ASUS Republic of Gamers and X79 ROG Review – Rampage IV Gene, Formula and Extremeby Ian Cutress on August 3, 2012 1:00 PM EST
Rampage IV Extreme Conclusions
Halo products are big news and big business. If your product is the best, and everyone says it is the best, then those that ask will get your product as the answer. As a result, the person who asked may then go out and purchase one of your products. The downside of a Halo product is that it requires a lot of time and investment - lots of research and development that may not pay off if another company jumps ahead of you. Chances are as well that due to all that investment, the halo product itself will not even break even. However, you are hoping that it will filter down to the regular products and boost their sales.
I should stress that the halo product is different to the 'ultimate' product. The halo product only has to beat the competition to be number one, rather than cater for every single need in every single category. There are many examples of this in the history of motherboards where particular companies have placed on their products a variety of superfluous functionality that means nothing to most people, often at great expense.
With the ROG brand, and particularly with the Rampage IV Extreme, the prize is the Halo effect. In the minds of ASUS, they needed a product that would achieve the pinnacle of performance, whilst still being a great board to manipulate. This is why they hired, inter alia, Andre Yang and Peter 'Shamino' Tan on to the team - two of the world's best overclockers, in order to invest time into improving the range of ROG products.
Performance wise, it is hard to stop the Extreme it its tracks - as with all the other ROG motherboards in this review, the MultiCore Enhancement at stock means that out of the packet, this X79 board is one of the best performing on the market. If we couple that with some other hardware and nice overclocks, we can break records, or with some sub-zero cooling, world records for performance. The features on board to aid this are also numerous: VGA Hotwire useful for GPU overclocking; the enhanced LN2 mode gives the already substantial BIOS a kick in the rear; SubZero Sense removes the need for thermometers; and the added OC Key is a marvelous piece of technology to allow the enthusiast to view and adjust values on the fly.
To be the best, you have to perform the best. If you have enough green in your wallet, then the Rampage IV Extreme will offer you that base of performance from which to launch any world record attempt. While it may not be for everyone (regular users would prefer the Gene or Formula), as an overclocker we can tweak the RIVE to our hearts content.
At $430, double the price of the ASRock X79 Extreme4-M, is the Rampage IV Extreme a good buy? Compared to the 4-M, the RIVE feels like more than double the board, in terms of features and performance. Let us not forget, users of the RIVE may also be spending $999 on a processor, so there would be good reason to pair it with a board more geared to deal with the power and price is probably not an issue.
With all this in mind, I would like to give the Extreme an AnandTech Editors' Choice Silver Award. If your usage scenario is power, and you want an array of tools in order to take down the best scores of a CPU generation, then the Rampage IV Extreme is the best tool to do it with should money be no object.
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme