Jul 22, 2016 Written by: MajorLee

Rampage V Edition 10: What Goes Into the Ultimate Motherboard?

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During ASUS’ 20-plus years of making motherboards it has constantly strived to always make one very, very best motherboard in any series launched. Originally these were called Deluxe, then occasionally Premium, and in the last several years ROG has carried the flag with its Extreme and Black Edition boards offering the pinnacle of cutting-edge features and overclocking potential. In its 10th year ROG is back with a new, unequalled top dog – this time for Intel X99 – and it’s got a new name: Rampage V Edition 10.

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More than just an X99 refresh with RGB LEDs, the Edition 10 is 10 years' worth of expertise distilled into an E-ATX PCB. It’s solid; weighty; meaty as you hold it. There’s not a millimeter of spare surface free as every gap is required for a component or copper traces.

Without being lit-up, you could be fooled into think it was in fact a Black Edition as it is entirely decked out in its charcoal blacks and deep grays, with occasional metallic flashes on the CPU O.C. Socket, PCI-Express SafeSocket(s), 10k Black Capacitors and specialist audio capacitors (that unfortunately only come in gold).

Unboxing

The Rampage V Edition 10 box understates what lies beneath. It’s simple, black design focuses solely on the 10th anniversary logo, a sign that you don’t need to sell an artisan device.

Open the box and you’re immediately presented with the Edition 10 nestled within its foam packaging, then as you look up the red ROG logo faces you from under the lid.

Underneath you’ll find a bevy of accessories, including ten SATA 6Gbps cables, 4-way, 3-way and 2-way SLI bridges, thermistor cables, SupremeFX Hi-Fi 5.25-inch unit and cable, AURA cable, 3T3R WIFI external antenna, fan extension card and bracket, Q-connector for front IO, ROG coasters, ROG fan label, ROG cable labeling set, M.2 screw kit, CPU installation tools for Haswell-E and Broadwell-E, rear IO frame, USB drive with utilities and drivers (no DVD now!), and user guide and manuals. All in all, a ton of kit!

Full spec list

See the ROG Rampage V Edition 10 product page at ASUS.com

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Board overview

The Rampage V Edition 10 is an extended ATX motherboard with specialist LGA2011-E socket designed by ASUS, dubbed the O.C Socket. It’s compatible with previous and current gen Haswell-E and Broadwell-E CPUs, and supports up to 128GB of ultra-high speed DDR4 in its 8 DIMM slots. As ROG’s premium overclocking board you can turn up and max the clocks on the processor cores, uncore, and DDR4, allowing those with cooler temps (and faster memory modules) more leg room for extra voltage and clock speeds.

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The four PCI-Express slots support up to 4-way SLI (with 40-lane CPUs) in 8x8x8x8x configuration where required, and there are extra 4x and 1x slots for high-performance peripheral cards. Note that with 28-lane CPUs these slots share PCI-Express lanes with other onboard hardware. The four main slots also get the SafeSlot treatment with an all-round wrap of metal that’s strongly soldered into the board to give 360-degree x/y/z axis reinforcement. There is a switch in the lower-right corner that flicks the slots between 2/3-way CrossFireX/SLI configurations for easy setup, or, there’s dedicated hardware DIP switches in the top-right corner to on/off the individual PCI-Express 16x lanes.

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Just below these PCI-Express DIP switches is another set to on/off each of the four DIMM channels as well as the LN2 switch, Slow Mode, ReTry and Safe Boot buttons kept from previous generation developments; all of which are requirements of pro-overclockers.

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The MemOK button, two digit LED POST code readout, boot device LEDs and voltage point readouts for multi-meters are all nestled in the upper corner as well (how do they find the space!?) and are all additions to help diagnose boot and POST trouble, or overclocking issues, giving the user the maximum number of tools available.

For storage, all the latest connector standards are accommodated including inbuilt M.2 PCI-Express x4 slot up to 22100 length (kept outside the graphics cards to prevent thermal throttling), U.2 connector and 10 SATA 6Gbps ports giving access to a potentially huge storage pool of drives.

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To keep everything cool, across the board there are six 1-Amp PWM/DC fan headers, one high power 3-Amp header specifically for water pumps/AIO cooling pumps and a fan extension header to connect the fan extension card bundled in the box. All headers can detect between PWM and DC fan types to control with the Fan Xpert III software.

