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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 00:49

Twelve X58 Boards roundup - 02 ASUS Rampage II Extreme

Written by Eliot Kucharik

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Review: Money doesn't buy performance




Features:
Intel X58/iCH10R
4-phase VRM, quad lane design
PEM ASP0801 4-phase controller/ASP0800 lane duplicator

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2x Marvel 88E8056 PCIe Gb LAN controller
JMicro JMB363 SATA II/PATA controller
VIA VT6308P PCI Firewire controller

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Winbond W83667HG-A super I/O controller
ICS 9LPRS918JKLF clock generator
passive cooling of chipsets/VRM
8Mb BIOS, version: 1406
Mainboard Revision: 1.00

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Slots:
3x PCIe 2.0 x16, 2x 16x, 1x 16x/2x 8x
2x PCIe x1
1x PCI

Memory:
6x Triple-Channel DDR3-slots for PC3-12800U memory up to 24GB

Storage:
6-Port SATA II featuring RAID 0, 1, 5, 0+1, JBOD
1-Port IDE
1-Port Floppy

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Backpanel ports:
1x PS/2 keyboard
2x Gb LAN
6x USB 2.0
1x Firewire 400
1x eSATA II 2go
1x CMOS clear button

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Accessories:
1x Dual-SLI bridge
1x Triple-SLI bridge
1x IDE cable
1x ASUS Q-Connector Kit
4x SATA cable
1x HDD-power to SATA-power
1x LED-poster
7x Cable Ties
1x SupremeFX Soundcard

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The board is pretty standard for ASUS.  If you believe ASUS marketing with it's 16-phase VRM, just forget it, because that's only 4-phases quadrupled. As we and many other sites said before, this is just not the way to go. It uses more power, is not more stable compared to other solutions and has no benefit whatsoever.

The unique feature is the voltage monitoring on the bottom of the board and with many overclocking buttons. While for some overclockers this feature brings benefits, we think it's just a way to increase the price of such boards. We also don't think it's wise to overclock when the system is running, because it does strain components on the board.

For some reason most vendors went for triple PCIe x16, so they can say the do support Triple-SLI. But you can have only two slots at full speed, adding a third card, two of the slots will only run with half the speed. Also only the first black PCIe x1 slot can fit the added soundcard, which is not an X-Fi, but just an ADI2000B chip with some EAX. The second PCIe x1 is just useless, most high-end graphics cards use at least two slots. This should be the high-end dream from ASUS, but we simply can't grasp why they put a PCI FireWire controller on it. At least ASUS stays with Marvell LAN chips, they do perform better compared to any Realtek chip.
The board does not clock at nominal speeds, which is a shame.

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Overclocking:

ASUS provides auto-overclocking of any CPU, but we advise against it. As we can show, it increases VCore massively and if you don't want invalidate the warranty of your CPU, you should know know better.

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So we did it manually and the results where quite satisfying.

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The i7 920 does not provide unlocked multipliers, so we test each board with a BCLK of 173MHz. While the auto-overclocking feature sets the VCore to 1.3000V (screenshot), we managed to get a stable system with 1.2500V.

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(Page 2 of 13)
Last modified on Thursday, 13 August 2009 13:02
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