ASUS Rampage III Extreme Review World First

Conclusion

ASUS Rampage III          Extreme Review

Conclusion

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 :

    1. - 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 "Go" button that gives us the possiblity to have a BIOS setting of our choice available at the touch of a button.
    - 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.

 

 

 

   

We would like to thank Asus for the world exclusive, you can discuss our review in the forums.

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Most Recent Comments

26-03-2010, 06:50:46

tinytomlogan
Its finally here, the full RE3 review, have the tissues ready you are about to make a mess!

Continue Reading

26-03-2010, 08:28:31

killablade
Wow. Dear santa...

26-03-2010, 09:54:11

thestepster
man that is just amazing and i agree i totally love that ROG connect countless times ive been in windows when ive noticed in gettin bad vdroop and thot have to reboot to up the vcore a little this will totally eliminate things like that

26-03-2010, 18:45:51

cl0ck_ed
Great review Tom, appreciate the time you have put into it. A note though, on some of your graphs you have changed the scale to exaggerate the difference. Imo the scales should go from 0 throughout the article. One of the graphs at a glance appears to have a 'Massive'difference between the two boards but the results are 8.91 and 8.52 respectively.

Just a thought.

EDIT: Just watch your vid, very comprehensive on all the 'little' features.

Did you note the temperature of the x58 chip? Would anyone need to use the supplied large heatsink+fan jobby?

26-03-2010, 18:53:07

VonBlade
Our graphing software automatically scales, and if it begins at 0 all the time we'll need three monitor setups for CPU Queen results

27-03-2010, 05:15:42

w3bbo
Nice review m8. I'm liking the videos!

I'm not so sure about the graphs not starting from zero though as not doing this can make the differences between the two products exagerated, especially at a glance. It does however emphasize those differences so its horses for courses I guess.

I'm still not sold on the heatsinks or the colour scheme. Both are good looking but nothing innovating or exciting which we have come to expect from market leaders such as Asus. I guess I'd prefer something a bit more original for such an expensive piece of hardware and not a clone of the classifieds look.

Keep up the good work

27-03-2010, 06:54:45

alexhull24
Good review, I enjoyed the focus on the extras - they have to justify the extra price of these special bits of kit, especially nowadays when most, even midrange, boards can achieve decent clocks.

The PCI-E lane switches are a great idea, something I'd like to see on all good boards actually. The ROG connect also looks awesome, I think controlling the BIOS in windows is something that we've been missing for a long time. I do remember having machines in the past, say 10 years back, where you could change BIOS settings in windows though. Remote startup is cool too, something I'd really use if I had the board. I don't understand why an additional heatsink is required though. Why not include a better heatsink as stock? Perhaps make the fan optional instead?

Besides all that, 4.6GHz is really quite impressive, though I'll wait until that BIOS has matured before making any judgements. Certainly promising though, though looks like you'll have to review it over again when you've got an update. I'm sure that won't be too much of a chore ;-)

27-03-2010, 09:31:17

mayhem
excellent review mate

How ever the vids ... TOM YOU NEED SLEEP MATE ...................

other wise spot on every thing else.

27-03-2010, 10:32:26

tinytomlogan
Why does everyone keep saying I need sleep!

27-03-2010, 11:14:04

cl0ck_ed
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='mayhem'

How ever the vids ... TOM YOU NEED SLEEP MATE ...................
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='tinytomlogan'
Why does everyone keep saying I need sleep!
Lol, think they are referring to your eyes, looks like you have got hay-fever. ???

27-03-2010, 11:37:40

tinytomlogan
Naaaa just had a hard life, my paper round was all up hill

27-03-2010, 13:19:00

mayhem
because vid in first vid you can tell you were tired. you slurred your words a little. (might be early in the morning or late at night) but never the less if you listen properly you can hear it. And all so you eyes say you absolutely knackered with dark rings under them and you left eye has gone lazy in the vid. This happens when your tired some times.

You all so get lazy eye as well when your concentration but in this instance it looks like it because you totally bugged. I have the same problem my self and my lass tells me all the time.

But it still doesn't put off the fact your a dammed good video reviewer and im not picking fault in anyway. you asked and ive answered . please don't take office though bud.

27-03-2010, 13:48:51

tinytomlogan
I think thats just me tbh dude!

