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[Official] Asus Crossblade Ranger (FM2+) - review and the official OVC club

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

After many days, in the dark days of x86 AMD was born small warrior. Big older brother Crosshair fighting well two-three years ago as Vishera octa core against Sandy and Ivy. It was not true, because for 8 threads was only 4 floating points etc....Strong in video, strong in render, strong in compressing and encryption. Average in games, but not much good with one hand in single operation...Old brother must reboring into something new if he do not die. Time to rest.

Now is here smaller brother with 4 arms. Exactly 2CU/4C. And good shield for him is new Crossblade....There begins Crossblade Ranger story.



I like ROG and I like two oponents in game of x86 (AMD and Intel too). Today is D day of Crossblade Ranger. The first ROG motherboard for not highend chips, but for mainstream FM2+. What is the benefit the FM2+? You can play extreme with Trinity, Richlands and Kaveri APUs or Athlon derivates. All these CPU you can put into the motherboard. And you know, Richland and LN2 can be really fun. Or some experiments with good Kaveri chips. iGPU here is so strong!

Features, what you cann add to board

Injoy with ROG Front base panel smile.gif


SupremeFX sound with soundstage function. HW soundstage are predefined audio profiles exmaple for racing games, FPS games etc...And again video with some audio functions in Sonic Studio software (Z97 tested)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuUVXFRUYVA&list=UUJXfmRezJja_lW9sz2RNi8A



Intel LAN chip is not all, ROG 2014 and guards




Gamefirst III for gaming, streaming, working etc.


At install DVD you can find RAM disk software. If you have around 16 GB DRAM or more, it can be nice improvement...


Special HW/SW function keybot. I will wite later sometimes about it in text in short. For better understanding is here video (tested with Z97)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w3NLBK3Sug&list=UUJXfmRezJja_lW9sz2RNi8A


The AI SUite software can auto-OC your system. Not only OC, but exactly to say tuning your PC.


Sonic Radar II, where is your enemy...


The BOX

From top is the classic, the board name, color scheme, ifno about support 4K, win8.1, CPUs...And something as bonus inside smile.gif


Open the part of the box and features info inside


And description of the board and boards functions


Gaming features, audio, LAN, IO

Who it is inside?smile.gif

Inside the board you can find the SATA cabels, cabel labels, DVD, Manual, ROG sticker, gaming tag, IO cap, Q-connectors and mouse pad!

Description in short

Look at the board from top. ROG is long time with nice scheme colors black and red. Now are all details only red and black, no white etc.... The first look likes as Z97 Ranger. The connectors are at the rigt and classic places. At right are 4 DIMs slots for DDR3 DRAM up to 2666 MHz (and support DOCP and AMP profiles)! Overall capacity can be up to 64 GB, not bad :-). For them is OC area and digi power for memory. Middle part of the board and bottom half is about PCIE/PCIe slots. You know, Trinity and Richland is PCIe 2.0 chip, but Kaveri are PCIe 3.0. But of course, everything from FCH (SB) is still PCIe 2.0. As Z87/97 too. The CPU has 16 PCIe 3.0 links. So with A88X you can try 1x X16 or 2x X8 in the red slots :-). Smaller PCIe slots are PCIe X1 2.0 (from FCH chip). The last one black PCIe X16 slot working as X4 and its again 2.0 standard.
The board has seperate PCB part for audio and audio links named Supreme FX 2014 with some exclusive functions. Yes, you know them from Z97 launch smile.gif.


From bottom look are backplates. CPU backplate and two mosfets backplates. Hardness of PCB is OK, the board is not to sag.

Details of the board parts

DRAM slots are digital driving with separate controller, primary slots are RED colors. You can see 24-pin MB ATX power and START and small RESET button in front. I evaluate the post display. ABout more details and example fan connectors we will talking later smile.gif


The 8-pin ATX CPU power.


8 Chokes and nice designed pasive at VRM area. One average 7850K inside the socket.


Details at PCIe area. The red slots are X16 in the mode 1x 16 or 2x 8 (PCIe2.0/3.0, depends at CPU). These are from CPU controller. The space between red slots its OK for Crossfire. Small PCIe black slots are PCIe x1 and from southbridge (FCH). This chipset is still live with PCI lines. It can up to 3 PCI, but ussually in these days you are OK with 1 PCI. The Crossblade Ranger has overall 2x PCI slots. The last black slots at bottom the board is PCIe x16 working in x4 mode (PCIe 2.0).


