ASUS X79 Rampage IV Extreme Socket 2011 Motherboard Review

Author: Zac "Eldonko" Ryan
Date: November 19, 2011
Product Name: Rampage IV Extreme
Warranty: 3 Years
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Why Do I Want 32GB of Memory?

So you have a Rampage IV Extreme and 32GB of memory has been bought, installed and overclocked but what is the point of spending good money on modules that may just be wasted? In this section we are going to attempt to answer just that. X79 is the first platform to utilize 8 DIMM slots which means that due to today’s cheap memory prices you can get 32GB of memory for as little as $160.

The first thing you can do with your extra memory is set up a RAM disk. As many benchers know, a RAM disk gives unmatched access times and comes in handy when benching or if you do things like extended periods of video processing. It will also speed up application performance in general. The only drawback is that you lose the data on the RAM disk if you reboot. That said it can be a hassle to move files around every time you want to reboot but it does still have its uses.

The main RAM use we are going to look at however is RAM caching. RAM caching has been around for a long time but only today do we have all of this extra memory to make it more feasible. RAM caching is similar to SSD caching where the computer's internal memory is used to hold or contain the most frequently used disk data. Basically the more you use some particular data, whether it be an application or a game or even files, the more it will be cached to the memory and the faster it will be.

ASUS does not specifically have a RAM caching utility but you can find trial software online free of charge (Supercahce5, FancyCache, etc). To put RAM caching to the test we first ran some benchmarks with our WD 1TB Black mechanical drive and then with a RAM cache of 15GB. The results are nothing short of outstanding and by outstanding we are talking 100 times faster in CrystalDiskMark read and writes.

Next up we ran PCMark7 with and without the RAM cache and then we tested SSD caching on Z68 with the same system setup. PCMark7 combines more than 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming so is very reflective of day-to-day PC usage. As you can see RAM caching dominates in yet another benchmark.

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