Asus Striker II Extreme 790i DDR3 Motherboard
Packaging & Contents
Packaging & Contents
Packaging has always been one of the strong points with Asus, especially where their Republic of Gamers motherboards are concerned. The Striker II certainly isn't any different and manages to look professional while also maintaining a "Gamer" feel.
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 silver "Striker II" lettering. Very little information about the motherboard can be found on the front of the box, however Asus have made it blatantly obvious that a full version of "Company of Heroes - Opposing Fronts" is included as part of the package.
An easy feature to miss on the Striker II packaging is the flap that Asus have placed at the front of the box. Once opened you are presented with two plastic windows that show off the Fusion block cooling system along with the SupremeFX II soundcard. 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.
Around the back of the box Asus have printed the technical specifications for the Striker II. As we saw on page 1, the board provides support for all LGA775 processors along with DDR3 memory and 3-way SLI with all cards in x16 mode.
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 molded shell. This provides good protection against courier inflicted damage and keeps the board separate from other items that could possibly be responsible for damaging the fragile components on the board during transit.
As you'd expect from motherboards coming from Asus' "Repubic of Gamers" series, the Striker II is bundled with a whole host of goodies. We've already mentioned the inclusion of Relic Entertainment's latest RTS: "Company of Heroes - Opposing Fronts", so let's see what else is included:
• LCD Poster
• 2x Optional Fans
• 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
• Cable Ties
• User's manual
• Futuremark ® 3DMark® 06 Advanced Edition
• Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
• SupremeFX II HD sound card
Some of the more notable accessories are the items shown below. From top left to bottom right we have: the Asus LCD poster, Asus optional fans, 3-in-1 Q-Connector's, Dual/Triple SLI connectors and the Q-Shield
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 are the 3-in-1 Q-Connectors. These three small blocks are quite simply a godsend for the enthusiast who regularly 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 labelled - so no need to refer to the manual while setting your new motherboard up.
Being an nVidia SLI chipset based motherboard; Asus have included the necessary bridges for Dual and Triple graphics card configurations. While the Triple-SLI connector is fixed length PCB style bridge, the Dual-SLI connector is an extremely flexible ribbon cable. This style of connector should allow users to install dual graphics cards in any of the three PCI-E x16 slots.
Back in our review of the P5E3 Premium
, we introduced a new accessory from Asus called the Q-shield. The Q-shield is essentially a re-design of the standard motherboard I/O plate, but without the annoying metal tabs that often get stuck inside the USB and Network ports when installing the motherboard. The Striker II Extreme takes this design one step further by also illuminating each one of the ports so that you don't have any problems finding the correct hole in the dark.
As with the rest of the ROG series, Asus have bundled their add-in SupremeFX II sound card in with the Striker II 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 on-board 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.
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