I assume that those who have just read this review have no doubts whatsoever that Asus Rampage IV Formula will get the most positive verdict from us. And it is really well-deserved: the board is neatly and securely packed, comes with excellent set of accessories, which include a themed key-strap and a Battlefield 3 coupon for the Asus Rampage IV Formula/Battlefield 3 model. Despite a large number of additional controllers and other components, the PCB is laid out in very smart and convenient way and even fits into the ATX standard. “Extreme Engine Digi+ II” voltage regulator supplies stable power flow to the processor; its heating components are topped with heatsinks using reliable screw-on retention. Four graphics card slots allow building AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX or NVIDIA 4-Way SLI graphics configurations, with special accelerated operation modes kicking in for configurations with three or more cards. SupremeFX III technology enabling protection against EMI and offering special PCB paths layout ensures high sound quality and gold-plated connectors minimize output distortions.
In fact, there are features and technologies for any situation. “X-Socket” technology will let you use the old LGA 1366 cooler, “ROG Connect” will allow you to manage your system via a different PC, “GameFirst” technology will allow you to control network traffic. The extended functionality includes two BIOS chips, two connectors for processor fans, three additional fans that can also take thermal diodes. There are a lot of buttons that make working with this mainboard much easier, POST-code indicator and Q-Led diodes will help identify the issues that occur on system startup. “Probelt” onboard voltage read points and “Voltiminder LED II” diodes will assist in voltage monitoring. US BIOS Flashback technology eliminates any possible incompatibility with the new processor models. Very convenient Q-DIMM and Q-Slot connectors will ensure that the system assembly will go smoothly and replacing graphics cards or memory modules will be easy. We also shouldn’t forget about an entire group of components that make overclocking with liquid nitrogen much easier: LN2 jumper, Slow Mode switch and Q reset button.
The modification of Asus EFI BIOS for “Republic of Gamers” mainboard series not only looks different, but contains more parameters than the BIOS of regular mainboards. Overall, this BIOS is very convenient to work with, although most of our comments did refer to the issues we uncovered with some of its features and functionality. We are already familiar with some of them for more than a year, but they haven’t been fixed yet: now you can save the BIOS only in the root folder of the drive, you can’t save the turned off startup logo in the settings profiles, “EPU Power Saving Mode” technology gets turned off frequently. We have serious concerns that one more issue, which we came across on two different Asus mainboards, may join them shortly: when the memory frequency gets changed, Intel Turbo Boost technology stops working correctly. And on top of that we uncovered yet another problem: non-operational “CPU Power Phase Control” parameter, which actually prevented us from using the board’s ability to dynamically change the number of active phases in the processor voltage regulator circuitry depending on the current operational load.
However, despite these little issues, the board boasts an unprecedented number of indisputable advantages. Even if we forget for a second about all its highs (which is virtually impossible), it would still get our Editor’s Choice just for its overclocking potential alone. No other mainboard we tested so far can compete with Asus Rampage IV Formula in this aspect that is why we are proud to award it with our Editor's Choice title:
At the same time, it is really upsetting that Asus P9X79 Deluxe was also one of them, although in the beginning we had very high hopes about it. At the same time we were very pleased with Intel DX79SI, which fell just a tiny bit behind the leader and improved its performance dramatically with the new BIOS version. And of course, we should give due credit to Noctua Company for a very high-quality, well-made and securely packaged, easy to use and most importantly, extremely efficient Noctua NH-D14 cooler, which helps Asus Rampage IV Formula mainboard to fully reveal its undefeated overclocking potential.