ASUS Rampage V Extreme Motherboard Review

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ASUS has a long history of providing their enthusiast-grade Rampage series motherboards that dates as far back as the socket 775 days. With the release of the X99/Haswell-E platform, ASUS is at it again with their new flagship ROG Rampage V Extreme motherboard. While overclocking is one of the main attractions, the Rampage V Extreme offers many of the popular enthusiast features found on their Maximus and Channel series motherboards as well. So, let’s get going and see what ASUS has in store for us!

Specifications and Features

Below are the specifications provided by the ASUS product page. As you can easily see, the RVE boasts all the latest technologies with its support for M.2 SSDs, SATA-Express, DDR4 memory, and 4-way SLI/CrossfireX. Wireless LAN and the SupremeFX 2014 audio solution are a couple new items making their appearance on a Rampage motherboard.

ASUS Rampage V Extreme Specifications
CPU Intel® Socket 2011-v3 Core™ i7 Processors
Supports Intel® 22 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Chipset Intel X99
Memory 8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3300(OC)/3000(OC)/2800(OC)/2666(OC)/2400(OC)/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Quad Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
Multi-GPU Supports NVIDIA® 4-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports NVIDIA® 3-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD 4-Way CrossFireX Technology
Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
Supports AMD CrossFireX™ Technology
Expansion Slots 4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16, x16/x16, x16/x8/x8 or x16/x8/x8/x8 mode with 40-LANE CPU; x16, x16/x8, x8/x8/x8 mode with 28-LANE CPU)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
Storage New Intel® Core™ i7 Processors:
1 x M.2 Socket 3, gray, , with M Key, type 2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (Supports PCIE SSDs only)
Intel® X99 chipset:
1 x SATA Express port, red, compatible with 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
8 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red,, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Recovery Technology
ASMedia® SATA Express controller:
1 x SATA Express port, red, compatible with 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
LAN Intel® I218V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s), featuring GAMEFIRST III
Intel® LAN- Dual interconnect between the Integrated LAN controller and Physical Layer (PHY)
Anti-surge LANGuard
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
Up to 1300Mbps transfer speed
Bluetooth Bluetooth V4.0
Audio ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC:
– Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
– SupremeFX Shielding Technology
– ELNA® premium audio capacitors
Audio Feature:
– Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
– DTS Connect
– Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
– Sonic SoundStage
– Sonic SenseAmp
– Sonic Studio
– Sonic Radar II
USB Intel® X99 chipset:
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at mid-board)
Intel® X99 chipset:
6 x USB 2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, black, 4 at mid-board)
ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller:
10 x USB 3.0 port(s) (10 at back panel, blue)
OS Support Windows® 8.1 86×64
Windows® 8 86×64
Windows® 7 86×64
Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
10 x USB 3.0 (blue)
2 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to ROG Connect)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button
1 x ROG Connect On/ Off switch
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.0
Internal I/O Ports 2 x USB 3.0 connectors supports additional 4 USB 3.0 ports
2 x USB 2.0 connectors supports additional 4 USB 2.0 ports
2 x SATA Express connector: red, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 for M Key, type 2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (Support PCIE SSD only)
1 x TPM header
8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x CPU Fan connector (1 x 4-pin)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector (1 x 4-pin)
6 x Chassis Fan connectors (6 x 4 pin)
1 x Thunderbolt header
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel (Q-Connector)
1 x MemOK! button
1 x Slow Mode switch
9 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
3 x Thermal sensor connectors
1 x EZ Plug connector (4-pin Molex power connector)
1 x Power-on button
1 x Reset button
1 x BIOS Switch button
1 x LN2 Mode jumper
1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header
1 x KeyBot Button
1 x Sonic SoundStage Button
1 x Safe Boot button
1 x ReTry button
BIOS 2 x 128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.7, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.8, ACPI 5.0, Multi-language BIOS
Form Factor Extended ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 10.7 inch ( 30.5 cm x 27.2 cm )

As is typical with any ROG motherboard, the features are extensive. The board overview below depicts many of the high level features we’ll explore.

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ASUS breaks the RVE’s feature set into six categories dealing mostly with hardware support, overclocking, and gaming. As you peruse the features, it’s quite apparent ASUS is trying to reach a much larger audience than just the overclocking crowd with the RVE. All images and description courtesy ASUS.

Hardware Highlights

SATA-Express and M.2 SSDs are beginning to gain some traction in the storage world because of the higher transfer speeds they are capable of. The RVE offers two SATA-Express ports that are capable of 10 GB/s transfer speeds by utilizing two lanes of the PCI Express 2.0 infrastructure. The M.2 x4 slot is cable of transfer speeds up to 32 GB/s through the PCI-E Gen 3 interface. Wireless capabilities make their first appearance on a Rampage series motherboard for this release. The RVE comes with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi module that supports up to 1.3 GB/s wireless networks and Bluetooth 4.0. With its 2.4GHz/5GHz dual-band support, the 3X3 Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac module gives you the most current available wireless technologies.

