Rampage III Formula mobo promises ‘superior value’

Asus keeps enlarging its Republic of Gamers motherboard line. Earlier today, the company e-mailed us some photos and specifications for its next model, the Rampage III Formula—a board that purportedly delivers a "balance of gaming-related features at a superior value."

Then again, this is an X58 mobo, and Asus has outfitted it with several premium features, so I wouldn’t necessarily expect bargain-basement pricing. The Formula III takes triple-channel DDR3-2000 RAM, supports three-way Nvidia SLI or AMD CrossFireX configs, and has perks like a SupremeFX X-Fi 2 audio chip and Intel Ethernet with Asus’ GameFirst! bandwidth multitasker. In the company’s words, the bandwidth multitasker "lets users download stuff in the background without causing lag or latency in online gaming."

Other bells and whistles include USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps (of course), ROG Connect functionality for remote overclocking, digital voltage regulation, and a network of heat pipes and stylish black heatsinks.

Asus says it will release more details about this motherboard "over the remainder of the summer," and that the product "will soon be out on the performance circuit"—whatever that means. Check the gallery below for the images.

Comments closed
    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    wait, there’s a X-Fi 2 out there?

    • Chrispy_
    • 9 years ago

    For it to be “superior value” in any way at all, it has to be cheaper than the combination of a good motherboard and sound card.

    A very good $149 motherboard:
    ASUS P7P55D-E

    Much better sound card than on the Rampage III:
    Xonar DX ~$80
    Creative X-Fi Extreme Audio (PCI-Express) ~$55

    As for the Intel LAN chip – Countless Killer NIC reviews have proven that your lag whilst torrenting/downloading isn’t affected by your network adapter but by your router and ISP.

    Unless it’s sub $200 the phrase “superior value” is just marketing bullcrap, because X58 was never intended to be used in combination with the phrase.

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    Sandy bridge = Q4 2010.
    X58 = 3 month product life.

    Why even bother with a new board at this stage?

      • Krogoth
      • 9 years ago

      Sandy Bridge isn’t going to be that special. It is just a quad-core based on the Westmere-design with a GPU and southbridge bolted on a.k.a SOAC (System on a chip). SB is meant for the OEM crowd.

      Gulftown chips are still going to be faster at multithreaded stuff due to having more cores and have more bandwidth = more PCIe lanes. So, X58 still has considerable life in it until Intel does an overhaul on its workstation platform.

        • Farting Bob
        • 9 years ago

        No, SB is a new architecture (not a complete rebuild obviously, just like every CPU architecture of the last 20 or so years), built using the same process (32nm) as westmere chips. It wont be groundbreaking compared to current chip performance by most peoples reckoning, but its designed by the same team that made Core2Duo, so seems promising.

          • Krogoth
          • 9 years ago

          What makes it different is the “SOAC” aspect.

          The CPU design is just another evolution of the Conroe dyansty. If anything I expect it to be better at power efficiency. Performance-wise, it will hardly be any better than current Westmere and Nehalem-chips.

          SB is Intel’s answer to AMD’s fusion.

    • Jakubgt
    • 9 years ago

    Rampage board = $300+ price tag

    • Deanjo
    • 9 years ago

    OK so we have a fake software driven X-Fi, and a “Asus’ GameFirst! bandwidth multitasker” which finally gives a capability to the nic that nForce motherboards had for years with their Network Access Management.

      • bthylafh
      • 9 years ago

      …when you could get the nForce NICs to work reliably.

        • Deanjo
        • 9 years ago

        Have had many nforce boards (the only real series that I skipped was nForce 1 and 4 series) and never had an issue with the nics either at home or in the uni’s computer labs. Now these latest 8 series ATI chipsets on the other hand……

          • Voldenuit
          • 9 years ago

          NForce + 64-bit OS = corrupted packets over LAN

          Guess it serves me right for being on the cutting edge with XP x64.

          It was one of the main reasons I switched from s939 to s775 at the time (needed 8GB of RAM for large database calculations for my aerospace masters research*).

          AM3 is my current platform pick, though. Will probably be upgrading in a few months.

          * we eventually farmed it out to the 1,024-CPU Beowulf cluster at my school, but it was still handy to have at the beginning.

            • Krogoth
            • 9 years ago

            Incorrect, Nforce 3/4’s hardware firewall was broken. The NIC itself was fine as long as you didn’t use the firewall.

            • indeego
            • 9 years ago

            I think you mean software. All firewalls are software. In particular Nvidia’s Software firewalls have always suckedg{<.<}g

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    If the can keep if from costing 250 and put it out for under 200 I’ll be happy.

    • Meadows
    • 9 years ago

    I do expect good value (if the pricing is right), considering this is truly an offering for gamers where you don’t actually need a separate sound card and NIC in order to avoid /[

      • Kurotetsu
      • 9 years ago

      I think this is the first enthusiast motherboard I’ve seen that actually uses an Intel NIC. If the SupremeFX X-Fi 2 thingie supports OpenAL, then thats awesome as well.

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        It very much should.

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