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ASUS ROG Rampage III Formula (Intel X58 Express) Motherboard - BIOS and Overclocking

We take a look at the "mid" level ASUS ROG X58 offering in the Rampage III Formula to see if it has what it takes to keep that name.

| Socket LGA 1366 in Motherboards | Posted: Nov 3, 2010 10:18 am
TweakTown Rating: 89%Manufacturer: ASUS

BIOS

 

The BIOS on the RIIIF is (of course) an AMI BIOS with ASUS customizations. On all of the ROG boards the typical AI Tweaker is replaced with the Extreme Tweaker page. This page also becomes the landing page you hit when you enter the BIOS.

 

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As you can see from the images above, the Extreme Tweaker page lets you get pretty deep into the workings of the RIIIF. The PWM Volt Control is a nice touch and by adjusting the driving voltage to get more out of your board (although you should have good cooling when you do that). You can also change the frequency of the PWM if needed to help prevent crosstalk at high speeds.

 

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Inside the Extreme Tweaker page are a couple of submenus that allow extended control over the RAM and CPU (although the CPU page is a duplicate of another page in the BIOS).

 

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If you are one of the few that are only interested in getting the highest clock you can out of the RIIIF, then ASUS has put in a short cut for you. On the On-board Devices page there is a simple setting to turn off all of the extras. This can let you get additional MHz out of your CPU and RAM without all of the extra systems to get in the way.

 

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In the power settings there are the usual ASUS fan profiles available for the multitude of fan headers on the Rampage III Formula.

 

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Under the tools menu we find a few fun items like the ASUS OC Profile, BIOS FlashBack, and Drive Xpert. The last item is the Go Button page. Here is the profile that is available to you as a "Quick OC" when you press the Go Button.

 

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Overclocking

 

As with all of the ROG boards we have played with, the Rampage III Formula was very easy to overclock. It was so simple that we very quickly had things running at 4.4GHz (176MHz x 25). We did try to push things a little further, but it was not possible with our current cooling. We were able to get the system to post at 4.6GHz (184MHz x 25 but running any of our tests caused the CPU to overheat quickly and fail.

 

We also noticed that the Northbridge got hot very quickly under this load. If you are really looking to push things, you can, but you will need to bring some good cooling to the table to do it.

 

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You can see the validation for the Rampage III Formula here.

 


TurboV EVO

 

The RIIIF sees the return of the TurboV EVO software. However, it is once again bundled in with the AI Suite. This was annoying at first, but after tinkering with things for a while I began to like it. From a simple toolbar you can choose the application you want.

 

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From there you are knee deep into the TurboV software. ASUS has cleaned up the UI for the ROG series as there is not much need for an auto overclocking setting. Instead you have the CPU LevelUP screen which as you see can quickly get things going for you.

 

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Once you have tired with the CPU LevelUP screen you do have the advanced flavor of the TurboV. Here you have almost every option you could want with the exception of being able to change the memory multiplier. This is still a component that is missing.

 

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Still, this is about the only thing that was left out. Overall it is still a very complete, clean and easy to use Windows based overclocking software.

 

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RC TweakIT

 

The RC TweakIT software is one of the things that makes the ROG line up really stand out from the rest of the market. It is the ability to control the overclocking settings through a remote system with a USB connection. This software is as complete as the TurboV EVO software, possibly even more so as it includes the ability to power on, off, reboot and even clear the BIOS all from that one system.

 

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While you are booting the system you can also view the POST (Power On Self-Test) that happens. This can let you identify a problem caused by overclocking very quickly.

 

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Of course, the RC TweakIT is about more than just being able to remotely turn your system on and off. It is also about getting the most from the Rampage III Formula.

 

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Beneath the sliders which allow you to change the BCLK and a fairly large number of voltage settings are the monitor pages. These are there to show you what is going on under the hood on the Rampage III Formula.

 

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As all overclocking results are dependent on the hardware you use, your results may vary. Results of our overclocking tests are included in the performance section with the stock scores.

 

Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking or as new BIOS updates are released. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.

 

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