AMD’s FM2+ platform might not be considered the “go to” for enthusiasts, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t still exist a motherboard that’s packed to the gills with features – or a pure gaming option, for that matter. This is something ASUS seems to grasp, as it’s just announced its first Republic of Gamers offering for AMD’s A-series APUs, “Crossblade Ranger”.
Anyone who’s familiar with ASUS’ RoG motherboard line should be shocked at nothing here:
Overall, the Crossblade Ranger is an attractive board, and as the title of this post suggests, is packed with features. For starters, it supports tri-CrossFire, and can handle up to 64GB of RAM, with up to DDR3-2666 speeds. It also has 8x SATA 6Gbps connectors, and a total of 14 USB ports (6x 3.0, with 2 being internal, and 8x 2.0, with 6 being internal).
It’s not those kinds of specs that make this board interesting, though. The audio solution, for example, is the RoG Supreme FX Formula 2014 (yes – that’s kind of long), which has a number of enhancements for gamers, both in software and hardware (shielding, high-end capacitors). For LAN, ASUS has stuck with an Intel NIC (a wise choice), and bundles its GameFirst III software to help gamers fine-tune their LAN to their liking. Further, it also includes LANGuard, which is special protection against power surges. And yes, let me tell you: Power surges can kill – or at least half-kill – LAN connectors.
Other neat features include KeyBot; when a USB keyboard is plugged into a special port, certain PC functions can be controlled with it. Certain keys could be reconfigured to launch applications, for example, or toggle a macro. In addition to all this, you can expect robust fan control and overclocking features, all of which I covered in my recent look at the company’s Z97I-PLUS.
ASUS’ Crossblade Ranger will soon become available, and for $160 USD at your favorite etailer.