ASUS Rampage II Extreme X58 Motherboard Preview

The Board

The Board
 
The ASUS Rampage II  Extreme, unlike the ASUS P6T Deluxe motherboard that we previewed earlier, comes in an EATX format. This has been done purely to ensure that everything can fit on the motherboard PCB without being too crowded. Looking at the image (below left) we can see why. In similar fashion to the Rampage Extreme, the Rampage II Extreme features a number of heatsinks to cool down critical components, and these are attached to the motherboard via spring-loaded screws. This ensures a better contact with those components (chipset, MOSFET etc) and ensures that the weight of these heatsinks doesn't become an issue. The CPU socket is riveted onto the PCB courtesy of the Aluminium backplate.
 
ASUS Rampage II Extreme front view ASUS Rampage II Extreme rear of motherboard
Screwed on backplate screwed backplate_2
 
Beginning our tour of the ASUS Rampage II Extreme motherboard, we can see the inclusion of the heatsinks immediately below the CPU socket. The heatsink with the ROG logo on provides cooling to the 3-Phase power circuit underneath it that feeds power to QPI/DRAM and the NB.
 
In the lower left-hand corner of the motherboard, we can see the black PCIE 1x slot for the SupremeFX daughter-board, and below that, three PCIe 16x slots for multiple graphics card setups. According to ASUS documentation, when running two graphics cards (blue slots) they will both provide x16 bandwidth, but when running Tri-SLI or three cards in CrossfireX mode the top slot provides 16x bandwidth and the remaining two provide 8x. Additionally, there is one remaining PCIe 1x and PCI slot, but if running a multiple GPU setup these will be lost.
 
QPI cooling PCIE x16 slots
Dual BIOS and iROG SATA ports and IDE plug
 
Along the bottom edge of the Rampage II Extreme we have 1x IEEE1394; 1x floppy drive; 3x SATA (including extra 1394 module) ports and the front panel connectors. You'll also notice that the Rampage II Extreme has a dual BIOS setup and the jumper pins for selecting which BIOS you are going to boot from is immediately above the BIOS chips themselves. We can also see the inclusion of the iROG microcontroller behind the SATA ports which controls onboard temperatures, onboard LED's, Stepless voltage adjustment and BIOS Flashback.
 
Moving up the right hand side of the Rampage II Extreme we have seven SATA ports, one of which (black one) is controlled by an additional controller. Next to the SATA ports we have the obligatory IDE port. 
 
There are six memory DIMM slots, which as we know will be need to be able to run at 1.65v or lower to prevent damaging your precious Core i7. These are nicely presented in the now familiar ROG blue and white theme, instead of the orange and black of the Ai Lifestyle motherboards. Under the large black heatsink there are 3-phase power ML capacitors for the memory DIMM's, as well as the SB chipset. The ASUS Rampage II Extreme also provides DDR3-1800(OC) memory support. The additional real estate of the Rampage II Extreme also means that there is plenty of room between the topmost graphics card and the memory DIMM slots. This means that there won't be any fouling of the DIMM clips against the graphics card, which unfortunately plagues motherboards that utilise the ATX format.
 
Large heatsink DIMM slots
TweakIt buttons and ProbeIt detection points
 
Situated next to the memory slots is an area that should draw the attention of many overclocking enthusiasts. In similar style to the X48-based Rampage Extreme, its younger sibling receives the same TweakIt buttons that allow voltage tweaking on-the-fly in Windows. Immediately below the TweakIt buttons are the eight voltage detection points that the 'ProbeIt' patch cables can be used with to measure voltages. Measurable voltages are: DRAM; ICH_PCIE; ICH; IOH_PCIE; IOH; QPI/DRAM; CPU_PLL, and CPU vCore.
 
CPU socket area MOSFET cooling
Rear I/O ports
 
The CPU socket area is reasonably clean; however, those who prefer more extreme cooling methods may have issues when it comes to preparing the socket area against condensation. In ASUS' defense, the socket area has been decked out with low-profile solid capacitors, so they shouldn't be too much cause for concern. Once again, the only way around this would have been to go with digital PWM like DFI, but this would add significantly to the cost of the motherboard. Additionally, there are 16 Ferrite chokes situated around the CPU socket in an 8 + 8 configuration.
 
