Overall and Final Verdict
2017 has been a crazy year for the computer component industry, especially when it comes to CPUs and motherboards. We have seen Intel launch and already replace their mainstream chipset and CPUs, AMD releases completely new CPUs for the first time in what 5 years? AMD even also surprised everyone including Intel with a reentry into the high-end desktop market as well. With that Intel launched X299 and with the later release of their high core count Core-X CPUs it prompted 2nd generation X299 boards, something that we don’t normally see for a year or two on the high-end boards. That’s where the ROG Rampage VI Apex comes in, this is a board that you can tell Asus has been putting time into for a while and it includes changes to help with the cooling issue from the X299 launch as well.
Immediately when you check out the Apex the oddly shaped PCB is really going to stand out and for good reason, this isn’t something that is normally done. Asus is changing the market and I wouldn’t be surprised if you see competitors messing around with the same idea in the future. This styling was also found in the cooling, especially with the I/O shield being used as a full heatsink as well. This combined with the customization available with the 3d printable parts and the backlit customizable covers in the middle of the board that you can put your PCs name on allows you to make the Apex your own. But for me I’m especially liking the expandability, you get at least twice the internal headers in a lot of the situations, especially when it comes to fan headers. Asus also went all out for accessories with all of the SLI bridge variations, the DIMM.2 boards that allow up to four M.2 SSDs, and a few different fan brackets for you to add active cooling.
The issues I ran into were small compared to the positives. This is an E-ATX board so it is a little wider than normal but most cases should fit it. Just not my Crush build that I would have loved to use it in lol. You do lose four memory slots in trade for the two DIMM.2 slots, but you do get four M.2 slots in exchange, this won't be an issue for most but it is a possibility. The board is also extremely heavy. Also not a big deal, but keep it in mind if you are using this in a portable build.
At $429.99 I was initially going to also call the Rampage VI Apex expensive, but after reflecting on everything that Asus has put into the board I think it is priced about right in the market. That’s not to say that I could afford it, but they have managed to put together a board that blends the high-end consumer-focused features and connection options of their Deluxe boards but has the overclocking features and performance of the Rampage boards. With moisture sensors all over the board and pump fan headers the Apex also looks to be perfect for water cooled builds as well. In other words, chalk another great high-end X299 board from Asus, the only downside here is now you have to decide which one fits you best!
Live Pricing: HERE