There is SATA cornet of MB. You can see 90 angle SATA slots. All eight slots are 6 GB/s and all native from chipset with Raid support 0,1,5,10,JBOD. Under the ROG FCH pasive is located true and not big FCH chip and Asus TPU chip for tuning PC. Between SATA connectors and 24-pin ATX you can see red USB3.0 front port.


IO panel is part of conectivity and video/audio outputs. The Trinity/Richland/Kaveri support Multi-VGA: 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. With Kaveri you have some next of benefits GCN architecture as Mantle, DX 11, True audio, HSA etc... But back to IO information :-). You can see PS2, 2x USB 2.0 (one is for right function of Keybot feature), SPDIF out, D-SUB, HDMI, DVI, bios flashback button, 4x USB 3.0, gigabit LAN (Intel I211 controller) and audio outputs with 8 channel support DTS.


Sound part with SupremeFX chip. You can see audio part line of "shielded" part PCB. There are few capactiors by ELNA, big aluminium shield and inside probably ALC1150. The audio line can red blinking (BIOS setting).


The bottom part of motherboard is about conectivity. From left to right: front audio, soundstage button (audio profiles), TPM header, ROG extendor (ex. for ROG Fron base panel or OC Panel), pwm fan connector, CMOS button, front USB 2.0 ports, keybot button (next special function active with keyboard), case connectors.

So, something more details and MB overview in picture, chips (no Chispy as Angel friend;) )

There are some colors and some arrows biggrin.gif. The red area is CPU/iGPU supply. Its created with capacitors, mosfets, chokes and again capacitors. Design is 8 digital phases for CPU and iGPU part. The pink square is ASP digital controller. The VRM seems similar as at the Ranger Maximus. The blue rectangle is two phases for DRAM and smaller pink square is digi controller for this area. The yellow rectangle is FCH power (fusion controller hub). Smaller yellow frames are 4-pin connectors for fans. There is five connectors and all connectors are pwm or DC ready. Depends at your choice smile.gif.
Green arrows means FCH support and red arrows are from CPU support.


Detail at DRAM vrm area, the digital controller is in the right corner near the red memory slot. Bellow is post display with two char. code. The red button MEM OK = "no more problems with RAMs", and lovely small area for us LN2 jumper (for LN2 you can switch to second position), slow mode switch for save booting to windows with extreme cooling and values (hmmm, easy way to get 7.5+ GHz with Richland smile.gif), voltage points (its truly real what I set in BIOS?). Big red START and small black RESET buttons.

Some chips

Asmedia 1480 PCIe dividers and clock generator ICS.


CPU digital controller digi+ ASP


LAN gigabit chip from Intel


small asmedia chip, keybot-rog chip for special functions, IO chip Nuvoton 6791D.

BIOS part
This days is BIOS settings very large. I dont know, how many people will be listen me in 50 screens of BIOS biggrin.gif. So I cute it at only few. For others is the link to download more BIOS screens and settings:
http://uloz.to/xFrPWKTk/bios-zip


for beginners is basic screen, there is part with information about MB, CPU, memory, temps...Can choice DOCP/AMP profile directly, set the boot priority, set the auto tuning PC and make the fun with the fans smile.gif.


Fans tuning screen...4 profiles or manual tunning.


If you press F11 in BIOS or click at top of the basic screen, you get EZ Tunning Wizzard function. Its simple for beginners. You choice the function of your PC (home, gaming PC and few others), next you cooling at CPU and after you PC will be tunned. Not bad way for newbies.


All what you need the overclocker smile.gif


Memory timings is at the 3 screens


With the Kaveri you can change the TDP limit. Auto is 95W (or more for OC), next values you can get 65W and 45W


Main is the information about board, APU, ROG chips


USB, SATA, iGPU, LAN, PCIe, APU power saving settings


Monitoring, PWM/DC controll, Fan tunning feature


Boot settings


BIOS flashing, BIOS profile saving/loading (included USB), SSD secure erase (example for fresh installation), GPU info, SPD memory infos.


Shortcuts.


