ASUS Rampage Extreme Motherboard Page: 1
Introduction ROG certified
 
ASUS has for some time now had a very successful run with their Republic Of Gamer (ROG) motherboards, which started with quite humble beginnings and the Commando. Since then, the ROG brand has grown from strength to strength in the endeavour of providing the best hardware engineering; the fastest performance and innovation for PC enthusiasts the world over. ASUS' ROG motherboards could be considered the epitomy of a well rounded, high performing platform upon which to base your high-end system.
 
ASUS Rampage Extreme logoToday we have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to review the X48-based ASUS Rampage Extreme, which is the latest offering from ASUS marketed towards the performance user or overclocking enthusiast. In fact, the ASUS Rampage Extreme is "Designed for overclockers" according to the manufacturer and if first impressions are anything to go by then I agree wholeheartedly.
 
Before we begin the review let's take a moment to consider what kind of images that the name Rampage Extreme conjures up...
According to the Meriam Webster Online Dictionary it defines Rampage as: a course of violent, riotous, or reckless action or behavior. Woohoo I'm interested already :D
 
And Extreme is defined as: a very pronounced or excessive degree.
 
Summing up the name 'Rampage Extreme' we can now settle with the knowledge that this motherboard should provide us with an overclocking experience to the 'enth degree. And if that's the case then sign me up and strap me in!
 
Let's begin the review by taking a look at the ASUS Rampage Extreme's specifications.
 
Specifications
 
The ASUS Rampage Extreme's specifications were taken directly from ASUS' product page
 
CPU
Intel Socket 775 for Intel® Core™2 Extreme/Core™2 Quad/ Core™2 Duo/Pentium® dual-core/Celeron® dual-core /Celeron® Processors
Support Intel® next generation 45nm Multi-Core CPU
Compatible with Intel® 06/05B/05A processors * Refer to www.asus.com for Intel CPU support list
 
Chipset
Intel X48 / ICH9R
Intel Fast Memory Access Technology
Front Side Bus 1600/1333/1066/800 MHz
 
Memory
4 x DIMM, Max. 8 GB, DDR3 2000(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066/800 ECC,Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel memory architecture
*Overclock speed
- Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
- For the X.M.P. support, CPUs with FSB 1333 or above are recommended.

Expansion Slots
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 , support at full x16, x16 speed
3 x PCIe x1 ( the PCIEx1_1 (black) is compatible with audio slot)
2 x PCI 2.2

Storage
Southbridge
6 xSATA 3 Gb/s ports
Intel Matrix Storage Technology Support RAID 0,1,5,10
Marvell® 88SE6121 controller:
1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66/33 for up to 2 PATA devices
1 x External SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)
Silicon Image Sil5723 controller:
2 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s port
Supports RAID 0, 1
 
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers, both featuring AI NET2
Support Teaming Technology
 
Audio
SupremeFX X-Fi Audio Card
- ADI® AD2000B 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- EAX® Advanced™ HD 4.0
- X-Fi CMSS®-3D
- X-Fi Crystalizer™
- Creative ALchemy
- Supports 1 x S/PDIF out header
- Supports Coaxial/Optical S/PDIF out ports on rear

Overclocking Features
Fusion Block System with optional thermal kit on MOS and NB
Extreme Tweaker
TweakIt
Extreme Engine
- 16-phase CPU power design
- 3-phase NB power design
- 2-phase DDR3 power design
- ML Caps on CPU, memory and NB respectively
Speeding HDD
iROG
BIOS Flashback
Loadline Calibration
Intelligent overclocking tools:
- CPU Level Up
- Memory Level Up
- AI Gear 3 + ™
- ASUS AI Booster Utility
- O.C Profile
Overclocking Protection:
- COP EX (Component Overheat Protection - EX)
- Voltiminder LED
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Special Features

Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 Keyboard port(purple)
1 x External SATA port
2 x LAN (RJ45) port
6 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x IEEE1394a port
1 x Clr CMOS switch
 
