CES 2012 CoverageBosco - January 19, 2012
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ASUS had a bunch of things to show off at CES, including a wide array of ROG (Republic of Gamers) gear that brings more value to the branding. The first thing we looked at was an external sound solution called ThunderFX. This USB-powered sound solution has specs that included 120dB sound, a 600 ohm headphone amp, and environmental noise cancellation, to allow for more immersion while gaming. Multi-platform support allows the ThunderFX to be used for not only the PC, but also with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. On the same display system, ASUS also showcased one of its 3D-ready 27" monitors and the Rampage IV Formula. We were given a demonstration of some of the upcoming ROG software that will be bundled into the software packages for the ROG motherboards. Sound quality solutions were a big part of the ROG display this year. ASUS introduced the ROG Xonar Phoebus PCIe based gaming audio solution. Features include SNR of 118db and an external controller/headphone amp to drive 110dB at 600 ohms. On the ROG Rampage IV Formula and Rampage IV Gene, ASUS has isolated the Supreme FX onboard sound solution completely on the PCB for a cleaner more crisp sound output, due in part to the 1500 uF Audio Power Capacitor to drive quality output SNR from 90db to 110db.
ASUS motherboards, especially for the X79 platform, were well represented with the standard models and a full boat of ROG models, including the new Rampage IV Formula, Rampage IV Extreme, and Rampage IV Gene, for the small form factor crowd.
To further drive performance, ASUS has improved networking performance with a new series of Gigabit wireless-N routers.
ASUS also showed off a new series of high resolution panels, with resolutions up to 2560 x 1400 in a 27" monitor. The picture quality was amazing on these panels and will be offered in both consumer and professional grade SKUs. Lastly, ASUS also showed of its ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS for the workstation crowd — a dual Socket 2011 board, supporting 'Sandy Bridge-EP' Xeon E5s, eight DDR3 DIMM slots, and seven PCIe slots.