And what do you like, put it to Favorites :-)

So, this is end of part one. Give me few days for part II. In part II you will see few from software and finally some benchamrks and OC. Now I have not much good A10-7850K chip so LN2 part coming later in next months.
lucky Vishera
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lucky Vishera
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post #2 of 46
Thread Starter 
Software

14699021329_b7aaaa51f7_c.jpg
We will talking about software in short. The main is software Ai Suite with 5-way optimization. Its logic from next screenshot, what means 5-ways smile.gif

14699053458_a3449ddfda_c.jpg
5-way:
-TPU for OC settings
-Fan Xpert 3 for PWM/autofan tunning etc
-digi+ power control for driving the phases etc
-Turbo App. for priority of process in audio, LAN, CPU performance
-EPU for lower power consumption etc

14882612661_3841bc8785_c.jpg
Tuning of CPU/iGPU

14882612521_e2ccf2bed3_c.jpg
There are three iGPU profiles

14699020859_83a3d52580_c.jpg
Fan Xpert for tuning the airflow in PC smile.gif

14883202744_66be1eed4e_c.jpg
Turbo aplication

14862674716_edf44a45bf_c.jpg
Next is gaming (and not only for gamnmg) application Gamefirst III with profiles, priorities...

14699052848_246f00ffcd.jpg
Sonic Radar as little gaming help smile.gif

14882613351_a34c1c79eb_c.jpg
14905529383_4eecc274e7_c.jpg
Keybot software with binded macros , you can to use F1-F10 keys. F11, F12 and delete are predefined

14885326812_e3937affb1_c.jpg
Audio software of SupremeFX is in Czech language too! With front audio connectors you have higher active menu with Soundstage functions and complete Sonic Studio settings.

14882611761_9ce9a4509b_c.jpg
Yes, AMD has TurboV core light! Finally.

Testing and stock benchmarks:
Asus Crossblade Ranger (0507 BIOS)
AMD A10-7850K
iGPU Radeon R7 series with CATALYST 14.4.
2x 8 GB Radeon Memory 2133 MHz 10-11-11-2T
Noctua NH D14 CPU cooler
1x SSD Seagate 240 GB + 1x 1TB HDD Seagate, both in IDE mode (because better for BCLK tweaking)

CPU-Z
14862676596_afc313c1c9_c.jpg

GPU-Z
14882614091_dae41612c6_c.jpg
Edited by FlanK3r - 8/11/14 at 5:59am
lucky Vishera
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lucky Vishera
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post #3 of 46
Thread Starter 
Benchmarks at stock settings
Lets go to the resutls at stock settings!

Guys at XS like SUperpi many, many years :-). There is 1M and 32M run
14905527553_293747c619_c.jpg
14905527473_c4c3a13a50_c.jpg

AIDA memory and cache
14882614711_7f4b477c76_c.jpg

AIDA HASH
14883205024_72419d5d44_c.jpg

Cinebench R10 all
14699055058_96bee46b3b_c.jpg

Cinebench R11.5
14885328092_2575dd8636_c.jpg

Cinebench R15
14699022729_2530dcb8df_c.jpg

Wprime 32 and 1024
14885649555_75c21acb92_c.jpg

Y-cruncher 0.6.5 at 500M
14883201794_7a644e0cfb_c.jpg

x264 FHD benchmark
14885325542_65a5c15652_c.jpg

ROG Realbench
14699129137_c52ca0759f_c.jpg

7-zip
14885328672_0f7327c3a8_c.jpg

Now is time for iGPU performance. Im surprised how good this R7 Radeon is it...

AIDA
14862677146_cb85013424_c.jpg

3D Mark11
14882615461_41efed1f36_c.jpg

3D Mark Cloud Gate
14883205484_2fb4085d55_c.jpg

3D Mark Fire Strike
14699055918_7152713cce_c.jpg

Unigine Heaven
14862676256_b5fe02c917_z.jpg

Unigine Valley
14699019999_9befc15a2c_z.jpg

Sniper Elite 2 1920x1080, DX11, medium details, medium AA
14905529513_47a7d8569e_c.jpg

Unreal Tournament III, max detail settings 1920x1080
14883202184_68f26d57f8_c.jpg

HDD benchmark:
SSD benchmark is not awesome score for , but the SSD is in IDE mode. Later I can try AHCI and RAID mode.
14905527663_f60c2a6411_z.jpg

The Power Consumption:
In idle is only 44 W consumed without the LCD (but with two disc - SSD+HDD SATA and not ideal 1200W PSU for this PC). In CPU load is power consumption around 120 W.

The OVERCLOCKING
Mythical name, dream of overclockers, hope for gamers and enthusiast....First part is about automatic overclocking. Yeah, I tried this method and its not bad for beginners or gamers without better knowledge of CPU, BIOS settings...

