ASUS Rampage III Formula Reviewccokeman - December 23, 2010
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One of the premier overclocking motherboards to be released in the past year was the Rampage III Extreme. This board built a performance reputation in the enthusiast community with its overclocking abilities but did not make any friends when it came to pricing. It seemingly did everything well. Excellent CPU overclocks, excellent memory compatibility and overclocking abilities from the start. Not to mention the BIOS updates that built upon those abilities as time has gone by. When you have such a board, your market is the extreme overclocker which in all honesty is still a pretty small percentage of the potential buyers. That's where the Rampage III Formula comes in. The Rampage III Formula is a full featured motherboard with all of the looks and most of the features of its higher priced cousin. In addition to all of the ROG specific features such as ROG Connect, Probelt and Dual BIOS chips, you get USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s connectivity. You get all of this including the appealing black and red themed board for a more palatable price point. This board is targeted for the hardcore gamer and overclocker and if looks alone were the selling point, ASUS would have a winner. But unfortunately looks are only part of the equation. The other and most important part is the level of performance and how well and easily it responds to a little massaging of the clock speeds. Let's see how it compares to several other boards in its class.
As part of the Republic of Gamers (ROG) series of products from ASUS, the Rampage III Formula is kept in a package befitting its stature. The packaging is blood red with a graphic that could be representative of the debris path from a bullet impact radiating from the bottom right corner. Kind of fitting since this motherboard is targeted at the gamer. The ROG logo is at the top left corner with a listing of some of the supported hardware and technologies along the bottom edge. These include both SLI and CrossfireX multi-GPU strategies, support for the latest six core Intel processors in both the Core and Extreme lineups. The rear panel list additional support as well as illustrating (through photos) ROG Connect, the use of an Intel network solution, Supreme FX X-Fi 2 and the graphics solutions the ROG Rampage III Formula is capable of using. The front and rear panels are not the only areas to garner information if you are looking at this board in a brick and mortar store. The front panel lifts up to give you a look at the red and black featured motherboard as well as describing more of the features of this motherboard including the Extreme Engine Digi+ power circuit, the bundled software along with the BIOS Flashback and ROG Connect. Underneath, you have a list of the overclocking attributes of this board as well as some of the tools ASUS has included to allow this motherboard to excel in the overclocking arena.
Inside the outer shell, the motherboard and bundled accessories are kept in a pair of black boxes. The RIII Formula is in one and the accessories are in the other. The box with the accessories flips open like you are opening the doors to a castle with both flaps swinging wide open to show off the more than ample contents of the box. Looking at the size of the bundle you know that this board is far from the bottom end of the spectrum as it's very evident that ASUS has provided a substantial bundle.
The large bundle is just the start of the ROG experience. So, let's look at exactly what is included for your hard earned cash.