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.
 
Asus Striker II Extreme Box Front
 
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.
  
Asus Striker II Extreme Box Front Asus Striker II Extreme Box Front
 
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.
 
Asus Striker II Extreme Box Back Asus Striker II Extreme Box Specs
 
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.
 
Asus Striker II Extreme Box Side Asus Striker II Extreme Motherboard Box
 
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.
 
Asus Striker II Extreme Accessories Asus Striker II Extreme Accessories
 
Asus Striker II Extreme Accessories Asus Striker II Extreme Manuals
 
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
• Q-Shield
• 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
 
Asus Striker II Formula LCD Poster Asus Striker II Formula Fan
 
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.
 
Asus Striker II Formula Q-Connectors Asus Striker II Formula SLI Cables
  
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.
 
Asus Striker II Extreme Q-Sheild Asus Striker II Extreme Q-Shield
 
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.
  
Asus Striker II Formula SupremeFX II Asus Striker II Formula SupremeFX II
 
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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Most Recent Comments

18-03-2008, 10:03:31

JN
"Is nVidia's latest 790i chipset an X48 killer? We put it through its paces on Asus' latest Republic of Gamers motherboard."

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...140119339s.jpg

Asus Striker II Extreme Review

Digg It

18-03-2008, 10:29:33

Havok
Feels like years I've been waiting for this NDA to drop and its not a disappointment!

Can't wait or somebody to give 790i some stick with a few 9800GTX's when they arrive. Assuming the GTX is as cheap as rumored, that will be a major temptation if it performs, assuming the price tag doesn't send you screaming

18-03-2008, 10:46:26

JN
As you may have already guessed, I'm really really impressed with the board/chipset.

Up until now I've avoided the nVidia boards like the plague, but I think you're going to be seeing people breaking some OC records on this board.

18-03-2008, 10:52:03

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
As you may have already guessed, I'm really really impressed with the board/chipset.

Up until now I've avoided the nVidia boards like the plague, but I think you're going to be seeing people breaking some OC records on this board.
Jim mate, That is a blinding review. Exceptionally detailed and well presented!

As for the board, well, its got everything ya want apart from the price.. Its shocking to be honest. Almost twice as much as slightly lower performing boards.. Dunno that its justified. For those wanting best of the best though its very very good.

They gonna make DDR2 boards on the 790 chipset?

18-03-2008, 11:07:18

nepas
that is one good board!!with one VERY heavy pricetag.that has restored my faith in ASUS+Nvidia

18-03-2008, 11:07:49

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Bungral'

They gonna make DDR2 boards on the 790 chipset?
Good question tbh. As a guess I'd say that some mobo manufacturers might hack it on to the boards, but for the most part the 780i was "designed" to bring in support for the latest CPU's/PCI-E 2.0 while keeping DDR2.

18-03-2008, 11:14:19

Havok
You guys getting any other 790i mobos in for review do you know? DFI say? I Always value your reviews above all others

18-03-2008, 11:16:11

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Havok'
You guys getting any other 790i mobos in for review do you know? DFI say? I Always value your reviews above all others
I haven't heard anything from DFI about a 790i yet tbh. I know we've got an X48 on the way - but that's gonna be much the same as the X38.

If there's any 790i's from other manufacturers you'd specifically like to see, let me know and we'll get something lined up.

18-03-2008, 11:19:26

Marcus
eVGA and/or XFX please

18-03-2008, 11:44:17

Brooksie
That board is awesome Shame about the price though

18-03-2008, 12:06:34

inonefly
nice detailed review! hope i can afford one ..

18-03-2008, 12:11:34

BloomerzUK
Nice review...

The price made my balls jump into my stomach!

18-03-2008, 12:24:55

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='BloomerzUK'
Nice review...

The price made my balls jump into my stomach!
Cheers....and ewwwww

18-03-2008, 12:33:47

Nick R
Looks like the exact board I've been waiting for

18-03-2008, 12:55:50

Toxcity
Nice review Jim!

