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Asus Rampage III Black Edition X58 Motherboard Review

Rating: 9.5.

Sandybridge has been dominating mainstream news in recent months, but Intel’s flagship products are still tied into the X58 platform. After our recent review of the stunning Gigabyte G1 Assassin motherboard, today we turn our attention to the flagship Asus Rampage III Black Edition.

‘The Republic of Gamers consists only the best of the best. We offer the best hardware engineering, the fastest performance, the most innovating ideas, and we welcome the best gamers to join in.

In the Republic of Gamers, mercy rules are only for the weak, and bragging rights means everything. We believe in making statements and we excel in competitions. If your character matches our trait, then join the elite club, make your presence felt, in the Republic of Gamers.’

Yes, Asus have always been aggressive with their Republic of Gamers literature. In a similar fashion to the Gigabyte board, the Asus Rampage III Black Edition is a balls out, no compromise board loaded with every feature, then some. Asus are calling it the ‘Ultimate X58 Gaming Board’. Them’s fighting words, but can it really hope to compete with the G1 Assassin?

Specifications

CPU Intel® Socket 1366 Core™ i7 Processor Extreme Edition/Core™ i7 Processor/
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
* Refer to www.asus.com for Intel CPU support list
Chipset Intel® X58 / ICH10R
System Bus Up to 6400 MT/s ; QuickPath Interconnection
Memory 6 x DIMM, Max. 48 GB, DDR3 2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory
Triple channel memory architecture
* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs. Some hyper DIMMs only support one DIMM per channel. Please refer to Memory QVL for details.
Expansion Slots 4 x PCIe 2.0 x16 , support x16; x16/x16; x16/x8/x8 and x8/x8/x8/x8 configurations
2 x PCIe x1
Multi-GPU Support Support NVIDIA 3-Way SLI™ / ATI CrossFireX™ Technology
4 PCIe x16 slots ready for 4 single PCB 2-slot width graphics cards
Storage Intel ICH10R controller
6 xSATA 3.0 Gb/s ports Intel® Rapid Storage Technology Support RAID 0,1,5,10
JMicron® JMB363 controller
2 xExternal SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports
Marvell® 9182 PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller
2 xSATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
Bluetooth IEEE 802.11b/g/n, Wi-Fi Compliant, Bluetooth v3.0 + HS
ThunderBolt LAN/Audio Combo Card Dedicated network processing unit (NPU)
– Advanced Game Detect™
– Visual Bandwidth Control™
– Application Blocking
– Online Gaming PC Monitor™
– Bandwidth Tester
– Game Networking DNA™
Built-in 2-Channel High Quality DAC/ADC
– Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): 116 dB
– Output THD+N at 1kHz: 105 dB
– C-Media 6631 audio processor (Max. 192kHz/ 24-bit)
– TI 6120A2 high fidelity headphone amplifier
– Digital-to-Analog Converter: 120 dB (Max. 192kHz/ 24-bit)
– Analog-to-Digital Converter: 114 dB (Max. 192kHz/ 24-bit)
– Supports 3 Headphone Impedance Gain Modes (up to 300 Ohms)
– Fine-tuned Game Genre EQ Profiles
– Xear™ Surround Headphone
– Xear™ SingFX
– Equalizer, Environment Effects, FlexBass, Smart Volume, Virtual Speaker Shifter
– DS3D GX 1.0, OpenAL
– Front-panel audio connector (AAFP)
– Line in, Line out, Optical S/PDIF out ports
– USB 2.0 Interface
LAN Intel® Gigabit Ethernet LAN
Audio SupremeFX X-Fi 2 Built-in 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
– EAX® Advanced™ HD 5.0
– THX® TruStudio PRO™
– X-Fi® Xtreme Fidelity™
– Creative ALchemy
– Blu-ray audio layer content protection
– Supports Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front panel Jack-retasking
USB NEC® USB 3.0 controller
– 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 at back panel; 2 at midboard)
Intel® ICH10R Southbridge
– 11 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports at midboard; 6 ports at back panel, 1 reserved for ROG Connect)
ASUS Unique Features CPU Level Up
MemOK!
Onboard Switches: Power / Reset / Clr CMOS (at rear)
ASUS MyLogo3
ASUS Fan Xpert
ASUS EZ Flash 2
ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
Q-Fan Plus
ROG BIOS Wallpaper
ASUS EPU Engine
ASUS Q-Connector
ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
ASUS Q-Slot
ASUS Q-DIMM
Overclocking Features ROG Connect
– RC Poster
– RC Remote
– RC Diagram
– GPU TweakIt
ROG iDirect
GPU.DIMM Post
ROG Extreme Engine Digi+
– 8-phase CPU power
– 3-phase QPI/DRAM power
– 3-phase NB power
– 3-phase Memory power
– ML Caps on CPU, Memory and QPI respectively
ProbeIt
iROG
Extreme Tweaker
BIOS Flashback with onboard switch button
Loadline Calibration
ROG Extreme OC kit
– LN2 Mode
– PCIe x16 Lane Switch
– Q_Reset
– Double Power Supply with dual 8-pin (CPU) power connectors
Intelligent overclocking tools
– ASUS AI Booster Utility
– O.C Profile
Overclocking Protection
– COP EX (Component Overheat Protection – EX)
– Voltiminder LED
– ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Back Panel I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
2 x External SATA ports
1 x LAN(RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 (Blue)
7 x USB 2.0/1.1 (1 port also for ROG Connect)
8 -Channel Audio I/O
1 x Clr CMOS switch
2 x Wi-Fi antenna jacks
1 x ROG Connect On/Off switch
Internal I/O Connectors 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 connector(s) supports additional 2 USB 3.0 ports
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 connector(s) support additional 4 USB 2.0 ports
2 x SATA 6.0Gb/s connectors (Grey)
6 x SATA 3.0Gb/s connectors (Black)
2 x CPU Fan connector(s)
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
3 x Optional Fan connector(s)
1 x S/PDIF Out connector
1 x 24-pin ATX Power connector
2 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
3 x thermal sensor connector
1 x En/Dis-able Clr CMOS connector
1 x Front panel audio connector (AAFP)
1 x System Panel connector
8 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
1 x QPI Loadline calibration switch jumper (QPI_LL_SW)
1 x LN2 Mode Header
1 x START (Power On) button
1 x RESET button
1 x EZ Plug connector (4-pin Molex Power connector)
1 x Go Button
1 x BIOS Switch button
1 x ROG light connector
BIOS 16 Mb Flash ROM , PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.5, ACPI2.0a Multi-Language BIOS
Manageability WOL by PME,WOR by PME,PXE
Accessories 1 x ROG Connect cable
1 x 3-Way SLI Bridge
1 x SLI Cable
1 x CrossFire Cable
1 x 2-in-1 ASUS Q-Connector Kit
3 x 2-in-1 SATA signal cables
1 x 2-in-1 SATA 6G cables
1 x 2-port USB2.0 + ESATA module
1 x I/O Shield
3 x Thermal Sensor Cable Packs
1 x Cable Ties Pack
1 x ROG theme label
1 x 12-in-1 ROG Cable Label
1 x USB to USB cable for ThunderBolt
2 x Wi-Fi Ring Moving Antenna
1 x Optional NB Fan
Support Disc Drivers
ASUS PC Probe II
ASUS Update
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
ASUS TurboV EVO Utility
ASUS AI Suite II
ASUS AI Charger
WiFi Agent
Form Factor Extended ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 10.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 26.9 cm )

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