27-03-2010, 14:33:57

mayhem
i see the DimasTech Bench Table will that be a review on its own (new version). looks like new USB front port and looks as though hes sorted out the miss aligned 5 1/4" bay's as well all so a few other things noted that are different. will look forward to seeing the diffrances in it.

28-03-2010, 13:08:41

stock
Why no max bclk run?

28-03-2010, 15:38:00

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='stock'
Why no max bclk run?
Some one didnt read the review. The bios isnt even beta, more an alpha! It works but its not very stable, Asus were trying to rush me the retail bios but it never happened in the 3 days I had before the review went live!

If the 4.6ghz on an unstable bios is anything to go by it will be a stormer when all the creases are ironed out.

02-04-2010, 12:15:06

cl0ck_ed
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-395-AS&groupid=701&catid=5&subcat=1692

329.99 inc VAT pre-order. wow pricey. Should be as good as the classified for this price!!

03-04-2010, 00:17:04

Socks
Loved it dude.. I dont do the reading anymore, I simply watch the videos XD

24-04-2010, 21:05:22

Hurricane
How is the on board audio? Would you recommend and audio and in like the X-Fi Titanium?

27-04-2010, 08:30:07

Sunny Sahota
would love to see how well this overclocks with a retail BIOS, the i7 980x and some phase change cooling

09-01-2011, 08:03:24

HeliEye
Many thanks for a great review. On the strength of the review I purchased this mobo, and yes, it is a work of art in many ways, not just looks.

I had for years a core 2 Duo (3.0GHz) and felt the need or speed

So the list of goodies for my Christmas present to self :-

i7 980X Extreme

Asus Rampage III Extreme ROG

12GB Corsair i7 Extreme mem

Radeon VapourX HD7850

Crucial 128GB SSD SATA 6

ADATA 100GB SSD SATA 3

WD 500GB eSATA external backup drive (not permanently connected)

USB 1TB Maxtor (too slow.. now not used)

iCute 600W modular PSU

CoolerMaster HAF 912 case (Big 200mm Fan) Blissfully silent.

Mods: Just added another Coolermaster 200mm fan to top of case.

Have run it to 4GHz with no probs, but currently back to stock, as it's so damn fast, plus I'm not overly confident on the miriad of settings to get a good overclock.

I would need to upgrade the psu to look seriously at Over clocking, not sure it's worth the trouble?

I play Dirt2 online @1920x1080, the benchmark reported over a 100fps, which on the core2 duo was only 60fps.

Boot times? from when 'Starting Windows' appears to desktop 13.7 seconds, this was worse, before I removed 2 'mechanical' HD's, I didn't want to use one of the SSD's for paging file, as I heard this hammers them a bit and may reduce it's life? unless I was miss-informed?

Or... with 12GB mem, can I afford to kill the paging file option completely? then I could remove the last HD and be all SSD. I would be interested in your expert opinions on this.

Steve

09-01-2011, 09:27:33

adicool96
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliEye View Post

Many thanks for a great review. On the strength of the review I purchased this mobo, and yes, it is a work of art in many ways, not just looks.

I had for years a core 2 Duo (3.0GHz) and felt the need or speed

So the list of goodies for my Christmas present to self :-

i7 980X Extreme

Asus Rampage III Extreme ROG

12GB Corsair i7 Extreme mem

Crucial 128GB SSD SATA 6

ADATA 100GB SSD SATA 3

WD 150GB 10K RPM Raptor (not new)Just for paging file & win7 system auto backup

WD 500GB eSATA external backup drive.

USB 1TB Maxtor (too slow.. now not used)

iCute 600W modular PSU

CoolerMaster HAF 912 case (Big 200mm Fan) Blissfully silent.

Mods: Just added another Coolermaster 200mm fan to top of case.

Have run it to 4GHz with no probs, but currently back to stock, as it's so damn fast, plus I'm not overly confident on the miriad of settings to get a good overclock.

I would need to upgrade the psu to look seriously at Over clocking, not sure it's worth the trouble?

I play Dirt2 online @1920x1080, the benchmark reported over a 100fps, which on the core2 duo was only 60fps.

Boot times? from when 'Starting Windows' appears to desktop 13.7 seconds, this was worse, before I removed 2 'mechanical' HD's, I didn't want to use one of the SSD's for paging file, as I heard this hammers them a bit and may reduce it's life? unless I was miss-informed?

