ASUS Rampage V Extreme X99 Motherboard Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: December 15, 2014
Product Name: Rampage V Extreme
Warranty: 5 Years
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Auto & Manual Overclocking Results

It wouldn't be an HWC review if we didn't include some overclocking results, so we thoroughly tested out this motherboard's capabilities, especially its auto-overclocking functionality. Though it features a new chipset, the X99 Deluxe is still fundamentally an LGA2011 motherboard, and as a result there is nothing new to report on how to overclock on this motherboard, but if you want any insights check out the overclocking section in our review of the Core i7-5960X.

Auto Overclocking

Unlike the Channel Series models - the X99-Deluxe for example - which feature both a profile-based and smart microprocessor-based automatic overclocking functionality, Republic of Gamers (RoG) models have seemingly always only featured only one type of automatic overclocking, the profile-based CPU Level Up. Ostensibly this is because these higher-end RoG models cater to buyers who are more likely to want to do their own manual overclocking, so more thorough automatic capabilities are supposedly unneeded. This is less than ideal in our opinion since it wouldn't actually add much extra cost to include the 'smart' 5-Way Optimization feature to RoG boards. Having said all of that, thankfully, it seems that ASUS have tweaked things a little bit for this latest generation.

As mentioned above, the Rampage V Extreme makes due with the preset-based feature named CPU Level Up. This feature can be engaged from within the UEFI BIOS or the Ai Suite III utility. If you engage it from within the BIOS it is extremely quick, basically the time it takes to select your desired preset, and then save & exit the BIOS. Historically, both versions gave exactly the same results, and that is still true today, with one exception. In Windows, if you enable the feature using Ai Suite III, once you select the overclocking preset there is now a short process that optimizes the fans, EPU and DIGI+ Power Control settings in order to maximize power efficiency as well.

So your automatic overclock is still limited to three presets, but you do (mostly) get the best of both worlds. It takes about two minutes or so, and then a reboot to save and apply the settings. With our i7-5960X there were three preset choices (4.00/4.20/4.40Ghz), and obviously we went straight to the most aggressive one.

Click on image to enlarge

At the moment, the CPU Level Up feature applies a multiplier-only tuning mode. However, as you can see, it still achieves a very impressive overclock (3.5Ghz -> 4.4Ghz). We are very impressed both by the frequency - which is just a hair below this particular chip's air-cooled maximum - and the relatively low CPU voltage that was applied.

In fact the vCore is lower than what we usually set for our manual overclock, but we need more in order to help stabilize our very high Uncore and memory overclocks. At that topic, although we are happy to see that the memory frequency got a little boost from DDR4-2133 to DDR4-2400, we would love to see a little improvement on the Uncore as well. Most importantly of all though, the system passed our basic torture tests so it was a stable overclock.

Manual Overclocking

Click on image to enlarge

We could have easily squeezed out another 40Mhz or so to equal the CPU overclock that we achieved with the Gigabyte X99, but instead focused on a more holistic overclock...which we couldn't do with either the Gigabyte or MSI X99 motherboards because they both proved to be useless at overclocking the Uncore or supporting high DDR4 memory speeds.

By comparison, just like on the ASUS X99-Deluxe, the Rampage V Extreme allowed us to push the Uncore from the stock 3000Mhz up to almost 4300Mhz and fully supported our 16GB G.Skill RipJaws4 DDR4-3000 memory kit. The RVE was also able to properly apply this kit's XMP Profile without issue, which is a feat that no other manufacturer has seemed to have mastered thus far.

As impressive as this combined overclock is we really didn't come close to exposing this motherboard's true potential, due to our merely average Core i7-5960X and lack of extreme cooling methods. This is a model that begs for liquid nitrogen, expert knowledge, and binned parts to really demonstrate its unquestionable abilities. As it is, the Rampage V Extreme was a pleasure to work with, it didn't give us any problems - whatsoever - during our overclocking endeavours and allowed us to max out our components. What more can you ask for?

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