Asus just announced the Crossblade Ranger, a gaming motherboard centered around an FM2+ socket. That’s right, this is AMD only, baby. No Intel CPUs permitted beyond this point.
The Asus Crossblade Ranger’s FM2+ socket is compatible with AMD’s A-series and Athlon processors. You can stuff up to 64GB of RAM into this bad boy, but we feel that anything more than 16GB is overkill. In fact, even 16GB might be a bit much. 8GB or 12GB should be more than enough.
Though whatever AMD processor you put in the Crossblade Ranger won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of measuring up with Intel’s latest, you can still stuff it with some incredibly powerful graphics cards courtesy of its dual PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. If you put in one graphics card, it’ll run at x16. Put in two, and they’ll run at x8 each. Other PCIe slots on the Crossblade Ranger include one 2.0 x16, a 2.0 x1, and a pair of vanilla PCI slots.
With the Crossblade Ranger’s eight SATA ports, you can hook up eight SATA devices to it. However, you’ll need to stuff the motherboard in a case with plenty of upgrade real estate if you plan to take advantage of every single SATA connection. Other ports on the Crossblade Ranger include HDMI, DVI, VGA, Ethernet, and six USB ports around back. Four of those are of the USB 3.0 variety.
In case you want to push your AMD processor to and past its limits, the Crossblade Ranger’s UEFI makes it fairly easy to overclock your CPU/APU, complete with voltage adjustments.
Everyone knows that if you want to build a beastly gaming PC with enough power to make HAL 9000 jealous, you’re probably going to stuff it with Intel hardware. However, Intel CPUs are generally much more expensive than their AMD-based counterparts, and though AMD processors are not nearly as powerful, they can still serve as solid backbones for gaming rigs.
The Asus Crossblade Ranger will be available sometime this month, though it’s unclear how much it will retail for once it hits the market.