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Wednesday | February 22, 2017
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Asus Rampage V Extreme Review (X99)

Asus Rampage V Extreme Review (X99)

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Rampage V Extreme Review – Packaging and Bundle

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Rampage V Extreme Review – The Board

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LN2 mode is a jumper rather than a switch which increases the overclocking margin and slow mode allows us to quickly dial back the CPU speed quickly to manage temps and continue overclocking without crashing. Then there is that row of white switches on a red block. Quite simply that disables PCIe slots so that we can turn off graphics cards without needing to physically remove them.

So that brings us to the memory slots of which there are eight spread across four channels. These are all DDR4 slots and capable of running at speeds in excess of 3300MHz with a maximum capacity of 64GB. ASUS of course use the 2011-3 socket on this board and all new i7-5000 series CPUs are supported. And then, just next to the memory slots is our m.2 connector which is compatible with 2260, 2280 and 22110 SSDs. Worthy of note is that it also uses PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth which is in excess of all consumer m.2 SSDs which are currently available.

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Turning round to the back panel our connectors start with PS/2 and 2x USB 2.0 and then we have ten USB 3.0 ports along with a GB LAN (Intel I218-V with surge, ESD protection, software management and improved latency) and the Wi-Fi connectors. Also present are gold plated 3.5mm audio ports and the optical connector. Finally at this area there is a BIOS reset button and the ROG Connect button too.

Rampage V Extreme Review – BIOS and Software

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ASUS go with a familiar look for their Rampage V Extreme BIOS. It uses the same GUI as the other recent boards we have seen from them which means all of the key features are found in a quick screen. For those who want a little more we can delve a little deeper to tweak fan profiles, overclock (including auto), configure our m.2. slot, run Secure Erase and perform tasks such as updating our BIOS from USB.

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For those who want to manage their board in Windows we have AI suite which contains a monitoring and tweaking app. Installation of the suite also allows us to enable/configure aspects such as fast charging of USB devices (PSU permitting all ports are guaranteed to be stable 5V) and there is additional software for cloud storage and audio configuration (including virtual  7.1 sound) along with keyboard software for MACRO use.

Rampage V Extreme Review – Test System and Performance

Intel Core i7-5960X
Intel Core i7-4790K

ASUS Rampage V Extreme

Gigabyte X99-Gaming 5
Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 5

NVIDIA GTX 980

16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800
16GB Corsair Dominator DDR3-2666
Samsung 840 Evo 1TB
Samsung 850 Pro 512GB (SATA Testing)
OCZ RevoDrive 350 (PCIe testing)
Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD
Corsair AX1500i
Antec Kuhler 1250

Installed on a Dimastech EasyXL Test Bench

Intel Wireless AC 7260
Razer DeathAdder
Razer BlackWidow Ultimate
ASUS 120Hz/3D Display

Windows 8.1 64-bit
NVIDIA Drivers: 344.07

Battlefield 4
SiSoft Sandra
dBpoweramp
Cinebench R15
ATTO
Adobe Creative Cloud
3DMark

The test system was built from scratch, a format of the hard drive was performed (NTFS) and then Windows 8.1 was installed. Following the completion of the installation, the video drivers were installed. All windows updates were then installed as were the latest builds of the benchmarking tools. Finally, the hard drives were de-fragmented (where appropriate). For each test, the video drivers were set to default quality/optimizations (unless otherwise stated).

Good Benchmarking Practice

Where possible, each benchmark was performed three times and the median result for each resolution/setting is shown in the tables that will follow. All applications had their latest patches applied and all hardware features the latest BIOS/Firmware.

Cinebench R15
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SATA3 (Samsung 850 Pro)
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Teaching Creative Writing To Kids Raid 0 (Intel 730 Series SSD)
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USB 3.0 (Corsair Voyager GTX)
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PCIe (Revodrive 350)
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M.2 SSD (Plextor M6e)
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Gaming GTX 980 3DMark
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Gaming GTX 980 4K
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Rampage V Extreme Review – Conclusion

Where to start… how about: The ASUS Rampage V Extreme is just awesome. Money aspect aside, if we had to buy an X99 board today, for any use, we would go with this model.

It offers enhanced overclocking features for the extreme end of the enthusiast market… while also offering auto configuration for the novices out there. It gives us premium quality components from the ones many may not care so much about (MOSFETs) to the more obvious areas such as audio and LAN parts. The BIOS is easy to use and feature packed, the software available simple to work with and packed with nice little extras which will appeal to gamers. The list of features and enhanced quality just goes on and on really and in terms of things we would change, its just silly nitpicking which we have left. For example we wish ASUS would go with an alternate power port to the molex on the bottom edge…saves us having to use a molex cable on a modular PSU (though some do have SATA/Molex mixes so we could choose that wisely) and being suuuuper picky, the keyboard MACRO software is a bit pointless. Anyone buying this board likely already has a decent keyboard anyway.

Looking to the performance at stock speeds the Rampage V Extreme competes well with other X99 boards, often edging ahead in results. There are of course areas where it is very strong, in USB 3.0 performance for example it managed to squeeze some extra performance out of our drive when compared to the competition and ASUS m.2 implementation did the same to our SSD. Overclocking was also impressive and even with fairly decent liquid cooling rather than LN2 we were able to hit the highest overclock we have seen on our i7-5960X so far (4.5GHz).

In terms of pricing, the Rampage V Extreme is at the top end of the X99 market but that is no surprise given its build quality, features and performance. Without doubt the best X99 board we have used and easily one of the best boards for any platform, ever.

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Available from Newegg here. Or OCUK here.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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