ASUS Crossblade Ranger Review
The ASUS Crossblade Ranger comes with everything you could want at a FM2+ motherboard for a retail price of $160. It comes with nice audio and great networking gear (Intel NIC + GameFirst III software) and has also some overclocking features (LN2 mode, Slow Mode switch). If you compare this motherboard with similar offerings from ASRock (Fatal1ty Killer) and Gigabyte (G1.Killer) which cost around $100 you can say that the ASUS is better in almost every aspect but also much more expensive.
The motherboard is very nice but we are expecting also a new revision of Kaveri or maybe the new generation to see truly if this motherboard is really an overclocking game-changer for ASUS. I say this because if we look for an 24/7 light gaming PC, the $160 price tag may not be a good thing for the Crossblade Ranger because we have much cheaper options (you can find the solid ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ with a 10 phase VRM for $115).
Don’t get me wrong, I like the ASUS Crossblade Ranger and it’s probably the best AM2+ motherboard out there. The problem is that without some real overclocking APUs from AMD to see the difference it doesn’t really stand up from the crowd to justify it’s hefty price tag. Forgot to mention earlier, but if you have an OC Panel or a Front Base you can connect it to this motherboard as it has the necessary ROG_EXT connector… So a heavy overclocking APU would be nice…