ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Intel X79 Motherboard Review

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Final Thoughts and Conclusion

ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Intel X79 Motherboard Layout

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.

ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Editors Choice Award

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!

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  • intrepix

    It looks as though they didn’t think about the PCIe x1 slots or how the graphic cards would bury them which brings me to wonder why bother putting them there at all ?
    A few USB 3.0 ports would not have been out of order either instead of the USB 2.0 ports but then I’m beginning to wonder why Asus hasn’t made any attempts to offer up any off the board, graphic card slots as in a modular PC system that doesn’t require everything to be jammed onto one motherboard. Imagine a box with its own cooling system plugged into your PC from outside the box ! Now that would be something for these motherboard manufacturers to start thinking about considering the heat, the amount of room and the size of the cards. Time to think outside the box and forget about the eye candy and the all black board doesn’t impress me as much as logical thinking.

  • Calvin Summerlin

    Supposedly this board is better for DDR3 overclocking than the original Rampage IV Extreme when paired with IB-E, it’s too bad they didn’t test it any. Those Dominator 2133C9 probably have Samsung D-rev ICs that love the volts.

  • Serpent of Darkness

    Nice reviews. Originally, I was under the assumption that this was going to have two 8747 PLEX Chips on the mobo. It doesn’t. I think I will stick with my AsROCK X79 Extreme 11. Overall, the RIVBE is just RIVE2.0 with the ability to use Ivy-Bridge Extreme. Looks like it only pushing 4.6GHz Core naturally, but some tweaking would push it up to 5.0Ghz. That’s probably a 13% increase +/- another 5 to 10% for PC Games. Knowing Ivy Bridge Extreme at 1.4v core, will be hitting temperatures around 30 idle, 60 degs C on load at 4.60Ghz, water-cooled. At 5.0Ghz, you’re looking at 1.52v + c, and temperatures above 70 degs C. X79 is a dying market since z87 is only, really needed for PC-Gaming, and 4770k i7 has better single thread performance for a day in age which there isn’t a lot of multi-core utilization needed for Gaming. Only BF4, Crysis 3, Planetside 2, etc… Probably when Star Citizens and EQN comes out, you’ll see CPU multi-threading performance as a more viable solution… Overall, I think this is Asus’s way of dipping into the market of consumers who want upgrades from their old x79 mobos. Offering probably 10% more performance with new bells, whistles, and razzle dazzle. No point in investing when x99 is already making an appearance into the mainstream media with talks of 8 cores CPUs, DDR4 memory bandwidths, and possibly a better PCIe lane version.

    • Serpent of Darkness

      AsRock Extreme RAMDISK is a lot better. 50 GBs stable, and you don’t need to pay any additional license to use it. So long as you have the buffer size, and you’re not exceeding what’s already being used by the OS–other processes, you’re good to go… My setup is 65.6 GBs, and it’s stable at 666.67 MHz dram frequency (1333 MHZ). Rendering large videos with a 50 GB RAMDISK cuts down time by a lot… Now if R9-290x would actually work with GPU acceleration for Sony Vegas Pro 11.0, rendering times would be even smaller. 15 minute videos (AVI files looking at over 1 GB in size) would be rendered and done in 5 to 10 minutes…

  • Tequila_Mckngbrd

    I got my RIVE’s as Open Boxes for under $300, the only drawback is when you RMA, you’d have to ship the RMA board back first, whereas if you bought any RIVE new, they would ship a replacement to you, and then you ship the RMA’d board back. Just a thought for some future purchasers.

    RAMDisk is free up to 4GB, anything more is $15, although Dataram started limiting it up to 32GB for personal licenses, and $19 up to 64GB. I’m not sure why. When I got mine for $15, it had no limit, and I got a free T-shirt. A free T-shirt with the RIVBE would have been nice.

    Using the Samsung Wonder RAM, you can overclock it to 2400MHz speeds on a RIVE if you’re using only 4 slots. If you use all 8 slots, no such luck. I was limited by my CPU to 2133MHz. I doubt the RIVBE can change that, so overclocking to 2800MHz, you might still be limited by your CPU and/or memory. It would be interesting if using the same CPU and memory from a RIVE to RIVBE, if I can hit the 2400MHz overclock on all 8 memory slots.

    I do like the OC Panel and the Black PCB. I wonder how the VRM temperatures are with high overclocks. I had to put my RIVE’s under water so I could overclock to 4.8GHz and higher.

    • Calvin Summerlin

      It’s probably your CPU’s memory controller holding you back rather than the RIVE. I’m guessing you have a SB-E chip?

      • Tequila_Mckngbrd

        Yeah, that’s what I said, I didn’t say it was the RIVE holding me back, but did wonder if using the RIVBE would somehow get me different results (which I doubt).

        • Calvin Summerlin

          It might actually do worse, since RIVBE is optimized for Ivy Bridge-E. Some users of the RIVE still on SB-E that have updated to the newer IB-E compatible BIOS versions have been complaining of issues.