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If you’re looking to build a gaming machine, the RVE can supply up to 4-way SLI/CrossfireX when a 40-lane CPU is used. A 28-lane CPU will support up to 3-way SLI/CrossfireX. ASUS also includes a set of dip-switches on the motherboard for disabling any of the four PCI-E x16 slots.

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Overclocking Armory

The ASUS O.C. socket stirred up a good deal of conversation when it was first revealed on their X99-Deluxe motherboard. ASUS claims the O.C. socket provides several distinct advantages when compared to the stock socket 2011-v3. Because it uses the full pin configuration of the CPU, the following advantages are noted by the slides and descriptions below.

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  • More voltages can be monitored–With the introduction of Inte’s FIVR technology, many voltages including VCore, VCCSA are hidden from view in the stock configuration. With OC socket, ASUS is able to once again able to bring everything to the table and give you full view of what’s going on inside the CPU.
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  • This is the first platform to support DDR4 memory, and it is capable of overclocking memory up to DDR4 3300+ MHz with all eight DIMMs fully loaded! ASUS-exclusive T-Topology circuit design plus patent-pending OC Socket unleash the full potential of DDR4 by minimizing crosstalk and signal reflections. Thanks to our expertise in motherboard layout design, signal timing issues are also greatly reduced, resulting in improved stability and overall performance. ASUS works with almost every DDR4 memory vendor to ensure the best compatibility – so you’re assured reliable performance from your favorite brands.
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  • OC Socket allows improved cache overclocking. In our tests we are able to overclock the Uncore 800MHz higher than the reference socket – perfectly stable.
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  • The ability to overclock the processor, Uncore and memory to maximum frequency in tandem. Without OC socket, some combinations of memory ratio and Uncore are unstable on various straps and this becomes more apparent as the processor is pushed. OC socket improves overclocking margin.
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  • Maximum Vcore – An option for extreme overclockers that allows users to exceed Intel’s MSRs after reaching the CPU core voltage limit. Maximum Vcore mode is designed for extreme overclocking applications and is not recommended for regular use.
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  • Cache bus links areas such as CPU cores, DDR4 Memory Controllers, System Agent and the shared L3 Cache. It is a critical interconnect for the whole CPU subsystem. Higher Cache Bus frequency directly gives faster total sub-system performance. ASUS OC Socket exclusively provides an adjustable cache bus voltage to reach higher cache bus frequencies.

Bundled with the RVE is the ROG OC Panel. It can be used in Normal Mode or Extreme Mode, depending on how you wish to use the device. Normal Mode is intended for those that want to install the device in a 5.25″ drive bay, which provides system monitoring, fan control, and CPU Level Up overclocking. Using the OC Panel in Extreme Mode means you use it as a hand-held device, which allows you to benefit from the full array of features it offers.

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NORMAL MODE – easy system monitoring and performance boosts!

OC Panel can be installed directly into a 5.25-inch drive bay to provide real-time monitoring of multiple vital parameters, including CPU temperature, ratios, base clock and fan speeds. The CPU Level Up button provides instant control over two-stage overclocking, while CPU fan speeds can be adjusted to Turbo, Standard and Silent modes — super-simple controls, all at your fingertips.

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EXTREME MODE — advanced overclocking made easy!

OC Panel can also be used as external overclocking console. In this mode, there are connectors and switches for exclusive ROG features including Subzero Sense, VGA SMB, VGA Hotwire, Slow Mode and Pause. You also have direct access to four-pin fans connectors – four in total! — as well as remote power and reset buttons.

In an effort to save time when an overclock goes wrong, two new buttons make their way to the RVE. Pressing the Safe Boot Button will turn off the system and then boot into the UEFI BIOS safe mode where all your previous settings will still be intact. This allows you to pick up where you left off and continue to tweak your settings from there. The Retry Button allows for an immediate reboot instead of having to long press the power button or even having to flip the switch on the back of your PSU when the power-on-self-test fails.

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Safe Boot Button

One quick tap of the Safe Boot button powers off your system and launches into Safe Mode, where you can tweak your retained previous settings.

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ReTry Button

If your system hangs during the power-on self-test (POST) boot process, just hit the motherboard’s hardware-level ReTry button to force a reboot right away.

Unwavering Power

CPU and memory power delivery come via the ASUS Extreme Engine DIGI+ IV feature. PowIRStage IR3555 MOSFETs, MicroFine Alloy Chokes, and 10K Black Metallic Capacitors are the high-end components ASUS uses here. The PowIRStage MOSFETs integrate the driver, high-side MOSFET, and low-side MOSFET.

Pump up your power

An extreme platform demands extreme control over the purest power, and nothing delivers more control or purer power than Extreme Engine Digi+ IV — Rampage V Extreme’s exclusive voltage-regulator module (VRM). MicroFine alloy chokes lower overall core loss for lower temperatures, while the VRM has been upgraded with the brand-new PowIRstage® IR3555. This chip integrates the driver, high-side and low-side MOSFETs and features the latest RDS On current-sensing technology. Extreme Engine Digi+ IV’s high-frequency pulse-width modulation (PWM) implementation scales to 1MHz allowing the DRAM VRM to achieve a 40% increase in stability!

