Case modding is one of those hobbies that I was never talented enough to pull off. If you put instructions in front of me, I can assemble and disassemble anything in no time. Give me numbers and equations and I understand them completely. Ask me to draw a picture or do anything "artistic" off of the top of my head and you will get something from a 5 year old. I'm good with copying and mimicking things, but not artistically creating from scratch. During high school I got really good at drawing anime, but it was only from existing pictures and stills that I could copy from. I just don't have that creative gene in me.
Some of the mods out there are insane. My favorite has always been the Millennium falcon mod that was done quite a few years back. There have been many copy cats since, but nothing as memorable as the original. The big problem with smaller mods has always been feature loss. Larger mods were always done around existing cases that could be converted into whatever the designer wanted. High end parts had no problem fitting. The true innovative mods were always self built and much smaller. These mods had to use mATX and ITX boards which lacked high end features and slacked on performance. ASUS has a segment of boards they've named named "Gene". These boards offer mATX size and don't skimp out on all of the high end performance and features. They are the perfect blend for the case modder or LAN gamer.
The latest in this lineup is the ASUS Rampage IV Gene. The Rampage IV Gene puts all of the power of the latest Intel X79 chipset into mATX size. The Intel X79 chipset supports the latest Socket LGA2011 Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme processors. Memory is quad channel and supports up to DDR3 2400MHz speeds. The GENE is PCIe 3.0 ready for all future GPU releases. ASUS also includes all of the ROG exclusive features. This GENE includes the Extreme Engine Digi+ II. This engine is far superior, using the finest Japanese black metallic capacitors and digital VRM. ROG Connect allows remote monitoring through a laptop with a USB cable. GameFirst software manages the flow of internet traffic according to needs. There is also the CPU Level Up for instant CPU tuning and Mem TweakIt for total DRAM control. ASUS also included USB BIOS Flashback for instant recovery from any BIOS failure. The GENE also comes with audio superiority with SupremeFX III audio solution. This is an 8 channel HD CODEC which features a 1500 uF audio power capacitor, gold plated jacks, and SupremeFX Shielding technology. ASUS has rated and tested the sound output to reach 110 dB without fail.
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