Internal I/O Connectors
3 x USB 2.0 connectors supports additional 6 USB 2.0 ports
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x IDE connector for two devices
6 x SATA connectors (Blue)
2 x Speeding HDD SATA connectors (Black)
8 x Fan connectors: 1 x CPU / 1 x PWR / 3 x Chassis / 3 x Optional
3 x thermal sensor connectors
1 x IEEE1394a connector
1 x LCD Poster connector
1 x EL I/O Shield connector
1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
24-pin ATX Power connector
8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
1 x En/Dis-able Clr CMOS slide switch
System panel connector
 
BIOS
16 Mb Flash ROM
DMI 2.0
AMI BIOS
PnP
WfM 2.0
SM BIOS 2.4
ACPI 2.0a
Multi-language BIOS
 
Manageability
WOL by PME,WOR by PME,Chasis Intrusion,PXE

Form Factor
ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x24.5 cm )
 
The ASUS Rampage Extreme offers a plethora of features and overclocking options that should satisfy even the most seasoned overclocker. The ASUS Rampage Extreme supports Intel CPU's to 45nm and will accommodate DDR3-2000 modules up to 8GB. We can also see that the Rampage Extreme comes with the increasingly popular X-Fi soundcard which certainly makes a nice addition over the more traditional Realtek offering.
 
Let's head over the page to look at the ASUS Rampage Extreme's packaging and contents...


ASUS Rampage Extreme Motherboard Page: 2
Packaging and Contents
 
I must admit that I've always been a sucker for the slick packaging appeal of ASUS's Republic Of Gamer (R.O.G) motherboards. The familiar black and grey theme are very appealing and helps the product stand out without being overbearing.
 
Rampage Extreme package front Rampage Extreme package rear
 
The front of the ASUS Rampage Extreme box features the now familiar R.O.G logo and advertises quite blatantly that the ASUS Rampage Extreme is "Designed for overclockers". The rear of the box displays the impressive specifications of the ASUS Rampage Extreme.
 
Rampage Extreme sneak peak Rampage Extreme side view
 
Now ASUS likes to tease us a little with their R.O.G motherboards, and the Rampage Extreme is no different - I'm salivating heavily at the moment. The left hand side and underneath the top cover of the box provide us with a fleeting glance of the goodness contained within. It appeals to the voyeur in all of us I'm sure.
 
Inside top cover
 
On the flip-side of the top lid ASUS has continued to provide us with the features of the Rampage Extreme. Although the majority of the features here aren't particularly new, they make for a welcome addition and enhance the appeal of the motherboard in my opinion.
 
Continuing on...inside the ASUS Rampage Extreme's box lies the motherboard and an impressive array of accessories. To be honest, I've always loved ASUS' R.O.G accessories. The sheer volume of stuff makes you feel like you are getting better value for your dollar. We'll look at the motherboard shortly, but for now we'll concentrate on the accessory box.  Featuring a similar theme to the outer box (black and grey), the accessory box provides you with everything to get the motherboard set up, bar the kitchen sink. I have itemised the contents for you below:
 
* Fusion Block System Accessory
* Optional Thermal Kit for NB and MOS
* DIY Pedestal
* ASUS Optional Fan
* SupremeFX X-Fi Audio Card
* External LCD Poster
* 3 in 1 ASUS Q-Connector Kit
* UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
* Floppy disk drive cable
* SATA cables
* SATA power cables
* 2-port USB2.0 + IEEE 1394a module
* EL I/O Shield
* Thermal sensor cables
* Cable Ties
* User's manual
* Support CD
 
 Accessory box Inside accessory box
 
I've owned one ASUS R.O.G board previously - the Blitz Formula SE, and the ASUS Rampage Extreme provides a significant  improvement in the accessory bundle of the Blitz Formula SE. The first improvement is the inclusion of the ASUS Q-Shield. The Q-Shield makes a move away from the stereotypical backplate by removing the metal spring steel holders with a nicely padded foil backing. The foil backing ensures that the motherboard fits snugly against the backplate, but the absence of the spring steel holders means that they can no longer get in the way.
 
