Asus Blitz Extreme P35 Socket 775 Motherboard Page: 1
Introduction & Specs

Back in June Overclock3D was given the opportunity to sample one of Asus' very first Intel P35 chipset based motherboards. Continuing the naming convention of many Asus predecessors, the P5K (DDR2) and P5K3 (DDR3) were both rock solid performers and managed to obtain several awards during our tests. In addition to this, both motherboards gave Asus a good chance to get to grips with Intel's latest chipset and the impending DDR3 technology.

Today we're back again, but this time looking at Asus' latest motherboard in the "Republic of Gamers" (or ROG for short) lineup. Based on the P35 chipset and utilising DDR3, the catchily named "Blitz Extreme" motherboard intends to build on the success of the P5K3 series whilst also adding plenty of extra features and performance tweaks synonymous with the ROG brand. For those of us who haven't made the jump to DDR3 yet, Asus have also created a DDR2 counterpart named the "Blitz Formula" (who thinks of these names??).

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, lets see what Asus have to say about the Blitz on their website:

The Blitz Extreme motherboard provides awesome Overclocking speeds and challenges performance limitations. Equipped with the innovative Crosslinx technology for increased performance, it utilizes the Fusion Block System - an effective 0dB fanless design cooling system with a chipset waterblock that adds onto a power user´s existing watercooling circuit to help keep operations cool. Additionally, SupremeFX II not only increases the sound quality, it also enhances aesthetic value. The Blitz Extreme also adopts the Intel P35/ICH9R chipset and supports cutting-edge DDR3 dual channel memory and CrossFire Technology - making it the Overclocker and Gamer´s first and best choice.

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.

Two main features that seperate the Blitz Extreme board from some of it's P35 based counterparts are Crosslinx and the Fusion Block System. Firstly, Crosslinx is a technology designed by Asus to alleviate the performance issues when running Crossfire (2x ATI cards) on a P35 chipset motherboard. By design the P35 chipset is only able to run the 2nd PCI-E slot on the board at 4x (electrical), thus creating a substantial bottleneck and dramatically reducing the performance of the Crossfire configuration. Crosslinx reconfigures both PCI-E slots to run at 8x (electrical), greatly improving performance and allowing Crossfire to function without any issue.

Next is the Fusion Block System. Essentially a water block placed on the NorthBridge chip, the Fusion system also has the additional benefit of being connected to the SouthBridge, Mosfets and Crosslinx chip via heatpipes. Obviously you'll get a chance to take a look at this yourself later on in the review, but it's good to see Asus implementing new cooling techniques to keep the core parts of the motherboard cool and in turn aid better overclocking.

With these two main features out of the way, let's take a closer look at some of the more detailed specs:

