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ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Review

ccokeman    -   April 28, 2014
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ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition Testing:

Testing ASUS' latest Extreme series motherboard will involve running it and its comparison products through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which include both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications. 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 chipset drivers for each board and GeForce drivers for the GTX 770 . 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 will be left on so that differences in the boards boost characteristics can be observed. After stock speed testing, each board will then be overclocked to a level that the chip and memory can run while still maintaining full stability.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Motherboard:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 4960X 44x101.20MHz 4448MHz
  • Memory: 2426Mhz 9-12-11-31

 

Overclocking on an ROG board can be approached many different ways. Traditional methods to manually tune and tweak every parameter are available on the Rampage IV Black Edition in case you want to really push the limits with liquid nitrogen or dry ice or even a triple stage cascade cooler. By the same token you have a board that is flexible enough that with its auto algorithms you can reach your processors maximum clock speeds at will on air or liquid cooling. Digging through the BIOS it is easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of settings available to the end user; many will make even the most jaded overclocker run the auto settings.

If tweaking every parameter for that last fraction of a second on your Super Pi time, ASUS puts together a pretty solid package that allows the end user to overclock at will with a range of preset profiles right off the bat, or digging a little deeper into the AI Overclock Tuner option in the Extreme Tweaker section of the BIOS. Using the tools in the BIOS are simple and result in solid overclocks. The key here is to test stability once you engage the settings. My chip is a bit weak when it comes to overclocking at 4.45GHz. The other options are accessed from within the AI Suite III utility. By using the 4-Way optimization tool, the application runs a series of algorithms to find a stable overclock for the installed hardware including voltage, bclck, and multiplier adjustments. Once the tuning stops you have the option of keeping that finished clock speed or continuing to let the tool run until the failure point or you reach your overclocking goals.

For my purposes I chose to manually tune the clock speed on the memory and CPU. To start, since I know what my CPU can and cannot do, I set the XMP profile for the memory and then set the clock speed multiplier on the CPU to 44, adjusted the bCLK to 101.20, and the CPU voltage to 1.40v. The memory voltage was set with the XMP profile. Other than a tweak to the load line calibration to maintain the CPU voltage equal to or higher than 1.40v, the rest of the settings were left to the auto algorithms. You cannot get much simpler than that for your overclocking other than using the CPU level up function in the Extreme Tweaker section of the BIOS. If you cannot overclock with this board then it's time to go back to school!

 

 

Maximum Core Clock Speed:

Each CPU has been tested for stability at the listed overclocked speeds. These clock speeds will represent the level of performance shown by the overclocked scores in the testing.

 

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. PCMark 7
  2. SiSoft Sandra 2014
  3. Cinebench 11.5
  4. X.264 5.1
  5. AIDA 64 3.00
  6. Crystal Disk Mark
  7. ATTO 2.47
  8. iPerf
  9. Rightmark Audio Analyzer
  • Gaming:
  1. 3DMark
  2. Metro: Last Light
  3. Batman: Arkham Origins



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