ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Motherboard ReviewWed, Jan 04, 2012 - 12:00 AM
ASUS Republic of Gamers Rampage IV Extreme Intel X79 Motherboard Layout and Features
The overall look of the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme is quite appealing. The only aspect of the black and red ASUS Republic of Gamers color scheme that I’m not wild about is the white on the expansion and DIMM slots. Aside from the white I really enjoy the colors and overall appeal of the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme. That being said, the color scheme of any system component doesn’t mean anything if it does have the performance to back up the wicked styling!
Taking a look at the first corner of the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme, there is a significant number of features here to look at. This particular corner of the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme has been dubbed the OC Zone. Many of the features in this corner are relevant to overclocking. The placement of the onboard buttons for power and reset is a much better location than we saw on both the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z and ASUS Crosshair V Formula, both of these motherboards had the power and reset buttons located below the last expansion slot. If you happen to have the last expansion slot filled these buttons were a bit on the tricky side to depress. Just below the onboard buttons we have the ASUS Probeit measuring points. There is a total of seven ports to measure voltage plus an additional pad to ground to. The remaining six ASUS Probeit measure points include two for DRAM (channels AB, and channels CD), PCH1.5, PCH1.1, VTT, VSA, and VCore. To the left of the onboard buttons we have a series of switches to disable the PCIe x16 slots, beyond that is the ASUS Go button. We also have the switch for Slow mode and jumper for LN2 mode here. To the left of the 24 pin motherboard power is one of two headers for the front panel SuperSpeed USB 3.0. Between the front set of DIMM slots and the onboard buttons we have a series of four, three pin headers. These are all for the VGA Hotwire, the red sets are for the VGA Overvolt, and the black are for the VGA Sensors.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen active cooling on the heatsink assembly. The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme uses a fan on the Intel X79 chipset to aid in the cooling, nothing wrong with running cooler. Along the edge of the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme we have the subzero sense. All you need is a K-type sensor and you can check the board temperatures down to -193 degrees Celsius. The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme is equipped with eight SATA ports. Four SATA II 3Gbps, two SATA III 6Gbps controlled by the Intel X79 chipset, and the remaining two are controlled by the ASMedia PCIe SATA controller. The little red button on the corner of the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme is the BIOS button which will toggle you between the two BIOS chips. Running our eyes up the edge of the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme we can see the pin out for the front panel, the second internal SuperSpeed USB 3.0 header, followed by a pair of internal USB 2.0 headers.
Just beyond the pair of internal USB 2.0 headers is a 4pin chassis fan header, followed by the two BIOS chips. Beyond the BIOS chips is another pair of 4pin chassis headers with a 2pin thermal sensor cable connector sandwiched between them. The final set of pins along this edge of the board is the front panel audio and SPDIF out. Taking a look at the leading edge of the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme we can see a few of the integrated chips that make up the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme, first on the list is the Realtek ALC898 High Definition Audio Codec, a Nuvoton NCT6776F super I/O controller, ASMedia ASM1042 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 host controller, and the final IC is a ASMedia ASM1061 SATA III 6Gbps controller for the eSATA ports. The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme has a grand total of five PCIe x16 slots and will support four way SLI and CrossFireX. The Rampage IV Extreme also has a single PCIe x1 slot.
The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme has a very full featured I/O panel. We have a total of 12 USB ports, four SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, 7 USB 2.0 ports, and a single ROG connect USB port. We also have a single PS/2 mouse or keyboard port, Clear CMOS switch, ROG Connect Switch, Bluetooth Module, RJ-45 port, a pair of eSATA III 6Gbps ports, 5 audio jacks with an optical SPDIF out port.
The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme features a total of eight DIMM slots and will support up to 64Gb of memory at 2400MHz. In order to supply enough power to the second generation of Intel Core i7 processor ASUS has included a 4pin CPU power plug in addition to the typical 8pin CPU power plug.