ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Review


ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Review


When the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme was first launched we found it to be a performance powerhouse, albeit one that was slightly pricier than the competition. We gave it our Performance award, both as a nod towards that towering price tag and in expectation of an array of X79 motherboards appearing that gave similar performance for less money. As it was the LGA2011 socket never saw very many motherboards, and our long-term experience of the Extreme meant that if we were reviewing it today we'd give it our Gold award.

So it was with some trepidation that we tested the Rampage IV Black Edition. After all, we know the Extreme inside and out and it's been relentlessly reliable.

We're happy to report that the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition is brilliant. Ridiculously brilliant actually. Every single thing about it is refined and honed until it's probably the greatest motherboard available, which we think makes it the best of all time. Starting with the looks, we find the Red and Black that is the standard ROG colour scheme to be a bit passé. So the all black look of the Black Edition (funny that) looks more menacing and would free you up to choose any colour scheme you liked. The heatsink is particularly gorgeous, keeping all the power phases nice and cool and doing a great job of it. Usually you can choose performance or aesthetics, but the Black gives you both.

Speaking of performance it churned out some jaw dropping numbers. Comparing it to the Extreme with absolutely identical hardware and clock speeds the Black Edition was ahead in nearly every test. In some, such as the PC Mark tests, it was so far ahead that you would be forgiven for thinking this was an entirely new CPU or something. The overclocking is incredibly easy so that anyone on even the most humble setup would be able to extract some extra performance, and yet the amount of headroom available means that those with unlimited funding and a waterfall of LN2 will be able to bust world records. Many have already been claimed by the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition.

Awesome looks and performance would be enough to have us reaching for our wallets, but ASUS have gone above and beyond by including the largest amount of USB ports and SATA interfaces we can recall seeing. The star is definitely the CirrusLogic CS4398 and Texas Instruments TPA6120A2 that combine to form the SupremeFX HD audio. It's as good as the very best sound cards and there definitely has been no expense spared. The inclusion of onboard sound that would cost the thick end of £100 to purchase separately helps make the £400 price tag easier to swallow too. Wherever you look there is a new tweak, a slight improvement, something you hadn't noticed that shows this is so very much more than a mere colour change.

In every department there is enough with the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition to make it worthy of the highest recommendation, but when you take all those elements together it becomes staggeringly good and we can't think of a more desirable, better performing, feature rich motherboard on the planet. Unhesitatingly worthy of our OC3D Gold Award.


Thanks to ASUS for supplying the Rampage IV Black Edition for review. Discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.

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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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