CPU
LGA775 socket for Intel® Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Duo / Pentium® Extreme / Pentium® D / Pentium® 4 / Celeron® D Processors
Support Intel® next generation 45nm Multi-Core CPU
Compatible with Intel® 06/05B/05A processors
* Refer to www.asus.com for Intel CPU support list
** Please update the latest BIOS to support Intel 45nm CPU
Chipset
Intel® P35/ICH9R with Intel® Fast Memory Access Technology
Front Side Bus
1333 / 1066 / 800 MHz
Memory
Dual channel memory architecture
4 x DIMM, max. 8GB, DDR3-1333*/1066/800, non-ECC and un-buffered memory
* The chipset officially supports the memory frequency up to DDR3 1066MHz/DDR2 800. Due to the tuning by ASUS exclusive technology, this motherboard natively supports up to DDR3 1333/DDR2 1066MHz. Please refer to www.asus.com or user manual for Memory QVL
Expansion Slots
2 x PCI Express x16 slot, support dual graphics solution
3 x PCI Express x1, PCIex1_1 (black) is compatible with audio slot
2 x PCI 2.2
CrossFire
Support ATI CrossFire™ graphics cards (both at x8 mode)
Storage
Southbridge
- 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports
- Intel Matrix Storage Technology supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.
JMicron® JMB363 PATA and SATA controller
- 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
- 2 x External SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers, both featuring AI NET2
High Definition Audio
SupremeFX II Audio Card
- ADI 1988B 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Noise Filter
Coaxial, Optical S/PDIF out at back I/O
IEEE 1394a
2 x 1394a ports(1 port at back I/O, 1 port onboard)
USB
max. 12 USB2.0/1.1 ports(6 ports at mid-board, 6 ports at back panel)
Overclocking Features
Crosslinx Technology
Extreme Tweaker
Loadline Calibration
Intelligent overclocking tools:
- CPU level Up
- AI NOS™ (Non-delay Overclocking System)
- AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
- ASUS AI Booster Utility
- O.C Profile
Overclocking Protection:
- COP EX (Component Overheat Protection - EX)
- Voltiminder LED
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Special Features
Fusion Block System
LCD Poster
EL I/O
Onboard Switches: Power / Reset
Q-Connector
Q-Fan Plus
ASUS EZ Flash2
ASUS CrashFree BIOS3
ASUS MyLogo3
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 Keyboard port(purple)
1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
2 x External SATA
2 x LAN (RJ45) port
6 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x IEEE1394a port
1 x Clr CMOS switch
Internal I/O Connectors
3 x USB 2.0 connectors supports additional 6 USB 2.0 ports
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x IDE connector for two devices
6 x SATA connectors
8 x Fan connectors: 1 x CPU / 1 x PWR / 4 x Chassis / 2 x Optional
2 x thermal sensor connectors
1 x IEEE1394a connector
1 x S/PDIF output connector
1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
24-pin ATX Power connector
8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
1 x En/Dis-able Clr CMOS
1 x EL I/O Shield Connector
BIOS
16Mb AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI2.0a Multi-Language BIOS
Manageability
WOL by PME, WOR by PME, Chasis Intrusion, PXE
Accessories
Fusion Block System Accessory
DIY Pedestal
ASUS Optional Fan
3 in 1 ASUS Q-Connector Kit
UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
Floppy disk drive cable
SATA cables
SATA power cables
2-port USB2.0 module
IEEE1394a module
EL I/O Shield
Thermal sensor cables
Cable Ties
User's manual
Software
The hottest 3D Game: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
Support DVD:
Drivers
ASUS PC Probe II
ASUS Update
ASUS AI Suite
Futuremark ® 3DMark® 06 Advanced Edition
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
Form Factor
ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6" (30.5cm x 24.5cm)

There's no denying that the Blitz Extreme is a fully loaded motherboard aimed at overclockers and gamers with features such as OC Profile (for saving settings), Voltminder LED (for displaying voltage status) and Asus C.P.R (for recovering after bad overclock) all integrated into the board and BIOS. Asus certainly haven't skimped on I/O ports either with a total of 12 USB ports, 2 eSATA ports, 2 NIC's, 6x SATA ports and a SupremeFX II High Definition add-in sound card.

Asus Blitz Extreme P35 Socket 775 Motherboard Page: 2
Packaging & Contents

Having seen and owned several Asus motherboards in the past, it would be fair to say that Asus have never really gone for the whole CGI Character style of packaging. Even on their previous 'Striker Extreme' and 'Commando' motherboards from the "Republic of Gamers" lineup, packaging has remained fairly simplistic and professional with only minor references to gaming.

Asus Blitz Extreme Packaging Asus Blitz Extreme Packaging

Not much has really changed on the Blitz Extreme either. As you can see from above, the cardboard outer-box is printed with a grey gradient along with a bullet hole effect situated just above the large white "Blitz" lettering. Very little information can be found on the front of the box, with only Crosslinx, Intel and Asus logos being displayed at the bottom.

However, in a true stealth fashion, Asus have placed a flap at the front of the box. Once opened you are presented with two plastic windows that show off the Crosslinx chip along with the Fuzion water block. Also at the top of the flap is a wealth of information regarding the features of the board along with brief explanations on what they do.

Asus Blitz Extreme Packaging Asus Blitz Extreme Packaging

Around the back of the box Asus have printed the technical specifications for the Blitz. As we saw on page 1, the board can support all LGA775 processors including the next generation 45nm multi-core chips along with DDR3 1333/1066 memory and ATI Crossfire (with both cards in x8 mode).

