One thing that I look at when putting pen on paper, is would I recommend the particular product? In the case of the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme it’s a mixed bag of thoughts. If I happened to be talking to someone that does extreme overclocking, or is looking for the ultimate performance regardless of cost then the answer would unequivocally be yes! The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme had a slight edge on performance throughout the day. However, if I were talking with an average everyday user who doesn’t overclock or is on a tight budget, this board would probably be overkill for them. They would be better off with a board like the ASUS P9X79 Pro that we looked at a few weeks back. If someone is on a tight budget, the Intel X79 platform probably isn’t the right system to build. That being said, the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Intel X79 motherboard isn’t being marketed as an entry level product, quite the opposite in fact. The Rampage IV Extreme Intel X79 motherboard is the flagship X79 motherboard from ASUS! The ‘flaw’ to owning a flagship product is the price. The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Intel X79 motherboard has a hefty price tag of $449.99. A quick glimpse at Newegg.com shows that the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme is the second most expensive Intel X79 Motherboard out there today. It is second only to the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Battlefield 3 edition. For an extra $20.00 you can pick the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme with a copy of Battlefield 3.
The performance margins between the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme and the GIGABYTE GA-X79-UD7 today were slim on every test that we ran. For the most part, we were looking at ~.5%-1% margins throughout our testing. Since the margins today were incredibly slim in the gaming and memory performance, it would be fair to say the differences are well within any margin of error from our benchmarks. If the ASUS Republic of Gamers Rampage IV Extreme wasn’t consistently the top contender in every test we could call it a wash, unfortunately for the GIGABYTE GA-X79-UD7 it was the R4E was on top throughout. If we were keeping score, the point would have to go to the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme. One area of performance that we did see a much larger performance margin was the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 performance. While running CrystalDiskMark the ASUS ROG Rampage IV Extreme showed a 13.2MB/s faster Sequential Read and 36.2MB/s faster Sequential Write speed than the GIGABYTE GA-X79-UD7. It seems that the ASMedia ASM1042 USB 3.0 controller chip that ASUS has employed is the better option over the Fresco FL1009 chips that can be found on the GIGABYTE GA-X79-UD7.The power consumption numbers of the two systems were consistently 21-22 Watts apart with the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme drawing more power than the GIGABYTE GA-X79-UD7.
The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme made our overclocking experience extremely easy and enjoyable. We first gave the ASUS Auto Tune a try to see how far it would push our Intel Core i7 3960X. After simply enabling the Auto Tune feature in the ASUS UEFI BIOS the system automatically rebooted itself. Once the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme was in our Windows 7 build we fired up CPUz 1.59 to see where we were at. The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Auto Tune brought our 3960X to a rock solid 4250MHz! It’s not a record breaking overclock by any means, but for simply enabling an simple option in the BIOS it’ll give your system a boost. While the ASUS Auto tune is fun to tinker with, we couldn’t leave it at that. We reset the ASUS UEFI BIOS and fired up the system back up. With a little bit of work in the latest ASUS AI Suite we were able to bring the Intel Core i7 3960X to 4.9GHz! This is what we have hit previously with this chip so I’m a happy camper! An overclock of 4.9GHz on the Intel Core i7 3960X with the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Intel X79 motherboard is a good day.
The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Intel X79 motherboard does carry a pretty hefty price tag with it. At $449.99 the ASUS R4E isn’t for those on a budget. It’s just over double what the lowest cost Intel X79 motherboard would cost right now. Though if you’re already planning on spending $1049.99 on the latest and greatest Intel Core i7 3960X Sandy Bridge-E Extreme processor, whats another $200 for a motherboard that out performed the top offering from GIGABYTE Intel X79 product stack which retails for $369.99! Then again an entire Intel X79 system is going to be significantly more expensive the an Intel Z68 system would be. If you’re building a system on a budget, you would be better of with a processor like the Intel Core i5 2500K Sandy Bridge and a Intel Z68 motherboard. That being said, peace of mind when sinking a large chunk of your wallet into your computer system is an absolute must! The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Intel X79 motherboard is backed by ASUS with a three year warranty.
Legit Bottom Line: The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Intel X79 Motherboard is a force to be reckoned with. If you are looking for the absolute best regardless of price, the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Intel X79 motherboard will surely fit the bill!