Not really enough bang for buck.. but nice board none the less.

-cough- Maximus Formula is the bees knees- cough-

18-03-2008, 13:10:01

Robert
wow nice! this is what iam going to get together with a 9800 gtx, even if i have to wait a little longer becouse of the price

i just go no words for such a awsome mobo.

18-03-2008, 14:13:28

!TIMMY!
Very nice review Jim, and positive results for the 790i. Although the price of it as well as the current price of DDR3 will massacre the bank balance.

18-03-2008, 14:17:22

Luigi
Ooh, now all we need is quad sli and get crysis on max

18-03-2008, 15:08:56

Mr. Smith
Luckily I can afford to buy this mobo if I wished, it is SO overpriced but I always wanted sli with a big OC... I think nvidia know this about the community and are charging a premium for it :/

If I decide to get an sli rig I'll have to get one.

The mobo rocks.

The price sucks.

Awesome review as usual Jim

18-03-2008, 15:17:31

FarFarAway
Nice Jimbo, good job matey

Looks a sweet board, bout time

18-03-2008, 17:45:09

Phoenix
Okay, screw the price, I'm hereby selling my P5N-T Deluxe and RAM to the highest bidder, I want this one instead. Crap, and I just bought a new PC. :P

18-03-2008, 17:57:23

PCFlip
okay I read your review and WOW this mobo is sick, if I was a nVidia SLI fan I would be all over this board....

18-03-2008, 19:12:25

Mullet
Ohhhhhh very nice board indeed...and there I was considering flogging some of my kit...

Awesome review Jim, cracking shots of the board - thorough job as ever!!

Pricey tho innit.

18-03-2008, 20:31:57

Mr. Smith
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mullet'
Ohhhhhh very nice board indeed...and there I was considering flogging some of my kit...

Awesome review Jim, cracking shots of the board - thorough job as ever!!

Pricey tho innit.
How long ago did you get your sli set-up and it is still the best performing thing you could have? (except quad sli/gx2)... Lucky bar stool...

19-03-2008, 18:35:48

Mullet
He he he... I see you've eclipsed me in ye olde 3D Mark 06 benchie....

I've had 8800GTX Sli running for about 12 months now, and am well happy to be honest. Opens up some additional settings in COD4 graphics and seems to cope with Crysis pretty well at 1920x1200 with everything set to "high".

Bang for buck...this new striker is a crock of ROG sheeeite, but, me being me I am sort of tempted to ditch DDR2 and hop on the pricey Taxi to a new life with DDR3 arm in arm with the new striker.

Only problem is this, if anything I need to downsize bud as my kids need somewhere to eat the grub as much of the dining table is being hogged by my l33t G70.

20-03-2008, 01:45:48

PP Mguire

I think nvidia know this about the community and are charging a premium for it :/

Its the price Asus put on it, not Nvidia.

20-03-2008, 05:34:35

n0nsense
The thing is, that this is quite normal price behavior.

First, very high end part with lot of unnecessary features.

Second, same chipset/performance board with affordable price.

Exactly like it was with 680i.

First there was Striker Extreme,

then just Striker,

and then, P5N32-E SLI, which even has same PCB as strikers.

From my personal experience with the cheapest 680i from Asus, this one is perfect 680i board. It's cheaper then reference boards, and still has many Striker bonuses

The same will happen with 790. There is 790i Ultra, and just 790i.

20-03-2008, 09:51:05

Toxcity
Mmm... everyone seems to be going crazy over this board. Im not sure why?

Can someone enlighten me as of why this majorly overpriced motherboard is so good when it was getting beaten by x48 chipset board which is a fraction of the price?

The only up side to it is SLI.. which lets be honest doesn't have the price/performance ratio.

But as I said earlier.. NICE REVIEW JIMBO!

20-03-2008, 09:57:47

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Toxcity'
Mmm... everyone seems to be going crazy over this board. Im not sure why?

