Rampage IV Formula Conclusions

When we reach up to the heights of the Formula, we are already probing the high end of X79 motherboards.  The Formula is the lofty goal for gamers, and lacks most of the extra overclocking features of the Extreme.  However, the Formula is still very much fit for purpose - enhanced audio, quad-GPU using all the PCIe lanes, and improved performance thanks to the MultiCore Enhancement.

I could reiterate the positive nature of ASUS' software stack that comes part of the Formula, and for gamers we also have GameFirst network management software to prioritize games over other software that may want to eat up bandwidth (anti-virus updates), as well as free copies of Kaspersky Anti-Virus and Daemon Tools Pro.

The main criticism for the Formula would be the lack of memory slots, with only four being present on one of the most expensive full sized ATX X79 motherboards.  The reasoning from ASUS is straightforward - most, if not all, gaming setups require no more than 16 GB of memory, and with the extra space on board, there is room for beefier heatsinks, PCIe disable switches, fan headers, and so on. 

The Formula is in reality a fully sized Gene, offering Gene-class performance for those with more than two PCIe or 6 SATA devices.  There is more in the box, and it still comes with ASUS Premium Service for North America.  The possible downside could be the price - over the Gene, the Formula costs $80 more.  That is reasonable if you consider that in terms of real estate we are getting another 2.4 inches of PCB on the bottom end (equivalent to +20% extra PCB area).  Factor that into the price of the Gene ($280 x 1.2 = $336), then add the price of the extra PCIe slots and extras in the box and we should be near to the $360 mark.

The Gene is a special board, and the Extreme has that special knack.  In my mind, the Formula is a filler board - the longer Gene for the gamer who has more than two PCIe devices.  This board is still heartily recommended for its performance should that be your usage scenario.

Conclusions - Rampage IV Gene: Bronze Award Conclusions - Rampage IV Extreme: Silver Award


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  • jontech - Friday, August 3, 2012 - link

    But sounds kind of cool,.

    Helps that Asus makes it :)
  • Paulman - Friday, August 3, 2012 - link

    Asus Republic of Gamers also holds Starcraft tournaments, as well! That's how I first heard of their brand. In fact, the ASUS ROG Starcraft II Summer 2012 tournament is on right now and I'm watching a game vs. EG.IdrA and EG.Puma (same team, but one American teammate versus a Korean teammate).

    For more info on this tourney, see: http://rog.asus.com/142982012/gaming/join-the-rog-...
  • primeval - Friday, August 3, 2012 - link

    A fun tournament thus far.

    For the branding portion of this article, I highly recommend checking out some of ASUS ROG's commercials. They have been playing throughout the aforementioned tournament and I have to say they are probably the best hardware commercials I have ever seen in terms of production quality. I think that if you see a few of those commercials, you may be able to further rationalize the branding award.
  • Meaker10 - Friday, August 3, 2012 - link

    1x/16x/8x/16x would kill any dual card setup in a micro atx case, kinda defeating the point.... Reply
  • just4U - Friday, August 3, 2012 - link

    the 8x slot is rather pointless... Reply
  • danjw - Friday, August 3, 2012 - link

    I would rather see an article on the Ivybridge ROG motherboards then the Sandybridge-E ones. These are very niche boards, though I guess that is only slightly less true of the Ivybridge boards. For heavily threaded and memory intensive applications Sandybridge-E will win. But not really on much else, though they are chosen by some just because they are the most expensive. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Friday, August 3, 2012 - link

    Also, Sandy Bridge overclocks higher and throws out less heat, because of the silly design choice that Intel made in regards to the heat spreader compound.

    Not a problem for those who are up to the task of removing the IHS or lapping.
    Sad part is that Ivy Bridge actually has nice thermals and power consumption at stock; which could have translated well for enthusiasts.

    IvyBridge-E should be out within the next year, haswell will get released and the cycle shall continue.
    Hopefully we get 8 core Ivybridge-E chips, which is severely lacking on the Socket 2011 platform with the 3930K's being die harvested 8 core chips, plus most socket 2011 motherboards will take an Ivybridge-e chip anyway, when they're released.
  • danjw - Friday, August 3, 2012 - link

    I was just looking at "leaked" slide that shows Ivy Bridge-E out in Q3 2013 and Haswell out in Q2 2013. I really don't see what the point is of an Ivy Bridge-E if Haswell beats it to the market. With Sandy Bridge-E they released it before the Ivy Bridge tock. I just don't see why that would make much sense. Reply
  • Assimilator87 - Saturday, August 4, 2012 - link

    Haswell will probably be limited to four cores, whereas Ivy Bridge-E will scale up to ten cores. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - link

    I was hunting for R4E refs and found this. It's strange reading what people expected was going to happen back when the R4E was new. IB-E with 10 cores eh? Oh well. Mind you, that did happen with IB-EP, and infact the XEON E5-2680 v2 is one of the best upgrades one can do for an X79 mbd, at least for threaded performance anyway. Hard to avoid wondering how things would have panned out if the 3930K had simply been a fully functional 8-core in the first place, instead of the crippled sampled chip consumers were offered. However, I obtained quite a few, and they still work pretty well, especially with so many PCIe lanes to play with, and it's cool being able to use a 950 Pro to boot from NVMe (comes with its own boot ROM), though the ROG forum does have a thread with custom BIOS profiles available to add native NVMe boot support to various ASUS mbds. Reply

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