ASUS Rampage IV Extreme BF3 Review

👤by Richard Weatherstone Comments 📅12-02-12
There are so many expletives that could be used to describe the motherboard we have reviewed today but I think ASUS got it bang on the money with 'Extreme' because the 4th incarnation of the ASUS Rampage motherboard has everything you could ever want for a foundation to a top of the line PC system. The motherboard performed in the top echelons during our suite of benchmarks proving that it's stunning looks are indeed matched by awesome performance. This performance was mirrored by it's overclocking prowess because at 5.075GHz, the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme was capable of wringing every lost drop of performance from our poor CPU.

It's not only the performance of the mainboard that deserves praise though, the packaging and included components that come bundled with the motherboard are some of the best we have seen thus far with a motherboard, regardless of the chipset. The OC Key is a great peripheral for overclockers and tweakers alike as the heads-up display allows the monitoring your systems every need regardless of what you may be doing. ASUS not only include a no1 best selling PC game in the guise of the hugely popular Battlefied 3 but also throw in a matching lanyard. The usual accessories haven't been overlooked either, rather they have been expanded to include not one, two or even three SLI bridge but all four are available. There really is everything but the kitchen sink included and if transportation wasn't an issue, I'm sure that ASUS would not just have included a kitchen sink but a whole new fitted kitchen!

The UEFI BIOS of the ASUS motherboard was a delight to use and there were no discernible bugs present that we could detect unlike our previous X79 mainboards. The included software while bloated had some very useful utilities and were very polished throughout which is representative of the ASUS ethos. All too often you see, we have come across exceptional products that are let down by one or two oversights that can be interpreted as an afterthought rather than given any detailed attention. Not so with the ASUS Rampage Extreme. Everything is well thought out and exceptionally designed. The mainboard has all the buttons in the right place, the BIOS is intuitive and the software very good looking which is takes us full circle back to the aesthetics of the motherboard. The red/black theme the ROG design has is identifiable as a brand so ASUS can be forgiven for sticking to the tried and tested colour scheme. Personally, owning a rampage III Extreme I was hoping for something a little different because even though I like the colour, at first glance it is very similar to the older designs. That said it cannot be described as being ugly - far from it as the theme works very well.

Unfortunately, the superior packaging, design and indeed performance will cost you a pretty penny, no less than £399.99 to be precise which is far and away the most expensive mainboard on test. This is perhaps the chink in the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme's vast armoury because at this price, during the current economic climate, few people can afford such extravagances. The Ferrari of motherboards this may well be but what use is a Ferrari if you have to run it on part worn tyres? A motherboard is only as good as the components you add into the system and I would be hesitant to sacrifice £150 from a GPU in order to get this motherboard if you think it will get you a greater amount of FPS because it won't. To get the very best from this motherboard, like any motherboard, you need a balanced system and here in lies the problem because at £400 for the mainboard alone you will require some serious money to outfit it with components worthy of such a motherboard, especially if you wish to take advantage of its quad SLI/Crossfire capabilities.

My other major problem with the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme is the heatsink fan. While it's great ASUS have considered cooling the on-board components down, doing so with a noisy fan makes the motherboard less appealing for those looking for silence as well as performance. The ASRock motherboard we reviewed also had a fan but as it was not used to cool the VRM, was barely audible while the ASUS fan, as good as the cooling is, it is noticeable even when idle which is a shame. Another caveat to the Rampage success story we have witnessed today is the motherboards power consumption. Being the most hungry motherboard on test, the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme will not only cost you most to initially purchase but also cost the most to run which could equate to many pounds over the years of service an investment like this should provide.

Overall then, ASUS have produced a motherboard which is expensive to buy, expensive to run and expensive to fill. If cost means little in your quest for performance then the ASUS motherboard is the very best motherboard available. It has everything an overclocker could want and then some. It is capable of multi GPU configuration, quad channel support, 6GB/s SATA a plethora of connectivity all wrapped up in a class leading package. If you have the disposable income to buy one I would heartedly recommend you do so because price aside, this is one truly awesome piece of hardware that will make you the envy of the overclocking and gaming fraternity.

+ Best UEFI BIOS so far
+ Amazing overclocking features
+ Great aesthetics
+ Bountiful on-board Features
+ 4-way SLI/Crossfire
+ Class leading packaging
+ Included Battlefield 3 Game

- Noisy Fan
- Power Hungry
- Very Expensive

Click here for an explanation of our awards at Thanks to ASUS for providing today’s review sample.

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