ASUS RAMPAGE III Extreme Motherboard Review :: Features

06-08-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
  • LGA 1366 Core i7 Ready
  • Intel X58 Chipset
  • PCIe 2.0
  • SLI/CrossfireX on-Demand
  • Tri-Channel DDR3-2200 (O.C.) MHz
  • True USB 3.0 Support
  • True SATA 6Gb/s support
  • Extreme Engine Digi+
  • USB BIOS Flashback
  • ROG Connect
  • RC Bluetooth
  • IROG
  • Probelt
  • Extreme Tweaker
  • BIOS Flashback
  • Voltiminder LED
  • Loadline Calibration
  • COP EX
  • 8-channel Audio
  • Noise Filter
  • Q-Fan Plus
  • Onboard Switch
  • ASUS Q-Connector
  • 3DMark Vantage Advanced Edition
  • Kapersky Anti-Virus

The X58 chipset was announced a while back along with the Core i7 CPUs. This chipset is targeted for the high-end of the computer chipsets with support for the 6-core Core i7-980X and other LGA-1366 CPUs. The chipset supports Triple Channel Memory with up to 24GB of DDR3 memory. ASUS says this motherboard can take up to DDR3 2200MHz memory but to do so it needs to be overclocked.


ASUS RAMPAGE III Extreme Motherboard Review Logo

Logo


The X58 chipset was Intelís first to fully support SLI and or CrossfireX on the same motherboard. Multiple GPU setups are rare but many enthusiasts use them to improve the gaming performance of their systems. ASUS has their SLI/CrossfireX on-Demand which supports up to four graphics cards in either a 3-way SLI or CrossfireX setup.

The X58 chipset has 42 PCI Express lanes available to it. What this means is that the motherboard can have PCI Express lanes devoted to two graphics cards at full speed and still have lanes left over for USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/second at full speed. ASUS calls their SATA 6 Gb/second and USB 3.0 True solutions in that the bandwidth provided to them matches the requirements for the new standards.

SATA 6 Gb/second is the new standard for SATA drives. SSD drives with their constant speed require more bandwidth than HDDs that have spinning bindles and variable speeds of data. The SATA 6 Gb/second port will support data transfers of up to 6 Gb/second as the name implies. USB 3.0 offers 900microamps of power to USB devices and multiplies the data transfer rate by 10x to 5Gb/second.

The Rampage III Extreme board has digital PWM to regulate the power phases called Extreme Engine Digi+. The FET+ in Metal packaging offers 1.3x faster heat dissipation and 40% better conductivity versus normal VRM designs. The choke used sustains 25% more current than ordinary design capable of delivering up to 40A. This allows better heat dissipation and achieves better electric conduction keeping critical components reliable. ROG Connect allows you to plug in your laptop to the computer and tweak its parameters just like a race car engineer. Connect your system with a USB cable and view real-time POST codes and hardware readouts, allowing you to make on-the-fly adjustments at a hardware level.

RC Bluetooth allows you to control your PC over Bluetooth via your cellular phone by pushing the button on the Back I/O of the RC Bluetooth card. It also serves normal Bluetooth functionality allowing you to use it to control Bluetooth mice and keyboards or headsets etc. iROG allows you to enable several ROG highlighted functions at any stage it is an integrated circuit (IC). Probeit allows you to monitor the voltages of your system by using a multimeter at 8 key labeled points on the motherboard. BIOS Flashback allows you to save two versions of the BIOS simultaneously and load it and save the other. The bencher can use the ROG Connect to flash the BIOS by connecting a USB Flash drive with the BIOS update to the ROG Connect and holding the button down for three seconds. This will begin a low level flash with no CPU, memory or video card required. You can also recover a corrupted BIOS by using a USB connected PC via ROG Connect. The last feature is easy BIOS Switching.

CPU Level Up is a simple process to automatically overclock the CPU with a click of the button. You are given a set of CPUs to choose from in the BIOS Setup screen. Once the settings are changed, reboot the system and the Rampage III Extreme motherboard will take to the new settings without issue. The Voltiminder LED displays the voltage status for CPU, NB, SB and memory.COP EX allows you to overvolt the chipset without overheating.

Q-Fan Plus automatically detects temperature and adjusts fan speed accordingly to achieve quiet and efficient cooling. There is a special temperature sensor cable to detect temperatures on any device. The Rampage III Extreme comes with an onboard power switch that clears CMOS without shorting the pins or moving jumpers. The Q-Connector allows you to add or remove chassis front panel cables in one step with one module.