Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

ASUS Rampage V Extreme LGA 2011-v3 Motherboard

The Rampage V Extreme needs no introduction. It is the flagship of the ASUS Republic of Gamers aka ROG product line. If the pattern of previous Rampage motherboards holds it should be one of the best motherboards money can buy. Is the new ROG crown jewel still worthy of the crown at its $475 price point?

Introduction

ASUS is one of the largest motherboard manufacturers in the world. ASUS is a large corporation with a diversified product line covering entry to enthusiast level products. It makes networking hardware, tablets, laptops and even monitors. A few years ago ASUS created a separate brand called Republic of Gamers. These products are designed to be among the most full featured, most advanced, and best performing in the ASUS catalog. Innovations pioneered on ROG motherboards will eventually be filtered down to standard retail channel SKUs in subsequent generations. A great example of this is with regard to last year’s audio implementation in the ROG motherboards being found on motherboards such as the Z97 Deluxe. In fact virtually the entire industry now copies the audio design of previous iterations of the ROG motherboards.

Since the introduction of the Republic of Gamers line, virtually all the motherboards in my own personal gaming rig have been from the ROG brand. Typically these do represent the best of the best and it’s rare for another brand or model to match or exceed ASUS’ offerings from the ROG brand. I’m still running two Rampage series boards in machines at home. I look at many motherboards in the review process in two ways. Many are motherboards I look at for the masses and experience these as products for many people to consider in various price points and usage scenarios. For motherboards at the higher end of the spectrum I also evaluate these as potential upgrades for my own gaming machine. I’ve been looking at all X99 motherboards as potential candidates for my own X99 build. So far I’ve been impressed with many of the X99 motherboards I’ve worked with to date.

On the surface the Rampage V Extreme has a lot going for it but to some extent that’s also the problem. You pay a lot for ROG motherboards given the massive feature set. Many of the features often go unused by the majority of folks who buy these but at the core, the ROG motherboards like the Rampage V Extreme are among the most stable and are often some of the best overclockers you’ll find.

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The Rampage V Extreme Is based on Intel’s X99 Express chipset and is compatible with Intel’s LGA2011-v3 processors. This includes offerings in the Xeon E5 16xx and 26xx series CPUs as well as the Core i7 5xxx series CPUs. The Rampage V Extreme supports up to 64GB of DDR4 memory USB 3.0 and 10x SATA Drives. SATA Express and M.2 are also supported rounding out the chipset’s included features.

There is a long list of non-Intel chipset based features integrated into the Rampage V Extreme. This includes both ASUS and ROG specific features. These include ProbeIt, MemOK, Fan Xpert3, 5-Way optimization, LN2 mode, Extreme DIGI+ IV, GPU.DIMM POST and much more.

There are a few other features worth mentioning like the OC Socket which should allow for better voltage delivery to CPU and memory during overclocking. ASUS’ T-Topology minimizes crosstalk and signaling issues. The ROG OC panel has also been included with the Rampage V Extreme. The panel allows for hardware tuning of voltages, base clock frequencies, and multipliers from the handset. The OC panel also allows for voltage control of VGA cards and speed control of fans when these devices are connected. This works more as a display panel in a 5 آ¼" bay when not in use. This displays temperatures and clock speeds as the LCD part of the OC panel can be flipped for insertion into the chassis. It’s much more useful for hardcore bench tuners who may use some of the panel’s more advanced features. The subzero sense feature can be accessed from this as well as the voltage connections for modifying VGA voltage and so on. These are things not normally done even by most enthusiasts. That is to say for 24/7 operations these features are less important selling points of the Rampage V Extreme.

Main Specifications Overview:

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Detailed Specifications Overview:

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Packaging

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The packaging of the Rampage V Extreme is the same as that of practically all ROG motherboards since the brand began. As you might expect there are a ton of included accessories. These are ROG door hanger, driver disc, user guide, 2-Way, 3-Way, and 4-Way SLI bridges, X-Socket2 kit (for LN2 pot mounting), thermal sensor cables, OC panel, OC panel cable, OC panel, drive bay adapter, SATA cables, I/O shield, and Q-connectors.

Board Layout

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The layout of the Rampage V Extreme is superb. It is hard to find fault with how the motherboard is designed. Now for the most part ASUS usually does a good job and the ASUS X99 Deluxe was well thought out, so it shouldn’t be surprising. It never ceases to amaze me how much ASUS can pack onto a PCB while still maintaining industry standard form factors. And while the aforementioned ASUS X99 Deluxe was well laid out the Rampage V Extreme is more feature rich making it all the more impressive.

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The CPU socket area is clean. The Rampage V Extreme’s International Rectifier IR3555 PoweIRstageآ® components are covered by a large black heat sink with an embedded copper heat pipe. Interestingly ASUS opted not to go with its dual color PCB treatment found in the Z97 line. In any case you shouldn’t have too much trouble mounting larger cooling systems to the CPU socket given the fairly generous clearances here. Some memory modules may be tall enough to cause problems so watch out for that when you buy your build parts.

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The Rampage V Extreme has eight 288-pin DDR4 DIMM slots allowing for a maximum memory capacity of 64GB. The memory slots are color coded to denote proper dual and quad-channel memory mode operation. The front most memory banks have the bulk of the onboard controls in front of these. You have the LN2 jumper, slow mode switch and MemOK buttons alongside the usual power and reset buttons. Two new buttons for the Rampage V Extreme are the safe boot and retry buttons. The safe boot button is a manual way to trigger the watchdog feature and thus boot your system into safe mode after a failed overclock so you can go into the UEFI BIOS and change your settings. The retry button forces a reboot immediately, which works in scenarios where the system might not be responsive to a normal reset.

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The chipset is cooled with a low profile heatsink. There are no heat pipes or anything here. Additional controls are found to the left such as Keybot and the BIOS switch. Directly in front of the chipset are the Rampage V Extreme’s 12 SATA ports and two SATA Express ports. Additionally the M.2 slot is behind the chipset. It supports M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices in PCI-Express mode.

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The expansion slot area has four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. These offer several viable lane configurations such as x16, x16/x16, x16/x8/x8 or x16/x8/x8/x8 mode with 40-lane CPU; or x16, x16/x8, x8/x8/x8 mode with 28-lane CPU. This configuration also enables several options for multi-GPU usage. The Rampage V Extreme supports NVIDIA SLI, 3-Way SLI, 4-Way SLI and Quad-SLI. Similar support is offered for AMD GPUs allowing for the use of AMD CrossfireX or 3-Way and 4-Way CrossfireX. The layout is extremely good allowing for even spacing of GPUs. There are some considerations such as having the last PCI-Express slot near the bottom edge of the system and thus not ideal for all chassis. In fairness the packed nature of the PCB wouldn’t allow for another configuration here.

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The I/O panel is packed with connectivity options as well as some controls. The BIOS flashback and ROG Connect buttons are found here alongside a plethora of ports. These include a PS/2 mouse or keyboard port, 10x USB 3.0 ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x RJ-45 port, 3 antenna connections for WiFi, 1x optical output and finally five gold plated and color coded mini-stereo jacks.