ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Reviewccokeman - April 28, 2014
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ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Closer Look:
While AI Suite III contains most of the software package, it does not include everything that is included with the ROG Rampage IV Black Edition. Added value software is included that bought separately would increase the end user costs. ASUS includes a full version of Kaspersky's highly rated antivirus software with a one year subscription. Daemon Tools disk virtualization software is also included to help save your game discs and make/burn disk images. The Rampage IV Black Edition also comes with one of the latest triple-A game titles, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. All add value to the package of software for no additional cost. ASUS Web Storage is a cloud based service used to store and back up files that is included with the software package. The initial storage space is included in the package, but additional space is available at an added cost.
MemTweakit is used to set the memory sub-timings from within the Windows environment. This tool features an efficiency score that will help you improve the memory performance of the modules installed. In the past this tool has been a great addition to the ROG software package and you can even join some of the fun on the ROG forums to compete for the highest efficiency scores. ASUS has its own ROG skinned CPU-Z utility that sets up a point of difference from the standard version. The Boot setting tool is used to enable FastBoot and utilize the DirectKey function from within the OS environment rather than opening the chassis up or mounting an additional switch somewhere on the chassis. You will need this tool to get into the BIOS when FastBoot is enabled, since keyboard support is disabled during the FastBoot process.
Game First II is ASUS' own traffic shaping tool to improve ping time and reduce latency by managing the traffic flow of ACK packets. You get an easy to follow EZ mode as well as a more granular look in the advanced mode. The EZ mode has presets that allow you to setup the traffic management for VOIP, File Sharing, Gaming, or Media Streaming.
RAMDisk is a new addition to the ROG package. The premise with this tool is that access to DRAM is much quicker than accessing an HDD or SSD to load files that you need either working in the OS and/or during gaming. RAMDisk is a utility that takes excess DRAM capacity and creates a virtual disk so that you can drastically improve load times of applications or maps during gaming. ASUS makes this tool simple enough for even the novice to use. Most of us are not fully utilizing the 16 or 32GB of DRAM In our systems, so why not take advantage of a way to improve the computing experience? At this point DRAM is still relatively inexpensive.
Creating an 8GB virtual drive is as simple as choosing the capacity with a slider and applying the change. After a reboot you can click on the Junction tab and add the applications or maps or games you would like to accelerate and you are done. Newer solid state drives with the latest controllers can have sequential read/write results in the 500 to 550MB/s range with that result at the high end of the spectrum. Running Crystal DiskMark on the RAMDisk virtual drive gives a graphic example of just how fast this solution can be when using 2400MHz memory. It's just brutally fast.
Sonic Radar is a new tool in the ROG arsenal as well. Some have alluded to this software being used as a cheat, but if you are using surround sound speakers or a headset with surround capabilities you are doing the same thing; using the sound system and your ears. Sonic Radar is a graphic representation of the sounds you hear. The key is the visual interface that works to point out the sounds directionally; a bonus if you are not utilizing a surround speaker system or headset. There are separate modes that can be optimized for footsteps, bombs, or gunfire. Shortcuts can be used to move the interface or change the transparency level, as well as toggle through the user modes. Overall it's a pretty cool tool for those of us that are less than good at FPS gaming. As you can see in the screen shot below there is a ton of ambient noise in this section of Metro: Last Light.
That wraps up the look at this full featured software package that is fully game centric.