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Written by Hank Tolman   
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS Rampage IV Formula X79 Motherboard
Closer Look: ASUS Rampage IV Formula
Rampage IV Formula Detailed Features
Motherboard Features and Specifications
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Extreme Edition Tests
PCMark Vantage Tests
CINEBENCH R11.5 Benchmarks
CPU-Dependent 3D Gaming
PassMark PerformanceTest
Media Encoding Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
SPECapc Lightwave
Blender and POV-Ray
Rampage IV Formula Overclocking
ROG X79 Express Motherboard Final Thoughts
ASUS Rampage IV Formula Conclusion

Motherboard Testing Methodology

Motherboards based on the same chipset, even from different vendors, will tend to perform similarly when equipped with the same hardware (processor, memory, video card, et cetera), so vendors strive to distinguish themselves on features. And as you might expect from ASUS, this motherboard is jammed with proprietary goodies: Extreme Engine DIGI+ II, EPU, auto-overclocking, fully digital power circuitry, various diagnostic LEDs, and a complete suite of software and utilities to let you make the most of it. You can even overclock the CPU and tweak the power settings from within Windows, without rebooting, with the included Turbo V Evo utility.

Unfortunately, I didn't have four identical graphics cards to really give the system a workout; so you'll have to be satisfied with our standard test suite. I'll compare the ASUS Rampage IV Formula motherboard against a motherboard from each of the other recent chipsets, as well as another board from the Rampage IV line, the Gene.

Intel X58 Express Test Platform

  • Motherboard: ASUS Rampage III Extreme with BIOS 0901
  • Processor: 3.33GHz Intel Core i7-980X
  • System Memory: 12GB (6 2GB DIMMs) Corsair Dominator CMD12GX3M6A1600C8 DDR3-1600 (9-9-9-24)
  • Primary Drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor 300G
  • Graphics Adapter: AMD Radeon 6850
  • CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM

Intel P67 Express Test Platform

AMD 990FX Test Platform

  • Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair V Formula with BIOS 0083
  • Processor: 3.6GHz AMD FX-8150 "Bulldozer"
  • System Memory: G. Skill F3-17066CL7D-4GBPIS DDR3-1866 (9-9-9-24)
  • Primary Drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor 300G
  • Graphics Adapter: AMD Radeon 6850
  • CPU cooler: Thermalright Silver Arrow

Intel X79 Express Test Platforms

  • Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Gene
  • Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Formula
  • Processor: 3.6GHz Intel Core i7-3820
  • System Memory: 16GB (4 4GB DIMMs) G.Skill RipJaws X Series
  • Primary Drive: Zalman 256GB SSD
  • Graphics Adapter: AMD Radeon 6850
  • CPU cooler: Corsair CWCH60 H60 CPU Cooler

Benchmark Applications

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
  • SiSoft Sandra Lite 2011.SPS (1780)
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition v1.85.1600
  • Futuremark PCMark Vantage v1.0.2.0 64-Bit
    • TV and Movies
    • Gaming
    • Music
  • Maxon CINEBENCH R11.5 64-Bit
  • Street Fighter IV benchmark
  • PassMark PerformanceTest 7.0b1021
  • x264Bench HD 3.0, including AMD-supplied variants using new FX instructions
  • SPECviewperf-11:
    • Lightwave 9.6
    • Autodesk Maya 2009
    • Siemens Teamcenter Visualization Mockup
  • SPECapc LightWave 3D v9.6
  • Handbrake 0.95 video transcoding
  • Blender 3D rendering
  • POV-Ray 3D rendering



 

