ASUS Rampage IV Extreme review -
The BIOS and Software Suite and OC KEY
The BIOS and Software Suite
The ASUS EFI BIOS is an Extensible Firmware Interface that complies with uEFI architecture, offering a user-friendly interface that goes beyond traditional keyboard-only BIOS controls to enable a way more flexible and convenient mouse input at BIOS level. uEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is a specification detailing an interface that helps hand off control of the system for the pre-boot environment (i.e. after the system is powered on, but before the operating system starts) to an operating system, such as Windows. uEFI is an interface.
It can be implemented on top of a traditional BIOS (in which case it supplants the traditional "INT" entry points into BIOS) or on top of non-BIOS implementations. End-users can navigate the new EFI BIOS (basic input/output system) with the same smoothness as their operating system. It's simply a Windows OS feel. The EZ Mode displays frequently-accessed setup info, while the Advanced Mode is for experienced performance enthusiasts that demand far more intricate system settings.
Above screenshots (clock to enlarge) on the new uEFI BIOS feature, and yes it is as impressive as it looks. So yes, the uEFI BIOS is really handy to use and easy to navigate. Next to that it makes common functions really fail proof, features like flashing a BIOS is done in a jiffy and all variables can be managed and monitored really easy. A massive improvement over the classic BIOS alright.
The ASUS Software Suite
Bundled with the Sabertooth is the extensive AI Suite II which if you haven't already seen has had a facelift and is included with the motherboard DIGI+ VRM, and monitoring software for voltages, sensors and frequencies (Sensor Recorder). DIGI+ VRM allows you to control the balance between efficiency and performance. Giving you the management over Phase Control above other elements.
There's just lots of software for you to check out.
The OC KEY
So here we have the ROG OC key. This device creates an overlay on the active DVI monitor to adjust overclock settings in real-time without using additional software or hardware (it connects to the graphics card DVI port).
The dongle, if we may call it that, is placed in-between the graphics card and the DVI connector of your monitor. You can already see the problem ...the thing is really long. Not very handy or sexy to be totally honest.
From the dongle you lead a cable towards the motherboard and connect it to a ROG connect header just behind the rear IO. Now you press the ROG Connect switch for three second and the overclock will activate like so:
Since it's an overlay we could not take a screenshot on the PC, this horrible photo will have to do I'm afraid. But here you can see the OC Key activated and outputting several variables. Tap the ROG connect button once more and it will take commands from your keyboard. Tap it three seconds again and it will shut down.
The OC Key as such allows for for simple on-screen and on-the-fly overclocking and monitoring. The ROG OC Key will also feature a dedicated USB port where its firmware can be easily updated with future tweaks and advancements.
The ROG team this time went wild, releasing a motherboard with all the features that last-gen motherboards should have such as USB 3.0 connectivity, Bluetooth, eSATA connectors, SATA 6.0Gbps, and 7.1 channel audio, but the real x-factor of the Rampage IV Extreme can only be found when we look at its overclocking features. Head on over to the next page where we'll discuss the X79 chipset, the respective ASUS model. Then will throw a decent photo-shoot and a benchmark suite at the products and get an indication what performance is like with the Intel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E) and X79 Platform.
ASUS Rampage III Black Edition review
ASUS are launching the ASUS Rampage III Black Edition and it just has to be the most exclusive X58 motherboard we have ever had our hands on. Improved overclockability, black design (including a black colored BIOS). The spec-sheet might read pretty similar to last year's Rampage III Extreme, but there have been a few tweaks alright. The board now sports a quartet of PCIe x16 slots capable of supporting three-way SLI or four-way CrossFireX, support for 24GB DDR3 at speeds of up to 2,200MHz and then the fun begins, USB 3.0, SATA 6G, a ThunderBolt add-on card that integrates Xonar sound as well as BigFoot's Killer NPU.
ASUS Rampage III Gene review
Within that motto ASUS has it's own Gene series within the motherboard line up. Now if you put that on the X58 platform, it's called Rampage by ASUS. And then when this apocalyptic group of minions and demons called 'Republic of Gamers' aka ROG gets their hands on a product like this, you can expect improvements and extra overclock features.
ASUS Rampage III Extreme review
We test the ASUS Rampage III Extreme motherboard. The X58 based Rampage III Extreme is unadulterated performance, quality, versatility, some recently introduced innovation and massive overclockability. Now with added SATA 6G and USB 3.0 controllers as well.