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ASUS Rampage V Extreme X99 Motherboard Review

MAC

Associate Review Editor
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Included Software

Included Software


Ai Suite III

The most important and all-encompassing utility in ASUS' impressive suite of software is the aptly named Ai Suite III. Whereas ASUS used to have a handful of standalone apps for different functions, many were consolidated under the Ai Suite moniker back in 2011. This system management utility is the hub from which you can monitor system clock speeds, voltages, temperatures, and fan rotation but more importantly it allows users to do both automatic and manual overclocking from within Windows. Although it's basic UI has been established for a while, ASUS regularly adds to the capabilities to this utility, so let's check it out.

Click on image to enlarge

There are six main sections that are the focus of the Ai Suite III utility, and they are all linked to the Dual Intelligent Processors 5. As a refresher, DIP5 refers to two co-processors - the TurboV Processing Unit (TPU) and the Energy Processing Unit (EPU) - that are tasked with for optimizing the system with a focus on either better performance and improved energy efficiency.

The 5-Way Optimization section is the coolest, and is where you will find the 5-Way Optimization automatic overclocking feature There is also the Energy Processing Unit (EPU) power saving or performance profiles, Fan Xpert 3 fan speed optimization status, DIGI+ VRM optimization, awesome new Turbo App functionality, and some display-only information regarding TurboV Processing Unit (TPU). We'll go into it in-depth below.

Click on image to enlarge

In the top-right corner of the Ai Suite utility is a downwards arrow that activates a dropdown screen when clicked. Here you will be features like Ai Charger+ and USB 3.0 Boost. When enabled, Ai Charger+ allows up to 3X faster charging of devices connected to USB ports, while enabling USB 3.0 implements the UAS Protocol (UASP) USB protocol that greatly enhances speeds while also lowering CPU utilization. The EZ Update tool allows users to update their motherboard's BIOS either directly from the internet or from a downloaded file. Ai Charger+ allows users to supercharge their USB ports, and enable up to 3 times faster charging of mobile devices.

System Information just contains a bunch of basic system information regarding your CPU, motherboard or RAM. You can also find you can find your serial number, BIOS version, etc. BIOS Flashback allows you to copy the content of BIOS1 to BIOS2, as well as force the use of BIOS1 or BIOS2.

Click on image to enlarge

At the bottom is a static strip that displays live information on CPU and DRAM frequency, real-time voltage and temperatures measurements, as well as CPU and case fans speeds. You can also set safe thresholds for voltages, temperatures and fan speeds as well as setting alerts to warn you of any serious fluctuations.

Click on image to enlarge

Clicking on the 5-Way Optimization button reveals the coolest part of the whole Dual Intelligent Processors 5 utility. There is a certain level of fan optimization functionality in this section, but what's really interesting is the automatic overclocking feature. You will have the option of 2 different overclocking levels and 2 different ways of achieving that overclock, depending on whether you have an unlocked processor or not. We don't want to reveal too much here, so go check out the Overclocking Results section to see how well this auto-overclocking feature worked.

Click on image to enlarge

The TPU (TurboV Processing Unit) tab is where you can manually adjust the BCLK frequency or CPU strap (100/125/166/250MHz). You will also be able to change the CPU multiplier, either per core or as a group. There are also an impressive eight adjustable system voltages. You can adjust all these settings on-the-fly without having to reboot the system, except for the CPU strap since it does cause such a dramatic increase in all system frequencies.

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The EPU (Energy Processing Unit) tab is you will be able to fine-tune the various selection of power saving or performance profiles. This is a versatile feature for those who truly care about maximizing energy savings.

Click on image to enlarge

The DIGI+ Power Control tab is where you will find the power options for the CPU, System Agent/Memory Controller, and RAM. There are adjustable settings for load-line calibration, current capability, voltage frequency, and phase control. There are different power controls for each memory channel since they are independently powered.

Click on image to enlarge

The Fan Xpert 3 tab is, as you might expect, where you can fully manage and optimize your CPU and system fans. While there are now a series of four fan presets (Silent/Standard/Turbo/Full Speed), you can also manually adjust the full fan speed curve to your preferences, or simply use the fully automated Fan Tuning feature.

Click on image to enlarge

The Turbo App section allows you set custom system configurations for any applications that you want. For example, if you know that your processor can withstand a higher clock speed in a lightly threaded application, you can see this utility to automatically adjust your system overclock every time you open that app, as well as tweak network priority and audio settings.
 