Or... with 12GB mem, can I afford to kill the paging file option completely? then I could remove the last HD and be all SSD. I would be interested in your expert opinions on this.

Steve
Ummm either im blind or i cant see the videocard and you seriously need to get a more powerful psu more like 850 to 1200 watts.

09-01-2011, 10:07:36

AMDFTW
go for the 970 instead of the 980x fella,look at mushkin RAM aswell

deffo get a better PSU fella,not sure why you need to many HDD and SSD's lol

and i cant see no vid card ither

09-01-2011, 10:13:12

adicool96
Yay that means im not blind woohoo, amd i think he already has the rig.

09-01-2011, 11:05:24

HeliEye
Quote:
Originally Posted by adicool96 View Post

Ummm either im blind or i cant see the videocard and you seriously need to get a more powerful psu more like 850 to 1200 watts.
Oops a small brain-fart on my side.. corrected now (VapourX HD5870)

I take on-board the comments re: PSU, although it seems to be running fine and cool.

So a 1K psu should do it then, only downside, under-used big psu's are less efficient & waste power.

Any specific make recommendations for a good psu?

Too many HD's? there's only 2 SSD's and currently 1x Raptor, the other drives are only plugged in (external eSATA) when needed.

I still need to workout if I can drop the Raptor & the win paging file as I have 12GB Mem, then I'll be all SSD and a bit faster?

Steve

09-01-2011, 11:29:06

adicool96
Take a look at corsair psu's and modern psu's have efficiency even when unused according to ratings so no worries there.

09-01-2011, 12:08:10

AMDFTW
i just seen that and though thats alot of space lol

Crucial 128GB SSD SATA 6

ADATA 100GB SSD SATA 3

WD 150GB 10K RPM Raptor (not new)Just for paging file & win7 system auto backup

WD 500GB eSATA external backup drive.

USB 1TB Maxtor (too slow.. now not used)

10-01-2011, 15:46:17

HeliEye
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMDFTW View Post

i just seen that and though thats alot of space lol

Crucial 128GB SSD SATA 6

ADATA 100GB SSD SATA 3

WD 150GB 10K RPM Raptor (not new)Just for paging file & win7 system auto backup

WD 500GB eSATA external backup drive.

USB 1TB Maxtor (too slow.. now not used)
Hehe it was worse before, I had 500, 400 & 150GB drives in there, plus the ADATA 100GB as system boot disk.

the WD500GB eSATA is not permanently connected, only for data in/out

I'm testing NO paging file now, 2 days so far no probs yet, I might get away with it with 12GB mem?

If it works? I'll remove the only mechanical drive left (Raptor) permanently.

The reason for 2 SSD's? I already had the ADATA one, I saw the Crucial one was SATA 6, so bought that just for the boot drive.

My work involves lots of Video processing & converting, often Big files, at least now this processing is Very fast, I load them to the fast SSD and work on them from there.

Cheers

Steve

11-01-2011, 11:08:58

HeliEye
The last mechanical HD Raptor 150GB now removed, all solid state now.

And, still working fine (3 days) with No paging file, so far so good

Steve

11-01-2011, 15:35:34

adicool96
What bout the psu have you got a better wattage one and also if you wanna overclocm you should get a decent cpu cooler like the noctua nh-d14

12-01-2011, 07:48:34

HeliEye
Quote:
Originally Posted by adicool96 View Post

What bout the psu have you got a better wattage one and also if you wanna overclocm you should get a decent cpu cooler like the noctua nh-d14
Hi adicool96, Yes I just checked out my system on asus's power supply checker, oops say's I need 700W min

Ok I bow to all you guys with the experience on psu's, I'll checkout Corsair's offerings, maybe a D14 as well.. oh dear, more expense..

Cheers

Steve

#Edit: Just ordered this:-

850W Corsair Pro Gold AX850, Modular, 80 PLUS Gold, 90% Eff', SLI/CrossFire, EPS 12V, 120mm Fan

Noctua NH-D14 Dual Radiator and Fan Quiet CPU Cooler

..Sorted

12-01-2011, 11:26:12

adicool96
Nice, congrats on your upgrade post many pics.

12-01-2011, 11:32:03

tinytomlogan
Can we move this to a relevent thread in the forums now please guys
Reply
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