Overclocking: Asus Rampage IV Extreme Versus EVGA X79 FTW

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Apr 17, 2012
I'd love to see a comparison like this between the Rampage IV Extreme and the Rampage IV Formula. The price difference is over $100 and I don't see WHY. 8 RAM slots is something I would never fill up so the Formula and its 4 slots seems perfect to me.


Former Staff
[citation][nom]WR2[/nom]Kind of a lukewarm recommendation. Just 'Tom's Hardware Approved award'[/citation]Only because there aren't many readers who can get $50 of value out of its specific feature set, compared to the WS.


Jul 27, 2006
You guys really need to start Testing @ 5760x1080 !!! , Monitors go for really cheap on craiglist now from wholesellers , you can buy 3 24" leds for like 300 bucks so a lot of people that I know have been runing 3 monitor setups for a while.
Thanks Thomas for another enlightening Article! :)

Just knowing the ASUS and EVGA from past history (LGA 1366) which may or may not play any role here, ASUS tends to (lets call it adjust) the CPU vCore and VTT/VCCSA higher than advertised vs EVGA which probably explains* the problems with both the high frequency RAM and CPU OC's.

The disturbing thing to 'me' was the regulator voltages. I know the EVGA uses 12+2 vs ASUS's 8+3+(2+2) PWM and it's all digital controlled on ASUS, (*)but IDK if the EVGA is digitally controlled which might explain the inefficiency and OC.

The EVGA has always been a very 'manual' MOBO, so in that regard I'm not surprised you had to dive into the BIOS. I have no doubts if you raised the EVGA's voltages vs a cloned ASUS optimized OC set that you'd have no problems obtaining the SAME 4.8GHz OC. Both boards offer voltage check points and I'd be very interesting how they compared.

Just the other day I updated my ASUS BIOS and right-off I noticed an increased vCore increase by +0.01v~+0.015v and as part of the documented (improvements) was 'Improved Stability' ; yeah sure if you raise the vCore or VTT/VCCSA, phase, etc profiles... Now I have to redo my validations.

The most important testing here, to me, is the Baseline Comparison which tells me EVGA has some work to do ASAP, and hopefully a BIOS update can close the gaps. Further, personally I won't buy or recommend any X79 MOBO unless it offers an 8xDIMM option. In the forum it's been very clear which X79's I recommend since day one, and the ASUS R4E has always been on top on my list if you can afford it! ;)
Great review!

If I was into extreme system building I would not hesitate for a moment for a $50 price difference between a board that works as advertised vs a board you have to coax into working properly. In the grand scheme of things $50 is not that much money, especially considering the platform cost of the rest of the system. It's not like you build these rigs for OC'd gaming with less than $1000 in GPU horsepower alone, not to mention nice big SSDs and RAID arrays, $100 coolers, oversized cases etc. $50 just disappears at that point.

The ironic thing to me however is that this proves more than anything that OCing a system has little to no effect on gaming (at least with a single GPU), and yet gamers are the ones more likely to OC as most productivity people are artists or cube dwellers by nature and not hardware junkies who would OC their system to the moon. Yet there is a near 1/3rd of untapped performance potential in their computers that will never be touched.

Another thing of interest to me is that on the 1155 platform it is possible to get a higher efficiency by doing an OC (because you can get to 4.4GHz on some before changing any voltages which only gives a minor wattage increase). I wonder of the 2011 platform gets a little more efficient with a minor OC compared to these higher OCs.

Last thought: It is odd to me how OCing works. Something like 90% hit 4.2GHz with no problem, only some 50% of the CPUs can hit 4.5GHz, and then only ~5% can hit anything above 4.8GHz. On my own rig I can hit 4.2GHz with no problems at all, and that is a 2600 non-K (turbo OC as I am locked out of the base clock, but according to CPUz it hits a consistent 4.2GHz when under load, which is the only time I need anything above stock anyways). Back when I use to OC a lot (way back in the P3/P4 days) you would be lucky to hit a 500MHz boost before having heat problems (much less stability issues). It just amazes me that you can easily hit a near 1GHz OC these days without any voltage changes, but then going much higher than that it requires exponential amounts of power. And now the thing holding OCers back is more timing stability and power regulation instead of heat.


Jun 11, 2008
I really would like to see more CPU intensive games used when the article is comparing CPU performance. Battlefield 3 and, even better, World of Warcraft come to mind.



Jun 11, 2008
[citation][nom]EzioAs[/nom]Nice article.Where is the MSI Big Bang Xpower II? That's known to be a great board for overclocking as well.[/citation]

Why you asking? Did you send one in to be included in the test?


[quotemsg=9530477,17,177903]Why you asking? Did you send one in to be included in the test?[/quotemsg]

Because in the article they wrote "We contacted that manufacturer (along with one of its closest competitors) to see how two of today’s top-rated enthusiast-oriented boards would compare to each other in terms of overclocking ease, stability, and features.", meaning they never contacted MSI(I'm assuming). I'm pretty sure MSI would be eager to put their flagship board to the test as well.