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Stay Cool

When you hear the term DirectCU, you’re likely to associate that with the coolers found on ASUS graphics cards. ASUS has a passive motherboard version now that they introduce on the RVE to keep the power delivery area cool. The copper heatpipe found inside the heatsinks should do a much better job at keeping things cool when compared to the standard aluminum heatsinks we often see used.

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Copper-cooled to the core

Exclusive DirectCU cooling technology puts better conductive copper heat-pipes in direct contact with Rampage V Extreme’s Extreme Engine Digi+ IV VRM zone to provide incomparable heat dissipation. Other designs merely prevent overheating — Rampage V Extreme with DirectCU goes up to 7 °C cooler.

asus_r5e (24) The heat coming from the chokes and VRM zone is absorbed by the copper heatpipe and then dissipated through two large aluminum heatsinks for ultimate cooling.

If you’re into the LN2 game, you’ll be happy to know you don’t need to buy a new evaporator pot to use on the RVE. Packed in the kit is X-Socket II, which allows you to use your existing pot.

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Primed for your existing pot

Rampage V Extreme’s three-piece X-Socket II makes easy work of mounting your existing liquid-nitrogen (LN2) or dry-ice evaporator pots to the latest LGA2011-3 socket. Use the supplied star screwdriver to replace the LGA2011-3 backplate with X-Socket II and you’re ready to super-cool with your existing evaporator!

The RVE has an abundance of fan headers at your disposal. There are eight 4/3-pin (PWM/DC) combo fan headers plus three more 2-pin thermal sensor headers you can use to monitor temperatures from any location you choose. When you add the motherboard’s four built-in monitoring locations, you’ll have the ability to monitor up to seven different temperatures in real time.

Advanced fan controls for ultimate cooling and quietness

Rampage V Extreme has 8 x 4/3-pin (PWM/DC) combo fan connectors, four intelligent onboard sensors plus three additional 2-pin headers and a selection of three thermal cables to help you monitor the temperatures of up to seven motherboard or key components in real time — so you’re able to adjust CPU and case coolers automatically or manually for the best dissipation.

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Game With More

The SupreFX 2014 audio solution finds its way on the RVE, which is a great addition in my opinion. Along with the high quality audio components, there are several unique utilities to help you get the most from the experience. The SupremeFX 2014 audio solution features physical PCB isolation, a stainless steel EMI cover over the CODEC chip, ELNA capacitors, and a Sonic SenseAmp that will detect headphone impedance automatically and adjust the built-in amp accordingly. You’ll also find that all the audio jacks are gold plated and a Sonic SoundStage button on the motherboard that can be used to toggle between four audio presets.

Precision-engineered audio that’s as great as a dedicated sound card

ROG knows the importance of flawless audio – pristine effects and full-range soundtracks make the game. That’s why we invest substantial engineering resources to perfect onboard audio. The result is SupremeFX. Cutting-edge isolation technologies minimize electromagnetic interference (EMI) and exceptionally premium components deliver best-in-class audio that’s as great as a dedicated soundcard. But we never rest on our laurels, which is why SupremeFX 2014 has been refined even further for Rampage V Extreme. That means even finer components and superbly clever software innovations for gaming and multimedia experiences beyond compare!

asus_r5e (29) Minimize EMI (electromagnetic interference)
asus_r5e (30) Minimize EMI (electromagnetic interference)
asus_r5e (28) Premium Japanese-made ELNA® audio capacitors
asus_r5e (27) Sonic SenseAmp is a ROG invention that detects headphone impedance (below 65 / 65-150 / 150 or higher ohms) and adjusts the built-in amp automatically, for pitch-perfect listening right away!
asus_r5e (31 Apply the best settings for your favorite game genres in real time on any operating system, via the onboard Sonic SoundStage button. The debug LED displays the mode — FPS (01), racing (02), fighting (03) or sports (04).

Complementing the SupreFX 2014 audio is a suite of utilities to enhance the gaming experience. Sonic Studio offers up one-click virtual surround, even through stereo headsets, and a host of other sound manipulation tools. The Perfect Voice utility provides the ability to remove ambient noise that might be picked up by your microphone. Sonic Radar II is an in-game overlay utility used to determine which direction particular sounds are coming from. It also provides three control panels to customize hotkeys, audio modes, and how the overlay appears on-screen.

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Sonic Studio

Sonic Studio is a brand-new audio-tuning suite that provides an aural treat. Features include one-click Virtual Surround (7.1 channels), even through a stereo (2.0-channel) headset, plus Reverb, Bass Boost, Equalizer, Voice Clarity and Smart EQ options — ensuring everything you hear sounds amazing!

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Perfect Voice

Simple and effective noise reduction. Perfect Voice removes ambient noise with one click, for crystal-clear in-game chat.

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Sonic Radar II

Designed for first-person shooters (FPS), Sonic Radar II displays a subtle overlay that shows what opponents and teammates are up to. See the precise direction and origin of in-game sounds such as gunshots, footsteps and call-outs, and practice your enemy-pinpointing skills — and exclusive Audio Enhancement further improves in-game sound for superb hearing awareness. The all-new Sonic Radar II includes a redesigned control panel with customizable game list!