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MAC

Associate Review Editor
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Location
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Included Software pt.2

Included Software pt.2


ROG CPU-Z


Click on image to enlarge

ROG CPU-Z is a special edition of CPU-Z especially created to match the aesthetics of ASUS Republics of Gamers motherboards. It is kept as up-to-date as the regular version, and is available at the same place: CPUID.com


MemTweakIt


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MemTweakIt is memory tweaking tool which allows for modification of just about every primary and secondary memory timing within Windows, and without having to reboot the system. It's a joy to use and a great tool for overclockers.


GameFirst III


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After a short setup - including SpeedTest.net test - GameFirst III is a utility designed to help reduce latency courtesy of cFosSpeed traffic-shapping technology. This utility provides users with a lot of control and monitoring capabilities over every application that is accessing the network. It displays CPU usage, NPU usage, ICMP and UDP average ping, and the network utilization of every system process and program. This tool also allows you give priority to certain applications, and throttle or block others to free network resources for other applications. It is your one-stop tool for monitoring and controlling all network traffic.


Sonic Radar II


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The idea behind Sonic Radar II is simple enough, once configured in the above utility, it is basically a radar overlay that shows the positional location that sound is coming from in games. It is essentially a gaming aid, or a really useful tool for those who are hard of hearing or those who just can't have sound enabled in a given scenario/environment (gaming at work anyone?).


KeyBot


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On each Republics of Gamers model you will find a KeyBot button on the top of the board, and a KeyBot microprocessor on the rear. ASUS is dubbing KeyBot as a free, instant keyboard upgrade. Users plug in their existing keyboard to the dedicated USB port on the rear I/O shield to engage the KeyBot chip, and a user-friendly utility allows for the easy programming of macro keys, assigning of function keys, or creation of shortcuts for everything from launching any of any application with a single press to multimedia playback control. Users will also be able to create and share their KeyBot profiles with friends, which should be great for games with complex macros. KeyBot also functions with the S5 sleep mode, so users can wake their PC and boot directly into the UEFI BIOS or enable/disable CPU Level Up with just one tap.


RAMDisk


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This Extreme model comes with the familiar RAMDisk utility. For those not familiar with what a RAMDisk is, it basically acts as a virtual drive that is much faster than even the fastest high-end solid state drive. The reason for this is that it makes use of unused system memory (ie: RAM), and turns a chunk of it into an OS-level storage partition that can be used to accelerate the performance and response times of installed or cached applications.


Boot Setting


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ASUS Boot Setting allows users to boot directly into the BIOS without having to repeatedly hit delete during the POST screen. It is a pretty hand tool when you are rebooting as often as overclockers tend to do.


WebStorage


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The WebStorage utility is basically the ASUS equivalent of DropBox. It is cloud computing application that gives users web storage and access to data across many devices. All ASUS motherboard owners get a free 5.5GB of storage, you can buy more or be gifted some by ASUS if you referrer your friends. The web interface is pretty standard and utilitarian. Overall, there is not much to complain about, it's a nice freebie if you choose to use it.
 

MAC

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Test Setup & Methodology

Test Setup & Methodology


For this review, we are going to be testing the performance of the Rampage V Extreme in three configurations: default settings, automatic overclock settings, and manual overclock settings. The components and software are the same across all three, and aside from manually selecting the frequencies, timings, and voltages in the manual overclock configuration, every option in the BIOS was at its default setting.

Intel Core i7 LGA2011-v3 Haswell-E Test Setup​

For all of the benchmarks, appropriate lengths are taken to ensure an equal comparison through methodical setup, installation, and testing. The following outlines our testing methodology:

A) Windows is installed using a full format.

B) Chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) are installed.

C)To ensure consistent results, a few tweaks are applied to Windows 7 and the NVIDIA control panel:
  • UAC – Disabled
  • Indexing – Disabled
  • Superfetch – Disabled
  • System Protection/Restore – Disabled
  • Problem & Error Reporting – Disabled
  • Remote Desktop/Assistance - Disabled
  • Windows Security Center Alerts – Disabled
  • Windows Defender – Disabled
  • Screensaver – Disabled
  • Power Plan – High Performance
  • V-Sync – Off

D) All available Windows updates are then installed.

E) All programs are installed and then updated, followed by a defragment.

F) Benchmarks are each run three to eight times, and unless otherwise stated, the results are then averaged.