User manual and CD ASUS I/O backplate
 
The LCD poster has recieved an upgrade from the original unit, in that it now displays additional information to the use other than interpretations of obscure post numbers. The improved LCD poster can now cycle through key voltages and temperatures during a Windows session rather than just act as a clock (which is still an option if you so wish). This is very useful for monitoring true voltages, or at least what the motherboard interprets as true rather than making use of software-based monitoring applications. ASUS has also included one of the familiar clip-on fans which according to the manual is for mounting on the power regulation heatsink.
 
LCD poster, Power Fan and I/O backplate Contents
 
The remainder of the bundle is pretty much a bog standard lot now for an ASUS R.O.G motherboard. However, I do like the fact that ASUS has bundled wormdrive clips now for their Fusion block instead of the spring clips that came with the earlier motherboards.
 
MOSFET heatsink NB Fusion Block replacement
 
The ASUS Rampage Extreme comes with two additional heatsinks. The one on the left is to replace the existing low-profile one on the power regulation MOSFET's to the left hand side of the CPU socket. The taller heatsink provides a greater cooling surface area and subsequently you should see some drop in temperatures from that area if you use it. The second heatsink can be used to replace the Fusion waterblock if you decide that you don't want to water-cool the North Bridge.
 
ASUS SupremeFX X-Fi ASUS SupremeFX X-Fi_2
 
ASUS includes an Supreme FX X-Fi sound card. The supplied sound card is simply the onboard sound removed from the motherboard and instead applied as a PCIe x1 daughter board. By doing this, ASUS makes way on the actual motherboard PCB to include additional features.


ASUS Rampage Extreme Motherboard Page: 3
Motherboard Layout
 
The ASUS Rampage Extreme when based on first impresssions is an awesome looking motherboard. The black PCB with the black, red and grey theme of the included heatsinks really adds to its overall appeal. The motherboard feels significanly heavier than my ASUS Blitz Formula SE which is more than likely due to the combination of Copper and Aluminium heatsinks that snake their way around the South Bridge, North Bridge and MOSFET's surrounding the CPU socket area. ASUS have also included a heatsink directly above the Dimm's area which helps cool the ML (Multi Layer) capacitors underneath.
 
As the ASUS Rampage Extreme is primarilly deigned for overclockers, ASUS has incorporated multi-phase power management (or Extreme Engine in ASUS talk) into the motherboard. There are 3 ML capacitors in total - one on the reverse side of the CPU socket (seen below right); one near the North Bridge and one near the Dimm's which I alluded to before. The ML-capacitors are designed to enhance lower ESR and temperature which should provide smoother system voltage when overclocking.To compliment the excellent thermal dissipation properties of the motherboard, ASUS has incorporated its Stack Cool 2 circuitry into the PCB itself. Stack Cool 2 is essentially an extra layer that covers the entire motherboard in order to help alleviate heat build up.
 
The ASUS Rampage Extreme retains the now familiar blue and white theme for the vDimm, PCI and PCI-E slots, and solid polymer capacitors expected on such an high-end motherboard..
 
ASUS Rampage Extreme ASUS Stack Cool
 
The ASUS Rampage Extreme I/O area has been issued with a total of six USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one IEEE 1394 and a legacy PS/2 keyboard port . Also located above the top-most Gigabit Ethernet port is a switch for clearing CMOS should you run into trouble while overclocking.
 
The Rampage Exteme features two PCI slots, two PCI-E x16 slots and three PCI-E x1 slots. In most scenario's you will have access to at least two PCI slots and two PCI-E x1 slots for expansion cards. However if running an Crossfire setup this will be reduced significantly. The top PCI-E x1 slot (immediately below the elongated North Bridge cooler) is used if you choose to implement the supplied daughterboard SupremeFX X-Fi sound card.
 
Right at the bottom of the motherboard we see the inclusion of a IEEE 1394 port (handled by the VIA 6308P); a toggle, confirm, select, reset and power switch; BIOS Flashback jumper pins and another two USB 2.0 headers. Because the ASUS Rampage Extreme features a dual-BIOS, the jumper pins allow you to switch between a corrupted BIOS and over to the remaining working one. The Dual-BIOS chips can be seen at the end of the bottom PCI slot. The toggle, confirm and select buttons are to be used in conjunction with the LCD Poster and enable you to adjust component voltages on the fly. This is a very handy feature for those who bench regularly out of the case and eliminates a trip to the BIOS to adjust voltages.
 