The latest Intel I218V Ethernet controller is found on the RVE, which is said to greatly reduce CPU overhead and provide higher throughput than competitor solutions. The LAN jack itself uses the ASUS LANGuard feature, which adds ESD guards and surge-protection components.

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More throughput, less CPU usage and great gaming experiences!

Rampage V Extreme features the very latest Intel® Ethernet for faster, smoother gaming — always. Intel’s LAN has the serious double advantage of reducing CPU overhead and offering exceptionally high TCP and UDP throughput. This significantly reduces the processor’s workload, so there’s more power for your game and your gameplay!

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Pumped-up throughput. Best surge protection.

ROG has reinvented the LAN port. Advanced signal-coupling technology and premium surface-mounted capacitors improve throughput, while surge-protected and electrostatically-guarded components (ESD Guards) protect your motherboard from lightning strikes and static electricity!

GameFirst III is a network optimization utility with an eye on gaming. It’s completely customizable right down to the application level. So, even if you’re not a gamer, you can give bandwidth priority to any task or program you choose. GameFirst III also features a built-in network monitor and bandwidth speed test tool.

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Network-optimization software for no-delay gameplay!

Exclusive GameFirst III has been upgraded with even more gamer-helping features and an interface that’s even more intuitive! GameFirst III helps you to assign top priority to game packets and allocate more bandwidth to the game, ensuring the best online gaming experience. Choose from a preset mode to suit what you’re doing – Optimization, Game, Media Streaming or File Sharing. You can manage bandwidth down to the level of individual applications, with five priority levels and even the ability to block specific traffic. GameFirst III even has a built-in Network Monitor tool, so you can supervise your network traffic and test your connection speed to check that you’re getting the bandwidth you pay for!

The ASUS KeyBot microprocessor works in conjunction with the supporting software to allow the user to customize a standard USB keyboard to function much like a high-end gaming keyboard does. Macro keys, function keys, and shortcut keys can all be customized to perform a variety of actions.

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Your keyboard, instantly upgraded!

Fancy a free keyboard upgrade? That’s what KeyBot gives you — instantly. Just plug your existing keyboard into the dedicated USB socket to activate the exclusive KeyBot microprocessor on the Rampage V Extreme. Use the easy-to-use utility to assign macros to function keys F1-F10 to launch any application with a single press or control multimedia playback — or store up to 15 keystrokes per key!

If you find yourself with an abundance of system memory, you might consider putting some of that extra memory to good use. RAMDisk allows you to create a virtual storage drive from available system memory that promises speeds up to 20X faster than a SSD. This latest version of RAMDisk can dynamically allocate memory and release it back to the system when needed.

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Dynamically unleash your RAM – 20X faster than SSD!

With RAMDisk you can turn system memory into superfast temporary storage. Put large files, such as game maps, into RAMDisk and watch loading times fly — you’ll never again wait to play. The improved 2014 edition of RAMDisk dynamically allocates memory, so unused RAM is released back to the system when it’s needed. You’ll even enjoy the bonus of protecting your SSD drives, as RAMDisk reduces excessive reads and writes that can reduce lifespan!
Last but not least, the junction function serves as quick links between files and RAM storage. All files are automatically saved and restored to their specific locations on hard drives when you turn your PC off, then go back to RAM when you power on again.

UEFI BIOS

We’ll have a closer look at the UEFI BIOS later in the review, but it’s worth a mention as we finish looking at the high-level features. The ASUS EZ Mode page continues to add more and more options that allow quick access to system information and several system settings as well. Once you enter Advanced Mode, you’ll find perhaps the most detailed and feature rich UEFI BIOS there is.

Acclaimed by media worldwide as the most-intuitive UEFI BIOS!

The smoothest mouse-controlled graphical UEFI BIOS has been upgraded to deliver faster setup and easier functions, with an even more appealing design for better overclocking and DIY experiences. Whether you’re a PC novice or a seasoned overclocker, the EZ and Advanced Modes help you find your way, quickly and easily.

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There is a lot more to the Rampage V Extreme than the above features have outlined, but we’ll get to that once we have a closer look at the motherboard itself. So, let’s get the box on a workbench and have a look around!

Packaging/Accessories/First Look

No surprises with the package color scheme here, it’s ROG through and through. The box front has a picture of the OC Panel and additional product branding. Around back, things get a little busier with more high-level features and specifications listed. Additional product branding is found on the box sides, along with a multilingual blurb of a few unique features. There is a flap that can be opened to expose even more product information and a glimpse of the motherboard and OC Panel through a plastic window.

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Inside the outer box are two more boxes. One houses the accessories and the other, the motherboard and OC Panel. Here is the list of all the accessories included with the RVE.