The rear I/O panel features more than enough connectivity options with: 6x USB 2.0; 2x ethernet; 1x PS2 keyboard; 1x IEEE Firewire and 1x e-SATA ports. ASUS has also included the now standard CLR_CMOS button which makes things easier if you're pushing your hardware to the limit.
 
Now that we've managed to have a look at the ASUS Rampage II Extreme's packaging, bundle and the board itself, let's head over the page to see what conclusion we can draw about the motherboard...
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Most Recent Comments

24-10-2008, 04:32:02

PV5150
Overclock3D were given the opportunity to preview the ASUS Rampage II Extreme in the lead-up to Core i7's release next month.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...034915401s.jpg

Check out the preview here

24-10-2008, 05:43:53

Jaster
dribble ... did i spot a stick of corsair in one of the pictures...does this mean you have tested it but are bound by the NDA....bum...we want hard figures...

24-10-2008, 05:50:39

PV5150
Yes we are bound by the NDA, and no we won't be breaking it. But feel free to continue dribbling...I haven't stopped myself

24-10-2008, 05:51:45

Jaster
lmao...it does look tasty though....very very tasty....i dont believe you...I think you just haven't got the hardware yet...go on prove me wrong ...

Hey its worth a try

24-10-2008, 06:02:20

PV5150
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
lmao...it does look tasty though....very very tasty....i dont believe you...I think you just haven't got the hardware yet...go on prove me wrong ...
Well I didn't draw those pictures in the preview with crayon You will see the full review soon enough as it's being benched as I type this

24-10-2008, 06:11:29

Jaster
now your just rubbing it in....

24-10-2008, 06:15:24

PV5150
Maybe just a little Anyway you looking to getting an X58 board and Bloomfield CPU when they arrive mate?

24-10-2008, 06:27:09

Jaster
depends on the reviews...I built a system about 12 months back (am2 6400, 4GB OCZ, EVGA 9800GX2 (got it for 171 quid new due to a mistake on a leading sellers website)) that was only designed to last 18 months before a full beastly upgrade...was gonna go wolfdale but as news about the nehalems came about I just kept putting it off.....I've got £2000 saved up...so am looking at a very nice rig to complement my media setup...(46' Samsung LCD, getting an extra 20/22 inch monitor (we work with a company who does touch screens so may go touch screen), and DTS HD Surround AMP)...was looking at the skeleton case as well however may go lian li as they have more room for the EATX FF. If the reviews are good I may take the plunge, if not I may wait a bit longer. And contenplating another 9800gx2, rather then ditching it. Theres so many available options I get easily sidetracked by emerging tech......arrrgggghhhh...it does my head in

24-10-2008, 06:27:23

JN
*wonders how much the contents of my C: would auction for right now*

24-10-2008, 06:29:41

Jaster
right thats it....(slams door in hissy fit).....I'm not coming back on this site till there out....

24-10-2008, 06:33:57

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
right thats it....(slams door in hissy fit).....I'm not coming back on this site till there out....
Hahah....All I can say is that you did the right thing in waiting.

24-10-2008, 06:35:28

PV5150
Yeah it's always fun deciding whether to purchase new tech the moment it's out, or whether you sit back and wait. This time around I hope to be building a new rig on release day

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
*wonders how much the contents of my C: would auction for right now*
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
right thats it....(slams door in hissy fit).....I'm not coming back on this site till there out....
ROFL. All in good time Padwan

24-10-2008, 06:37:03

Jaster
I did have a feeling, after the bean incident I decided to go back to my original setup for a few months..(1 year old+bowl of beans+Q9300+antec 900 top fan not working and grill removed due to it being cleaned+me not paying attention= instant RMA) ... see your leaking info without knowing it

24-10-2008, 06:59:36

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
... see your leaking info without knowing it
*Checks for holes*

Nah....I think its just a really slow puncture.

24-10-2008, 07:01:21

Jaster
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
Hahah....All I can say is that you did the right thing in waiting.
Intel officianados are coming to get you for that comment

24-10-2008, 07:05:31

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
Intel officianados are coming to get you for that comment
Hopefully they'll give me a big fat cheque for helping to promote their latest product........but I doubt it

24-10-2008, 07:13:11

Jaster
what...arent free samples enough...or do you lot have to cage fight over industry supplied samples....

