Asus' ROG line has accustomed us with seeing all sort of outrageous hardware being introduced, but the company's latest creation, the Rampage IV Extreme motherboard for LGA 2011 processors, is truly the most exciting product to ever come out of Asus.Is hard to decide even where to start when taking a look at a motherboard as extreme as the new Rampage, as this comes with one of the most advanced specs list that I have seen to date.
Of course that all the features that last-gen motherboards have accustomed us to are all there, such as USB 3.0 connectivity, Bluetooth, eSATA connectors, SATA 6.0Gbps, and 7.1 channel audio, but the true genius of the Rampage IV Extreme can only be spotted when we look at its overclocking features.
For starters, the CPU and the memory are powered by Asus' new Extreme Engine Digi+ II power design that promises to improve overclocking and allows the DIMMs installed in the eight memory slots to reach speeds in excess of DDR3-2400.
As is usually the case with Asus motherboards, if memory was overclocked to far for your system you can always go back to the previous settings by pressing the "GO" Button before POST.
This is placed together with the usual Power, Reset and Clear CMOS switches, but also with a series of voltage reading points, a button for enabling the special LN2 slow boot mode, and also four DIP switches for enabling or disabling the PCIe slots.
Asus has installed four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots on the Rampage IV Extreme, of which two are x16-capable, and these support 4-way CrossFireX and SLI setups (they drop to x8 mode when all are populated).
In the same spot as the ProbeIt voltage measuring point we mentioned above, the Taiwanese company installed a so called VGA Hotwire that enables users to hook-up their voltage moded graphics cards and watch their temperatures in the motherboard's UEFI BIOS or in Asus' TurboV EVO software.
In addition, sub-zero benchers should also be glad to know that the Rampage IV Extreme is equipped with a special Subzero Sense connector with dual temperature reading ports for monitoring the CPU and GPU pots simultaneously.
Another interesting overclocking tool, that this time comes bundled together with the board, is the so called OC Key which creates an overlay on the active DVI monitor to adjust overclock settings in real-time without using additional software or hardware (it connects to the GPUs DVI port).
Sadly, Asus hasn't mentioned any details regarding the pricing of its latest ROG creation, but the board it's expected to launch north of $350 (251 Euros). Availability is also unknown, but most probably the Rampage IV Extreme will arrive in mid-November together with the Sandy Bridge-E processors.