We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, MSI, Western Digital and Corsair.
From the X79 side of things there's nothing we can compare the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme against as it's our first X79 motherboard we've ran through the gauntlet. For that reason we'll be checking our Rampage IV Extreme with the 3960X installed against our beloved Maximus IV Extreme-Z which has the stellar 2600k in it. More so because we can, we've also included the ASRock Fata1ty 990FX Professional motherboard with the FX-8150 installed in it.
The main thing we want to do, though, is get into the overclocking side of things on the board. In our original launch coverage on the 3960X we ended up running our system at 4.99GHz which was achieved by the "Load Extreme OC Profile (Low Current)" option. We also mentioned that we wanted to run at over 5GHz, so we just used that profile as a bit of a jumping point.
Before we get into that, though, the "Load Normal OC Profile" was the other profile I wanted to try. ASUS label this in the BIOS as "OverClock Template Suitable for day to day gamers", so it's the kind of overclock you'd use, well, for day to day gaming!
Selecting that profile, you can see we get into Windows at 4.37GHz which is a nice overclock from the stock 3.3GHz or even 3.9GHz with turbo. This clock pushes our voltage to just under 1.4v and brings our RAM up to 2000MHz DDR.
Doing all our testing at that speed, though, we headed back to the BIOS and used the Extreme OC profile as a jumping point to get over 5GHz. We could get into Windows as high as 5.2GHz and could start some benchmarks as high as 5.1GHz.
We ended up getting everything running smoothly at just over 5GHz with the final clock speed coming in at 5006MHz. This also pushed our memory speed up to just over 2100MHz DDR.
Because we already have a really good idea of how the CPU side of things performs against so many other models due to the fact we covered all this kind of stuff in our original launch article, we'll instead be mainly looking at the overclocking side of things.
Considering the voltage is pushed up to 1.576v and often times spikes over 1.6v when the Extreme OC Profile is set, the chances are the "Normal OC Profile" is going to be a good jumping point for a lot of people at just shy of 4.2GHz.
That really, though, just about covers everything that needs to be covered, so I think we're about ready to get into the performance side of things to see exactly what's going on.
Let's get started!