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From The Republic: The Asus Rampage III Black Edition

"The Republic of Gamers consists only the best of the best. We offer the best hardware engineering, the fastest performance, the most innovating ideas, and we welcome the best gamers to join in.

In the Republic of Gamers, mercy rules are only for the weak, and bragging rights means everything. We believe in making statements and we excel in competitions. If your character matches our trait, then join the elite club, make your presence felt, in the Republic of Gamers.’"

That's Asus's slogan, and they're definitely staying true to it with their latest motherboard, the Asus Rampage III Black Edition. Gamers, rejoice: This is one fine motherboard. 

The Aesthetics

Okay, motherboards don't usually have to be all that pretty, true. I mean, they're inside a computer case, A look at the packagingA look at the packagingnine times out of ten you're not even going to see them after they're snapped in and ready to go. But just the same...I have to take a moment to admire how good this motherboard looks.The designers stopped to think about its appearance while building it, and that shows. 

There's a functional side to the appearance, too- we'll detail that more when we look at the specifications of the Rampage III.  

The second thing that caught my eye when looking at the Rampage III Black was the box it came in.  A lot of you might say the packaging doesn't make much of a difference, "don't judge a book by it's cover" and all that jazz. Thing is, we do, and the devs know it. If you look at the box the Rampage III Black Edition comes in, well....The design of both together just screams "powerful. sleek. ruthless.". It's exactly the sort of thing a lot of gamers will go for while building their system- it's certainly tantalized me. 

But looks aren't everything, either. How does the Black Edition stack up? 

The Specs

Now, the first thing a lot of people have probably noticed about the Rampage III Black Edition is that it's using Intel's old X58 architecture, instead of the new Sandy Bridge microarchitecture that's been taking the market by storm lately. Even though Sandy Bridge is the newest one, the X58 still seems to be the industry standard for gaming motherboards...at least for the time being. In any case, if you think that the utilization of a slightly dated microarchitecture makes this motherboard any less powerful, well....

The short answer is that you're wrong. 

The Rampage III Black Edition in all its gloryThe Rampage III Black Edition in all its gloryThe Black Edition is touted as "the most powerful X58 motherboard on the market". Now, we hear that a lot: "the most powerful this, the best of that, the prettiest other thing." You can't blame consumers for being a bit cynical. Fact is, though...in this case, they aren't exactly lying. Want me to put it into perspective? Just about the only motherboards that could hold a candle to this one are those sported by the Pure Luxury machine that I detailed a few weeks back.

Both of those motherboards are part of the Asus "Rampage" line.  The Rampage III Black Edition is the newest iteration of that line. To date, it's also the most powerful. That's right, this motherboard outpowers the motherboards in a $9,500.000 gaming rig. 

By now, you're probably thinking "Enough babbling! Get to the good part!" You want to hear the actual tech specs of this new lovely. Well, here you go(make sure you're sitting down for this one):

The Rampage III has four PCI-Express x16 slots(So you could potentially plug four graphics cards into this beast), support for up to 48 gigabytes of RAM, four USB 3.0 ports, eleven USB .20 ports, eight SATA ports, a dedicated overclocking zone complete with switches that let you activate/deactivate overclocking....okay, I could go on and on for paragraphs about all the features this motherboard has. Just take a look at the specs table Asus has on their website. Beautiful, isn't it?

This thing's been built from the ground up for gamers. From the looks of things, Asus listened to everything their fans had to say about improvements they could make on their motherboard...and then put  those improvements into the Black Edition. 

The Thunderbolt CardThe Thunderbolt CardChances are good that if you're reading this article, you've already got a pretty good idea of how computers and the tech behind them work. As such, I won't be including an excerpt with the terminology this time around- I'll assume most of you know what each of the items in the table above are, and what each of them mean.

The Rampage III Black Edition doesn't ship by itself.  It'll come with cables to hook up any and all components you'd require, an ASUS thunderbolt card-a very fine onboard multipurpose card- and a copy of Kaspersky antivirus, among other things. Pretty sweet, no? 

Final Word

Another look at the motherboardAnother look at the motherboardLet's do the math here. Lots of memory? Check. Support for overclocking? Check. Ludicrous number of video cards? Check. Great audio quality? Check. Overall Quality? Oh yeah, it's got that. If you're looking to build yourself a powerhouse of a gaming computer, you can't go wrong with this motherboard.

Asus hasn't announced the release date yet, but it's definitely going to be coming to the market in the very near future- they've promised that much, at least. When it does release, you'll have to be willing to shell out a bit of cash for it:  The Rampage III Black Edition will be going for somewhere between $600-$700.00 American. (Kit Guru)

I'd say it's worth the price.