Asus Blitz Extreme Packaging Side Asus Blitz Extreme Packaging Open

To allow the motherboard to be seen from the top and side of the outer-box, Asus have placed the board inside a clear plastic moulded shell. This provides good protection against courier inflicted damage and keeps the board seperate from other items that could possibly be responsible for damaging the fragile components on the board during transit.

Asus Blitz Extreme Accessories Asus Blitz Extreme CD & Manual

Unlike the recently reviewed Asus P5K motherboard, the Blitz Extreme comes with a whole host of goodies including a full version of the popular FPS shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R all packaged up inside the accessories box. Also included in the pack are the following items:

• Fusion Block System Accessory
• DIY Pedestal
• 2x ASUS Optional Fan
• 3 in 1 ASUS Q-Connector Kit
• 1x UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
• 1x Floppy disk drive cable
• 6x SATA cables
• 2x SATA power cables
• 2-port USB2.0 module
• IEEE1394a module
• EL I/O Shield
• 2x Thermal sensor cables
• Cable Ties
• User's manual
• Futuremark ® 3DMark® 06 Advanced Edition
• Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
• The hottest 3D Game: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
• LCD Poster
• SupremeFX II HD sound card

Asus Blitz LCD Poster Asus Blitz Extreme Fans

Asus Blitz Extreme I/O Port Asus Blitz Extreme Connectors

Some of the more notable accessories are the items shown above. From top left to bottom right we have: the Asus LCD posted, Asus optional fans, Electroluminescent I/O shield and 3-in-1 Q-Connector's.

Starting with the LCD Poster, this device displays information on the motherboard POST sequence. If at any point the board fails to boot or gets stuck during POST, a quick glance at the LCD Poster should identify what component in your system is malfunctioning.

Moving on to the optional fans...These coolers have been included with many of Asus' Premium, Deluxe and ROG motherboards for quite some time. Designed to clip on to the finned heatsink that covers the mosfets at the top of the board, the fans pull air up through the heatsink fins and expel the hot air out the back of your PC case. They are reasonably quiet and come complete with 3-Pin connectors so that they can easily be controlled using the BIOS or Asus software.

Next up is the Electroluminescent I/O shiled. Essentially a posh word for a normal I/O shield with lights, the EL I/O Shield does have the advantage of being easy to see in the dark, so you don't end up trying to plug your mouse into an eSATA port during a late night gaming session.

Last but not least is the 3-in-1 Q-Connectors. These three small blocks are quite simply a godsend for the enthusiast who regulary disconnects their motherboard and is then faced with the frustration of trying to place the power/reset/activity LED connectors back on the motherboard header. They are also very clearly labeled - so no need to refer to the manual while setting your new motherboard up ;)

Asus Blitz Extreme Sound Card Asus Blitz Extreme Sound Card

It's great to see that Asus have decided to go for an add-in sound card on the Blitz Extreme. With so many decent after-market sound cards available, users of high-end motherboards are more than likely to already own a PCI based solution that will generally outperform any type of onboard sound.

However, in testing it has to be said that the ADI AD1988B based SupremeFX II PCIx card did offer well above average sound quality for a card of its type. Not quite on par with the likes of our Creative X-FI card, but certainly not abusive on the ears either.


Asus Blitz Extreme P35 Socket 775 Motherboard Page: 3
Board Layout & Features

Looking back over some of Asus' most popular motherboards such as the P5N, P5B, P5K, Commando and Striker, it's clear to see that very little has changed to the overal layout on any of these boards. It's certainly no surprise either considering Asus boards are often praised for for their well positioned, easily accessable connectors. At a glance the Blitz Extreme appears to share some of these traits, but let's take a closer look and find out for certain.

Asus Blitz Extreme Board Layout Asus Blitz Extreme Board Layout

Starting with the aesthetic appearance of the board, I have to say that Asus have done a great job. The board consists of 3 unoffencive colours (Black, Blue, White) that are used on on all slots, sockets and plugs. This is a welcome change from some of the garish and ugly colour combinations used by a handful of other manufacturers.

