac+ WiGig 802.11adSupports dual band frequency 2.4/5GHzUp to 4,600Mbps transfer speed|
|Audio||ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220A||ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220|
|USB||7 x USB 3.1 Gen-26 x USB 3.1 Gen-1 5 x USB 2.0||3 x USB 3.1 Gen-212 x USB 3.1 Gen-12 x USB 2.0|
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.
Up vote if you think you can use all the features the X299 Extreme has. Down Vote if you don't think it's possible for your uses.Reply
That ASUS APEX board is truly disgustingly ugly.Reply
The Rampage Extreme looks ok, but as a non-RGB person, as long as can all be turned off easily, I'd be happy.
However, I'm perfectly happy with my 4790K and Z97.
According to the manual (on Asus Website), the Rampage Extreme have 1 U.2 + 2 M.2 ports instead of 3 M.2 ports. There are a few more nuances that are different from you spec listed above. Looks to be a great product but expensive...Reply
To the mods, can you please stop that stupid pop-up notifications thing? It ruins one's ability to right-button open an article in a separate tab.Reply
I'm with you Joz.Reply