Asus Rampage II Extreme ReviewGeekspeak411 - January 26, 2010
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The Extreme Tweaker tab of the BIOS is the very first page that you see when you enter the BIOS and rightfully so. With the RIIE's deep Republic of Gamers heritage, it comes as no surprise that the tweaking section of the BIOS is extraordinary. With OCC's enthusiast roots, we have dedicated an entire page to delving into the guts of what matters most to tweakers in choosing a motherboard. Sit back and enjoy.
The RIIE's BIOS is by far the best BIOS I have ever used because it is extremely well thought out and has a very Apple-esque manner about it, in that what it does it does exceptionally well. There was obviously a lot of time spent in brainstorming and planning how to make the most effective BIOS possible for its flagship model. Scrolling down the tab, it takes three screens to successfully capture everything here; from clock speeds to voltages to timings, it is all here. One feature that stands out to me is how Asus displays all the live settings in yellow above where you can make tweaks, which are displayed in blue. This is especially helpful when you are experimenting with different voltages and decide to make some more drastic changes; you can always stand back for a second and see exactly what you had before and double check that all your settings are proportionally altered before even leaving the BIOS. I also like this feature because, even when the board is set to automatically alter voltages and speeds, you can see just where it is putting things. Up top you can go through the different overclocking options, such as CPU Level Up, which lets you "upgrade" your chip to the next-in-line speedwise, such as taking a i7-920 and using Level Up to have the board automatically overclock it to i7-950 or i7-975 clock speeds. You can use a similar approach to your RAM as well. You can edit the CPU Ratio, DRAM Frequency, UNCORE frequency, and the QPI link rate. The DRAM timings section will be covered below. Moving on you have the power phase settings, load line calibration settings, and options for differential amplitude, which it awesome for extreme overclockers. The voltage section is very in depth and allows you to not only see the current voltages, but also lets you key in your own voltages; restricted to menus, no longer! Every voltage on the board is visible and available. Finally, at the bottom, you have the spread spectrum settings and clock skew settings; another boon to extreme overclockers.
The CPU subsection is accessible from two different tabs, but I feel it is more suited to the tweaking page. Here you can define all the settings on your CPU's features. Very helpful and intuitive.
The RAM timing section is completely over the top! I think I did a triple-take there. I don't think there is a single timing hidden away here; I will let the pictures tell the tale.
The BIOS is simply incredible. On to the specs!