Asus Rampage III Black Edition X58 Motherboard Review

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The Killer Nic drivers and software are installed from the Asus CD which is supplied in the box.

Firstly, we need to discuss Latency V Throughput. Latency is commonly refered to as ‘Lag’. This is a measurement of delay for a network packet or series of packets. Latency is a good measure of the real speed of your network or Internet connection – low numbers indicate fast networking.

Throughput is different, because this is a measure of bandwidth, basically how much data can be delivered to its destination. This is often the system by which consumer Internet connections are classified and priced.

It is important to understand that Latency does not measure Throughput. 30Mbps might seem like its a service ‘speed’ but in actuality its explaining what bandwidth is available to a connection. Standard networking devices are designed to maximise throughput. They are not however designed or optimised to lower latency for online games.

When you play a game online you might think its using 8mbit of your bandwidth, but in reality you will often find its hovering around 25-100kbps. Sometimes if you are playing a game and you notice lagging, its not that your connection isn’t handling massive amounts of data its that the packet delays are causing lag and therefore game responsiveness.

The Game Networking DNA Technology that is utilised in the BigFoot Killer Nic product is tuned to reduce latency, therefore optimising the gaming connection you experience when online. Subsequently it would make sense that with this technology you could experience smoother game play while the machine is multitasking in the background.

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The Bigfoot software suite is very capable and offers functionality to check your speeds, as well as monitoring network traffic and CPU load.

The first test we decided to use was the Game Network Efficiency (GANE) Test, which is in place to simulate real world network performance for online PC games. This test is used to create a gaming load on a Windows PC as well as transmission of gaming network traffic over a local network. This test is also designed to test two network cards at once making direct comparisons between both at the same time.

The setup is a little complex, but ill describe it in a step by step manner.

Firstly you connect the host (listen/server) PC to a gigabit switch through a standard gigabit ethernet connection. The Killer Nic is then used on the other test PC and it is connected to the gigabit switch via both the Killer Network gaming card and a standard Intel NIC.

On the server PC we then configure the properties of the onboard network card to have a static IP address. We then adjust the subnet mask to 255.255.255.0. The test PC is then configured in a similar manner, but we assign different static IP’s to both the Intel NIC and the Killer . Again the subnet mask is set to 255.255.255.0.

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On the main test PC we then go into advanced via the IPv3 properties window. We then uncheck the ‘Automatic Metric” box and set the metric value to “1″. Both cards need this applied as the NIC uses it to send network traffic. If we leave this setting at ‘automatic’, Windows does not alternate between the NICs and instead will send all the traffic through one card rendering the test useless.

The next stage is to run GANE on both the server/listen PC and the main test rig. GANE measures then compares latency between two network cards installed on any PC. This is handled by a procedure of sending 100 byte packets over the local network on a round trip, every 50ms. Kitguru has selected 100bytes as the packet size because this is a good real world representation of a standard network packet. We want to run this size specifically to test Bigfoot’s claims that many network cards are not optimised for this ‘game’ related data packet size.

While we set up the server PC we also need to run a game benchmark on the main PC and in this case we will use Resident Evil 5 in DX10 mode with the built in benchmark at maximum settings on our screen at 1920×1200 resolution. While we are running this, we are sending packets between both NICs on the main PC to the receiving (listening) PC. This mirrors a real life situation of playing a game online while transmitting data back and forward.

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Adapter 1 is the Killer Nic and Adapter 2 is the Intel solution. The results above show that the Killer Nic is 4.0 faster than the Intel solution and delivers a result with almost 25 times less jitter. On a lesser solution this can actually be as high as 35 times faster with 120 times less jitter!

Our average UDP ping was 0.000287643 on the Killer nic and it was 0.003075006 with the Intel solution. Our average mean ping was 0.232525 on the Killer Nic and 0.921490 on the Intel Nic. The worst case scenario is more critical as it could cause lag online. The onboard solution is 5.287735 while it is 0.355063 on the Killer Nic … massive differences. Bear in mind this is obviously over a very tight local network, but when heading online to game on a server thousands of miles away this will increase, exponentially.

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Asus Rampage III Black Edition X58 Motherboard Review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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  • Vinnie

    I shall read this all later, but I skipped through some pages. thats a phenomenal looking board. all the liquid nitrogen touches etc too, very clever. Asus are tough to beat in this market.

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  • Joe

    damn, what a setup. thats a wet dream configuration that is. you reviewers are lucky SOBS :)

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  • Mannie

    Hiya Zardon, first review of this, love it ! Any ideas on when its released? I was on scan to order it, but its not there yet ?

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  • http://www.kitguru.net Zardon

    HI Mannie, not sure of the date tbh. I just was told the price. I would say it will be released shortly. Enjoy !

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  • Fainstj

    opps posted this in the wrong place. As I was saying erm.. be sure to keep looking on local stores for this, numbers will be limited and everyone wants it :)

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  • Kannilick

    perhaps im picking holes in this, but the use of a card means you lose a slot on the board. im not sure that briliant.

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  • Ned

    £400 for a motherboard. ouch, but hey if you can afford a 990x I doubt you would care.

    well out of my bank balance, but good reading, cant hurt to dream

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  • Joseph

    Exotic board, bit suprised they didnt put more sata 6 ports on the mobo, even 4 ?

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  • K0rn

    This seems about 75 quid less than the Assassin and I cant really see why. I think the assassin has a slightly better cooling system on the pcb but apart from this its very similar in design.

    Not like asus to be cheaper, even if its relative in this price bracket

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  • Fluffychicken

    Astonishing product. Asus really are such a brilliant company. Their high end stuff is just so incredible

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  • Iain

    Asus are the best, no doubt about it ;)

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  • Ben

    boards like this are the reason im a tech addict.

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  • Janus

    1% of the people reading this could afford it. (well maybe a bit higher on Kitguru).

    I swore I would never change boards until the next generation, but my 980x is screaming out for this mobo. I just got a D14 heatsink so its even more tempting now …… thank god you cant buy them yet. my credit card is hiding in the drawer.

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  • William

    Very impressive indeed, well worth the cost

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  • Trec

    Good review , Asus do it again, shame there are only two 6 gbps sat a ports.

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  • Fadiom

    The bios is a great design, it’s why I always buy Asus boards. But I just went for a 2600k, these CPUs cost too much

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  • Seth

    They certainly didn’t skimp on the boards power settings. I’m tempted to pick one up for my 980x

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  • Kassidy

    Phenomenal, but it’s mighty expensive, even for what you get.

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  • Steven

    I actually think it’s 80 quid less than the assassin from gb. Seems better value , but it’s all mean ingress for this target Market who don’t really care that much about cost. Gigabyte assassin looks to have nicer heatsinks but i don’t like the green scheme at all

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  • Flo

    I will be ordering one, been waitin a while for it to come out now.

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  • Longhorn

    I don’t know why people say this is overpriced. A standard x58 is 240. This is well worth the extra 140

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  • Ned

    It makes the rampage iii 3 extreme look gay lol

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  • underearthed

    I don’t think so – pair the R3E with a LynxTWO card, and this one will look like gay in black. But hey, with that audio card on board – it will cost you at least 1,700.00-1,800.00$ and I allready have one…

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  • Lifter

    Nice review but two questions:

    Can you confirm if the new Marvel 9182 SATA 3 supports TRIM for SSD’s? I’m asking as I know the older one that is commonly used on X58 boards (9128) does not.

    As well I am curious if you got the Wi Fi going, as I have heard of few reports of it being problematic.

    Thanks!

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