Here is a full list of the applications that we utilized in our benchmarking suite:
  • 3DMark Vantage Professional Edition v1.1.0
  • 3DMark11 Professional Edition v1.0.132.0
  • 3DMark 2013 Professional Edition v1.2.362
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition v3.00.2536 Beta
  • Cinebench R11.529 64-bit
  • SuperPi Mod v1.9 WP
  • MaxxMEM² - PreView v2.01
  • Sisoft Sandra 2014.SP3 20.28
  • Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark v1.0.0.0
  • wPRIME version v2.10
  • X3: Terran Conflict Demo v1.0

That is about all you need to know methodology wise, so let's get to the good stuff!
 
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MAC

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Feature Testing: SATA Express Results

Feature Testing: SATA Express Results



Back in April, in our ASUS 9-Series Preview article, we mentioned that there were basically zero SATA Express devices ready to hit the market any time soon. Regrettably, the same seems to hold true today. Nevertheless, it is still interesting to see what this new high-speed interface is capable of.

Thankfully for us, ASUS has ASMedia - storage controller experts - as one of its subsidiaries and they were able to whip together a pretty neat storage device in the form of the Hyper Express enclosure. As you might have guessed, the Hyper Express utilizes the new SATA Express interface.




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The unit that ASUS provided us came packed with two Kingston SSDNow mS200 120GB mSATA solid state drives. These are based on the LSI SandForce SF-2241 controller and are rated at an impressive 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write speeds. Now this is not a review of this device, since this is still a pre-production product and you will not be able to buy one pre-assembled with SSDs inside. We just want to show you a little bit of what SATA Express is capable of.

As you have probably know, most current SATA 6Gb/s devices struggle to get anywhere near the theoretical 750MB/s limit. Due to overhead you are realistically looking at real-life transfer rates of up to about 550 to 575MB/s. Eventually we will see SATA Express 16Gb/s implementations capable of supporting transfer rates of up to 2GB/s, but at the moment all 9-series chipsets seem to be limited to a 10GB/s interface that is limited to about 1GB/s of bandwidth.

With all of this in mind, let's take a peak at the results.


SATA 3 vs. SATA Express - Click on image to enlarge


As you can see above, a modern solid state drive is capable of about 535-550MB/s. Often this is not a controller limitation, but an interface one. If you were to combine one of these modern SATA controllers with a faster interface, the results could be way above SATA 3's limits. That is what SATA-Express is promising to do. Not only do you get up to 1GB/s of bandwidth but there is a built-in backward compatibility with current SATA devices.

With the Hyper Express enclosure, we were able to get very close to the 740MB/s mark. This is a limitation with this configuration of our pre-production Hyper Express, but it at least gives a small glimpse at what we can expect from future SATA Express devices. There is no doubt that sometime in the (hopefully) not too distance future there will be devices that are fully capable of utilizing this interface's 1GB/s of bandwidth.
 
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MAC

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Feature Testing: Onboard Audio

Feature Testing: Onboard Audio


Since fewer and fewer consumers seem to be buying discrete sound cards, the quality of a motherboard's onboard audio is now more important than ever. We figured that it was worthwhile to take a closer look at just how good the analog signal quality coming from the SupremeFX 2014 is on the Rampage V Extreme.

Since isolated results don't really mean much, but we have also included some numbers from the GIGABYTE X99-Gaming G1 WIFI, MSI X99S Gaming 7, EVGA X99 Classified, and ASUS X99 Deluxe motherboards that we have recently reviewed. This RoG model, the MSI, and the ASUS X99 Deluxe all feature onboard audio solutions that are built around the familiar Realtek ALC1150 CODEC, but feature different op-amps, headphone amplifiers, filtering capacitors, and other secondary components and layouts. The GIGABYTE and EVGA are both based on the same Creative Core3D CA0132 quad-core audio processor, but feature vastly different hardware implementations.

We are going to do this using both quantitative and qualitative analysis, since sound quality isn't really something that can be adequately explained with only numbers. To do this we have turned to the RightMark Audio Analyzer, basically the standard application for this type of testing.

Since all the three motherboards support very high quality 24-bit, 192kHz audio playback we selected that as the sample mode option. Basically, what this test does is pipe the audio signal from the front-channel output to the line-in input via a 3.5mm male to 3.5mm male mini-plug cable, and then RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) does the audio analysis. Obviously we disabled all software enhancements since they interfere with the pure technical performance that we are trying to benchmark.


