ASUS X79 Rampage IV Extreme Socket 2011 Motherboard Review
You saw them in our i7-3960X review; the much anticipated Sandy Bridge Extreme launch along with the X79 code name Patsburg chipsets. Not only do we have a brand new socket (2011) but motherboard manufacturers have have been quick on the uptake and ASUS is trying to lead the pack with their X79 Rampage IV Extreme.
We know the Rampage name well as the Rampage III Extreme was one of the leading boards for the X58 generation and its brother, the Maximus IV Extreme was the Republic of Gamers (ROG) team’s entry into the Z68 market. As many know, the ROG team was founded about five years ago with the sole purpose of delivering the most innovative hardcore hardware for truly dedicated gamers and benchers. With an all-star class of overclocking enthusiasts and hardcore benchers the ROG team has really packed the X79 RIVE full of features for the enthusiast user, many of which are industry firsts.
There are three features in particular that the RIVE brings to the table that have never been seen on a motherboard: OC Key, Subzero Sense, and VGA Hotwire. The OC Key is a small device that connects to the video card output and gives users the capability to conduct tweaking and monitoring without using CPU cycles and slowing down benchmarks. Subzero Sense integrates two type-K Probe digital thermometers onboard, eliminating the need for expensive standalone digital thermometers used by sub-zero benchers. Finally the VGA Hotwire feature integrates a set of 6 variable resistors and voltage sensors into the board, allowing extreme overclockers to read exact GPU voltages while enabling GPU voltage mods without adding their own trimpots.
The features mentioned above really just scratch the surface of what’s included and with a chipset that costs upwards of 60% more than Z68 a premium price should be expected. At around $460, the Rampage IV Extreme is definitely in the upper echelon of the X79 spectrum but at first blush it includes everything we could possibly want in a motherboard.
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