Pros: Huge range of adjustments possible in the Bios
Cons: An extra PCI slot would be useful
Bottomline: A well-built, fast-performing motherboard for the enthusiast, offering plenty of overclocking potential
But it online at:
Part of Asus’ Republic of Gamers (ROG) range of motherboards, the Rampage Formula is built around Intel’s Socket 775 and X48 chipset.
The ROG boards are the most expensive in Asus’ range and carry a price to match. The X48 supports DDR3, but for the Rampage Formula Asus has teamed it up with DDR2 support, which makes sense as DDR3 prices are still relatively high. Four slots are provided, supporting a maximum of 8GB of memory.
The board uses eight-phase power with low-profile passive heatsinks for the power circuitry and both nothbridge and southbridge chipset bridges.
Almost every high-end motherboard today seems to be covered in LEDs, but at least on the Rampage Formula some of them are useful. Three LEDs cover the voltage changes for the CPU, northbridge and southbridge, and change colour depending on the voltage feeding each component.
If you delight in tinkering with motherboards, one of the highlights of an ROG board is the Bios and the Rampage Formula doesn’t disappoint. It features a huge range of settings including adjustments to the timing of each individual memory phase associated with any selected memory divider. It also allows you to choose half-multiplier settings, which is something that’s particularly useful when trying to get the last bit of performance out of the board when overclocking.
Two full-speed x16 PCI Express slots support Crossfire at full speed. You also get two PCI slots and three x1 PCI Express slots; Asus might have been better off simply doing away with one or two x1 PCI Express slots, leaving space for a third PCI slot.
All the Sata 3Gbits/sec ports are edge-mounted at 90° and, thanks to the ICH9R southbridge, hard disks can be built into Raid arrays.