At CES this year I had the chance to take a look at some of Asus’ new products that were going to be launched soon. These were mostly P67 based motherboards (although there was the EEE Slate that I am currently working on), but there was one that really caught my eye. This was the Rampage III Black Edition. The RIIIBE might seem like an improvement on the RIII Extreme, but that would be quite an understatement. We will be taking a long hard look at this product in the next few days but wanted to give you a quick preview here to whet your appetite.
When we opened the plain brown box wrapped in Asus packing tape we knew that we were getting something special in the lab. The box has a very “motor head” look to it which lends to the impression of speed and toughness. Of course after you get over the initial impression that things might be different with this packaging; we find the now common flap with plastic window and marketing images.
Of course this is not all bad, after all if you went by just the front cover you might miss on some of the features that the Rampage III Black Edition has. Of course we are not going to go into too much detail here; after all that is what the final review is for.
After we de-box the RIIIBE we really see something nice. The Rampage III Black Edition is a nice looking board. It is a full sized ATX board with all the trimmings. Asus has made sure that despite the influx of P67 boards including the release of the B3 stepping Cougar Point the enthusiasts are going to want to take a look at this board.
Asus has carried over many of the same features that the RIIIE had. We get the nice stable power and reset switches along with a row of switches that allow you to turn off the PCIe slots to help with overclocking stability. You also get a new type of capacitor; this is an NEC/TOKIN Film Capacitor that is replacing the FPCAPs that were on the RIIIE. We are hoping that this cap will have the same longevity as the FPCAPS.
There are more items on the RIIIBE than a Film Capacitor though. Right next to the dual 8-pin Aux power connectors we find the combination Bluetooth/Wireless networking adapter. The slots on the RIIIBE are fairly typical and allow for three-way SLI and Crossfire.
But there is one item that is in the box that we are very excited to work with. This is a combination KillerNic /Xonar card called the Thunder Bolt. We pulled the cover off for a few nude shots. But will save on the details for the full review later.
That is it for now, but we have a quite a bit more in the lab to prep for review so we hope to get a few more of these up in the very near future along with our normal reviews.