Click on image to enlarge and reveal additional motherboards

As we have come to expect from these RoG Rampage models, when it comes to the basic fundamentals of audio performance, the RVE is mighty impressive. Although its noise level and dynamic range are ever so slightly behind that of the GIGABYTE, it simply crushes the competition. in every other test. This model might not have a fancy chipset or op-amp, but as we've been saying implementation is everything.

As usual we used a mix of Grado SR225i and Koss PortaPro headphones, Westone UM1 IEMs, and Logitech Z-5500 5.1 speakers for our extensive listening tests, and once again we are happy to report that the sound quality was above reproach to our ears. As always though, without a back-to-back listening session, we can't really declare this motherboard superior to any of the others and even if we did, audio quality is exquisitely subjective anyways. Just rest assured that there are no glaring shortcomings or glitches that foul up the sound quality, and we believe that your average user will be perfectly content with this motherboard's onboard sound quality.
 
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MAC

Associate Review Editor
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Location
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Auto & Manual Overclocking Results

Auto & Manual Overclocking Results


It wouldn't be an HWC review if we didn't include some overclocking results, so we thoroughly tested out this motherboard's capabilities, especially its auto-overclocking functionality. Though it features a new chipset, the X99 Deluxe is still fundamentally an LGA2011 motherboard, and as a result there is nothing new to report on how to overclock on this motherboard, but if you want any insights check out the overclocking section in our review of the Core i7-5960X.


Auto Overclocking


Unlike the Channel Series models - the X99-Deluxe for example - which feature both a profile-based and smart microprocessor-based automatic overclocking functionality, Republic of Gamers (RoG) models have seemingly always only featured only one type of automatic overclocking, the profile-based CPU Level Up. Ostensibly this is because these higher-end RoG models cater to buyers who are more likely to want to do their own manual overclocking, so more thorough automatic capabilities are supposedly unneeded. This is less than ideal in our opinion since it wouldn't actually add much extra cost to include the 'smart' 5-Way Optimization feature to RoG boards. Having said all of that, thankfully, it seems that ASUS have tweaked things a little bit for this latest generation.


As mentioned above, the Rampage V Extreme makes due with the preset-based feature named CPU Level Up. This feature can be engaged from within the UEFI BIOS or the Ai Suite III utility. If you engage it from within the BIOS it is extremely quick, basically the time it takes to select your desired preset, and then save & exit the BIOS. Historically, both versions gave exactly the same results, and that is still true today, with one exception. In Windows, if you enable the feature using Ai Suite III, once you select the overclocking preset there is now a short process that optimizes the fans, EPU and DIGI+ Power Control settings in order to maximize power efficiency as well.

So your automatic overclock is still limited to three presets, but you do (mostly) get the best of both worlds. It takes about two minutes or so, and then a reboot to save and apply the settings. With our i7-5960X there were three preset choices (4.00/4.20/4.40Ghz), and obviously we went straight to the most aggressive one.

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At the moment, the CPU Level Up feature applies a multiplier-only tuning mode. However, as you can see, it still achieves a very impressive overclock (3.5Ghz -> 4.4Ghz). We are very impressed both by the frequency - which is just a hair below this particular chip's air-cooled maximum - and the relatively low CPU voltage that was applied.

In fact the vCore is lower than what we usually set for our manual overclock, but we need more in order to help stabilize our very high Uncore and memory overclocks. At that topic, although we are happy to see that the memory frequency got a little boost from DDR4-2133 to DDR4-2400, we would love to see a little improvement on the Uncore as well. Most importantly of all though, the system passed our basic torture tests so it was a stable overclock.



Manual Overclocking


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We could have easily squeezed out another 40Mhz or so to equal the CPU overclock that we achieved with the Gigabyte X99, but instead focused on a more holistic overclock...which we couldn't do with either the Gigabyte or MSI X99 motherboards because they both proved to be useless at overclocking the Uncore or supporting high DDR4 memory speeds.

By comparison, just like on the ASUS X99-Deluxe, the Rampage V Extreme allowed us to push the Uncore from the stock 3000Mhz up to almost 4300Mhz and fully supported our 16GB G.Skill RipJaws4 DDR4-3000 memory kit. The RVE was also able to properly apply this kit's XMP Profile without issue, which is a feat that no other manufacturer has seemed to have mastered thus far.