The Winbond W83667HG-A is a recently released Super I/O controller, which not only provides support for legacy devices (PS/2 port, serial port, floppy drive), but also SMART FAN monitoring capabilities. It can be found in the lower left hand corner of the motherboard.
 
ASUS Rampage Extreme external I/O PCI-E and PCI x1
 
Moving on to the bottom right hand side of the motherboard we can see that there are yet more USB 2.0 headers, allowing for  6 USB 2.0 ports in total. In the bottom right hand corner we see the system panel connector. Looking at the lower left image we can see the inclusion of two ASUS' iROG IC's which are part of ASUS' motherboard management system.
 
ASUS has icluded eight SATA ports. Six of the SATA ports are on the leading edge and the remaining two situated immediaely behind them. The bottom two SATA ports offer ASUS' Speeding HDD functionality and the onboard RAID is controlled courtesy of the Silicon Image sil5723CNU controller. The Silicon Image controller can be seen immediately behind the Speeding HDD SATA ports. Due to the increased usage of SATA HDD's and  DVD Drives being used now-a-days, ASUS has only included one Primary  IDE connector on the edge of the motherboard.
 
Internal connectors HDD connectors
 
The ASUS Rampage Extreme is able to accommodate up to 8GB's of memory in both single channel and dual-channel configurations.
 
Continuing up the right hand side of the motherboard we can see the ATXPWR connector and above that an inclusion of the somewhat obsolete floppy connector.
 
RAM slots, ATX and floppy Top of RAM area
 
The CPU socket area despite being entirely surrounded by heatsink's is surprisingly spaceous and uncluttered. There's more than enough room in here to accommodate the largest of CPU coolers; waterblock's/DICE slug/evap head. I tested the socket area with the largest CPU cooler at my disposal - the Scythe Orochi, and there were no clearance issues to highlight.
 
Continuing around to the top left hand corner of the motherboard, we can see the EATX12V, LCD Poster and EL I/O connectors.
 
CPU socket area ATX12v
 
The ASUS Rampage Extreme is one of the new breed of motherboards to be fitted with ASUS' EPU 6 Energy. This chip basically provides total system power savings by detecting current PC loadings and intelligently moderating power in real-time. EPU 6 Energy however, will not work while the board is in an overclocked state. The EPU chip can be seen in the image below (left) just below the curve in the Copper heatsink.
 
Another feature of the ASUS Rampage Extreme that impressed me was the inclusion of spring-loaded screws which attach the heatsinks to the motherboard. The spring-loaded screws provide a significantly better surface contact for the heatsink to chip, and it makes for easier removal should you wish to use a 3rd party alternative.
 
ASUS EPU chip Easily removed heatsinks
 
Interestingly, ASUS felt the need to include a space on the South Bridge heatsink where you can include your name. Their idea behind this is beyond me, but hey I guess you can at least personalise the motherboard a little.
 
The Fusion block as I mentioned earlier can be changed over to a passive air cooler if you don't wish to utilise its water-cooling functionality. I found that the North Bridge remained acceptably cool with the Fusion block still atached, and subsequently, left the included passive heatsink in its box. The removal of two screws is all that is needed to change the coolers over should the need arise.
 
SB heatsink Fusion waterblock
 
We've now seen the ASUS Rampage Extreme from the hardware side of things; let's head over the page to see how well the BIOS can support the overclocking nature of this board...


ASUS Rampage Extreme Motherboard Page: 4
BIOS Options
 
When you first boot your computer you are greeted by an animated scrrnesaver with the R.O.G logo. It certainly looks better and more foreboding than the one on my ASUS Blitz Formua SE.
 
ASUS Rampage Extreme splash screen
 
In order for the ASUS Rampage Extreme to make full use of its spec it needs to have a BIOS capable of utilising and extracting every last ounce of performance. To be honest, the American Megatrends (AMI) fits the bill to a 'T'. If you're a tweaker or control fanatic then you're going to love this BIOS as it's a tweakers paradise. Upon entering the BIOS you are greeted by the now familiar 'Extreme Tweaker' section, which is great as it means that you can get straight down to business upon entering the BIOS.
 