24-10-2008, 07:29:57

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
what...arent free samples enough...or do you lot have to cage fight over industry supplied samples....
I've actually hired a hitman to follow DHL vans out of Intels factory. Once he has confirmed that the required goods are on board (by means of X-Ray vision), he then takes out the driver with a well placed shot to the head and drives the van all the way to OC3D.

24-10-2008, 07:45:55

Jaster
ahhh i see....but obviously smuggling such precious goods through customs would be difficult...and he'd probably have to take the slow boat from china...by the time he gets back with said products...Intel will have released there next socket

24-10-2008, 08:00:09

Rastalovich
I think the layout of the board has been pretty hurried together.

There are many things that could be either omitted or moved to have kept it at ATX spec. Floppy control, oversized feel-nice buttonage - far more important. Being prepared to go with the expanded ATX goes against the grain in terms of tech getting smaller, or requiring less space. Server mobos are of this size with ofc 2 sockets on them and an array of 8 dimm.

The slots are a little concerning, however the soundcard takes 1 factor out of it and it is mainly looking for people, gamers, wanting to stick gfxcards into. Creative ? didn`t figure on that myself. I knew there would be a leaning as Creative are kind of a monopoly, but XFi & 7.1, be nice if that works well with Vista. I can`t get the 2xSATA pciex1 cards in them due to the proximity of the cooler. However they work fine in the gfxcard slots (not alot of people know u can do that)

It`s quite mysterious that the pciex1 slot & card are planned for, with the ommision of conventional i/o plate placements, giving the option to exclude it in favor for.. an Auzen-Creative based sound card ? On maybe a pci slot u can get at with the xfire/sli bridges.

No doubt this is going to perform darn well, along with the other board on preview. Only another 4 or 5 variations of the same thing to come up with and the fleet will be out.

If I were hell bent on looking out for this edition, I`d perhaps hang out for the regular ATX size variant that will follow.

24-10-2008, 08:07:21

ionicle
aye, EATX ftl

also, why have they not decked it out with usb ports? you could fit a good 12 - 15 on that backplate, but they havent...

i mean, modern era, people use usb everything, can never have too many...

25-10-2008, 05:44:28

PV5150
It has the same amount of USB ports as the Rampage Extreme, and I found those more than ample. USB keyboard and mouse, pinter, plus one for external HDD still leaves me with 2 spare.

25-10-2008, 11:01:51

Ghosthud1
i think ill just stick with my q9450 and p45 maximus formula 2, good enough for me right now and the x58 and core i7's are not appealing to me yet, but im just going to keep saving until i get fed up.

25-10-2008, 14:36:10

ionicle
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='PV5150'
It has the same amount of USB ports as the Rampage Extreme, and I found those more than ample. USB keyboard and mouse, pinter, plus one for external HDD still leaves me with 2 spare.
i have to have a usb hub on my main pc, it has 8, but thats not enough

usb mouse

keyboard

misile launcher

bluetooth adapter

wifi adapter

card reader

wire for phone

wire for mp3 player

EHD

and two for my usb sticks..

25-10-2008, 16:52:21

Rastalovich
... note to self, order missile launcher.

25-10-2008, 18:57:17

gotmaxpower
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
... note to self, order missile launcher.
:rollingla

As for the motherboard, I have to say that the X58's are all very nice looking motherboards. Same thing goes for the Foxconn 'Blood Rage'.

Shame about the EATX, thats a bit dissapointing, however, anyone willing to buy something as expensive as this will have the spare change to invest in a full tower case.

25-10-2008, 19:21:44

Ghosthud1
that bloodrage is freakin the best looking board ive seen

27-10-2008, 12:35:28

Jaster
problem is only 3 memory slots, for a board that comes with its own waterblock that seems a bit odd as the chipset is only dealing with one triple memory channel, hhmmmmm, whats there gameplan, depending on the price i think it maybe a bit of a turkey, looks bloody gorgeous though.

30-10-2008, 15:03:43

monkey7
Darn, when is this NDA going to be lifted? At the i7 release?

When was that, anyway? I've read between the 10th and 19th of November

31-10-2008, 08:18:11

Jaster
now i'm getting excited...just got word from our distributor on I7 pricing for 2 1336 mobo's and 3 I7 CPU's...there being added for preorder as I type

31-10-2008, 08:24:17

monkey7
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jaster'
now i'm getting excited...just got word from our distributor on I7 pricing for 2 1336 mobo's and 3 I7 CPU's...there being added for preorder as I type
Ohhh can you tell us?

