Asus Blitz Extreme P35 Socket 775 Motherboard
Published: 16th August 2007 | Source: Asus | Price: |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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.