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ASUS Rampage V Extreme Review

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ASUS Rampage V Extreme Conclusion:

When you look at the ROG board's you are looking for more than just the obvious feature set. From a hardware perspective, the ASUS Rampage V Extreme comes fully loaded with all of the latest technologies used on the X99 platform and then some. But you kind of expect that in a board of this caliber. What you might not expect is the depth of the accessories, software package, and how it all is seamlessly integrated together. Looking at the hardware side of the equation, ASUS has updated its Extreme Engine Digi+ VRM circuits to version IV with the addition of MicroFine alloy chokes and PowIRstage® IR3555, a chip that integrates the driver, high-side and low-side MOSFETs using the latest RDS On current-sensing technology on top of its already in use 10K Black capacitors.

To top off the cooler more efficient power solution, ASUS goes one step further topping off the heat generating components of the VRM with a Direct CU II based direct contact copper heat pipe cooling solution. Drive storage options include SATA 6Gb/s, a pair of 10Gb/s SATA EXpress ports, and a single M.2 slot for those looking to minimize drive storage size. ASUS SupremeFX 2014 sound solution proves to be well executed and equipped with add-ons that only enhance the experience for the end user. The one stand out bit of hardware besides the board itself, is the OC Panel that is a multi-functional tool for the extreme overclocker / enthusiast, which can be used both as an add-on tool and as a bay device to monitor and modify settings. The software bundle includes ASUS staples such as AI Suite III, Fan Xpert III, 5-Way optimization tool and truly gamer centric options, including Game First III, Keybot, and Sonic Radar II. Ramdisk is offered on very few boards, but has become a mainstay on ROG boards.

Like I said, there are a ton of options, but the key is what do they let you do. When it came to overclocking, I am now convinced that my Core i7 5960X is a 4.6GHz stable chip using roughly 1.32V to 1.33V. For long term stability, that's it, even with the abilities of this board to tweak down to the finest detail it will not go any higher except when running benchmarks. For that, it will go up to 4.95GHz when the test is easy enough to pass. Bumping up the performance of your system can be done in a couple ways on this board, but it is built for manual tweaking. One trip through the UEFI BIOS gives you that impression. Tweaking memory is going to be a strong suite of this board. Looking through the memory options on the board allows you to choose preset configurations that ASUS has spent the time to ensure were stable with the proper memory ICs. If you do not know what you have because memory ICs can change from one run to the next of high performance the IC analyzer helps you identify what type of memory IC you have on your modules be it Hynix, Samsung, or Micron. In all, a pretty cool tool.

ASUS UEFI BIOS is the top class of the field, and has been for a while. In the latest BIOS available at the time of the review (version 0901), I had some issues with input lag with my mouse and keyboard. Something I did not experience on either the X99-A or Deluxe boards that I looked at. I know its a simple fix and I am sure ASUS will fix it due to the support they deliver on its BIOS. Outside of that small issue, I have to say that I was impressed with what ASUS brought to the table for the ultra high-end gamer and enthusiast. At $474, the board is not for the faint of heart. You know going in that you will face a price premium for a top of the line board so sticker shock is not going to be something the target user is going to be worried about. After spending between $500 and a $1000 for a CPU, the price point is going to be there. Overall, the experience of working with the board was as I expected. You get all of the tools you need to get your hardware to perform at its highest level without compromises.

 

Pros:

  • Feature Set
  • ROG Style
  • Overclocking
  • Extreme Engine Digi+ IV
  • Supreme FX 2014
  • Direct CU II VRM Cooling
  • Quad GPU Ready
  • Drive Performance
  • Accessories
  • UEFI BIOS

Cons:

  • Pricing
  • Lag in the BIOS
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