CPU level up AI Overclock tuner
 
For those who aren't into tweaking as much as the next guy, the ASUS Rampage Extreme BIOS provides both Auto configuration and ' CPU Level UP' and 'Memory Level Up' function. These options essentially allows you to pick a new model of processor or uprated memory speed from the available list and the BIOS will automatically adjust the frequency/multiplier settings to bring your existing processor and/or memory up to the chosen speed. The ASUS Rampage Extreme BIOS also supports Extreme Memory Profiles provided you have DDR3 memory with XMP support.
 
The voltage tweaking options are far too numerous to mention, but pretty much everything is able to tweaked, probed and prodded. Those familiar with a DFI BIOS would feel well at home here. I have taken the liberty of providing some of the more common voltage options and included their configurations a little further down the page.
 
The introduction of Load Line Calibration and CPU GTLVref options in the BIOS are a welcome addition to the overclockers arsenal by allowing a significant reduction on CPU vDroop.
 
 Load Line Calibration CPU GTLV ref
 
ASUS Rampage Extreme voltages
 
Extreme Tweaker Menu 1 Extreme Tweaker Menu_2 
Extreme Tweaker Menu_3 Extreme Tweaker Menu_4
 CPU Clock Skew NB Clock Skew
 
In the 'Advanced' section of the BIOS there are a few familiar options so I won't go into too much detail here. But there are a couple of options that do bear mentioning. Under the 'LCD Poster and LCD Control' heading you are able to control what information is available on your LCD poster if you use that as an overclocking tool.
 
With the ASUS Rampage Extreme having a dual-BIOS you can also configure what happens when the worst happens. You are able to either switch to the other remaining BIOS or try to recover the BIOS that you are currently using.
 
Advanced screen LCD poster and LED control
Dual BIOS switch
 
Finishing off the configurable section of the BIOS is Asus' excellent voltage, temperature and fan speed monitoring system. Fans can be switched on/off at user-defined temperatures or run at percentages of their full speed all from within the BIOS and without the need for any additional software.
 
Power menu Fan control 1
Power menu Voltage control
 
ASUS also has their great EZ Flash utility which makes it considerably safer than doing it through Windows.
 
ASUS EZ Flash
 
Now that we've kicked the tyres and checked what's under the hood, let's take her for a spin.


ASUS Rampage Extreme Motherboard Page: 5
Test Setup & Overclocking
 
To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configuration used in this review can be seen below:
 
DDR2 setup
 
During the testing of the setup above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used before the benchmarking began, with a full defrag of the hard drive once all the drivers and software were installed, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard installations.

For the 3DMark and gaming tests a single card configuration was used.

To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:
 
Synthetic CPU & Memory Subsystem
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c
• Lavalys Everest 4.0

File Compression & Encoding
• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

Disk I/O Performance
• HDTach 3.0.4.0
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark 05
• 3DMark 06

3D Games
• Call of Duty 4
• Quake 4
• Unreal Tournament 3
 
 
Overclocking
 
With so many options available, moderate overclocks were easily gained through the AUTO options and Level up configurations. Better overclocks were accomplished tweaking the Vcore/NB/VTT voltages.
 
Higheast attainable fsb Highest overclock
 
You can see from the included CPU-Z screenshots (above) that the ASUS Rampage Extreme managed to extract just shy of 2000MHz out of my Q6600. This isn't too bad considering that most Quad's will top out around 500 FSB, and is no way a bad reflection on the motherboard - it's an overclocking beast.
 
Increasing the multiplyer to 9 the ASUS Rampage Extreme managed to take my Q6600 processor to over 3.8GHz. The process of overclocking on the board was a pleasure too, with very little adjustments outside of the usual FSB, Vcore and Memory needing to be made. The BIOS also felt extremely mature and recovered extraordinarily well from failed overclock settings.
 
During the benchmarking phase of the ASUS Rampage Extreme our Q6600 'G0' stepping processor will be clocked to 3.6GHz to prevent any bottlenecking.
 