31-10-2008, 08:27:47

Jaster
don't see why not...check our retail site here from what ive been told more info/pricing will be added through the day...so check back frequently...

04-11-2008, 11:01:29

kabalah70
You state that if you have three video cards they are x16/x8/x8.

What if you have a memory appliance or RAID card x8 plugged into the single white PCI-E x16 slot and two x16 video cards in the two blue slots. Do you still get x16/x16 for the video cards?

This is very important for me to know.

Thanks.

13-11-2008, 15:57:35

AlienMadness
Can anyone confirm the Form factor?

Asus's site says ATX. Review says EATX.

Link to site omitted

"ATX Form Factor, 12" x 10.6" (30.5 cm x 26.9 cm)"

Thanks

13-11-2008, 15:59:25

AlienMadness
Can anyone confirm the Form factor?

Asus's site says ATX. Review says EATX.

@

news_show.aspx?id=13130

"ATX Form Factor, 12" x 10.6" (30.5 cm x 26.9 cm)"

Thanks

14-11-2008, 02:51:55

°TheMadDutchDude°
It is an EATX format. This means you might need a new case if you don't have an EATX case yet, they are quite expensive although I think there might be some cheaper ones out there, I just don't know where to look LOL

Unfortunately I won't be going down that road anymore as I do not want to buy a new case, my Antec Nine Hundred is fine

14-11-2008, 05:29:58

Rastalovich
I wouldn`t buy it merely on the basis that it`s an eATX, if u have to go through so many changes.

There are so many ATX size ones coming out, including some well designed ones.

Saw a great Intel one the other day where they moved the dimm slots and the bridges.

This one has been thrown together imo.

14-11-2008, 10:49:33

AlienMadness
Well, I already purchased my case, in prep for all the new stuff coming out. I purchased a Li-Lian a17-a. So at this point I am stuck with ATX (which I prefer, don't want some huge box in the corner).

Sizes from Wiki

Mini ATX 11.2 inches (284 mm) 8.2 inches (208 mm)

Standard ATX 12 inches (304.8 mm) 9.6 inches (243.8 mm)

EATX (extended ATX) 12 inches (304.8 mm) 13 inches (330.2 mm)

WTX (workstation ATX) 14 inches (355.6 mm) 16.75 inches (425.4 mm)

from Asus' website for thos ROGII: ATX Form Factor, 12" x 10.6" (30.5 cm x 26.9 cm)"

This MB comes right inbetween the ATX and EATX sizes.... so that is what was confusing.

your probably right on how the MB was thrown together... but haven't really had issues with Asus's stuff. Maybe I will just go with the P6T instead....

14-11-2008, 16:06:59

monkey7
The P6T is quite known for its overclockability (at least in the one i7 o/c thread I could find). If you want to overclock, you can disable to 130W TDP limit in the bios.

13-03-2009, 12:31:41

Homeuser
Disreguard my specs here in my profile, as this is what I want to have. But my question is, What kind of psu do I need for this? I was looking at a Corsair 750 watt and was hopeing this was enough...any thoughts????

13-03-2009, 15:02:41

w3bbo
A 750w corsair will be more than enough. It depends what you are planning on plugging into the motherboard but a 750w will be plenty for all but the ultra highend setups.

13-03-2009, 16:21:28

Homeuser
Ok, thanks...I am only putting on:

1 x Nvidia 7800 GT video card, for now...maybe more later, but I want to save some money.

I will have probably 3-4 hard drives hooked up. (All SATA Drives).

3 x Optical Drives, 2 x DvD Player/Burner, 1 x CD Player/Burner,

2 x Monitors, many USB devices....

1 External TB Hard Drive probably gonna hook up via eSata now, since this board has it.....

OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2G 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory

APEVIA X-JUPITER G-Type X-JUPITERG-BL Blue Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case that has 4 fans installed.

13-03-2009, 16:28:24

w3bbo
700w is most likely overkill for that setup but it should give you a fair amount of 'future proofing' if there is such a thing.

13-03-2009, 16:36:20

Homeuser
Ok, Thank you very much.......
Reply
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