Legit Motherboard Reviews
ASUS Rampage III Extreme Intel X58 Motherboard Review
|Product:||ASUS Rampage III Extreme|
|Date:||Wed, Sep 08, 2010 - 12:00 AM|
|Written By:||Chris Morrell -|
Creative R3E Conclusion
Every so often a memorable motherboard spends some time on my desk. Past boards include the original ASUS X48 Rampage Extreme, the EVGA X58 E760 Classified, and the Gigabyte P45 EP45-UD3R. Each of these boards was notable for its overclocking potential; the REX was the king of LGA775, the Classified is a top candidate for king of LGA1366 and the EP45-UD3R made a mockery of other boards in pushing DDR2 to stratospheric levels. I feel the Rampage III Extreme combines the overclocking potential of the Classified with the ease of overclocking that the original REX provided. I regret selling my Classified but I feel the Rampage III Extreme does a fine job at filling the Classified's shoes.
Now all that reminiscing was based around extreme overclocking which is such a small niche of an already small niche that it barely registers with most end-users. For the normal guy it may be difficult to discern the difference between the Rampage III Extreme and say the ASUS X58 P6T. The Rampage III Extreme, priced around $370 USD, provides the basic functionality of the lesser P6T but then throws in the kitchen sink, maid, and a support crew many persons deep. Physically the Rampage III Extreme is superior in both build quality and features and makes for the perfect platform for what I'd consider to be an excessive build featuring multiple GPUs or heavily overclocked processor and memory.
Besides the expansive PCIe layout the Rampage III Extreme can also be considered a bit more refined than a lot of the competition as it features USB 3.0, SATA 6, and what seems to be a revised BIOS every other week. The RIIIE is one board that continues to become faster and more stable with each BIOS revision and after having watched the BIOS progress since early April it is impressive to see what the ASUS team can wring out of those few lines of code. This sort of support along with the dedicated Republic of Gamers forum is what the Rampage III Extreme is all about.
Now, a review wouldn't be a review without a few gripes as we all know nothing is perfect. Right... hrm. Oh! I wish the board supported quad-SLI without necessitating the ROG Xpander. That was a proper design decision, though, as the quad-SLI market is infinitesimally small and the two required NF-200 chips would have increased both price and power consumption to satisfy a market that is even smaller than the small niche that would push 4 GPUs at once. Ok, I really can't come up with anything. Typically the board recovers rather nicely when I do something stupid and it positively flies when I do something correct. Considering I've been working on and off with this board for the last 6 months I imagine there are a few small issues that have popped up that were immediately quashed by the support crew.
In the end ASUS is selling a top notch board for $370 USD, chucking in a lot of support behind it, and backing it with a standard three year warranty. If you are looking to build a Bloomfield or Gulftown based rig that'll chug along for the next half a decade the Rampage III Extreme would be a good choice. If you are looking to push your CPU and memory a bit or a lot past stock than the Rampage III Extreme has shown itself to be a great option. If you are looking to do stupid things like pile dry ice onto the memory modules, slather the board in Vaseline, and pull the processor down to -196 Celsius with liquid nitrogen all while beating the CPU and PWM power circuits into oblivion then the Rampage III Extreme, once again, is a great option. I'm pretty certain the Rampage III Extreme will outlast most CPUs you put into its socket if you beat on the board like I do.
Legit Bottom Line: Some say it eats CPUs for breakfast. Others say it's secretly a masochist. All we know is the ASUS Rampage III Extreme motherboard is one tough customer and well worth your hard earned dollars.
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Page 1 - Rampaging Red REX Runs Rampant
Page 2 - Alluring Accessories
Page 3 - Bloody Beautiful Board Bitmaps
Page 4 - Bashful BIOS
Page 5 - Air Aerated Assembly
Page 6 - Air Aerated Aftermath
Page 7 - Cryogenically Cooled Creature
Page 8 - Cryogenically Cooled Conquest
Page 9 - Maximizing Memory
Page 10 - Supplementary Software
Page 11 - Creative R3E Conclusion