Benchmark overclock DRAM Frequency
 
On to the benchmarks...


ASUS Rampage Extreme Motherboard Page: 6
Sisoft SANDRA 
SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility capable of benchmarking the performance of individual components inside a PC. Each of the benchmarks below were run a total of five times with the highest and lowest scores being discarded and an average being calculated from the remaining three.
 
 Sisoft CPU Dhrystone
 
Sisoft Whetstone
 
Sisoft Multimedia Int
 
Sisoft Multimedia Float
 
 
Lavalys Everest 
Everest is in many ways similar to Sisoft Sandra. Focusing mainly on software and hardware information reporting, Everest also comes with a benchmark utility suitable for testing the read, write and latency performance of the memory subsystem. Each of these benchmarks were performed a total of 5 times with the highest and lowest scores being discarded and an average calculated from the remaining 3.
  
Everest Memory Read
 
Everest Memory Write
 
Everest Memory Latency
 
 
Result Observations
 
Both the Rampage Extreme and Blitz Formula SE boards performed very closely to one another. However, in the Memory testing there is now quite a difference. This is most likely down to the extra bandwidth that DDR3 provides over the DDR2 of the Blitz Formula.


ASUS Rampage Extreme Motherboard Page: 7
ViMark 
 
ViMark is the latest addition to the OC3D motherboard testing process and a relatively new benchmarking application in general. Designed to take the inaccuracies and guesswork out of measuring the time taken to encode video files, ViMark produces easily comparable and consistent results for encoding raw video into Windows Media, Quicktime, AVI and Gif formats. As always, a total of 5 benchmark runs were performed with the highest and lowest scores removed and an average calculated from the remaining 3 scores.
  
 ViMark Windows Media
 
ViMark Apple
 
ViMark AVI
 
ViMark GIF
  
 
 7-Zip
 
7-Zip is an open source Winzip-style file compression utility that has the ability to compress and decompress many file formats including its own .7z compression scheme. 7-Zip also comes complete with its own benchmarking utility for gauging the compression and decompression speed of the system that it is installed on.
  
 7-Zip compression
 
7-Zip decompression
 
 
Result Observations
 
Once again a fairly even range of results with the DDR3 based Rampage Extreme showing an improvement over the DDR2 based Blitz Formula SE in 7-Zip compressions benchmarks.


ASUS Rampage Extreme Motherboard Page: 8
HDTach
 
HDTach is a free hard disk benchmarking program from SimpliSoftware. This benchmark is not only capable of producing results on hard disk access times but also CPU usage required during disk access. The "Long bench" was run a total of 5 times with the highest and lowest results being omitted and an average calculated from the remaining 3 results.
 
 HDTACH Burst Speed
 
HDTACH Average Read
 
HDTACH Random Access
 
HDTACH CPU Utilisation
 
 
SiSoftware
 
SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility capable of benchmarking the performance of individual components inside a PC. Each of the benchmarks below were run a total of five times with the highest and lowest scores being discarded and an average being calculated from the remaining three.
 
 Sisoft Disk Read Index
 
Sisoft Disk Read Access
 
 
Result Observations
 
Interestingly, the Rampage Extreme performs slightly better than the Intel P35 Blitz Formula SE chipset, even though both boards make use of the ICH9R controller.


ASUS Rampage Extreme Motherboard Page: 9
Cinebench
Cinebench 10 is a benchmarking tool based on the powerful 3D software Cinema 4D. The suite uses complex renders to guage the performance of the entire PC system in both single-core and multi-core modes. Testing was performed a total of 5 times with the highest and lowest results being omitted and an average created from the remaining 3 results.
  
Cinebench 1 x CPU 
 
Cinebench 4 x CPU
 
Cinebench openGL
  
 
3DMARK05 3DMARK06
3DMark is a popular synthetic gaming benchmark used by many gamers and overclockers to gauge the performance of their PC's. All 3DMark runs were performed a total of 5 times with the highest and lowest results being removed and an average calculated from the remaining 3 results.
 
 3DM05
 
3DM06
 
 
Results Observations
 
The extra bandwidth of DDR3 memory used on the Rampage Extreme doesn't seem to carry much weight when it comes to Cinebench and 3DMark, with many of the results only being slightly better than the DDR2 based Blitz Formula SE. Interestingly, the only real major difference appears to be during the OpenGL test


ASUS Rampage Extreme Motherboard Page: 10
Call of Duty 4
 
Call of Duty 4 is quite possibly the 'must have' online multiplayer FPS of 2007/8. This is the fourth incarnation of Infinity Wards best-selling series and is set to become a stalwart of the FPS genre. The training sequence was run 5 times with the fps being recorded via Fraps and the average fps then deduced.
 
Call of Duty 4 
 
 
Quake 4
Quake 4 is a game built on the Doom 3 engine. Benchmarking was performed using Quake4Bench and a custom timedemo recording along with 0xAA, 0xAF settings at a resolution of 1024x768. The benchmark was set to run a total of 5 times, with Quake4Bench automatically calculating an average result at the end of the run.
 
 Quake 4
 
 
Unreal Tournament 3
Unreal Tournament 3 is the highly anticipated game from Epic Games and Midway. The game uses the latest Unreal engine, which combines fast gameplay along with high quality textures and lighting effects. All benchmarks were performed using UTbench with a fly-by of the DM-BioHazard map. As usual, all benchmarks were performed 5 times, with the highest and lowest results being removed and an average calculated from the remaining three.
 
 Unreal Tournament 3
 
 
Results Observations
 
The ASUS Rampage Formula doesn't show the ASUS Blitz Formula SE a clear set of heels in the gaming performance testing either. Although it does slightly better in each benchmark, the difference between the two boards is negligable.


ASUS Rampage Extreme Motherboard Page: 11
Conclusion
 
So how well did the X48 based ASUS Rampage Extreme perform in today's review? ASUS Rampage Extreme
 
In this day and age, the motherboard market is a cut throat affair, and there is a need for products to really stand out from the competition. To be the same in this industry is to be non-existant. With the X48 chipset now an established performer in the market, and the very recent release of the P45 based motherboards showing some very impressive overclocks, it does beg the question as to what motherboard should you opt for. You could even throw the impending arrival of X58 and Nehalem just around the corner into the mix. Obviously, the choice is ultimately yours and at the end of the day I guess the final verdict will be based upon the hole in your wallet and overall performance.
 
Make no bones about it, the ASUS Rampage Extreme is an excellently crafted board. It oozes quality and appeal, and simply begs you to 'clock the nuts off it'. The features that ASUS have engineered into the board are thoughtful and worthwhile, and subsequently make the ASUS Rampage Extreme an ideal candidate as an overclockers board of choice. Sure the features don't quite extend to the insane like the Foxconn BlackOps, but I don't think it was ever meant to be that way. The motherboard provides a highly configurable and tweakable BIOS with components that'll push as hard as you want them to.The ASUS Rampage Extreme provides the perfect balance between form and function - it has killer looks but can push the performance envelope where and when you want it to.
 
Considering that the ASUS Rampage Extreme has only just been released to retail, I did have some trouble finding comparitive pricing for the motherboard. Scan Computers UK does have the Rampage Extreme available for £246.39 inc. 17.5% VAT, but you may find better prices over the next few weeks as it becomes more readily available. Although some people may baulk at the high price of the ASUS Rampage Extreme, it still comes in cheaper than the Foxconn BlackOps, and I think the asking price is still reasonable for a motherboard of this calibre. If you have a DDR3 based motherboard already but are looking for the creme-de-la-creme of the X48 boards for overclocking, then the ASUS Rampage Extreme will fit the bill nicely.
 
Now I just need to get myself a nice E8400 :)
 
The Good
+ Insane performance
+ Quality
+ Rock solid overclocking
+ Looks
+ Features
+ Bundled accessories
 
 
The Mediocre
* Some may baulk at the price
 
The Bad
- Absolutely nothing
 
 
OC3D Editors choice award
 
Overclock3D would like to thank ASUS for making the review of the Rampage Extreme a possibility
 
Discuss in our forum