There isn’t anything about the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition that I can complain about. When it comes down to it, the ASUS RIVBE is probably one of the most feature rich, and refined board to come across my test bench. There are two things that made me expect nothing less from the Rampage IV Black Edition, first, it’s an ASUS motherboard. When it comes to motherboards they are one of my go to companies when I need a board, though I have plenty others in computers around the house (the wife says I have an issue). Second is the price, ASUS has put a premium price tag on the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition, currently I can find the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Intel X79 motherboard for $499.00 shipped.
The Intel X79 chipset is the only chipset for the LGA2011 processors, and it is getting a bit long in the tooth. The chipset itself is lacking some of the features of the current mainstream Z87 chipset, like native USB 3.0 and more than two SATA III ports. With that being said, it’s still a solid chipset. ASUS had to rely on third party chips to get the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and additional SATA III ports, and the ASMedia chips they used are among the best out there. Unfortunately they don’t quite compare to the Intel Z87 ports. That’s no fault of the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition though, rather a shortcoming of the X79 platform. All that ASUS could do is choose the best option out there, and they certainly did.
CPU performance is a relative non-issue for the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition. Taking advantage of one of the fastest processors out there the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition chewed threw everything we threw at it without hesitation. The Intel Core i7-4960X hex-core processor was able to destroy the Intel Z87 chipset systems in anything that relied heavily on the processor. Benchmarks like the x264 HD Video Encoding bench the Rampage IV Black Edition was 34% faster than the Intel Z87 systems. The ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition was also able to edge out our other Intel X79 MSI Big Bang XPower II by a small margin.
Gaming performance on the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, now I’m not saying that it was lacking or that it performed poorly. In fact the Rampage IV Black and the MSI Big Bang XPower II were pretty much a dead heat in the games. Unfortunately they were both being beat out by the Intel Z87 platform when I had hoped that the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition would come out on top. Once again though, that’s no fault of the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition. The latest Intel Z87 chipset and Haswell processors are a generation ahead of the Intel Ivy Bridge E and X79 chipset that the Rampage IV Black Edition as using. Despite being a generation behind, the Rampage IV Black Edition was certainly able to hold its own in our gaming benchmarks.
The ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition has no shortage of features. We touched on most of the features throughout the article, so I won’t ramble on about them much more. There have been times that I wanted more features out of a board, or thought that board x could use feature y, that’s not the case today. The ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition has the features you need, the features you want, and even the features you don’t know you want yet.
I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve never had to send any of my ASUS products back due to issues. I know they happen, but hopefully you will have the same luck I have. If however, you do happen to have an issue with the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition ASUS has you covered by a three year warranty.
Legit Bottom Line: If you’re looking for the best of the best Intel X79 motherboards for your Intel Extreme processor you’re going to be hard pressed to find anything better than the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition motherboard. ASUS left no stone unturned when looking at the features people want and included everything but the kitchen sink!