Although Intel's processors and chipsets have long been embraced by PC enthusiasts, the company's motherboards have largely been ignored. Years ago, it was easy to see why. Intel motherboards didn't come with the tweaking and overclocking options that we crave, and that was understandable, since we never really expected Intel to endorse overclocking. However, times have changed, and so has Intel's tune. The firm now has several products targeted specifically at enthusiasts, including the new DX48BT2 "Bonetrail 2" motherboard that comes loaded with many of the features we'd expect from a modern, high-end mobo.
Based on Intel's flagship X48 Express chipset, Bonetrail's second coming faces stiff competition from Taiwanese mobo makers with far more street cred in the enthusiast space-credibility that, for the likes of Asus, is well deserved. Asus one of the biggest players in the motherboard market, and it's been catering to enthusiasts for as long as I can remember. Asus has embraced the X48 Express, as well, most recently with its Rampage Formula motherboard.
The Rampage Formula and DX48BT2 effectively target the same market, albeit with one DDR2 memory and the other with DDR3. For once, however, Intel is the underdog. Read on to see if the processor giant can beat Asus at its own game.