Asus X58 Rampage III Extreme Motherboard Review
True enthusiasts can appreciate a good looking motherboard. Here, we find the Rampage III Extreme sports a familiar black and red theme found in the Republic of Gamers family. But as sexy as it looks, beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say. After installing the board in a case, adding a memory kit, CPU cooler, and videocards, the motherboard is covered up from top to bottom.
For the uninitiated, overclockers require constant access to their components in order to make modifications during benchmarking runs. This can sometimes lead to the use of open air test benches or bypassing the use of a case altogether. The layout found on the Rampage III Extreme definitely lends itself to this use model, derived from a long history of enthusiast level motherboards and listening to the needs of their customers.
The board features several onboard switches that allow fine tuning in an open case environment. Here we find a power switch, reset switch, GO button, PCIe x16 lane switches, and Probelt connections. The GO button enables the MemOK! feature and loads a preset overclocking profile. In addition, the PCIe x16 lane switches allow you to turn expansion slots on and off for easier troubleshooting. Also, the Probelt feature gives overclockers a valuable advantage as it offers a central location for voltage readings without the requirement of additional modifications.
There are four red PCI Express x16 slots on the Rampage III Extreme. They are double spaced in order to support the installation of large videocards that take up two slots each. Dual card setups should make use of the first and third PCIe x16 slot, leaving the second slot empty to allow for increased airflow. Additionally, the board can handle up to three NVIDIA videocards in Tri-SLI, or up to four ATI cards for Quad-CrossFire.
Along the edge of the
board, we find a total of nine SATA ports. The six gray ports go through the Intel ICH10R, while the black port connects to the JMicron JMB363. The pair of red SATA ports are Marvell 6Gb/s connectors.
Back Panel I/O