|ASUS Rampage IV Formula X79 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Thursday, 15 March 2012|
Page 15 of 17
Rampage IV Formula Overclocking
Overclocking is the key to success for the ASUS Rampage IV Formula when compared to other X79 motherboards. We've seen that other X79 motherboards have all faired equally well when overclocking. How will the Rampage IV Formula hold up? Considering its Republic of Gamers endorsement, it should do well. First up we have a ROG CPU-Z shot of the i7-3820 at clock speeds. Much cooler than the normal CPU-Z.
Next up is a CPU-Z screenshot of the locked i7-3820 CPU. Notice how the CPU doesn't have a K or an X at the end of its name. And yet, because of the ability of the X79 chipset to increase the bclk, we get a massive 1.150GHz boost in clock speed on this otherwise locked CPU. In reality, I didn't spend as much time as I would have liked tweaking the many different aspects available in the UEFI. I think I was actually limited by the RAM, surprisingly enough. In any event, I don't see the 5GHz barrier holding much of a chance against the i7-3820 with this motherboard after a little more work. Even so, while a 3.3GHz to 4.5GHz jump may not seem like much on the i7-3960X, you have to consider that it's an unlocked CPU and that it costs $1000. In my book, 3.6GHz to 4.75GHz on a locked CPU that costs a third of that is nothing short of outstanding. Let's take a look at the settings that took us there.
The only section of the UEFI we are really worried about here is the very first one. It's also the one that you open up to when heading in from the splash screen. First off, we're going to set the AI Overclock Tuner to Manual so we can start making changes. Next step is the BCLK Frequency. Since the i7-3820 is a locked processor, we are limited to only a 400MHz boost in the Turbo frequency without a bclk boost. We are going to set it to 125MHz. Anything higher is a little out of the question at this point. We want to overclock on all cores, so make sure the Turbo Ratio is set for it. For a stable overclock, 38 was the highest I could get for the modifier. The final change on this page is the CPU Clock Gen Filter. ASUS recommends you set it to 20UF to help maximize overclocking.
The Memory Frequency was causing me a little bit of trouble here, although it shouldn't have. The G.Skill memory I used should have been good up to 2400MHz, which is the limit of the motherboard as well, but if I set it to anything over 2000MHz, I couldn't get a stable overclock. I'm going to keep testing, and I'll make sure I post any findings. Anyway, make sure Xtreme Tweaking is enabled. I left the rest of the settings above the break here alone. Enable Extreme OV to make sure you can get enough voltage to the components. The BCLK Skew was set automatically when I changed the BCLK to 125MHz. I pushed up the CPU VCORE voltage to 1.6, the VTT CPU Voltage to 1.4, and the 2nd VTT CPU Voltage to 1.5.
Finishing up the settings, I pushed up the VCCSA to 1.45. Be careful here, as many overclockers will tell you not to mess with the VCCSA settings. However, with the Rampage IV Formula, the VCCSA runs on a 3-phase power design that can handle a lot more voltage. I pushed DRAM voltage up to 1.8 for all channels, CPU PLL voltage to 2.1, and PCH 1.1v voltage to 1.4v.
To sum it all up, I was very impressed with the overclock settings on the Rampage IV Formula. You can tell that this motherboard was created for overclocking. That much is apparent from the first four options in the Extreme Tweaker section, Normal OC, Gamer's OC, Extreme OC (low current), and Extreme OC (High Current). The board comes out of the box ready to overclock. Of course, if you don't want to mess with the UEFI, you can overclock through the AI Suite II software package included with the motherboard.