Hope I clarify something here and I never meant to be rude in the first comment. :)


Jan 27, 2009
Any board from the cheapest to the most expensive is just as fast as the other with a few MHZ clock change.

Buy your board based on:
1. Reputation
2. Reviews
3. Warranty
4. Price
5. Options

I also opt to use integrated chips for NIC and Audio made from anyone other than Realtek! :)
[citation][nom]billj214[/nom]Any board from the cheapest to the most expensive is just as fast as the other with a few MHZ clock change. Buy your board based on:1. Reputation2. Reviews3. Warranty4. Price5. OptionsI also opt to use integrated chips for NIC and Audio made from anyone other than Realtek![/citation]

realtek for sound is ok atleast they update there drivers and support there products with universal driver package.

Intel ethernet FTW


Dec 24, 2011
I love my Rampage 4 extreme, I'm glad I made the choice to buy it.
I have so far pushed a 5.0ghz O/C out of my 3930K but with a concerning amount of voltage (just to do a Cinebench test run to post on these forums)
It happily sits at 4.4ghz everyday overclock without even changing the voltage
Not needed for my gaming but helps a lot in my rendering/compiling work
And it's so easy to do on this board.


[citation][nom]apache_lives[/nom]realtek for sound is ok atleast they update there drivers and support there products with universal driver package.Intel ethernet FTW[/citation]
I had been using the inboard sound (Realrek) for a few days and then got an Asus Xonar STX. Night and day. I will never pay attention to someone telling me that onboard sound is just as good as a discrete card. Night and Day...at least in the Xonar STX's case.


Despite a bad experience with an old ASUS AM2 board, I must say I'm impressed with their
top-end product range. I managed to obtain a Maximus IV Extreme for very little, fitted a
2700K; obtaining 5GHz didn't take long (valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=2334534).
I like the UEFI layout, and I've had no problems with weird startup issues after a failed oc
run, etc. The feature set is very impressive, similar to the Rampage described here with
respect to onboard items. I can see why enthusiasts buy this type of board despite the
price points. If anything though, perhaps SB is too easy to oc unless one is going to try
exotic cooling (I'm just using a 2nd-hand Venomous-X I won off eBay and two cheap
Coolermaster fans). Perhaps that's why I've seen comments recently from overclockers
who've done their SB setups and have then sought out older P55/X58 items because
they're more difficult to oc, ie. more of a challenge. I suppose then there are those who
oc to go for benchmarks (so SB/SB-E are king atm) and there are those who oc for its
own sake, the technical challenge, for which SB is a breeze. Thus, for the enthusiast
crowd who would normally buy this class of mbd, have Intel made it too easy to oc?
I reached 4.8 with hardly any changes required, while 5.0 only needed a couple of tweaks
recommended by forums posters and ASUS' own guide. A friend of mine obtained 4.8 in
under a minute just by using the Turbo 50 option on his Asrock board (Z68 Extreme4
with a 2700K).

The performance results for the SB-E used here are interesting; it doesn't seem as if that
many tasks can yet scale nicely from 4 to 6 cores, while of course I get better single-threaded
results for the Lame and WinZip tests given my higher clock (www.sgidepot.co.uk/misc/tests-jj.txt)

One thing I would say though, I was delighted that my Maximus was able to use my Mushkin
8GB DRR3/2133 kit at its rated speed & timings without any trouble at all, even at 5GHz. I
didn't have to change anything; definitely wasn't expecting that (from reading numerous oc
guides, I thought I'd have to lower it to 1866). This echoes the article author's comments
about the easier RAM setup on the Rampage. ASUS have done an excellent job support 2133

CaedenV makes a good point about the effect of this class of CPU power on gaming
performance, namely not a lot for these newer games used as tests. Ironically, the most
striking effects occur with much older games, inparticular X3TC and Stalker which see
major speedups when run on such a system, though of course at this level the frame
rates are crazy anyway. Interestingly, even 3DMark11 starts to show the artificial boost
to overall scores from having powerful CPUs, even though the game fps results may be
less interesting. The effect is totally OTT with 3DMark06 of course, but I wasn't expecting
to see it so much with 3DMark11.

I've tested the same two GTX 460s (EVGA 1GB FTW, 850 core) on a wide range of systems;
the Maximus with a 5GHz 2700K gives 8130, vs. 7768 for the same cards on a cheap P55 with
an i7 870 @ 4.27, but the fps results are almost identical (infact the P55 gave a higher score
for the Combined test, and that's with older drivers, etc.) See:


Hence, as Marcus52 says, perhaps a broader range of more CPU-intensive game tests
would be more appropriate for reviews like this? Problem is though, some games hit
the CPU hard mainly for multiplayer scenarios and that's tricky to replicate for a test.

kitsunestarwind, what do you get for your CB 11.529 CPU score on your 3930K at 5.0?


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