  • User’s Manual
  • I/O Shield
  • 10 x SATA 6GB/s Cables
  • 1 x SLI bridge
  • 1 x 3-Way SLI Bridge
  • 1 x 4-Way SLI bridge
  • 1 x CrossFire cable
  • 1 x ASUS 3T3R dual band Wi-Fi moving antennas
  • 1 x Q-connector (2 in 1)
  • 3 x Thermal sensor cables
  • 1 x 12 in 1 ROG Cable Labels
  • 1 x X-Socket 2 kit
  • 1 x ROG Door Hanger
  • 1 x OC Panel
  • 1 x OC Panel 5.25-inch bay metal case
  • 1 x OC Panel Cable
  • 1 x OC Panel screw pack

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The OC Panel is the highlight of the accessory stack. It comes with all the parts you need to install it in a 5.25″ drive bay (Normal Mode) or use it as a hand held device (Extreme Mode). Below are a few slides showing the available options in both modes followed by a few pictures of the unit itself.

OC Panel Normal Mode

OC Panel Normal Mode

OC Panel Extreme Mode

OC Panel Extreme Mode

OC Panel Extreme Mode

OC Panel Extreme Mode

Inside the OC Panel

Inside the OC Panel

OC Panel Buttons and Display

OC Panel Buttons and Display

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Subzero Sense Connectors

Photo Op

In typical ASUS ROG fashion, the RVE exhibits a completely red and black color scheme. We’ll take an up-close look at all the different areas of the motherboard shortly, but for now enjoy the picture show!

R5E Overhead

RVE Overhead

R5E Overhead

RVE Overhead

R5E Overhead

RVE Overhead

R5E Overhead

RVE Overhead

R5E Angle View

RVE Angle View

R5E Angle View

RVE Angle View

R5E Angle View

RVE Angle View

R5E Angle View

RVE Angle View

R5E Backside

RVE Backside

The ASUS Rampage V Extreme Up Close

Beginning at the bottom-left edge of the RVE, we have the front panel audio header, a 4-pin power socket for additional power to the PCI-E slots, and the TPM header. Staying at the bottom-left edge, we also have the SoundStage button, dual BIOS chips, and the front panel USB 3.0 header.

Moving over to the bottom-right area, there are two 4-pin fan headers, a front panel USB 2.0 header, and the ROG_EXT header used to connect the ROG OC Panel. Also located here are the case wiring headers and the BIOS switch. Use the BIOS switch to toggle between the two available BIOS.

Bottom-Left Edge

Bottom-Left Edge

Bottom-Right Edge

Bottom-Right Edge

On the right side of the RVE, we have the KeyBot button, SATA/SATA Express ports, and a second front panel USB 3.0 header. Pressing the KeyBot button will activate any macros or functions you have saved to the KeyBot microprocessor via its software utility. The lowermost block of SATA-Express ports use both Intel and ASMedia as their controllers. The bottom row is native to the Intel chipset, while the top row is provided by the ASMedia controller. All eight of the uppermost SATA ports are native to the Intel chipset. Located just behind the front panel USB 3.0 header is the M.2 SATA connector, which supports 60, 80, and 110 mm length cards.

Moving upward, we come to the 24-pin ATX power socket, three more 4-pin fan headers, and a host of buttons and switches ASUS calls the “OC Zone.” Here is a list of all the items found at the OC Zone area.

  • Safe Boot Button

    • Reboot into BIOS Safe Mode
    • Previous Settings Saved
  • Q-Code & Q-LED

    • Post Code Display
    • Key Component Troubleshooting
  • ReTry Button

    • Reboot into BIOS Safe Mode
    • Works when Reset Button is Inoperable
    • Previous Settings saved
  • PCI-E x16 Switch

    • Enable or Disable Any PCI-E x16 Slot
  • MemOK! Button

    • Memory Compatibility Tuning
    • For Use with Incompatible Memory
  • Start Button

    • Power On System
  • LN2 Mode Jumper

    • Helps Prevent Cold-Boot Bug
  • Reset Button

    • System Reset
  • Slow Mode Switch

    • Temperature/Max Frequency Alignment
  • ProbeIt

    • Voltage Read Points

Right-Side Lower Edge

Right-Side Lower Edge

Right-Side Upper Edge - OC Zone

Right-Side Upper Edge – OC Zone

Moving around to the top of the RVE, we find the two 4-pin CPU fan headers and the two CPU AUX 12 V power plugs (1×4-pin and 1×8-pin). Other than a glimpse of the heatpipe that runs between the two MOSFET heatsinks, that’s about all there is to cover here.

Top-Right Edge

Top-Right Edge

Top-Left Edge

Top-Left Edge

Along the left side of the RVE, we land at the I/O area and the SupremeFX 2014 audio bits. The I/O connections can best be described by the two images below. The highlights include a whopping 10 USB 3.0 ports, ROG Connect support, and the built-in WiFi module.

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We already covered the SupremeFX 2014 audio in the features section above, but the second picture below gives you an idea of how it’s laid out. You can easily see the isolation line and the EMI shield over the CODEC chip. The isolation line will illuminate red when the system is powered on, which produces a nice red glow from the underside of the motherboard.