Comments 

 
# RE: ASUS Rampage-IV Formula Motherboard BF3 EditionAthlonite 2012-03-16 03:27
pfft $610.10NZD forget it thats only 40 bucks less than what I quoted a guy for an mobo case and PSU cpu and ram for an AM3+ system
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# EnthusiastWayne 2012-03-16 03:40
What part of enthusiast didn't you get? If you have the money and you like intel. I don't go crying about AMD whenever they review it. It just a preference.
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# RE: Enthusiastwhynotv2 2012-03-16 04:12
I agree with Wayne completely...it's an enthusiast board. And Athlonite, that AM3+ system that would cost you 40 more would get destroyed by this system. I'm an AMD supporter and all but one computer in my house is built around an AMD processor (my netbook being the exception), but I can admit that i7 system will run circles around a $650NZD AM3+ system.
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# RE: ASUS Rampage-IV Formula Motherboard BF3 EditionAthlonite 2012-03-16 03:34
Add $1,399.00NZD to that mobo for the Intel core i7 3960X and you soon find that intel are just way to expensive even without a case or GPU or ram it's already 3x times the price of an AM3+ system
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# WhyMergatroid 2012-03-17 21:03
Why add $1399 when it already kicks the AM3+? Wasn't there an article here a few months ago showing a Bulldozer getting outperformed in most tests by an i5?
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# RE: ASUS Rampage-IV Formula Motherboard BF3 EditionAthlonite 2012-03-16 03:40
Also you used the same HD6850 GPU through all of the systems so why no BF3 benchmark scores after all it came with the mobo
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# No BF3 benchmarkHank 2012-03-16 11:09
Because this is a motherboard review, not a GPU review.
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# So?Mergatroid 2012-03-21 15:27
Your answer doesn't make sense. When I purchased two 6970 cards I was using a Core 2 Quad and everything was awesome. Then came long BF3, and guess what was causing a bottleneck? Yup, my main board/cpu.

Because he's using the same video card in each board, if he had of also used the same RAM and CPU it would have been easy to see if there was any difference in BF3 caused by the main board. It would also have been interesting. At the very least, it could be reported that no difference was found in the game using different mobos.

However, I can excuse not doing it because it would have been a lot of extra work. Sure would have been interesting though.
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# RE: So?Olin Coles 2012-03-21 15:41
I agree with Hank, this is a motherboard review and benchmarking a (mostly) GPU-bound game isn't as effective as CPU-bound tests. Street Fighter IV would be an exception, however, since it's VERY CPU-bound.
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# Just one more piece of infoMergatroid 2012-03-21 16:04
I was trying to point out that BF3 was bottlenecked by the older/slower CPU I was using compared to the i5 2500k I use now, and that BF3 can be used as an indicator of CPU capability, all else being equal. However, that doesn't necessarily indicate there would be any difference between motherboards (all else being equal), but now we don't know for sure because it wasn't tested (but I doubt it).

What if it was tested and there was a difference? Wouldn't you like to know that? How would that not be classified as testing the motherboard if they all used the same gpu? (Again, I don't think there would be a significant difference between motherboards). Even knowing there was no difference would have been reassuring, if only a little. But it would have been a little extra work for something we're already 99% sure of.
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# RE: ASUS Rampage-IV Formula Motherboard BF3 Editionwhynotv2 2012-03-16 04:13
I'd like to see the "Expensive enthusiast product" added to the Cons section as is usually done to higher end components. Nice review :)
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# RE: ASUS Rampage-IV Formula Motherboard BF3 EditionDavid Ramsey 2012-03-16 08:27
You ran the memory voltage at 1.8 volts? You mad bastard...
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# RE: RE: ASUS Rampage-IV Formula Motherboard BF3 EditionHank 2012-03-16 11:11
Well, I was trying to get 2400MHz. It didn't work.
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# RE: RE: RE: ASUS Rampage-IV Formula Motherboard BF3 EditionJames Reece 2012-03-17 22:20
With what set of sticks? 1.8 can start frying things. Get a 2400 set of sticks, rather than OC, well we don't know, you don't specify the sticks you used, would suggest GSkill Ripjaws Z in a 2400 set, they are set to XMP 1.3 same as the mobo. And this config can run 2133 sticks fairly easily at 2400 if you have any cluse at all as to what you are doing - and it doesn't take 1.8
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# Why botherMergatroid 2012-03-18 00:00
Why bother with anything (sticks?) over 1600 anyway? The performance gain is negligible. Not worth the extra cost.
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# G.Skill Ripjaws X Serieshank 2012-03-20 22:17
They were G.Skill Ripjaws X Series at 1866. I figured they could get to 2400, but they couldn't. I just like to push the envelope a little. What's the point of calling myself an enthusiast if I don't get a little crazy sometimes?!