In terms of general layout, the 8-Pin EPS-12v connector has been placed at the very top left of the board, keeping any cables trainling across the board to a minimum. Over on the right side of the board, the ATX connector has actually switched positions with the floppy disk connector (compared to the Commando and P5K boards) allowing for even easier routing of the PSU's ATX cable around the top of the motherboard.

Asus Blitz Extreme Socket Area Asus Blitz Extreme Socket Area

The CPU socket area is fairly uncluttered, with only the mosfet heatsinks at the left of the board posing any possible clearance issues. However, on testing the board with several waterblocks including the Swiftech Apogee, D-Tek Fuzion and Danger Den Maze 4, we experienced no fitting issues whatsoever.

People wanting to take cooling one step further and put the Blitz Extreme under sub-zero cooling will be happy too. Unlike some of Asus' previous boards, the Blitz features 8-Phase digital power circuitary which provides more room directly around the CPU area, allowing for easier installation of insulation against condensation.

Asus Blitz Extreme I/O Asus Blitz Extreme I/O

Just like the recently reviewed P5K, the Blitz Extreme keeps thing fairly modern on the I/O panel, providing only one legacy port for a PS2 keyboard. This is a great idea considering I've often experience problems with my USB keyboard not working correctly when trying to enter the BIOS or after swapping a motherboard over.

Asus have also answered the prayers of many overclockers by providing a CMOS clear button on the I/O panel. I personally can't count the number of times I've been forced to pull the side off my PC case and fumble around for the CMOS jumper after a bad overclock. This little button will undoubtedly prove to be a life (and time) saver for many enthusiasts!

Asus Blitz Extreme Fuzion Block Asus Blitz Extreme P35

At the heart of the Blitz Extreme is the Intel P35 chipset cooled by Asus' own Fusion water block system. Featuring 3/8" barbs, the Fuzion block should work with a large portion of "ready made" water cooling kits and from what we could see inside the block, shouldn't hinder flowrates too much either.

Unfortunately when we tried to run the Blitz without any water loop connected to the Fusion, we saw the Northbridge temperatures hit over 80oc before finallly turning the PC off. Therefore, a fully working water cooling system appears to be a definite requirement if you are planning on purchasing the Blitz Extreme.

Asus Blitz Deluxe Crosslinx Asus Blitz Extreme Southbridge

Asus Blitz Extreme Crosslinx Asus Blitz Extreme Southbridge

As previously mentioned, the Fusion system also cools the Southbridge and Crosslinx chips via copper heatpipes. Whether or not these chips actually need any type of cooling is debatable, but it's good to see that Asus are removing any possible heat issues that may impede overclocking.

Powering Asus' Crosslinx technology is the IDT PCI Express switch (seen above, left). This essentially takes the 16 PCIe lanes from the P35's Northbridge and splits them among the two PCI Express x16 slots when two graphics cards are used in Crossfire mode. This also has the added advantage of freeing up the 4 PCIe lanes integrated into the Southbridge for other perhiperals.

Asus Blitz Extreme Slots

With three x1 and two x16 PCIe slots, the Blitz Extreme certainly seems to be putting its faith in manufacturers releasing their existing PCI cards in PCIe format. This is even more apparent when you consider that one of only two available PCI slots on the board will more than likely be blocked by a GPU cooler when two graphics cards are installed for Crossfire.

Asus Blitz Extreme SATA

As with the rest of the "Republic of Gamers" series, the Blitz Extreme features right-angled SATA and IDE connectors. These not only help to keep things looking a bit more tidy inside your PC case, but are also significantly more robust than the standard SATA connectors found on most other motherboards.

Asus Blitz Extreme Headers Asus Blitz Extreme Power Switches

At the very bottom of the motherboard we can see where the Asus 3-in-1 Q-Connectors come in to play. Colour coded in red, blue and white for the IEEE1394, USB and Switch/LED headers respectively, these connectors are a boon for those of us who regulary install and remove our motherboards.

Last but not least is the illuminated Power and Reset switches. These make it extremely easy to use the motherboard outside of your PC case when benching (on a bench!) or testing other components.