I/O Area

I/O Area

SupremeFX Audio Area

SupremeFX Audio Area

Taking a look at the expansion slot area reveals four PCI-E 3.0 graphics card slots, one PCI-E 2.0 x4 slot, and one PCI-E 2.0 x1 slot. Multiple GPU setup speeds will vary depending on the CPU you use and the amount of lanes it provides. The second image below give you the lane assignments for 40 and 28 lane CPUs.

Expansion Slots

Expansion Slots

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PCI-E Lane Assignments

The CPU socket area is relatively void of any major obstructions and should accommodate most large CPU air cooling solutions. As always, be cognizant of memory height when choosing one of those behemoth air coolers out there. As far as a water block goes, I can’t imagine any of them being a problem here.

Also viewable from this vantage point are the eight DIMM slots that will support up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory. The quad-channel memory speeds supported range from DDR4-2133 MHz up to DDR4-3300 MHz (OC).

CPU Socket Area

CPU Socket Area

CPU Socket Area

CPU Socket Area

The heatsink covering the PCH is a pretty large affair that uses the thick pink TIM we often see ASUS use here. The MOSFET heatsink uses thermal pads that cover both the MOSFETS and the top of the chokes. The DirectCU copper pipe was found under the thermal pad covering the MOSFETs. The heatpipe then joins the heat dissipating block that covers the I/O area. There is no thermal interface material on the block as its purpose is to provide an escape route for any heat that it receives through the heatpipe. On the back of the motherboard is another plate that’s attached to the bottom of the MOSFETS, and it too uses a pad for thermal interface material.

PCH Heatsink Removed

PCH Heatsink Removed

MOSFET/Choke Heatsink Removed

MOSFET/Choke Heatsink Removed

Heat Dissipating Block

Heat Dissipating Block

Bottom Side MOSFET Cooling Plate

Bottom Side MOSFET Cooling Plate

DirectCU Copper Heatpipe

DirectCU Copper Heatpipe

Cooling Kit Bottom View

Cooling Kit Bottom View

Cooling Kit Top View

Cooling Kit Top View

With the heatsinks removed, we get a good look at the 8-phase CPU power delivery area. Each set of four DIMM slots get their own pair of power phases as well. There are three DIGI+ VRM controllers found on the RVE. There is one by each set of four DIMM slots and another just to the left of the MOSFET area.

CPU Power Phases

CPU Power Phases

CPU Power Phases

CPU Power Phases

CPU DIGI+ VRM

CPU DIGI+ VRM

Right Side Memory DIGI+ VRM

Right Side Memory DIGI+ VRM

Left Side Memory DIGI+ VRM

Left Side Memory DIGI+ VRM

The ASUS UEFI BIOS

We already touched on the EZ Mode section of the UEFI BIOS in the features section above, but here you can see what the page actually looks like. There is a lot of system and monitoring information available at a glance. You can change the boot device order, set XMP profiles, and work with fan control settings. The EZ Tuning Wizard at the top of the screen will guide you through system optimization and raid setup. The EZ System Tuning feature uses a predefined set of options that you can choose from based on whether you prefer higher performance, low noise, or energy savings.

EZ Mode Screen

EZ Mode Screen

EZ Tuning Wizzard

EZ Tuning Wizard

Pressing the F7 key will get you inside the Advanced Mode area of the UEFI BIOS. The first screen is My Favorites where you can create shortcuts to any area of the UEFI BIOS. There is a group of options across the top of the screen that follow you wherever you navigate in the UEFI BIOS. Use those options for quick access to My Favorites, Q-Fan controls, EZ Tuning Wizard, and a few others. For a quick check on what you have modified during the current session, just click on the Last Modified link at the bottom right of the screen.

My Favorites Screen

My Favorites Screen

My Favorites Setup

My Favorites Setup

Q-Fan Control

Q-Fan Control

Last Modified

Last Modified

Sliding over to the Main screen, we get addition system information and the options for setting language, date/time, and security rules.

Main Screen

Main Screen

Main Screen

Main Screen

The Extreme Tweaker screen is where the overclocking magic takes place. Everything you need to get the most from your CPU and memory can be found here. Ratio settings, voltage manipulation, BCLK settings, and a slew of memory options are at your disposal here. You don’t need to be intimidated because ASUS does a great job with their auto setting rules. So, if you’re not sure about a particular setting, chances are leaving it on auto will suffice as you learn your way. As you venture into higher levels of overclocking, you’ll appreciate the DIGI+ Power Control sub menu. This area will give you total control on how the power is delivered to the CPU and memory through an array of options. Peruse the thumbnails below for everything included in the Extreme Tweaker section.

Extreme Tweaker Screen

Extreme Tweaker Screen

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The Advanced screen is where all the system configuration options are located. There are 11 sub menus where you can configure storage, onboard devices, USB, and the ROG lighting effects, just to name a few. The thumbnails below will guide you through all the available options in the same order they are presented to you.

Advanced Screen

Advanced Screen

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The Monitor screen offers up a nice assortment of critical system monitoring capabilities. Fan speeds, voltages, and temperatures can all be viewed here. All eight onboard fan headers can be monitored, as well as the three T-Sensors. Also located here are all the Q-Fan options that let you control any fan connected to the motherboard. You can choose any of the seven available temperature monitoring sources as you set duty cycle and temperature thresholds that control the fan speed. For fan control within the UEFI BIOS, Q-Fan is one of the best I’ve seen for sure.