As impressive as this combined overclock is we really didn't come close to exposing this motherboard's true potential, due to our merely average Core i7-5960X and lack of extreme cooling methods. This is a model that begs for liquid nitrogen, expert knowledge, and binned parts to really demonstrate its unquestionable abilities. As it is, the Rampage V Extreme was a pleasure to work with, it didn't give us any problems - whatsoever - during our overclocking endeavours and allowed us to max out our components. What more can you ask for?
 
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MAC

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Location
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System Benchmarks

System Benchmarks


In the System and Gaming Benchmarks sections, we reveal the results from a number of benchmarks run with the Core i7-5960X and ASUS X99 Deluxe at default clocks, with the TPU Extreme Tuning preset applied, and using own our manual overclock. This will illustrate how much performance can be achieved with this motherboard in stock and overclocked form. For a thorough comparison of the Core i7-5960X versus a number of different CPUs have a look at our Intel Haswell-E Core i7-5960X Review.


SuperPi Mod v1.9 WP


When running the SuperPI 32MB benchmark, we are calculating Pi to 32 million digits and timing the process. Obviously more CPU power helps in this intense calculation, but the memory sub-system also plays an important role, as does the operating system. We are running one instance of SuperPi Mod v1.9 WP. This is therefore a single-thread workload.



wPRIME 2.10


wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton's method for estimating functions, with f(x)=x2-k, where k is the number we're sqrting, until Sgn(f(x)/f'(x)) does not equal that of the previous iteration, starting with an estimation of k/2. It then uses an iterative calling of the estimation method a set amount of times to increase the accuracy of the results. It then confirms that n(k)2=k to ensure the calculation was correct. It repeats this for all numbers from 1 to the requested maximum. This is a highly multi-threaded workload.



Cinebench R11.5


Cinebench R11.5 64-bit
Test1: CPU Image Render
Comparison: Generated Score


The latest benchmark from MAXON, Cinebench R11.5 makes use of all your system's processing power to render a photorealistic 3D scene using various different algorithms to stress all available processor cores. The test scene contains approximately 2,000 objects containing more than 300,000 total polygons and uses sharp and blurred reflections, area lights and shadows, procedural shaders, antialiasing, and much more. This particular benchmarking can measure systems with up to 64 processor threads. The result is given in points (pts). The higher the number, the faster your processor.



Sandra Processor Arithmetic and Processor Multi-Media Benchmarks

SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. The software suite provides most of the information (including undocumented) users like to know about hardware, software, and other devices whether hardware or software. The name “Sandra” is a (girl) name of Greek origin that means "defender", "helper of mankind".

The software version used for these tests is SiSoftware Sandra 2013 SP4. In the 2012 version of Sandra, SiSoft has updated the .Net benchmarks and the GPGPU benchmarks have been upgraded to General Processing (GP) benchmarks, able to fully test the new APU (CPU+GPU) processors. The two benchmarks that we used are the Processor Multi-Media and Processor Arithmetic benchmarks. These three benchmarks were chosen as they provide a good indication of three varying types of system performance. The multi-media test shows how the processor handles multi-media instructions and data and the arithmetic test shows how the processor handles arithmetic and floating point instructions. These two tests illustrate two important areas of a computer’s speed and provide a wide scope of results.






MaxxMem Benchmark

Created by MaxxPI², the MaxxMem benchmark tests your computer’s raw memory performance, combining copy, read, write and latency tests into one global score. This memory benchmark is a classic way to measure bandwidth of a memory subsystem.

MaxxMem uses continuous memoryblocks, sized in power of 2 from 16MB up to 512MB, starting either writing to or reading from it. To enable high-precision memory performance measurement, they both internally work with multiple passes and averages calculations per run.

Further, the main goal was to minimize (CPU) cache pollution on memory reads and to eliminate it (almost completely) on memory writes. Additionally, MaxxMem operates with an aggressive data prefetching algorithm. This all will deliver an excellent judge of bandwidth while reading and writing.


 

MAC

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Gaming Benchmarks

Gaming Benchmarks




Futuremark 3DMark (2013)


3DMark v1.1.0
Graphic Settings: Fire Strike Preset
Rendered Resolution: 1920x1680
Test: Specific Physics Score and Full Run 3DMarks
Comparison: Generated Score


3DMark is the brand new cross-platform benchmark from the gurus over at Futuremark. Designed to test a full range of hardware from smartphones to high-end PCs, it includes three tests for DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 hardware, and allows users to compare 3DMark scores with other Windows, Android and iOS devices. Most important to us is the new Fire Strike preset, a DirectX 11 showcase that tests tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Like every new 3DMark version, this test is extremely GPU-bound, but it does contain a heavy physics test that can show off the potential of modern multi-core processors.




