High End X58 Motherboard Roundup: Asus, Gigabyte and MSI Compared, Overclocked and Dissected

Motherboards/Intel S1366 by leeghoofd @ 2010-11-10

In this roundup of second generation X58 motherboards we put the best products from Asus, Gigabyte and MSI through the OC grinder, to find out which one can help you push your hardware to the limit. Some in-depth overclocking analysis lies ahead.
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Asus Rampage III Extreme: Features

Even though Asus included 4 PCIe lanes, only 3 can be used for SLI purposes. The Asus engineers chose to keep production costs as low as possible and it was preferred to manufacture the board without the Nvidia NF200 chips. For Crossfire cards however the 4 lanes are available at 4 times 8X speeds.



Without spilling to much text here's the diagram of the manual, only error there for 3 Way SLI use slot 1,2 and 3 :



If ever, you should feel the need to go for quad SLI, there's always the ROG Expander board to satisfy that desire. Question is : where can you get one ? I haven't found one yet in a shop , only via the HQ...



Sporting 2 NF200 chipset, unleashing 4 x 16 PCIe lanes for astonishing performance. As you can see in the 2nd picture, the Expander board is plugged in the motherboards PCIe lanes and the videocards will be higher than normal. So fitting this combination inside a case is a no go. At least not without modding.

We talked before about the included bulkier heatsink with added 4cm fan. I would recommendnd to install it as it significantly helped to reduce the IOH temps.



The box is stuffed with cables, Crossfire, SLI bridges and accessoires. The box design remaining loyal to the ROG theme.



Let's move on to the included software...

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