ASUS X99 ROG Rampage V Extreme Review
In these days of mass consumerism, where people demand the very latest and so manufacturers are pumping out ever tinier incremental adjustments to their products merely to change the name or number on the end and rake in a whole raft of new people willing to part with lumps of cash, it's refreshing to see one reserving a particular model for only the very biggest changes. It must have been tempting to dust off the Rampage brand for the Z97s, but ASUS held off and so, after three years, we finally get a new flagship in the form of the Rampage V Extreme, and boy was it worth the wait.
In a lot of ways you can follow the lineage of the ROG range easily. Design philosophies of one model get honed and refined for the next one, until eventually everything is polished to a high sheen, and so it is with the Rampage V Extreme. Let's give you an example; With the addition of four extra DIMM sockets there is reduced PCB space to fit a heatsink to keep the power phases cool, vital on a motherboard designed for heavy overclocking, so the Rampage V Extreme takes the heatsink design of the Maximus VII Formula and places it in the spare space above the IO section. So you have lots of cooling capacity by thinking/designing vertically. This is especially useful when you take into account that the X97 quad-channel RAM seemed to be a good idea executed badly, so the eight DIMM slots just took up room, whereas the X99 DDR4 quad-channel is an absolute bandwidth monster, and it will be a cold day in hell before we'd willingly give up such performance.
This excellent layout continues with the spacing of the PCI Express 3.0 slots, enabling you to run quad dual-slot GPUs should the mood take you, and if you don't wish to then the PCIe x1 slot is low down so you don't instantly lose it the moment you install a graphics card. There are fan headers everywhere which assists in tidy cable arrangement for the neat-freaks amongst us, but also helps give you plenty of airflow in a case or sensible fan placements in a test-bench environment.
The benefits of the OC Socket will only become apparent in time. As we get more motherboards through our offices we will have a closer idea of how much of a difference it makes. Certainly when the ASUS patent expires it will appear on everything if it's a viable solution, or if Intel starts making grumbling noises about losing a Tick in their development cycle. However, even if it makes no difference at all, and we're positive it does, the performance of the Rampage V Extreme is precisely as staggering as you would expect. This is a no-quarter-given, mind-blowing piece of kit. It's a joy to overclock with all the tweaking options you can desire, and many you didn't think you'd need. The Memory overclocks like a champ, the CPU just the same, and the results back up this brilliance. Add in the features to make overclocking a stress-free experience and an easy to navigate BIOS and it's almost impossible to find fault.
Yes, it's like any quality product in that you get what you pay for, so you have to pay a little more for the many MANY features of the Rampage V Extreme, but given how expensive the i7-5960X is it would be churlish to berate it for price. The King is dead, long live the King, and he gets crowned with our OC3D Gold Award.
Thanks to ASUS for sending in the RVE you can dicsuss the Rampage V Extreme Review in the OC3D Forums