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ASUS Rampage IV Extreme Review

ccokeman    -   March 5, 2012
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Testing:

Testing the ASUS Rampage IV Entreme will involve running it and its comparison products through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which include both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual game play, in which we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and the latest AMD Catalyst drivers for the XFX HD 6970. To ensure as few variables as possible, all hardware will be tested at their stock speeds, timings, voltages and latencies – unless otherwise stated. Turbo Boost is disabled on all processors to make a fair comparison without skewing the results.

 

Testing Setup: Intel Core i7 Socket 2011

 

Comparison Boards:

 

Overclocking:

  • Intel Core i7 3960X—101.5 x 47—4769MHz

Overclocking the Intel Core I7 3960X on the Rampage IV Extreme can be as simple or as detailed as you want it to be. Using ASUS' own TurboV Evo software and the CPU Level Up feature allows the less tech savvy end user the ability to get a decent clock speed from their CPU and memory by allowing ASUS' built-in overclocking algorithms to do the work. Hit the correct buttons to start the process and before you know it there is a good stable 4.25 GHz overclock reached by setting a bclock of 125 x 34. It's a conservative clock speed like I encountered when I looked at it on MSI's X79A GD65 8D. The reason for a more conservative approach is so that the end user's processor is not put in a position that will allow it to fail. The conservative clock speed and voltage increases are indeed Prime 95 stable and can be had for less than five minutes of "work". If you want more than the 4.25GHz that ASUS allows with TurboV Evo and are up to manually tweaking the system, ASUS has the hardware and software to accommodate that request. The options in the BIOS allow for a very robust overclocking experience. There are enough options in the BIOS to make a real tweaker break down and cry for help. To get the very highest stable clocks, you will have to spend the time to familiarize yourself with all the features. Even so, you can get quite a bit more than ASUS' tools by using the same processes used on the socket 1155 board from ASUS. Tweaking the bclock, multiplier, vcore, vccsa and vdimm voltages can get you a good way to the promised land. If you have a low bclock chip, you can still try the gear multiplier feature of the socket 2011 Sandy Bridge Extreme processor family to get a bit more clock speed. Inside the memory timings page there are preset profiles that are tailored for specific memory ICs, such as Elpida and PSC. Just about anything you want to adjust can be found. To reach the maximum clock speed on my particular CPU, I used a multiplier of 47 and a bclock of 101.5, using 1.47v set in the BIOS with LLC set to high. With high voltages, the load on the power circuit is tremendous. In order to keep the chip stable and the power circuits from failing, a fan should be used over the VRM heat sinks. All told, the Rampage IV Extreme lives up to the its namesake and delivers overclocking for the novice all the way up to the extreme enthusiast.

 

 

 

Maximum Clock Speed:

Each CPU and motherboard has been tested for stability at the clock speeds listed when in an overclocked state. These clock speeds will be used to run the test suite and will provide the performance difference increase over the stock settings in the overclocked scoring.

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. Geekbench 2.1
  4. Office 2007 Excel Number Crunch
  5. POV-Ray 3.7
  6. Bibble 5
  7. Sandra 2011
  8. AIDA64 1.85
  9. HandBrake .9.5
  10. ScienceMark 2.02
  11. Cinebench 10 & 11.5
  12. HD Tune 4.60
  • Video:
  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  2. Civilization V
  3. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  4. 3DMark 11



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