So, first from BIOS, the utility named "EZ tuning Wizard" utility" (pres F11 key in BIOS)

The settings before
14919584975_b4a59d7349_c.jpg

choice your priority for PC performance
14732978408_d740b295b6_c.jpg

whats your cooling system?smile.gif
14919229802_70cafa3019_c.jpg

The target
14896593086_1a3044a2eb_c.jpg

The results after OC is 4200 MHz at CPU and 960 MHz at iGPU part. Its not bad, because stock settings is 3700 MHz (up to 4 GHz turbo) and 720 MHz for iGPU. The 3D Mark11 is close to 3000 points now!
14732978268_62acbaa320_c.jpg
14733012917_689551053a_c.jpg

Cinebench R11.5 is 4.01 points
14919229712_d8ecc45032_c.jpg

Second way is exactly 5-way biggrin.gif. What is it? In software AI Suite/Dual Intelligent processors 5 is column "5-way optimization"
It perform or optimizes your CPU/iGPU clocks, power saving activity, air cooling in case, power phase driving

14919229502_8aa848836a_c.jpg

Some time it working, PC is restarting, working and again restarting....After all is this result and I must say it is not far from manual overclocking. So 4326 MHz CPU and 989 MHz iGPU + 2197 MHz DRAM!
14916500921_53c67c3d58_c.jpg

And results? Again time for Cinebench and 3D Mark11.

14919229392_d90b271f6e_c.jpg
3097 points in 3D M11. Ufff.

14733013057_e0cbf7ae12_c.jpg

Manual overclocking
Lets talk about manual overclocking. This is average early chip of Kaveri. Nothing special. I know there are better samples. But I have only this one yet. Later (in September/October) with second I find some time for LN2. Of course, stable overclocking is very time consumed. And after all I spent times with all this work and fun. So my stable settings are only "stable". I used LINX with AVX support for AMD and only 3-5 runs. So really only "stable" resutls smile.gif.

4428 MHz is sweetpoint of OC
14762349067_6fa5482888_c.jpg

The same I can say about next result with higher BCLK. Temps and power consumption is still OK
14762349027_df86eb904f_c.jpg

With the luck I got 4487 MHz with same voltage. In loads the voltage little jump up - to 1.468 V
14945801101_7775b35660_c.jpg

And final result is 4531 MHz at CPU and 989 MHz at iGPU. The memory near 2200 MHz. I tried different combination of memory. But it was not stable over 2400 MHz with worse timings and if I set 4500/2400 (higher latency cl13) the 3D Marks score was lower...
14948891085_cde8ec7f5c_c.jpg

Benchmarks after OC
For fun I tested some benchmarks. If I will be not extreme busy with next hardware (Pentium G3258+B85 board and 7700K+cheap A88x combo+something new and bigger;) ) I can test some maximals with different memory kits and I wanna try some benchs at 4400 MHz and different APUNB clocks. How it scaling in 32M, Cinebench and 3D Mark11. But back to the stable results:

AIDA memory test
14762281128_585d9897ab_c.jpg

wprime
14762348577_c23256d76a_c.jpg

superpi 1M
14762281058_b5fc30744f_c.jpg

superpi32M (look at 32 scaling, for AMD is Kaveri very good for 32M)
14762211089_2d0e1de06d_c.jpg

Cinebench R11.5
14925905326_d4ee64c18c_c.jpg

Cinebench R15
14762348777_a856eba9ec_c.jpg

3D Mark11
14762281578_6717b8622e_c.jpg

3D Mark Cloud Gate
14762281758_7aaf4826a1_c.jpg

3D Mark Fire Strike
14925905606_9ba4721937_c.jpg

UT3 1920x1080, maximal details - 109.32 FPS average
14762348647_604588881c_c.jpg
Edited by FlanK3r - 8/17/14 at 11:05am
lucky Vishera
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lucky Vishera
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post #4 of 46
Many thanks for this early review.

Coming to ROG from standard FM2/FM2+ boards I see a more complete implementation, for example, of the ASUS Overclocking Profile section in UEFI BIOS>Advanced Mode>Tools.

Bearing in mind the warning to load only profiles saved under the current BIOS version/CPU/RAM installation, how does the 'Load/Save Profile From/To USB Drive' function work? Does it Load/Save the entire profile set, or does it Load/Save the current CMOS settings?
post #5 of 46
that right,Bearing in mind the warning to load only profiles saved under the current BIOS version/CPU/RAM installation,thanks43.gif
post #6 of 46
Great review this far biggrin.gif Thanks for this info. I was planning to buy the ASUS A88X-PRO but for some reason I was like let's hold on for some days and then they announced this MB, so now I'm just waiting till it is out to get it.

