ASUS ROG Rampage III Extreme LGA1366 Motherboard Preview

Author: 3oh6
Date: March 14, 2010
Product Name: ASUS ROG Rampage III Extreme LGA1366 Motherboard
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Feature Spotlight: ROG Connect

There are a plethora of features on this motherboard. We have pointed out a couple in the layout section, things like the on-board voltage probe points and the mystery "Go Button" (which is actually a sort of safety boot configuration). What we are going to briefly look at right now, however, is the ROG Connect software package. The reason for this is that it is actually pretty cool and we have found it surprisingly useful.

We have used the RC Poster, and RC Remote software the most out of the whole package. Pretty much the entire time we have been testing with the motherboard, we have had these two programs open on another machine. These two pieces of software offer diagnostic help by identifying where POST failed, and also assist in keeping us lazy as we can remotely turn on or off the machine.

The real heart of the whole RC movement is RC TweakIt, a relic from the original Rampage Extreme that introduced TweakIt. From here we have full access to the system. BCLK, PCI-E frequency, and almost every voltage option that we have in the BIOS. In addition to the controls, we also have fan speed, temperature, and voltage readouts for monitoring motherboard vitals. From the RC TweakIt program, we can basically control the system, including changing BCLK and voltages on the fly through hardware. That means running CPU clocks higher during the first two game tests in 3DMark 06, dropping BCLK/voltage for the CPU tests, then back up for the SM3.0 tests; the entire time, we are not using system resources with software as this is done at the hardware level through the ROG chips on the motherboard.

RC Diagram is another component that doesn't just monitor, but graphs that which it is monitoring. We can set it to monitor any voltage, temperature, and also CPU Current. The above graph shows the CPU getting hammered during an 06 CPU test at 5.4GHz.

The last of the software package is the RC BIOS Flashback which provides us with remote BIOS control.

Now, I have finished outlining the good aspects of the RC software, time for the bad. I personally have been tremendously hard on ASUS software included with motherboards in the past. The ROG Connect software is by far the best effort ASUS has put forth thus far, but we do have some notes. First off, with the RC Remote, please allow us to bypass the prompt that wants to confirm every button push...or remove the confirmation prompt all together as it gets annoying. We had some issues connecting to RC TweakIt on occasion as it took several tries at times, but once we were connected, the link was solid as a rock. Our final complaint is the limitation of RC Diagram to only handle three options at a time. Despite a few small annoyances, and even after the novelty of turning a system on from another computer wears off, the RC Tweak It and subsequent programs work well and we found them very useful.

Now to finish this section off, since we didn't have the bluetooth module handy to show the feature ourselves, is a video from ASUS Tech In Style outlining the ROG Connect through a bluetooth enabled cell phone...


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