The launch of the Core i7 4960X and 4930K in September last year didn't cause an avalanche of new Intel X79 chipset motherboards, especially not in the high-end segment. ASUS did get inspired to make a new board, which resulted in the Rampage IV Black Edition. Is this the ultimate Socket 2011 board?
ASUS did set out to create the ultimate Socket 2011 motherboard with the Rampage IV Black Edition. The designers were asked to develop a board with the most comprehensive and extreme board in terms of features and overclocking options. It's being positioned above the existing Rampage IV Extreme board and carries a hefty price tag of around £400. You do get a copy of Battlefield 4.
The new Black Edition combines the overclocking features of the RoG Extreme boards and the gaming features of the Formula boards. It will be interesting to see whether one side had to sacrifice features in order to make room for the other. ASUS designed the board from the ground up and didn't rely on the existing Extreme edition, which provided the opportunity to re-examine design choices. This has improved the overclockability and there are features present that we've only seen on the Maximus VI Socket 1150 boards. These include new types of components for the CPU power supply and the OC Panel, also present on the Maximus VI Extreme.
We compared the Rampage IV Black Edition to the other X79 boards we've tested. You can read the rest of this preview on hardware.info.