Is there any info about when it will be out for sale or pre-order?
My PC
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My PC
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post #7 of 46
Wow that's a good looking board.... Makes me all warm inside....

I have been thinking about getting something to just drop in my sig rig to play around with and that would be a sexy setup to use. The problem I'm having is which processor to use? Since it will be using both of my 7950's I have been thinking about going with an Athlon x4 760k, but then if I did pull it out and run it in a different case I would need a GPU. Or even just using a A8-7600k Kaveri and see how far I could push it.

Either way it looks to be fun to mess around with....

Any thought's?
GrandPa's Gamer
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GrandPa's Gamer
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Samsung 850 EVO 500gb, 840 EVO 250gb, 840 Pro 1... 1 TB something.. Asus CD/DVD Drive Custom Water Loop cooling CPU and GPU 
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post #8 of 46
Thread Starter 
updated next part with benchmarks at default settings smile.gif

The board will be this month in some shops what I heard.

By-TOR: or wait for Athlon x4 860K "Kaveri"
lucky Vishera
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lucky Vishera
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post #9 of 46
Thread Starter 
added auto OC chapter in post 3
lucky Vishera
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8370@4999 MHz Asus 970 Pro Gaming/Aura Saphire R9-270X Toxic 2GB DDR5 2x4 GB G.Skill RipjawsX 2400 c11 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
HyperX 3K SSD 18x DVD-RW Samsung Cooler Master V6GT win XP 32-bit and Win 7 64-bit 
MonitorPowerCaseMouse
Samsung 2053BW Corsair TX850 HAF 922 razer deadadder 
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lucky Vishera
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8370@4999 MHz Asus 970 Pro Gaming/Aura Saphire R9-270X Toxic 2GB DDR5 2x4 GB G.Skill RipjawsX 2400 c11 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
HyperX 3K SSD 18x DVD-RW Samsung Cooler Master V6GT win XP 32-bit and Win 7 64-bit 
MonitorPowerCaseMouse
Samsung 2053BW Corsair TX850 HAF 922 razer deadadder 
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post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlanK3r View Post

By-TOR: or wait for Athlon x4 860K "Kaveri"

Any idea when it will be released?
GrandPa's Gamer
(16 items)
 
Mini -ITX build
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4790k @ 5.0ghz Asus Maximus 7 Hero PowerColor R9 290X LCS w/Factory EK Waterblock 16gb of G.Skill Trident X 2400mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850 EVO 500gb, 840 EVO 250gb, 840 Pro 1... 1 TB something.. Asus CD/DVD Drive Custom Water Loop cooling CPU and GPU 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Asus 24" VG248QE 144hz, Asus 24" VE247H Razer Blackwidow Ultimate XFX Pro Black 850w PSU 
CaseMouseAudio
Phanteks Enthoo Primo Black/Red Razer DeathAdder Turtle Beach PX21 headset 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel g3258 @ 4.2ghz  Asrock B85M-ITX XFX R7 250 4gb PNY 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840, 120gb SSD Samsung USB drive stock Windows 7 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Acer CM Storm Devastator 300 watt COOLER MASTER Elite 110 
MouseAudio
CM Storm Devastator Onboard 
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GrandPa's Gamer
(16 items)
 
Mini -ITX build
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4790k @ 5.0ghz Asus Maximus 7 Hero PowerColor R9 290X LCS w/Factory EK Waterblock 16gb of G.Skill Trident X 2400mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850 EVO 500gb, 840 EVO 250gb, 840 Pro 1... 1 TB something.. Asus CD/DVD Drive Custom Water Loop cooling CPU and GPU 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Asus 24" VG248QE 144hz, Asus 24" VE247H Razer Blackwidow Ultimate XFX Pro Black 850w PSU 
CaseMouseAudio
Phanteks Enthoo Primo Black/Red Razer DeathAdder Turtle Beach PX21 headset 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel g3258 @ 4.2ghz  Asrock B85M-ITX XFX R7 250 4gb PNY 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840, 120gb SSD Samsung USB drive stock Windows 7 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Acer CM Storm Devastator 300 watt COOLER MASTER Elite 110 
MouseAudio
CM Storm Devastator Onboard 
  hide details  
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