The X79-Deluxe isn't Asus' only new LGA2011 motherboard primed for the latest Ivy Bridge-E CPUs. The firm has also added an ultra-high-end model to its Republic of Gamers family. Behold the Rampage IV Black Edition:
As the name implies, the board is pretty much all black—an apparent first for the ROG family. There are some bright red accents to highlight the integrated audio's isolated traces, though. The onboard audio is paired with fancy capacitors from WIMA and ELNA, and there's a headphone amplifier in the mix. On top of that, Asus includes its Sonic Radar software, which provides an on-screen overlay that visually maps the location of positional audio in games.
Excess abounds on the Black Edition, which has eight USB 3.0 ports via a collection of auxiliary controller chips. There are eight 6Gbps SATA ports, four 3Gbps ones, and four PCIe x16 slots. I'd expect those slots to support four-way CrossFire and SLI configs, but there's no mention of multi-GPU setups in Asus' product announcement. The slots are spaced to accept four double-wide cards, in any case.
What else is on the menu for the Black Edition? 802.11ac Wi-Fi, firmware-based secure erase functionality, and the ability to flash the UEFI with no more than a memory module and power supply attached. The Rampage also has all the other firmware enhancements we've seen Asus roll into its recent desktop boards.
We don't know when the Black Edition will be available for sale or what the price tag will say, but you can expect some sticker shock. Asus calls the Black Edition the ultimate LGA2011 motherboard, which means it will likely be priced higher than the $420 Rampage IV Extreme. Only extreme overclockers and folks with deep pockets need apply.
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