Asus has recently officially announced their latest and first ever Republic of Gamers motherboard with an AMD FM2+ socket – the Asus ROG Crossblade Ranger. The Crossblade Ranger is based on AMD A88X FCH (Bolton D4) chipset and is compatible with Athlon and A series processors (APUs) for socket FM2+. For networking it features Intel Ethernet, LANguard and GameFirst III; while in the audio department it features SupremeFX 2014 with Sonic Radar II. The ROG Crossblade Ranger is somewhat similar with its Intel counterpart – the Maximus VII Ranger. Meanwhile, check out the rest of its features and specifications below.
Asus ROG Crossblade Ranger FM2+ Features
The ASUS ROG Crossblade Ranger’s core benefits deliver the best gaming networking, with Intel Gigabit Ethernet, GameFirst III and LANGuard, the best gaming audio from SupremeFX 2014, the best gaming interface with KeyBot and the best gaming performance with exclusive Auto Tuning technology to unleash the true power of AMD accelerated-processing units (APUs).
Best Gaming Networking
The Asus ROG Crossblade Ranger is fitted with state-of-the-art Intel Gigabit Ethernet that delivers better throughput and lower power consumption than competing solutions from other vendors.
The new motherboard’s networking capabilities additionally benefit from ROG-exclusive GameFirst III technology for optimal online 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.
These features are coupled with LANGuard Ethernet socket technology. LANGuard works by employing advanced filtering components with low impedance capacitors to reduce noise and improve throughput and also includes ESD and surge-protection to prevent damage from lightning strikes and static-electricity discharges.
Best Gaming Audio
Immersive audio is essential for gaming, so the ROG Crossblade Ranger is engineered with SupremeFX 2014. At its core, the SupremeFX 2014 solution uses PCB isolation techniques to minimize electromagnetic interference (EMI) and premium ELNA audio capacitors to provide precise 7.1 channel audio that’s on par with the best soundcards.
SupremeFX 2014 features dedicated hardware for features such as Sonic SenseAmp and Sonic SoundStage.
Sonic SenseAmp automatically detects analog-audio front-panel (AAFP) headphone impedance and adjusts the amp gain to provide the best volume control range – taking the guesswork and hassle out of setting gain manually.
Sonic Soundstage is a hardware based solution that features preset audio profiles for a variety of gaming genres. First-person shooter (FPS), racing, combat and sports games presets are available via an onboard hardware switch or via the included (Windows) driver package. The benefit of including an onboard hardware switch is that the Sonic Soundstage presets can be applied without needing a driver – so works with any operating system. For Windows users, the presets are fully customizable via software, allowing one to tailor sound to personal preference.
SupremeFX 2014 also includes additional software features to provide a competitive gaming edge and improve immersion. 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.
Sonic Studio can be used to create virtual surround modes for stereo headsets, provides EQ controls to tune various parts of the audio spectrum and includes noise reduction algorithms for microphones – this all adds up to make SupremeFX 2014 the complete gaming audio solution.
Best Gaming Interface
The Asus ROG 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 —perfect for automating complicated in-game key sequences without the need for an expensive gaming keyboard.
Best Gaming Performance and Experience
Being an ROG motherboard, the Crossblade Ranger is infused with core ROG DNA:
ROG’s Auto-Tuning technology enables the Crossblade Ranger to unleash the true power of AMD APUs with just few mouse clicks. Thanks to the TPU microprocessor (Turbo Processing Unit), the Auto-Tuning routine applies a CPU overclock without need to enter UEFI – perfect for users that are new to the platform.
For users that prefer manual control, the TPU microprocessor and bundled Turbo-V application allows real-time voltage adjustments within the Windows operating system to simplify the process of overclocking a system. Naturally, the ROG UEFI is also chock-full of overclocking functions that help squeeze every ounce of performance from the AMD FM2+ platform.
To keep things cool and quiet, we’ve included five onboard fan headers – each with PWM (4-pin) or DC (3-pin) control. Extensive fan control options are available within UEFI or the automated Fan Xpert 3 calibration utility. Using either method, anyone can customize fan profiles in order to maximize cooling efficiency and eliminate unnecessary fan noise. The level of control on offer here sets a new standard for the FM2+ platform and completely negates the need for using a dedicated and expensive fan controller.
The Asus ROG Crossblade Ranger is also compatible with the ROG Front Base dual-bay gaming panel. The ROG Front Base enables one-click performance boosting, fan-controls, shielded front audio input/outputs, audio profile selection, volume control and real-time system monitoring to provide everything a gamer needs within a single unit.
Asus ROG Crossblade Ranger FM2+ Specifications
|Processor||AMD Socket FM2+ Athlon™/A- Series Processors
Supports CPU up to 4 cores
Supports AMD® Turbo Core 3.0 Technology
|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
|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
- CPU Level Up
- Direct Key
UEFI BIOS features :
- GPU.DIMM Post
- Tweakers' Paradise
- ROG SSD Secure Erase
- Graphic Card Information Preview
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 :
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger+
- USB Charger+
- USB 3.0 Boost
- Disk Unlocker
- 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||1x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
4x USB 3.0 (blue)
2x USB 2.0
1x Optical S/PDIF out
6x Audio jack(s)
1x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
|Internal I/O Ports||1x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)
3x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 6 USB 2.0 port(s)
1x TPM header
8x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
1x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
3x Chassis Fan connector(s) (3 x 4 -pin)
1x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1x System panel(s)
1x DRCT header(s)
1x MemOK! button(s)
1x Slow Mode switch(es)
7x ProbeIt Measurement Points
1x Power-on button(s)
1x Reset button(s)
1x Clear CMOS button(s)
1x LN2 Mode jumper(s)
1x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
1x KeyBot Button
1x Sonic SoundStage Button
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|
ROG GameFirst III
DAEMON Tools Pro Standard
|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).
Price and Availability
The ASUS ROG Crossblade Ranger FM2+ has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $159.99 and it is expected to become available on all major online retail stores starting in August. I’ll post an update once this motherboard becomes available to order online.