The beast returns in all its glory.
The Republic of Gamers series of products has been the star of ASUS’s lineup for a long time, with the Extreme series motherboards highlighting the technological push ASUS represents within the PC industry. Today I’ll be looking at the Rampage IV Extreme, the highest-end motherboard ASUS makes for the new LGA2011 Sandy Bridge-E platform.
The packaging is in line with previous ROG motherboards, which means it’s completely washed in red. There’s a see through flap on the top for you to admire the board before putting it in your case.
Inside you have a ton of accessories bundled with the motherboard. You have the standard set of manuals and the drivers DVD. 4x SATA cables, the ROG Connect cable, the ROG probe cables and the Q-connectors. Then you have a CrossFireX bridge, an SLI, 3-way SLI and quad-SLI bridges packed in. Moving along we have the X-Socket LGA1366 backplate for socket 1366 coolers. Last, but not least, is the ASUS OC Key with its cable for connecting to the motherboard.
Herein I’d like to bring you guys back to the last two features. Firstly there’s the X-Socket backplate which you can replace with the one already on the Rampage IV Extreme. This backplate will allow you to connect a socket LGA1366 based CPU cooler if you have one. The idea is that people upgrading their systems from the old Intel Extreme series processors won’t have to go ahead with the hassle of replacing their expensive cooling solution. Especially since Intel doesn’t provide a stock heatsink with the new Sandy Bridge-E processors!
Next up is the new OC Key adapter. Basically the OC Key allows you to overclock and change system setting through BIOS via another monitor, or on as a graphical overlay on the same monitor. Think of it like the ASUS ROG Connect feature. But where the ROG Connect requires another PC/ laptop/ iOS or Android based smartphone/ tablet, the OC Key doesn’t require any outside computing. There’s a small processor inside the OC Key itself that takes care of the interface between your Rampage IV Extreme running the system, and you being able to control every aspect of it in real-time on the same/separate screen. Ultimately, there’s not much purpose to this than cheating benchmarks by tweaking the system in real-time so that your enthusiastic overclock doesn’t BSOD the system.