ASUS Rampage IV Extreme (Board and Engineering)
Since we have already previewed the hardware on this board, we will just go through what we think is most impressive and relevant to intermediate air overclockers.
The Board – the red splashes are very striking and macho
I/O Panel (Intel Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth V2.1+EDR, 4 USB 3.0 ports, 2 ESATA 6gbps ports and 2 buttons to activate ROG Connect and reset CMOS)
Full 8 DIMM slots (unlike most of the top offerings from other vendors) and good clearance from the CPU Socket for good HSF compatibility
Depending on the number of graphics cards installed in the red slots, they will operate at either 8x or 16x native from the CPU without a NF200 multiplexer. This layout also supports triple-slot cards.
PCI-E 3.0 compliant ASMedia ASW1480 switches for next generation Ivy Bridge compatibility
100% 10K Black Metallic Caps, Chokes and NexFET™ Power Block MOSFETs – these should help provide reliable power and long-term endurance during extended extreme overclocking sessions
ASUS Propietary DIGI+ II Digital VRMs (8 Phase for the CPU, 3 Phase for VCCSA and 2+2 Phase for the DIMMs) for precise control and output.
Like previous ROG Extreme boards, a dedicated area of the board is reserved for diagnostic LEDs, voltage measurement points and switches/buttons for easy access to system power/MEMOK! (bypass for acute DRAM boot failures)
One of the new innovations on the R4E is OC Key, which is a DVI video overlay dongle to access an extensive overclocking menu and realtime monitor, directly interfaced with the onboard management engine without incurring any CPU interrupts or software to corrupt your benchmark scores
X-Socket allows the use of existing LGA1366 brackets to be used (see demostration)
2 SATA 6Gbps ports (red) and 4 SATA 3Gbps ports (grey) from the Intel X79 chipset, and 2 more SATA 6Gbps ports (red) provided by an ASMedia controller. You can also plug a K-type thermocouple to the "Subzero Sense" (black block on the right) to get the readings from the motherboard's temperature diodes during extreme LN2 sessions