Asus Blitz Extreme P35 Socket 775 Motherboard Page: 4
The BIOS

As with all of Asus' most recent motherboards, the Blitz Extreme is based around a BIOS from Phoenix Technologies. Some enthusiasts tend to favor the Award BIOS layout over Phoenix, but it's extremely hard to find fault with the overall wealth of features available on the Blitz.

Asus Blitz Extreme BIOS Asus Blitz Extreme BIOS

The "Extreme Tweaker" section of the BIOS is where you'll find most of the overclocking related options. Settings such as CPU multiplier, FSB/NB Strap, FSB Frequency, Memory Frequency, Memory Timings and Memory Command Rate (1T/2T) can all be adjusted in the upper section of this page. The list of available choices for some of these options can be seen below:

OptionAvailable Range
CPU Multiplier
x6 upwards
FSB/NB Strap
200/266/333mhz
FSB Frequency
200-800mhz (1mhz steps)
PCI-E Frequency
100-150mhz (1mhz steps)
DRAM Command Rate
1T / 2T

Asus Blitz Extreme BIOS Asus Blitz Extreme Voltages

Asus Blitz Extreme Voltages Asus Blitz Extreme Voltage

Asus Blitz Extreme Voltages Asus Blitz Extreme Voltages

Asus Blitz Extreme Voltages Asus Blitz Extreme Voltages

When it comes to voltage options on the Blitz, all I can say is "wow!". Somebody at Asus was clearly hell bent on on giving this board the most extensive range of voltage options on any motherboard in existance. For a start, the CPU voltage can be increased up to a silicon frying 1.9v in minisucule 0.00625v increments, then there's the DDR3 memory voltage which can be taken from 1.50v up to a whopping 3.04v in 0.02v steps.

Obviously a large range of these options are dangerous to the health of hardware, so Asus have gone to the trouble of placing LED's at various points on the motherboard (CPU, Northbridge, Southbridge, DRAM Slots) that change from green to orange to red depending on how much voltage you are putting through the components.

A full list of voltage options can be seen in the table below:

OptionAvailable Range
CPU Voltage
1.1v-1.9v (0.00625v steps)
FSB Termination Voltage
1.20v-1.80v (0.02v steps)
Northbridge Voltage
1.25v-2.03v (0.02v steps)
DRAM Voltage
1.50-3.04v (0.02v steps)
Southbridge Voltage
1.050v-1.225v (0.025v steps)
PLL Voltage
1.05-1.20v (0.02v steps)

Asus Blitz Extreme Profile Asus Blitz Extreme Profile

With the extensive range of options available in the BIOS the last thing you wan't to do is lose your configuration once you've found the sweet spot for your overclock. This is where the Asus O.C Profile comes in to play. Allowing you to save all of your BIOS settings to one of two available profiles in the CMOS or to an external storage device, your settings can then be restored easily at a later date.

Asus Blitz Extreme Hardware Monitor Asus Blitz Extreme Hardware Monitor

The "Hardware Monitor" section of the BIOS has also been given a re-vamp too since we last visited it on the P5K. Temperature monitoring of the Northbridge and Southbridge has been added along with a much wider range of voltage monitoring points.


Asus Blitz Extreme P35 Socket 775 Motherboard Page: 5
Test Setup

To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configuration used in this review can be seen below:

  Asus Blitz ExtremeAsus P5K3 Deluxe
Asus P5K Deluxe
Processor
Intel Core2Duo E4300 @ 3.0ghz (333x9)
Memory
Kingston PC3-11000 2GB DDR3 (7-7-7-20) @ 1333mhzKingston PC2-9600 2GB DDR2 (5-5-5-15) @ 1066mhz
Graphics Card
XpertVision ATI X1950Pro PCI-E 512mb (Stock)
Hard Disk
Hitachi Deskstar 80GB 7K80 SATA2 7200RPM 8mb
CPU Cooling
Stock Intel Aluminium Cooler
Operating System
Microsoft Windows XP (SP2) 32bit - Latest Patches
Graphics DriversATI Catalyst 7.4.44981 (Latest Official)
Motherboard DriversIntel INF 8.300.1013

During the testing of the 3 boards above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows XP (SP2) was also used between switching boards, preventing any possible performance issues due to left-over drivers from the previous motherboard install.