Its rear IO shroud is actually a large aluminum heatsink that adds a huge thermal mass to aid cooling of the CPU’s Extreme Engine DIGI+ VRMs. This is connected to their heatsink via chrome-plated copper heatpipe. The Extreme Engine Digi+ is a revered digital-power controller, and on the Rampage V Edition 10 it now delivers even-finer power, with a custom-designed PWM controller, PowIRstage® IR3555 MOSFETs from Infineon, MicroFine alloy chokes, and 10K black-metallic capacitors — ensuring Extreme Engine Digi+ always delivers the most precise and smoothest core voltages.

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On the back, a large SECC steel plate covers the inside edge of the board and is adorned by the 10th Anniversary emblem. The plate serves two functions, firstly preventing it from bending when connectors like the ATX plug are inserted, as its E-ATX size leaves the edge overhanging beyond the mounting holes of ATX, and secondly to properly diffuse the light from the 15 RGB LEDs encased around the edge giving them a soft glow.

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The AURA RGB lighting is continued on the large X99 (PCH) heatsink, within elements on the rear IO shroud/heatsink and even on the clear PCI-Express retention clips. Along the base of the board is the 4-pin header for RGB strips to plug into. The AURA control software gives the board millions of color options and several modes of choice, just like the latest ROG Strix graphics cards.

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Continuing along the bottom edge of the board we find the TB_Header for ASUS Thunderbolt EX add-in cards, additional USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 headers and the BIOS selection switch to flick between both BIOS’ should there be a problem, or, should you want to try out a beta BIOS for special functions or overclocking. The BIOS chips themselves are also removable and replaceable should the worst happen during those overclocking escapades.

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Patented rear IO shield

The rear IO shield is new and unique to ASUS; beyond its great matching black aesthetics the shield is actually pre-installed onto the motherboard itself within the rear IO heatsink. It just requires a thin metal frame to be inserted between itself and the case for PC installation. This means it’s much easier to install and you’ll never forget to use it, or possibly lose it between upgrades.

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Rear IO connectivity is as fully featured as you’d expect, four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 3.1 ports (two Type-A and two Type-C), twin RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet connectors (Intel i218V/i211-AT) with LANGuard ESD and surge protection, 3T3R dual-band 802.11ac wireless jacks to hook up to the bundled antenna, 7.1 channel over five 3.5mm audio outputs and optical S/PDIF. For legacy connectivity requirements (see extreme overclockers) two USB 2.0 and a PS2 keyboard/mouse are also included. In addition, ROG’s unique, backlit buttons for reset CMOS and USB BIOS Flashback are present, which allows convenient BIOS upgrades without even installing the CPU.

Both Gigabit Ethernet connectors and 802.11ac 1300Mbps Wi-Fi can be teamed together to maximize bandwidth, and you’ve also got the latest ROG GameFirst IV software to measure, control and prioritize network traffic between apps and games.

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Supreme FX Hi-Fi

Supreme FX audio has a long history of pushing audio excellence on ROG motherboards and the Rampage V Edition 10 is no exception, featuring an isolated PCB section that is highlighted by soft glow LEDs. Nichicon Gold series audio capacitors stand out in their metallic gold, as well an EMI shield over the codec.

The real star is the new Supreme FX Hi-Fi 5.25-inch bay adapter, which includes premium audio hardware for unparalleled quality and brings front-panel gold-plated connectors and volume control within arm’s reach.

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The special tech includes an ESS 9018M2M SABRE DAC with a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and a digital volume control for the purest analog output; premium Nichicon and WIMA capacitors that have been specifically developed for audio applications; 2x LM456 op-amps (one per channel) provide a clean stable volume boost and better channel separation; a high-precision clock source for ultra-low jitter; a de-pop relay to prevent sudden loud sounds when devices are connected or turned on; Sonic SenseAMP to automatically detect the headphone impedance you’re using between 32-600 Ohms and the TPA6120 headphone amp provides the final boost in volume.

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One-Click Overclocking & 5-way Optimization

Even if you’re not a ninja at overclocking, but still want to stretch your system (after all, all LGA2011-3 CPUs are unlocked) then just reach for ASUS’ 5-way optimization within Dual Intelligent Processors 5 software. It’s more than auto-overclocking software, it’ll tune all the sub-system parts including CPU, memory, fans, VRMs and power efficiency. You can choose between fast or extreme tuning depending on how deep you want the software to test and push the system. There is more granularity and flexibility available than any other auto-tuning software and the deeper options offer targets on temperature, voltage, per-core overclocking or even stress testing, or you can just go ahead and click the tune button straight up and let the standard settings tuned by ROG engineers work their magic for you.

 

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