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Early Look: Asus Rampage II Extreme

Early Look: Asus Rampage II Extreme

Manufacturer: Asus

You may come here to read bit-tech during your lunch break, drop into our community to make a few comments after school or work, and while most of us have rooms littered with computer hardware, with soldering iron burn marks in the carpet and desks that are public health hazards, only a few have the time, patience and well... money to pursue some extreme overclocking.

We've covered Extreme Overclocking events before, we overclock in almost every article and on many occasions in our hardware forum we've seen readers hitting GHz overclocks on their CPUs. This is tame by some people's standards, though.

The guys that feel the need to manually double check voltages because BIOS readings are just not infinitely accurate enough, to still persist with volt mods because they still remember the days when CPUs had 5V going through them and any less is just for wussies. Asphyxiation from the liquid Nitrogen bubbling off is just a working hazard that's accepted and even challenged - in fact, I'm pretty sure we'll have "how far can you overclock before you pass out" competitions running soon.

While not the first to pursue this niche market, the Asus Rampage II Extreme is built for this type of person, and the people that want to be these types of people. Inevitably too, it'll have a record setting price tag to match; if you sold a lung for your last RoG or Quantum Force motherboard, be prepared to part with a kidney, a testicle and perhaps your mother too. Between Foxconn's and Asus' premium brands, neither makes apologies for what they are designed to be - gone are the days when everyone bought the best board by default. Yea, it is incredibly niche willy waving stuff, but for those who want to bear all and thrust, it's getting close to being exactly what they need.

Early Look: Asus Rampage II Extreme
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But by getting what extreme overclockers want, out the box, does that continually detract away from the fun of doing it yourself? If anyone can buy a £10 multimeter and read the voltages, volt mods aren't needed and extra cooling is designed to be built around what's already there - where does the thrill of having something completely unique posted on the net come from?

What becomes of a community and movement when the only thing that differentiates you from XYZ is a Super-Pi/3DMark score and your signature on the southbridge heatsink? It'll become a rhetorical question because it's one that we're very familiar with in the modding sector, thanks to the rise of pre-modded everything with blue LEDs.

Early Look: Asus Rampage II Extreme Early Look: Asus Rampage II Extreme
Click to enlarge

Back to the product in question though, we've been dropped the hint that internally at Asus the naming, while expected and progressive from the original Rampage Extreme, is a little bit of an in-joke when referred to as the "Rampage II (the) Extreme". We expect this simply because Asus had to invest in an industrial sized vice, just to compress all the parts in an eight-layer ATX sized PCB. Either that or it borrowed the one from J&W.