Rampage IV Extreme vs Sabretooth X79

I've come up against a bit of a problem with space in my gaming rig which means i need to do an upgrade. I'm currently running a rampage II extreme with a 3.06ghz i7 950, and performance wise i have no complaints.

However, i'm running 2 gainward phantom 560ti (2gb) graphics cards in SLI and they are somewhat chunky (HUUUUGE heatsinks). So much so that over and above the 2 expansion slots they take up (each) in my case, they also render 3 expansion slots (including the ones they are plugged in to) in the mobo inaccessible. This leaves me with a couple of rather annoying problems:

- I have to run one of the two cards in x8 due to a lack of accessible x16 capable slots in the mobo.
- The gpu's blocks off access to several other expansion slots meaning i cant use them (i recently tried to add a pci-e video capture card and found despite having plenty of slots on the board itself i cant get to any because of the size of my graphics cards!)

The way i see it i have two options:

- Replace the graphics cards with a single gtx 680, which seems somewhat pointless.
- Buy a new mobo and cpu

Im more or less decided on the latter, so i have to work out what to get. I'm going for a Intel Core i7-3820 3.60GHz CPU, which means i need a Socket 2011 board. I'm keen to make sure i dont have the same space issues i have with the rampage II, so looking at the pics, i think the rampage IV is my best bet, but the sabretooth is that much cheaper its become something of a difficult choice.

I wouldnt say im a massive overclocking nut, i've only gotten my current processor up to 3.9ghz (and the temps are, in my eyes, a bit too high without replacing my cooling system) but id like to be able to do it easily. I'm running 12gb of ram right now but i'll happily upgrade to 16gb just to take advantage of the quad channel support on the new board.

What do you think?
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  1. I'm in a similar *upgrade* position and would love to know what people think on the topic "Asus Rampage IV Extreme" vs "Sabretooth x79" mobos


  2. I just ordered parts for my new build:

    asus sabertooth x79
    corsair vengeance 1866, 64 GB
    samsung 840 series 120 GB ssd
    corsair h100 cooler
    corsair enthusiast 650w psu
    corsair carbide 500r case

    Out of all the X79 motherboards, it was hands down the best bang for buck. Reviews are good, lots of people have gotten good overclocking results. I don't see what the rampage extreme has better, except some useless frilly features.

    I didn't need a GPU since I'm not gaming or video editing...I'm basically using it as a data/number crunching supercomputer.
  3. lschmidt said:
    Out of all the X79 motherboards, it was hands down the best bang for buck. Reviews are good, lots of people have gotten good overclocking results. I don't see what the rampage extreme has better, except some useless frilly features.

    The biggest difference is that the Asus Sabertooth x79 has 2 PCI E x16 slots, and 1 PCI E x1 slot, whereas the Rampage IV Extreme has 4 PCI E x16 slots and 1 PCI E x1 slot.

    Why is this important? You can only add a maximum of 2 GPUs (video cards, unless you count GTX 690 which is 2 GPUs in 1 card) in the Sabertooth, whereas you can have 4 GPUs (4 video cards, or 2 GTX 690s) on the Rampage IV Extreme. That is the major selling point - it's a great motherboard with various neat features, which I agree some I do not need at all, but it supports 4-way SLi.

    Now you said you won't be buying a video card, so this is kind of pointless for you, but for gamers or video editors it means we can have twice as many GPUs (graphics processing units).

    Another, some might say big - I say minor, difference between the two is that the Sabertooth only supports memory/RAM cards of clocking speeds 1066-1866MHz, whereas the Rampage allows 1066-2400MHz.

    Again, these are all things which for a non-gamer/editor/graphics enthusiast are completely irrelevant, and following that reasoning, yes - Sabertooth x79 is indeed a much better motherboard for you as it suits your needs just as much as the Rampage, but costs a lot less.

    I would just like to add that if I had known earlier you were not interested in graphics, I would have found a cheaper mobo for you. Since you won't need any of the expensive extra PCI e slots or any of that, you probably would have been able to spend even less money to get what you want. Still, since you're going to be "number crunching", you're going to like the extra RAM, and you need a decent motherboard that can allow this, and you've done just that.
  4. PS: Just because of curiosity, what do you mean just a "number crunching" pc, as in what kind of programs will you be using? Is it purely for working/using that specific software? I'm asking because if you're not buying a new graphics card, a small warning that the Sabertooth you ordered does not come with an onboard video card...so I'm guessing that you either knew this and have an old one ready in the shelf, or that you made a big mistake not ordering a new graphics card..xD

    If you're going to use Windows Vista/7 you're going to need a graphics card that supports DX9 or later (i.e. a graphics card that was manufactured in this millenium), otherwise it won't run. I'm providing this excessively obvious information just in case, better stupidly safe than sorry when it comes to expensive pc upgrades.
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