X79 ROG goodness for the masses.
With the launch of the latest X79 chipset from Intel, most manufacturers are bringing out their high-end socket LGA2011 motherboards. Today I’ll be looking at the ASUS Rampage IV Formula, their high-end X79 Republic of Gamers motherboard for the mainstream market.
Our test unit was actually the Battlefield 3 Edition of the Rampage IV Formula, making for a rather striking box. Apart from the motherboard, accessories and manuals, you get an Origin code printed on a card to get your copy of Battlefield 3; there’s no DVD of the game itself.
Given that the Rampage IV Formula is a standard ATX sized motherboard, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it has four PCIe 3.0 slots for 4-way SLI or CFX. While the board does come with two-card SLI and CFX cables, it also comes with a 3-way SLI bridge. Sadly, there’s no 4-way SLI bridge, nor a 3-way or 4-way CFX bridge.
Another strange thing is that the Rampage IV Formula has 4 DIMM slots, but only support a maximum of 32GB RAM, albeit speeds supported are up to 2700MHz.
Moving along to features that add value to the motherboard, we have the SupremeFX III sound card, which is basically 8-channel HD audio amplified with some really high-end capacitors and shielding, resulting in one of the best sound cards pre-built into a motherboard. Industry standards like THX TruStudio PRO, EAX Advanced HD 5.0 and Creative ALchemy are all supported by this bad boy. Basically all you need are a good pair of headphones and you’re set for an incredible audio experience.
A cool new feature that the Rampage IV Formula shares with the Rampage IV Extreme is the X-Socket adapter. It’s literally a clamp you replace on the Rampage IV Formula that will allow you to plug in your existing (if you have one) Socket 1366 heatsink.
As with most of their high-end motherboards, the Rampage IV Formula comes with the Extreme Engine Digi+ II which efficiently regulates voltage on all the components plugged into the motherboard. Obviously the VRM allows for detailed frequency adjustments for the RAM and CPU through the BIOS. The ROG Connect is another cool feature whereby you can connect the Rampage IV Formula to another computer via a USB cable and control the overclocking features in real-time on the other machine.