ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Review


Since the launch of the Rampage IV Extreme it's been the backbone of our graphics card test rig here at OC3D Towers, so it's fair to say that we know the ins and outs of it probably better than the ASUS R&D team. It's been absolutely bombproof in its reliability, never minding the endless hardware swapping and mad bouts of overclocking we've subjected it to.

So you can safely say that when we cast our eyes upon the Black Edition we were amazed that there was far more going on than a merely palette swap. It would have been so easy to keep the reliable Extreme and switch the colour scheme, but ASUS have pared the board right back and released something so different, and yet the same, that if it was called the Rampage V we wouldn't have batted an eye lid.

You're already familiar with the Rampage IV Extreme, so we'll be focussing our attention on what is new to the party with the Black Edition, and it's fair to say it's more than you might expect.

Technical Specifications

Now it's not only the colour scheme that's changed on the Rampage IV Black Edition. In keeping with the endless refinement we'd expect from ASUS there have been the following changes ;

Memory now supports 2666MHz and 2800MHz out of the box. Memory has always been the weak point of the X79 chipsets and so it's great to see an improvement in the supported speeds. Bluetooth support has been bumped from the old 2.1 specification to the latest 4.0 version, and in keeping with the wireless world that we live in the Black supports 802.11n by default. It's always nice to have onboard WiFi. 

Power has been changed too. As well as the improvement from the v2 of the Digi+ to v3, the Black comes with 60A chokes, 4 way power optimisation and additional GPU power only requires a Molex rather than the 6-pin PCI needed by the Extreme. USB ports have been greatly increased to a total of 10 rear and 8 front, split between USB3.0 and 2.0. It's good to see the majority of the ports are at the rear as well, with 6 of them being the full speed USB 3.0 protocol.

Sound is the real change though. Whereas the Extreme just utilised the Realtek ALC898, the Black Edition has the full SupremeFX HD offering, which combines the CS4398 analogue converter and TPA6120A2 headphone amplifier to provide the equivalent of an onboard Phoebus sound card!

ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Review  

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Most Recent Comments

13-11-2013, 17:56:42


It's been two years to the day since the launch of the Rampage IV Extreme. And now it's back, in black *cue AC/DC*

Continue ReadingQuote

14-11-2013, 04:06:12

Good review Tom, definetly something I'll keep my eye on.Quote

14-11-2013, 05:07:10

nice review, Tom will you be replacing the bench rig with this and 4960X?Quote

14-11-2013, 05:11:04

Originally Posted by MrKambo View Post
nice review, Tom will you be replacing the bench rig with this and 4960X?
I cant really for GPU reviews, theres far too many in the graph to risk it being a bit out. Motherboard reviews wouldnt matter too much but probably not is the quick answer.Quote

14-11-2013, 05:13:16

Very nice looking board, £400 though. Ouch. But I guess if your getting built-in audio that is as good as the best of sound's not that bad.Quote

14-11-2013, 18:43:34

Thank you very much for this review Tom. Long awaited! You covered everything, also watched the video, what a beautiful creation this board is.

I think $500 (according to Newegg) is a bit excessive...but we all know you get what you pay for.

I have been waiting for a board before buying the 4930k, the wait is over.

Over the past 6 years that I have been using ASUS motherboards I have had plenty of ups and down with them, but in all honesty I really have become almost "dependent" (more like 100% comfortable) with them.

Thanks again for the review!Quote

14-11-2013, 19:09:37

I'm tossing up between this and a mini-ITX system using the Impact and a CaseLabs S3. A price difference of around 2 grand loaded up, but able to water-cool both.Quote

14-11-2013, 22:51:55

I have had one of these on order for ages and I won't be able to get my hands on it until the end of next week. When it does arrive I can put my four 290Xs to work.Quote

14-11-2013, 23:51:40

Having gone through the review, for me personally I see no reason to upgrade. I own the rampage iv extreme already and yes, sound probably is the weak point, but I would sooner shell out a couple hundred dollars for a card to fix this than overhaul the whole motherboard just to get better sound. As for colour, guess I'll need to get some decent paint and brushes to fix it....Quote

30-11-2013, 13:41:41

Still waiting on mine, ordered it last month but the stocks still not hit EU apparently. Looks great though and cant wait, new rig should be good too with this as a base. Anyone else still waiting on theirs?Quote

02-12-2013, 07:23:27

One thing I noticed on the pics is there are only 4 full length PCI-E slots rather than the 5 the original extreme had.

It's only going to hit a very small amount of users, however when I had three 7970's in tri-fire (the XFX DD Black edition) the spacing the central pci-e slot, which I believe made it 16x,8x,8x, actually reduced temps on air by a significant amount due to the better spacing. It's a shame as the PCI-E options on the original RIVE this was one of main reasons that swayed me for that board.

I'm always switching GPU setups around with different configs and this was very helpful when using any 3 card setup. With the black edition 3 cards will have to sit against each other as you would in a quad card setup.

This is a personal limitation though and most people probably would not care too much about it. I just thought it might be something to mention anyway.Quote

20-02-2014, 09:48:16

has anybody that used this board felt the need to put a boards blocks on it??? Cant seem to find any decent intel on whether it benefits greatly from it or not. I dont plan any super crazy overclocks but I do plan on overclocking it. Plus running 7970 xfire.Quote

20-02-2014, 09:57:46

Originally Posted by S_I_N View Post
has anybody that used this board felt the need to put a boards blocks on it??? Cant seem to find any decent intel on whether it benefits greatly from it or not. I dont plan any super crazy overclocks but I do plan on overclocking it. Plus running 7970 xfire.
My original RE4 thats in one of the bench rig has had the chipset fan turned off since it became avail in the bios update and pretty much only ever been raged since - never had any issues.Quote

20-02-2014, 10:04:29

cool well the only reason I'm even asking is I re-watched your vid on it again yesterday and you mentioned it (X79 chipset) felt noticeably warm to the touch. But you also said you didnt have it in a case so normal case fans air should negate that. I have 13 fans in my case (yes its still quiet) 10 are used on my 420 and 280 rads push pull the other 3 2 are on a 240mm monsta rad the other is exhaust. Most likely taking the monsta out with the redo coming next week, since the only reason I put it in was 1 because I can and 2 the 9370 gets hot lol. I'm dropping 70TDP out of the system so I dont think I'll need the extra rad. plus making tubing look good with 3 rads is a bytch.Quote

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