To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:

• Sisoft Sandra XI SP2 (CPU, Memory & HDD tests)
• SuperPI Mod v1.4 (1m and 16m)
• Cinebench 9.5
• HDTach 3.0.4.0
• Quake 4
• Counter-Strike:Source
• F.E.A.R
• 3DMark05
• 3DMark06


Overclocking

With a whole host of BIOS options aimed at squeezing every last drop of performance out of your hardware, the Blitz Extreme certainly seems well equipped to break the overclocking records previously set by the P35 chipset based Asus P5K and Abit IP35 Pro motherboards reviewed here at Overclock3D.

Using only the BIOS to overclock the installed C2D E4300 processor, and with a maximum safe vcore voltage of 1.50v, I was able to achieve the following results:

Maximum Overclock

Previously the maximum overclock achieved on our E4300 was 3.33ghz, but as we can see from above, the Blitz Extreme has pushed this over 70mhz further to 3.4ghz. This certainly goes to show that the extra tweaks and options implemented by Asus on "Republic of Gamers" motherboards are more than just a gimmick.

Unfortunately the E4300 review processor is a bit of a poor performer when it comes to FSB overclocking and couldn't really provide us with any worthwhile results. Therefore, for the FSB results below only, the E4300 was swapped out for an E6700 which has been known to run at FSB speeds of 520mhz and above.

Maximum FSB Speed

Once again the Blitz Extreme pushes things a little further, managing a hugely impressive 527mhz FSB speed. This is actually the highest FSB reached on any board tested here at Overclock3D and should certainly keep even the most seasoned overclockers happy.


Asus Blitz Extreme P35 Socket 775 Motherboard Page: 6
Sisoft Sandra

Sisoft Sandra is a synthetic benchmark utility capable of reporting and benchmarking a wide range of system components. For the Blitz Extreme, P5K and P5K3 motherboards we run both the CPU, Memory and Disk benchmarks three times to ensure accuracy of results.

Asus Blitz Extreme Sisoft Sandra CPU

Asus Blitz Extreme Sisoft Sandra Memory


Asus Blitz Extreme Sisoft Sandra Memory

Asus Blitz Extreme Sisoft Sandra Disk


Everest

Everest is in many ways similar to Sisoft Sandra. Focusing mainly on Software and Hardware information reporting, Everest also comes with a benchmark utility suitable for testing the read, write and latency performance of the memory subsystem.

Asus Blitz Extreme Everest Memory

Asus Blitz Extreme Everest Memory


Result Observations

In the Sisoft Sandra and Everest memory benchmarks the Blitz Extreme totally walked over the P5K and P5K3 motherboards despite the P5K3 using the same memory modules at the same settings. It certainly seems that Asus have done some behind-the-scenes tweaking of the memory latencies on the Blitz to produce such impressive results.

As expected, the disk benchmarks for all 3 boards were identical. This is due to the P5K, P5K3 and Blitz all using the ICH9R southbride chipset for their primary SATA controllers.


Asus Blitz Extreme P35 Socket 775 Motherboard Page: 7
SuperPI

SuperPI is the benchmark of choice for many overclockers. It's lightweight to download and can give a quick indication on how good a system is at number crunching.

Asus Blitz Extreme SuperPI

Asus Blitz Extreme SuperPI


HD Tach

HDTach is a free hard disk benchmarking program from SimpliSoftware. This benchmark is not only capable of producing results on hard disk access times but also CPU usage required during disk access.

Asus Blitz Extreme HD Tach

Asus Blitz Extreme HD Tach


Result Observations

With SuperPI results being heavily dependant on memory and CPU performance it's no surprise to see the Blitz Extreme pulling ahead of the pack (albeit by a small margin) in the 1m and 16m results. This is more than likely thanks to the Blitz's superior performance in the Sisoft Sandra and Everest memory benchmarks over the previous page.

HD Tach also reported healthy performance figures for a single 7200RPM hard disk setup, and the Blitz sits comfortably in with the rest of the results as expected.