-Hank
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# Can't figureJames Reece 2012-03-16 17:29
Don't even begin to understand the testing methodology i.e. X58/12GB 1600 then to a P67, w/only 8GB 1600, then to a 990FX with only 4GB 2133, crippled down 1866 (yeah the DullDozer stinks at 2133 (if you can even get it to run), but to cripple the sticks down to 9-9-9-24??? These sticks are native 7-10-7-26, @1866 they should be run about CL6, then throw 16GB at the X79....no offense but RAM does affect overall performance and different amounts across the board, different freqs, and using crippled timings makes no sense. All the mobos could have handled 8 or 16GB of 1600 rather than this, just throwing junk together. Very poor selections
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# Matching configurationshank 2012-03-20 22:21
The point of testing the motherboard is to test the motherboard, not the RAM. We try to get the RAM speed and latency to match as much as possible so it doesn't affect the testing. The reason for the different amounts is to maintain 4GB on each channel. X58 has triple-channel, thus 12GB, the P67 and 990FX both have dual-channel, so 8GB there (There were 2 x 4GB sticks for the 990FX, it was a typo), and 16GB on the quad-channel X79. That's the reasoning.
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# RE: Matching configurationsJames Reece 2012-03-21 17:55
Your explanation makes some sense, but not much. The same set you used on the X79 could have been used on all the mobos, and I'm sorry but sticking still crippling native CL7/2133 down to to 1866 at CL9. You use the same GPU on all why not the same DRAM. Also, since this is about the X79 mobo, why not test with DRAM native to the mobo like the XMP 1.3 Ripjaws Z instead of XMP 1.2 Ripjaws X
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# more the 16GB cost more then just the memoryLeadSled 2012-03-21 01:30
First 4.7Ghz is slow I am running a Rampage Extreme @ 5.2Ghz at 1.48 volts with 3930K.If your would like to use more then 16GB of memory you will need a greater version of Windows 7 then Home Premium since it only supports 16GB so add another $100 for Untimate and if I want more then 16GB to run higher then 5.2Ghz I will need Extreme cooling such as a phase change unit at least on the Rampage you do.There are limits just read the manual. I still cannot get break into the 6 second braket 7.12 is my best in SuperPi 1.5. Memory may do it but not many boards will run with the 166 BCLK although even 125 doesnt do much more then 100 and its more stable then 166 by far. I would spend the extra $50 for the Extreme you get more then $50 worth of extras. They are fun mobo's there are lots to learn if you want GHZ and who doesnt. Ram drives are not worth it unless you want to brag about benchmarks
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# Enthusiasts with Home?Mergatroid 2012-03-21 15:47
Windows 64 Pro supports 192Gb. It's not much more than the Home Premium version, and it's worth getting because of other features aside from how much memory it supports.

Who spends thousands of dollars on computer hardware and then chinces on the operating system over a few dollars?

Nice o/c by the way.
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# I failed to OC by emulating your settings - Please may I ask for your help?Myles Thomas 2013-03-02 05:30
Hi there, I wonder if you could help me? I used your exact settings for my system: 3820 (h100 water cooled), Rampage IV extreme, 16gb 2133mhz ram, GTX 680 4gb sli. Unfortunately, all I got when I saved and restarted was a blank screen, and gently humming fans. I had to manually hard reset the system. Can you give me any advice? I'm a beginner to OCing, the only stable OC I've had is the "Normal" 4.3ghz OC profile pre-provided. Any help be REALLY greatly appreciated, I just want to OC for a performance boost to games like Crysis 3, but I find the guides to be a huge headache, and none of the settings provided by sucessful overclockers of my same rig seem to work for me.

Thank you for your time,

Myles Thomas
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# first time doing anything like thisAlex 2013-05-04 05:42
so, i followed this guide but after a fair bit of research i dropped back a few thing like core volts and stuff just from what i've read. and i had a couple of little hickups (ram at 1333 or 1666 can't remember) but just using what i think is common sense i was still able to get 4.625 easily, that's running at 1.375v. so i would just like to say THANKYOUSOF******MUC H! i love you man. #valid.canardpc.com/cache/banner/2793351.png
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