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 -|
Artwork, like most everything else style-related, is highly subjective. I personally absolutely dig the new look of recent Republic of Gamer motherboards like the ASUS P55 Maximus III Extreme. The board features are clearly marked, the name grabs your attention, and the vibrant reds and non-glossy box material have a great look and feel. Top notch job here; I'd buy the background image if it were offered as a poster.
Packed away in the box is an entire tray of bits and bobs. The vast majority of them are obvious as to what they are: SLI/CrossFire cables, SATA cables, I/O backplate, and a bluetooth dongle. Wait, what?
That's right; the ASUS Rampage III Extreme comes equipped with a bluetooth dongle that provides bluetooth connectivity. This lets you connect a variety of handheld and input devices such as keyboards, mice, headsets, and phones.
You can see how the dongle plugs into a block of pins and the antenna protrudes off the backside of the board. Sadly, I haven't got any bluetooth devices besides my iPhone so I didn't spend too much time playing with the bluetooth. I was told, however, that there is an application similar to ROG Connect, which we will discuss later, that works on Windows Mobile phones.
Hidden away in the white box is an actively cooled chipset fan. For normal operation of the motherboard I had no problems with the passive solution already integrated into the motherboard but the moment I used three or four GPUs in CrossFire the north bridge temperatures would skyrocket due to reduced airflow, PCB heat dump from the nearby CPU PWM and, most importantly, the increased amounts of PCIe traffic. If you are having stability issues with multiple GPUs check your north bridge temperatures; they'll easily scream past 70 Celsius.
The last cool feature of the board was the modular multimeter lead array. Just below the start button are eight two pin tabs into which a little plastic jumper fits with two connectors attached. You can easily insert your multimeter probes so you can monitor various voltages on the board without having to delicately probe points on the board and risk shorting components. I initially used these excessively until I began to notice that the board maintains voltages within tight tolerances of what you set in the BIOS in most situations. Of course the multimeter isn't bundled but even a cheap $20 multimeter can be incredibly helpful if you are ever curious.
Next Page - Bloody Beautiful Board Bitmaps
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