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Asus Rampage III Black Edition X58 Motherboard Review

The Asus Rampage III Black Edition X58 is one of the finest motherboards KitGuru has reviewed since we launched the publication a year ago. We thought the Gigabyte G1 Assassin was going to hold onto the ‘Number 1’ position for a long time, but Asus have already bitten back with an astonishing product set to appeal to hard core performance oriented overclockers and gamers. Sandybridge might get all the headlines in 2011, but X58 is still the most powerful Intel platform.

The Rampage III Black Edition presentation is fantastic, the lovely gatefold box highlights the main selling points and showcases the product within a transparent window, ideal for a store environment. Inside, the bundle is as good as we have seen, with Asus including a plethora of high quality cables, stickers, literature and extras. All of the attention to detail really does help the consumer feel as if they have bought into a full ‘exclusive experience’ and not just a motherboard.

The Thunderbolt combo card is a great addition to the bundle, as it offers both audio and networking improvements when compared to onboard solutions. We already know that Asus create some very fine sound cards, and while the Thunderbolt isn’t as good as the Xonar Essence STX which we recently reviewed, it is still leaps and bounds ahead of any onboard solution we have tested.

KitGuru has plenty of experience with the Bigfoot Killer E2100 networking hardware, and we still strongly feel that this is not a gimmick, it really does give tangible improvements to the networking experience. When we also factor in the intuitive software which offers many helpful networking settings, it is a good decision to include it on such an exclusive, high end motherboard.

The Asus Rampage III Black Edition is built using the finest engineering standards and the overall PCB layout is well thought out. It does excel when taxed with multiple graphics cards. The overall levels of performance are the highest we have recorded in our labs, and with two HD6990’s it is a tour de force of gaming excellence. Our tried and trusted MSI X58 motherboard, used in KitGuru’s high end gaming test bed is really starting to show its age.

Overclocking via the Rampage III Black Edition is as straightforward as it gets, and we are pleased that Asus have placed primary focus on power delivery and ensuring that V-Droop and rail stability doesn’t negatively interfere with the highest possible end results. We were limited by our inexpensive ‘all in one’ liquid cooling solution, but we managed to get the Intel 990x to 5ghz easy enough … with 4.8ghz a usable 24/7 configuration.

If you are in the market for a new X58 motherboard, or are wanting an upgrade to last you throughout 2011, then the Asus Rampage III Black Edition easily gets our highest recommendation. It is a close call between this board and the Gigabyte G1 Assassin, but the Thunderbolt combo card just swings it towards Asus.

The Asus Rampage III Black Edition X58 costs around £380 inc vat in the UK.


  • overclocking powerhouse with every option available for the hardcore user
  • stable power delivery for the most serious demands
  • great board layout
  • connectivity is peerless
  • Thunderbolt add on card offers improved audio and networking capabilities
  • Gaming performance is class leading
  • bundle is extensive


  • the cost means this is only for serious enthusiast overclockers and gamers

Rating: 9.5.

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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.