ASUS Rampage III Extreme Review World First
It's not often when reviewing something that we are impressed as much by what it actually delivers, as by what it promises to. The ASUS Rampage III Extreme is one such product.
The packaging is up to the usual ASUS standards, and anyone who has seen my preview on Youtube will know how great this looks in the flesh. Within the accessories box is everything you need to get up and running in a hurry, along with a comprehensive manual.
The board itself is really as gorgeous in the flesh as we hoped it would be from the preview pictures. The old adage is that a picture paints a thousand words, but having something in your hands paints millions. The quality of the heatsinks is outstanding with very accurate milling and they just look wonderful. Any doubts that the Mosfet heatsink would be a Toblerone or cheese-grater are quickly dispelled once you can view it in its natural environment.
Feature-wise ASUS have stuffed everything you can think of on the Rampage III Extreme. USB3, SATA6, Voltage Probes, Thermal Probes, OC Station header, USB headers the list goes on and on.
We especially liked so many of the little features and touches :
- - The LN2 switch that helps recover the processor from the frozen state that can occur when you've been using exotic cooling for too long.
- The jumper so you can select which of the two BIOS you wish to boot from.
- The dip switches that allows you to diagnose PCI Express problems without removing all your cards or, even worse, draining your loop.
- The 775 cooler mounts for those of us who wish to bring our cooling over from an older system.
- ROG Connect. The benefits of which have to be seen to be believed.
- In fact only one thing was slightly nigglesome. Given that this will be the new flagship ASUS motherboard, only having two SATA6 ports is disappointing. Considering how long you're likely to have this board in your possession ASUS really should have given us more.
- No fault of ASUS but more our own impatience, is the current instability of the BIOS. The level of performance we got, especially in overclocking, hint at power undreamt of in a single CPU solution and we just can't wait to get our hands on the final retail version to really give it a thrashing.
However you really need to take another look at the graphs to get a feel for what we have. If a pre-release, serial 001, sample with a very early BIOS Rampage III Extreme can match the long-tested and very mature Rampage II Extreme, this should be a belter by the time it's in the shops.