Futuremark 3DMark 11


3DMark 11 v1.0.5
Graphic Settings: Performance Preset
Resolution: 1280x720
Test: Specific Physics Score and Full Run 3DMarks
Comparison: Generated Score


3DMark 11 is Futuremark's very latest benchmark, designed to tests all of the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. At the moment, it is lot more GPU-bound than past versions are now, but it does contain a terrific physics test which really taxes modern multi-core processors.




Futuremark 3DMark Vantage


3DMark Vantage v1.1.2
Graphic Settings: Performance Preset
Resolution: 1280x1024

Test: Specific CPU Score and Full Run 3DMarks
Comparison: Generated Score

3DMark Vantage is the follow-up to the highly successful 3DMark06. It uses DirectX 10 exclusively so if you are running Windows XP, you can forget about this benchmark. Along with being a very capable graphics card testing application, it also has very heavily multi-threaded CPU tests, such Physics Simulation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which makes it a good all-around gaming benchmark.




Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark


Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti-Aliasing: 4X
Anisotropic Filtering: 8X
Graphic Settings: High
Comparison: Particle Performance Metric

Originally intended to demonstrate new processing effects added to Half Life 2: Episode 2 and future projects, the particle benchmark condenses what can be found throughout HL2:EP2 and combines it all into one small but deadly package. This test does not symbolize the performance scale for just Episode Two exclusively, but also for many other games and applications that utilize multi-core processing and particle effects. As you will see the benchmark does not score in FPS but rather in its own "Particle Performance Metric", which is useful for direct CPU comparisons.




X3: Terran Conflict


X3: Terran Conflict 1.2.0.0
Resolution: 1680x1050
Texture & Shader Quality: High
Antialiasing 4X
Anisotropic Mode: 8X
Glow Enabled

Game Benchmark
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

X3: Terran Conflict (X3TC) is the culmination of the X-series of space trading and combat simulator computer games from German developer Egosoft. With its vast space worlds, intricately detailed ships, and excellent multi-threaded game engine, it remains a great test of modern CPU performance.


 

MAC

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
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Voltage Regulation / Power Consumption

Voltage Regulation / Power Consumption



Click on image to enlarge

Our voltage regulation testing will focus on the various voltages and the differences encountered between what is selected in the BIOS and what is measured by a digital multi-meter (DMM). Thanks to the onboard voltage measurement points we didn't have to go poking & prodding everywhere, since all the voltage read points are located in one convenient spot. Users can either take their measurements straight from the voltage read pads.

Users can either take their measurements straight from the voltage read pads, which are labeled and thus much more user-friendly that the approach that we saw on the EVGA X99 Classified. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, ASUS have actually included relevant voltages, things like the CPU voltage, Cache voltage, System Agent voltage, all the voltages that most manufacturers seemed to have mysteriously ignored when implementing their voltage read points.

Now that we have established where the read points are, let’s have a look at the results. These measurements were taken at stock system speeds and with C1E, C-STATE, Enhanced SpeedStep, and Turbo Boost enabled in the BIOS. Here are our findings:


As you can see, the Rampage V Extreme has excellent regulation output. What you set in the bios is dead-on exactly what the board put outs whether idling or under full load. There is a normal amount of voltage droopage on CPU Input line under full load, and those who want no vDroop have the settings at hand to eliminate it completely via the various Load-Line Calibration (LLC) settings. Basically, everything looks great here.


Power Consumption


For this section, every energy saving feature was enabled in the BIOS and the Windows power plan was changed from High Performance to Balanced. For our idle test, we let the system idle for 15 minutes and measured the peak wattage through our UPM EM100 power meter. For our CPU load test, we ran Prime 95 In-place large FFTs on all available threads, measuring the peak wattage via the UPM EM100 power meter. For our overall system load test, we ran Prime 95 on all available threads while simultaneously loading the GPU with 3DMark Vantage - Test 6 Perlin Noise.


The Rampage V Extreme was definitely a more efficient motherboard than we anticipated. Its stock power consumption numbers were very much inline with the competition - though the GIGABYTE X99-Gaming G1 WIFI is still untouchable there - but its manual overclock numbers were great and a fair bit lower than that of the X99-Deluxe, which features an identical overclock. Overall a very solid showing, even if the RoG crowd usually aren't exactly too fussed about minimizing power consumption.
 
