It is difficult not to walk away feeling impressed with the Asus Rampage III Extreme motherboard. After opening I immediately raised a smile because clearly ASUS wanted to include everything possible in the box [shoulder massage when you open it maybe? – Ed]. There is literally nothing we could think of adding as they have covered every base, then some.
Overclocking with the Asus Rampage III Extreme is as pain-free as it gets. Solid, flexible and hugely capable. Wanna feel like an F1 engineer? Add a Ferrari baseball cap, USB cable and start overclocking remotely from your laptop. The actual design also needs a special mention. All of the niggling issues normally associated with board layout have been intelligently avoided. Parallel positioned SATA connectors for instance? check. Multiple 12V power input for overclocking stability? check. Good heatsink design? check. Optional active cooling? check. The list just goes on and on – there are so many extras that I could easily make this a conclusion book, rather than a simple closing statement.
If I was being picky? I’d ask Asus to include another Gigabit LAN connection. When I saw only one I was stunned. Do I need two? Not really, but hell if you can include something as random as ‘Bluetooth overclocking software’ then I would immediately expect two LAN ports.
With all good things however there is always a negative, and while you would expect this board to be expensive, it is retailing in the UK for well over £300 and a quick search found it on huge UK retailer SCAN for £330, which is a huge amount of money for any component. You certainly get what you pay for but this motherboard is exclusively in the ‘deep pockets enthusiast‘ sector.
For this particular audience however price is a moot point, I am positive if Asus charged £450 for it, the hardcore enthusiast would still buy it. All in all we have one of the finest motherboards I have ever seen, with every angle covered and with a build quality in a league of its own. The baseline performance is strong and the overclocking capabilities are vast, even for relative newcomers.
Asus set out to create the fastest, most feature rich motherboard for the hardcore enthusiast and they certainly have delivered the goods. The big question is now that the gauntlet has been thrown down, which manufacturer has the stones to step up to the plate?
KitGuru Says: Do you overclock? do you like shiny heatsinks? Then this is a must have.
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