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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?


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
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 Q-Connector
Overclocking Features ROG Connect
– RC Poster
– RC Remote
– RC Diagram
– GPU TweakIt
ROG iDirect
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
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 Update
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
ASUS TurboV EVO Utility
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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  • 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.

  • Joe

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

  • 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 ?

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

  • 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 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Joseph

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

  • 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

  • Fluffychicken

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

  • Iain

    Asus are the best, no doubt about it 😉

  • Ben

    boards like this are the reason im a tech addict.

  • 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.

  • William

    Very impressive indeed, well worth the cost

  • Trec

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

  • 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

  • Seth

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

  • Kassidy

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

  • 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

  • Flo

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

  • Longhorn

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

  • Ned

    It makes the rampage iii 3 extreme look gay lol

  • 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…

  • 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.