Monitor Screen

Monitor Screen

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The Boot screen has all the system post behavior options. The items here are pretty much self explanatory by looking at the images below.

Boot Screen

Boot Screen

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The Tools screen is your entryway into several useful utilities. GPU Post give you a list of what hardware is plugged into any of the expansion slots. The EZ Flash 2 utility is a quick, easy, and safe way to update the UEFI BIOS firmware. Using the BIOS Flashback utility lets you copy the firmware loaded on the first BIOS chip over to the second BIOS chip, or even force the system to boot from the second BIOS chip by default. To view the SPD table on the installed memory, simply visit the SPD Information utility. Inside the Overclocking Profile utility, you can save up to eight profiles to the UEFI BIOS or an unlimited amount to a USB storage device. The OC Panel’s H-Key Configure utility lets you configure a profile for your CPU core and input voltage, BCLK frequency, and the ratios for the CPU and Cache. Once this is setup, all you have to do is hit the OC button on the face of the panel to apply the profile. One of my personal favorites here is the Secure Erase utility. It’s a tremendous time saver when you need to secure erase a SSD, and nothing could be quicker than performing this task right from within the UEFI BIOS.

Tools Screen

Tools Screen

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The Exit screen is pretty standard stuff, except for when you choose to save changes and reset. Doing this will present you with a pop-up window listing all the changes you have made during the current session. It’s a good idea to double check yourself here, and make sure you set things as you intended.

Exit Screen

Exit Screen

Bundled Software – AI Suite 3

If you’ve used an ASUS enthusiast-level motherboard over the past couple of years, then you probably already know about their AI Suite 3 software. I’ve used many different manufacturers in-OS optimization software over the years, and I can tell you from experience, AI Suite 3 is the king… bar none. For enthusiasts and overclockers alike, the Dual Intelligent Processors 5 area is where you’ll be hanging out the most. In many ways, DIP5 is almost like having a full fledged BIOS right on the desktop. Whether you’re looking to get the maximum overclock or looking for maximum power efficiency, everything you need is available in the DIP5 area. You can choose to set everything up manually, or select the 5-Way Optimization option and let the software do it for you. The recent introduction of DIP5′s Turbo App utility even allows you to customize system enhancements to any given application installed on your computer. The first picture below is of the main screen from which you can launch any of the included utilities. The second picture is of the DIP5 main screen, which is followed by thumbnails of all the different options DIP5 offers.

AI Suite 3 Start Screen

AI Suite 3 Start Screen

DIP5 Main Screen

DIP5 Main Screen

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The rest of AI Suite 3 has many useful utilities as well. On the USB front, there are a two different USB charging utilities and a USB boost utility to increase transfer rates with compatible USB 3.0 devices. EZ Update lets you connect to the ASUS servers to check for software, BIOS, and driver updates. You can also update the BIOS and even add a custom boot logo to the BIOS file using this utility. The USB BIOS Flashback utility will automatically check for BIOS updates and save them to a USB storage device, which can then be used to update the BIOS using the motherboard’s built-in BIOS Flashback feature. The Push Notice utility will send predefined alerts to your smart devices either over your LAN or over the internet. Internet alerts will require you to sign up for and log into an ASUS account. The System and Version Information utilities provide an at-a-glance look at motherboard, CPU, and memory information, as well as the version of each AI Suite 3 utility currently installed. The thumbnail images below are worth checking out to see what all these utilities bring to the table.

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An argument could be made that the customer base most likely to purchase this motherboard won’t bother with using DIP5 for overclocking, especially the automatic tuning part. This group of users likes to do things themselves and usually do so through the UEFI BIOS. With that in mind, ASUS has a set of desktop utilities that might pique the interest of the hardcore overclocking crowd. If you peruse the contents of the support DVD, you’ll find a copy of Mem TweakIt and TurboV Core. Between these two utilities, you’ll have about the same memory and CPU overclocking options as you find in the UEFI BIOS, but without the fancy GUI seen in AI Suite 3. Mem TweakIt allows you to adjust every memory timing imaginable right from the desktop. TurboV Core has a slew of voltage and overclocking options as your disposal.

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Mem TweakIt

TurboV Core

TurboV Core

TuboV Core

TurboV Core

TurboV Core

TurboV Core

Benchmarks and Overclocking

Test System

System Components
Motherboard ASUS Rampage V Extreme
CPU Intel i7 5960X Haswell-E
Memory G.SKill Ripjaws 4 DDR4-3000 MHz 4X4 GB kit
SSD Samsung EVO 500 GB SSD
Power Supply Corsair HX1050 Professional Series
Video Card EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified
Cooling EKWB Supremacy EVO Water Block – 360 mm Radiator – MCP35X Pump

We’ll be running our usual set of benchmarks to test compression, rendering, video conversion, and we’ll add some 2d benchmarks as well. We don’t typically see much difference in benchmark scores when comparing motherboards, especially when the same CPU, chipset, memory, and GPU are used. So, we’ll just provide screenshots of the stock and overclocked benchmark runs. What this boils down to is a search for any abnormalities that may rear their ugly heads during the benchmark runs. However, we’ll spot check these results against other X99 motherboards that have been reviewed to make sure everything is in line.