Asus Blitz Extreme P35 Socket 775 Motherboard Page: 8
CineBench

Cinebench is a benchmarking tool based on the powerful 3D software Cinema 4D. Consequently, the results of tests conducted using Cinebench carry significant weight when analysing a computer’s performance in everyday use.

Asus Blitz Extreme Cinebench

Asus Blitz Extreme Cinebench


3DMark053DMark06

3DMark is a popular synthetic gaming benchmark used by many gamers and overclockers to gauge the performance of their PC's. All 3DMark runs were performed 3 times with averages being calculated from each of the results.

Asus Blitz Extreme 3DMark05

Asus Blitz Extreme 3DMark06


Result Observations

In both the Cinebench and 3DMark benchmarking suites the difference in results between the boards was fairly minimal. However, it has to be said that the Blitz Extreme did pip the other two boards to the post in every benchmark but 3DMark05, where it fell behind by a fairly insignificant 50 points.


Asus Blitz Extreme P35 Socket 775 Motherboard Page: 9
Quake4

Quake 4 is a game built on the Doom 3 engine. Benchmarking was performed using Quake4Bench and a custom timedemo recording along with 4xAA, 8xAF settings at a resolution of 1280x1024.

Asus Blitz Extreme Quake4


F.E.A.R

F.E.A.R. is a game based on the Lithtech Jupiter EX engine. It has volumetric lighting, soft shadows, parallax mapping and particle effects. Included in the game is a benchmark facility that taxes the entire PC system. This benchmark was run 3 times to ensure uniformity of results.

Asus Blitz Extreme F.E.A.R


CS:Source

Counter-Strike:Source is a popular multi-player FPS based on the extremely scaleable Source engine. The game takes advantage of many DirectX 9.0c features, but is fairly undemanding on the GPU and tends to thrive on systems with fast CPU's and Memory.

Asus Blitz Extreme CS:Source


Result Observations

As we can see from the results above, F.E.A.R and Quake4 showed almost identical results for all boards. The only "noticable" difference in FPS was in Counter-Strike:Source, which recorded a 2FPS advantage for the Blitz Extreme board against the P5K3 and a slightly more noticable 10fps increase against the P5K.


Asus Blitz Extreme P35 Socket 775 Motherboard Page: 10
Conclusion

Asus have taken all the best qualities from their previous motherboards, combined it with feedback from enthusiasts and come Asus Blitz Extremeout with a product that satisfies on every level. Not only is the Asus Blitz packed to the brim with features like Fusion water cooling, Voltiminder LED, Crosslinx and LCD Poster but the board performs like an absolute gem too.

In addition to this, the Blitz Extreme will have even the most hardcore overclockers beaming from ear to ear. With a BIOS that's jam packed with features and an insane range of voltages options, the Blitz is designed to help you get out every ounce of performance from you hardware without being overly complicated.
As you'd expect from an Asus board, the Blitz Extreme has a superb layout. All connectors on the board are just where you'd expect to find them and there are no stray molex connectors or other anomalies that are often common on motherboards from other manufacturers.

Priced at £150-160 on most websites, the Blitz Extreme may not be the cheapest P35 based motherboard available - but you certainly get what you pay for. With the wealth features and excellent overclocking abilities of the board, it's worth every penny!

Komplett Tekheads


The Good
• Sexy looking board with no stupid colour schemes.
• Supports Crossfire in x8 x8 configuration (rather than x16 x4 on other P35 boards).
• Decent quality add-in sound card.
• Wide range of voltages in BIOS (including some insane ones!).
• Ability to save BIOS settings.
• Decent performance, especially in memory benchmarks.
• Great layout, and handy features such as 3-in-1 Q-Connectors and right-angle SATA connectors.
• Good package including a full version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R, plenty of cables and a diagnostic LCD display.
• Fusion water block system for keeping Northbridge, Southbridge, Crosslinx and Mosfets cool.

The Mediocre
• Running Crossfire will more than likely only leave you with one PCI slot!
• Cannot be run without water cooling connected to the Fusion block.

The Bad
• Nothing to report.


Best In Class Award