We have received numerous emails about the upcoming X58 motherboards concerning price, availability, and of course performance. Pricing has yet to be determined as we believe each of the manufacturers are waiting to hear what their competitors will charge for a board before committing to a price. What we do know is that the $185 price target mentioned for several X58 motherboards back at Computex has quickly turned into an exclusive $250 and up club from all indications.

Retail availability and launch date is another question that we cannot answer, we know the answer, it's just that our hands (and mouths) are tied by an NDA. All we can say it that it will be soon, but soon for some is tomorrow and for others it could be a month for now. Let's just say they will be out sometime this quarter.

Performance is another subject that we cannot discuss either. The reason is the same as above. Starting to see a pattern develop here? That's what an NDA will do for you. At least we can say this without having the legal eagles from the blue team sweep down upon us; the board we are showing today is the fastest one in the labs to date. It will also probably be the most expensive one, but hey, if you have to ask for the price then you probably can't afford it anyway.

That board is the ASUS Rampage II Extreme featuring the soon to be released X58 chipset supporting an i7 processor. Designed for a very niche market and with limited production numbers, this board will be ASUS' primary weapon in the ultra high-end market against some stiff competition from Gigabyte and perhaps others. The Rampage "2 the" Extreme board is the latest and greatest contribution from the Republic of Gamers (ROG) design group.

How fast? Imagine a cheetah sprinting for a gazelle after devouring a case of Red Bull. Actually, that has more to do with the 3.2GHz i7 overclocked to a healthy X.XGHz (Ed: Sorry, not yet!) with a few gigabytes of Qimonda's finest running at a leisurely 2200MHz. Yeah, we broke the 1.65V memory guideline, but there is a trick to it without causing permanent damage to the CPU, although our benchmark programs are crying foul right now. To be honest, this board does bring out the best in the new i7 in a very easy manner once you learn the tricks of the BIOS.

While we wanted to show the BIOS options today, ASUS is still discussing it internally. We will provide a gallery update once we get permission. For those of you weaned on overclocking the Core 2 series via the FSB design, get ready for the shock of your life. Those with experience overclocking the Athlon 64 and now Phenom processor series will feel right at home - just start substituting HT with QPI. It is a little more complicated than that actually, as a few of Intel's new features require some additional study. The other problem we have noticed is each of the motherboard suppliers like to name various BIOS options differently, resulting in a need to have five or six BIOS guides ready for the launch on 1X/XX/2008 (Ed: Not going to get away with it).

All that said, let's take a quick look at the ASUS Rampage II Extreme and see what makes this board tick.

The Board
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  • marsbound2024 - Thursday, October 9, 2008 - link

    Depends on the apps for your real world performance. I think if you are someone like me who will be making use of some very multi-threaded applications, then you may certainly wish to invest to i7. But alas, I am waiting to see on some full performance reviews. :)
  • marsbound2024 - Thursday, October 9, 2008 - link

    I am anxious for a full review of the processors along with this motherboard--and competitor motherboards as well. I've been waiting to replace my mid-2006 build computer and have nearly given in to the temptation to just build a PC with a Q6600, but I am really waiting out for i7. I made the mistake of building a socket 939 based system in mid-2006 when AM2 was in its infancy. By the time mid to late 2007 came around, processor upgrades just weren't easy to find. "High-end" dual core 939 processors weren't available and I didn't think a 3800X2 or 4200X2 would really have been worth the upgrade. So alas, my single core 3800+ gets me by on what I use my PC for at the moment, including WoW on medium settings, but I plan on doing much more with my PC. I want to get back using Vue Esprit for 3D rendering, Photoshop CS4 if I decide to cough up the money for it, Magix MovieEdit Pro for animations and movies, finally play Crysis (yeah I can't believe I haven't played it yet either), and maybe dabble in some FruityLoops or Reason. I am a big fan of digital media and hope to be able to have an upgradeable PC that I can comfortably get two years out of. Now that I am twenty and have a better job than previously, I will happily shell out the two thousand dollars for a relatively high-end desktop PC that I've been wanting to for several months now. The performance difference is going to be HUGE from my current PC (2.4GHz 3800+, 7600GT, 1GB DDR--never got around to upgrading that, 250GB WD SATA3.0). Shooting for Vista 64-bit Ultimate. Sorry about the rant, but I am quite excited about the i7 as it is the point I've really decided to upgrade on. I once thought about Penryn (and would've already upgraded had my use been mostly single-threaded apps), but given "Nehalem" or i7's multicore performance boosts, I decided to wait it out.
  • ABurns - Thursday, October 9, 2008 - link

    I assume then that

    We cannot mention results yet, but they are certainly promising with the i7-965 overclocked.

    is the name of the 3.2ghz Core i7 mentioned earlier in the article (Actually, that has more to do with the 3.2GHz i7 overclocked)
  • mmp121 - Friday, October 10, 2008 - link

    How can we use the two nuggets of info and gleen what the MAX OC was?

    [quote]Actually, that has more to do with the 3.2GHz i7 overclocked to a healthy X.XGHz (Ed: Sorry, not yet!) with a few gigabytes of Qimonda's finest running at a leisurely 2200MHz.[/quote]

    I know there's no FSB anymore on the new core. One can assume that 1333 MHz / 4? = 333 MHz

    2200 MHz / 4? = 550 MHz

    so if the clock is locked on the CPU (guessing here)

    3.2 GHz / (1333 MHz / 4) = ~9.5 divisor ?

    so if we use the 550 MHz * 9.5 = ~ 5.2 GHz ?

    That just can NOT be right. I'm sure I'm missing something
  • marsbound2024 - Thursday, October 9, 2008 - link

    Go to Wikipedia and you'll find that the names of the processors have been released:


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