Overclocking the CPU to 4.75 GHz was a relatively painless experience. It took 1.375 V to the CPU and a few adjustments within the DIGI+ Power Control area of the UEFI BIOS to stabilize the overclock, but easily doable. Because I’m using 3000 MHz memory, the motherboard defaults to the 125 BCLK setting, which almost all X99 motherboards will do. So, for the purpose of the overclock results below, we’ll run with this overclock and then see how much farther we can get in the Pushing the Limits section of the review. The stock benchmarks were run with the turbo speed of 3.5 GHz locked down, which is typically how I do the stock testing. On to the benchmarks!

Compression, Rendering, and Video Conversion Benchmarks

Cinebench R10 – R11.5 – R15

CB R10 @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

CB R10 @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

CB R10 @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

CB R10 @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

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CB R11.5 @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

CB R11.5 @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

CB R11.5 @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

CB R15 @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

CB R15 @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

CB R15 @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

CB R15 @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

x264 Pass 1 and 2

x264 @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

x264 @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

x264 @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

x264 @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

PoV Ray R3.73

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PoV Ray @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

PoV Ray @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

PoV Ray @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

7zip Compression Benchmark

7zip @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

7zip @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

7zip @ 4.75 CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

7zip @ 4.75 CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

 

2D Benchmarks

Wprime 32M and 1024M

wPrime @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

wPrime @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

wPrime @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

wPrime @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

SuperPi 1M and 32M

SuperPi 1M @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

SuperPi 1M @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

SuperPi @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

SuperPi 1M @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

SuperPi 32M @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

SuperPi 32M @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

SuperPi 32M @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

SuperPi 32M @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

Intel XTU

Intel XTU @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

Intel XTU @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

Intel XTU @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

Intel XTU @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

Memory Benchmarks

Aida64 Cache & Memory

AIDA64 @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

AIDA64 @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

AIDA64 @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

AIDA64 @ 4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

MaxxMEM

MaxxMEM @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

MaxxMEM @ 3.5 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

MaxxMEM @4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

MaxxMEM @4.75 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

After checking these results against the EVGA X99 Classified and ASUS X99 Deluxe we previously reviewed, the RVE threw out scores just as it should. Overall, there wasn’t much of a difference between any of the motherboards’ stock benchmark scores, but no big surprise there. However, I was able to get a little higher 24/7 stable overclock with the RVE and still keep the thermal reading in the low to mid 70 °C range. Absolutely nothing to complain about on both the performance and overclocking front, good stuff all around.

Pushing the Limits

Getting the CPU to 4.9 GHz took a lot of voltage… 1.45 V to be exact. It was hardly stable at this speed, but a quick run of SuperPi 1M and wPrime 32M did manage to complete. Still, a pretty impressive amount of overclocking can be done on the RVE, and it’s eager to please as you head down that path.

SuperPi 1M @ 4.9 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

SuperPi 1M @ 4.9 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

wPrime 32M @ 4.9 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

wPrime 32M @ 4.9 GHz CPU / 3000 MHz Memory

As far as memory overclocking goes, I had the most luck using the 166 strap and adjusting up from there. I left the timings set to auto because it’s the easiest way to get the memory to play nice initially. The timing’s auto rules do a good job of getting the memory to at least post; and from there, you can work on manually lowering the timings. One thing I’ve learned so far about the i7 5960X/X99 platform is that overclocking memory past 3000 MHz is a difficult task at best. I did manage to get this G.Skill kit ramped up to 3100 MHz using the 166 strap. As you can see by the picture below, the timings were set to 17-22-22-40-2T when left on auto. I’m pretty confident those timings can be tightened up quite a bit, but you can see the RVE definitely supports very high raw DDR4 memory speeds.

Memory at 3100 MHz

Memory at 3100 MHz

Conclusion

ASUS definitely went the extra mile with the Rampage V Extreme, and they seemingly never stop providing new features with every motherboard release. While the Rampage V Extreme continues the tradition of being one of the best extreme overclocking motherboards available, it’s now loaded with many of the same features you find on their Maximus and Channel series motherboards. The SupremeFX 2014 audio, M.2 SSD support, and Wi-Fi are a few that come to mind here. Couple that with the addition of several new gaming and overclocking features, and it’s easy to see the scope of potential buyers has widened tremendously.

It should come as no surprise the Rampage V Extreme is one of the most expensive X99 motherboards on the market. It’s currently selling for $499 at Newegg; but when you consider the ROG OC Panel alone sells for $100, I think the value is definitely there.

In the end, the Rampage V Extreme is an attractive option for extreme overclockers, enthusiasts, and gamers alike. A little something for everyone it seems… Overclockers Approved!

Overclockers_clear_approvedClick the stamp for an explanation of what this means.

Dino DeCesari (Lvcoyote)

 

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