Asus X58 Rampage III Extreme Motherboard Review

Article Index

Test System and BIOS Options

How we configured our test systems:  Before testing, we visited the motherboard's support page to download the latest BIOS available. Then we flashed the BIOS to the latest revision and moved to the next step. When configuring our test systems for this article, we set each board to its optimized defaults. After saving the settings, we re-entered the BIOS and set the memory for DDR3-1866 with 7-8-7-20 timings. The hard drive was formatted, and Windows 7 Pro 64bit installed. Once Win 7 installation completed, we updated the OS and installed the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking software, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.

 HotHardware's Test System
 Intel Inside

Motherboards:
Asus Rampage III Extreme
BIOS 0901 (7/16/10)

EVGA Classified X58 760
BIOS 74 (7/7/10)

Asus Rampage II Extreme
BIOS 1802 (2/8/10)

Processor:
Intel Core i7 980X Extreme Edition
(3.33GHz - Six-Core) 

RAM:
OCZ Blade 6GB (3x2GB)
DDR3-2000 CAS 7-8-7-20

Graphics Card:
Gigabyte Super Overclock HD 5870

Hard Drive:
Crucial M225 128GB SATA II MLC SSD

Software:
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
ATI Catalyst 10.7 Suite (7/26/10)

In order to find out where the Rampage III Extreme stood in comparison to other high end boards, we tested it along with the Classified X58 motherboard from EVGA, and with the product its replacing, the Rampage II Extreme. We used a single Gigabyte Super Overclock HD 5870 during most of the tests, but added an additional card for dual GPU gaming benchmarks.

Just like any article comparing boards of the same chipset, we expect the scores to be very close. For most users, the biggest difference between these boards will come in the form of looks, connectivity options, BIOS settings, and accessory bundle. It should be interesting to see how much of an improvement the Rampage III is over the older model.

Asus Rampage III Extreme BIOS
American Megatrends


The RIIIE features an American Megatrends BIOS with plenty of options for performance tuning. We updated the board with version 0901, which was released July 2010. Upon start-up, we are greeted with the Extreme Tweaker menu, which presents the most important settings used by overclocking enthusiasts. From here, you can adjust CPU frequency, memory timings, and voltages with ease, then save up to eight different profiles.


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