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MAC

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Location
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Conclusion

We ended the introduction with a question, is the Rampage V Extreme better than the X99-Deluxe? Since we didn't find any real flaws on either model, that ultimately depends on the needs of the buyer. This is a motherboard with recognizable aesthetics, top-notch capabilities, and flawless implementation throughout - much like the Deluxe - so you won't be disappointed. If you have the money to afford it, the skills and desire to make use of its many thoughtful overclocking features and high clock capabilities, this is the best X99 motherboard on the market. In fact, aside from the connectivity-focused ASRock X99 Extreme11, there's no one else even competing in the ultra-high-end sphere that the Rampage IV Extreme occupies.

In case you skipped straight to the conclusion, let's recap some of the hard facts. This is one of the most feature rich motherboards around and has been designed from the ground up to be the best possible platform for gamers and overclockers alike. It even has an onboard dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi / Bluetooth v4.0 module teamed up to a powerful external 3T3R antenna. This combo is capable of transfer speeds up to 1300Mbps, which is a fair bit above the 867Mbps of competing onboard WiFi solutions. These are the standard items though, next let's see what actually makes this a Republic of Gamers model.



For starters, the new SupremeFX 2014 onboard audio solution proved to be exceptionally good. Although based on the exceedingly common Realtek ALC1150 codec, the audio numbers it put out were the best that we've seen among our reviewed X99 motherboards, in some cases by a full decimal point. Clearly, this is fantastic implementation, partly due to the use of specialized ELNA audio capacitors and audio circuitry that has been properly isolated from the rest of the system in to reduce EMI. Sound quality is obviously intensely subjective, but most casual listeners should be very satisfied with what they will hear.

There's so much on this model that has been designed for and by overclockers. It features a Q-Code debug LED display, LN2 Mode jumper (helps remedy cold-boot bug during post at sub-zero temperatures), Slow Mode switch (drops the CPU multiplier to temporarily enhance system stability), power-on Start button, Reset button, MemOk! button (initiates memory compatibility tuning process), and thermal probe header. The two newest button additions are particularly ingenious. If you are overclocking and your system fails to post successfully, you no longer have to hit the CMOS Reset button. Instead you can now press the Safe Boot button and it will power off your system and then boot with default settings allowing you to modify the last configuration to fix the problem. Sometimes when the system is pushed past its overclocking limits it might lock up so hard that even the reset button doesn't work. Instead of having to manually turn off your power supply - which is something that every overclocker has had to do at some point - you can just hit the motherboard's new ReTry button which automatically cuts the power and forces a reboot right away.

The ProbeIt area features an assortment of actually useful voltage read points, which is something we can't say for most of the other motherboards we have reviewed thus far. It's impossible not to mention the OC Panel either, the cool monitoring and overclocking accessory that comes included with this model. This mighty gadget - that usually retails solo for $100 - has proven itself to be a fantastic addition to many overclockers toolbox, and ASUS have been doing a commendable job on ensuring compatibility across multiple platforms.

While we are on the subject of compatibility, ASUS appears to be the only company that has mastered both the application of XMP Profiles and memory speeds above DDR4-2800. Much like on the X99-Deluxe, we had no problems running our G.Skill DDR4-3000 memory kit at its rated speed, and we were even able to overclock it by quite a bit. We were also able to push the Uncore up to 4300Mhz, which has thus far been an impossibility on most non-ASUS motherboards. While we sadly didn't have the means to even attempt to probe this motherboard's limits via extreme sub-zero overclocking, it had no issues maxing out our little heat demon of a i7-5960X. The automatic overclocking CPU Level Up feature also had presets aggressive enough to achieve an automatic overclock that was within 50Mhz of our chip's maximum, which is very impressive indeed.

The first motherboard X99 motherboard that we reviewed was the ASUS X99-Deluxe, and we were extremely impressed. It was basically flawless right off the bat, which is a rarity. With this Rampage V Extreme, we experienced the same high level of BIOS and software maturity, compatibility, and polish in a package that is even better suited to avid overclockers or just anyone that really likes tweaking and tinkering with their system. Simply put, ASUS have once again proven their expertise with this platform in a way that no other manufacturer has come close to matching. Needless to say, we highly recommend it!


 
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