ASUS Rampage III Extreme Review World First
Test Setup and Overclocking
There is no point in having a premium motherboard if you don't use premium parts. For this reason we spared no expense in making sure the hardware was capable of being pushed to the limit.
Motherboard : ASUS Rampage III Extreme
CPU : Intel Core i7 980x
RAM : 6GB Corsair Dominator GT @1333mhz
GPU : ATI 5870 1GB
PSU : OCZ 1000w Gold PSU
HDD : 160GB Western Digital
Monitor : Samsung 2433 24" @ 1920x1200
OS : Windows 7 Ultimate 64
We've already proven in our review for the i7 980X that it's perfectly capable of 4.5GHz, albeit not stable, on the Rampage II Extreme and so we were hoping that, although this is a VERY BETA BIOS, it could at least give us something approaching that thanks to the extra technology and development that has gone into this model.
Wow were we in for a shock. Keeping everything at sensible levels until a more stable BIOS arrives, we easily hit 4.6GHz, on air, without heat issues.
Stunning doesn't begin to cover it.
Naturally this comes with both bad news, and a piece of fantastic news, so let me get the bad news out the way first.
Similarly to our results on the Rampage II, the PC was not at all stable at this speed. We could have got it stable with huge volts and things, but as this is a very early BIOS we thought it was best to return to stable overclocking later on in the year.
The good news though, is that not only did we obtain a 1.3GHz overclock but that ASUS have assured us the BIOS will be stable by the time the Rampage III Extreme hits the shelves. Nearly every manufacturer goes for absolute performance first, and then seeks stability, so this is not a change from the norm.
But 4.6GHz from an unstable BIOS? Without much tweaking! We're drooling already at what this is capable of in retail trim.
Ok benchmarking time.