Asus Crosshair II AM2+ Motherboard
Tier 1 manufacturer Asus are the producers of some of the most revered boards available for both AMD and Intel and as it also carrying the ‘ROG’ moniker (Republic Of Gamers), which as Asus claim is the best hardware engineering and the fastest performance along with the most innovating ideas you can possess in a motherboard – a bold claim indeed. Rest assured then that this is a premium product aimed squarely at today’s high end AMD users.
A highly anticipated feature of this board is the inclusion of the Nvidia 780a chipset and rightly so. It not only allows the use of hybrid SLI, with up to three GPU’s operating together, but perhaps more importantly improved stability, power delivery and performance when overclocking. The previous Crosshair based on the 570 chipset promised a lot, but some users felt let down by the chipset. Is this simply a rinse and repeat or the return of the king? Let's check out the specs...
The Crosshair II features the latest PCIe 2.0 standard, which allows double the bandwidth of the previous 8x incarnation. Not only that, but there are 3 available PCIe 2.0 ports!
NVIDIA nForce 780a SLI Chipset
Nvidia’s latest AMD chipset supports Scalable Link Interface (SLI) technology that allows up to three (yes THREE) GPU’s in a single system. The 780a chipset is also designed from the ground up to provide extreme overclocking along with the provision of 6 x SATA II 3GB/s devices and 12 USB 2.0 ports.
Native DDR2 1066 support (depending on CPU model) providing faster data transfer rates and increased bandwidth.
For those with older, underwhelming GPU’s (Nvidia only), rejoice as you can now receive a GeForce boost from the on-board GPU by combining the power of both dedicated and on-board GPU’s. Hybrid SLI also allows ‘Hybrid power’, which is a power saving feature for when 3D power is not required.
NVIDIA 3-way SLI
Link up to 3 GPU’s to take advantage of the increased bandwidth. The PCIe 2.0 standard should give a significant boost in 3D applications.
High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) delivers multi channel audio and uncompressed digital video for full HD 1080p content through a single cable.
Quite an impressive list of features I'm sure you'll agree. So without further ado, let's have a look at what you get for your money.