The Rampage Formula belongs to the Republic of Gamers (ROG) line of ASUS products. Since it belongs to the before mentioned product category, it offers unprecedented control over BIOS and system settings. Even the experienced tweaker can become lost in the memory settings alone, but the hardcore enthusiasts will defiantly appreciate the added BIOS flexibility. In the memory department Asus decided to follow the DDR2 1200/1066 support path, not really a bad thing, when you considered the relatively low cost of DDR2 at this point. The board even includes 2-Phase DDR2 voltage regulation to aid in system stability. The motherboard chipset cooling takes on a unique and fairly exotic approach. The board incorporates large copper heatsinks in a “Pin-Fin Thermal Module” configuration. Basically, it increases surface area to facilitate more efficient cooling, and also allows more air to flow through the passive heatsinks.
I/O back panel connectors include: 1 x PS/2 Keyboard, 1 x IEEE 1394a, 2 x LAN (RJ45) port, 6 x USB 2.0/1.1, 1 x Clr CMOS switch and 1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output. When you take advantage SupremeFX II Audio Card provided, you also gain ADI 1988B 8 -Channel High Definition Audio CODEC ports, Coaxial / Optical S/PDIF out ports at back I/O. I like the inclusion of the Clr CMOS switch on the backpanel. Even though ASUS includes a boot failure guard, it’s nice to have the switch handy during extreme overclocking attempts. I’m not so sure about the ADI audio solution. ADI recently announced they are stepping out of the Audio Codec business, and this makes future driver support questionable for this solution.
The Performance of the ASUS Rampage formula is outstanding. At stock it features finely tuned BIOS that edged out the ASRock X48 board it was compared with. Factor in the unprecedented amount of BIOS control, and large overclocking headroom, and this board just exuberates performance. With the still expensive prices of DDR3, the ASUS Rampage Formula provides you with a current performance market solution, that can take advantage of the still relatively low DDR2 costs. Some boards can be a hassle just to get them stable at stock settings, the ASUS Rampage was solid as a rock, under all but the most extreme overclock environments I placed it under.
Pricing and Availability
As of this writing, the ASUS Rampage Formula can be found at several retailers for around $300.00. At the price the ASUS Rampage Formula falls right in line with other high-end X48 based motherboard offerings. Still a great deal for someone wanting to utilize cost effective DDR2, and for people not ready to jump on the Intel Core i7 bandwagon.
ASUS produces another fine product, which lives up to their “Republic Of Gamers” branding.
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