Can someone enlighten me as of why this majorly overpriced motherboard is so good when it was getting beaten by x48 chipset board which is a fraction of the price?

The only up side to it is SLI.. which lets be honest doesn't have the price/performance ratio.

But as I said earlier.. NICE REVIEW JIMBO!
Well it trashes the other chipset on the memory fronts and now its caught up with all the other aspects its a serious contender apart, obviously, from the price.

It also overclocks better than any of the others on that chip with a brand new bios so with updates to that there could be even higher results.

And the option of SLI is nice even if you don't currently plan on using it.

Just my thoughts

20-03-2008, 09:59:40

Toxcity
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Bungral'
Well it trashes the other chipset on the memory fronts and now its caught up with all the other aspects its a serious contender apart, obviously, from the price.

It also overclocks better than any of the others on that chip with a brand new bios so with updates to that there could be even higher results.

And the option of SLI is nice even if you don't currently plan on using it.

Just my thoughts
Well said Bungral!

Still personally the place to be for overclocking is Intels side.

20-03-2008, 10:08:21

n0nsense
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Toxcity'
Mmm... everyone seems to be going crazy over this board. Im not sure why?

Can someone enlighten me as of why this majorly overpriced motherboard is so good when it was getting beaten by x48 chipset board which is a fraction of the price?

The only up side to it is SLI.. which lets be honest doesn't have the price/performance ratio.

But as I said earlier.. NICE REVIEW JIMBO!
Because this is best memory handler. It can work with any type of memory.

Even ECC. It automatically select the best profile (even on non SLI/EPP memory). The overclocking to 450 (1700) (on dual cores) FSB is simple selecting the desired FSB.

Easy life for lazy people that do want to get all possible of there hardware

20-03-2008, 10:09:18

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Toxcity'
Well said Bungral!

Still personally the place to be for overclocking is Intels side.
I'm on the side of whoever gives me the best.. If the P45 comes out and wipes the floor with the 790 then fair play.. P45 it is.

Anyway aint you a green lover??

20-03-2008, 10:21:22

Toxcity
I sure am a Green lover.

But after the 680s not so much a fan of their chipsets. GPUs oh yes.

I just encountered little problems that annoy.

You don't spend loads of money on a board that has lots of errors/boundaries.

So Jim advised me on my next motherboard (some awesome advice) and switched to intel.

20-03-2008, 11:00:05

PP Mguire



The only up side to it is SLI.. which lets be honest doesn't have the price/performance ratio.

Not unless your using 9600GTs. About 80% scaling on any res. Im thinking of going this route.

20-03-2008, 11:04:34

Toxcity
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='PP Mguire'
Not unless your using 9600GTs. About 80% scaling on any res. Im thinking of going this route.
Good point.. SLI = not worth it unless you have 2 9600s.

21-03-2008, 09:36:27

breadloaf
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
"Is nVidia's latest 790i chipset an X48 killer? We put it through its paces on Asus' latest Republic of Gamers motherboard."

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...140119339s.jpg

Asus Striker II Extreme Review

Digg It
Jim - Great review

I have just purchased one of these boards. I have water cooled the Chipset too as I am aiming to push my Q6600 to the limit. However I cannot even get it to run stable at 3.2Ghz I have had the chip running stable in a Striker II 780 at 3.2 but that was the max I could get - I thought this was down to the incredible heat from the NB etc so I opted to RMA the board and swap it for the 790

Can I ask what settings you used for a 3.2 - 3.4 and 3.6 Ghz overclock please

I am using Corsair 1333mhz Memory

Asus Striker II 790i

Q6600 G0 Stepping

4 x 250GB Hard Drives RAID 5

900W Targan PSU

2 x Geforce 8800 GTX

Sound Blaster Xfi Platinum

I cannot even run a memory test @ 3.2 Ghz without the machine resetting

Prime 05 crashes the machines (it hangs or resets)

However the machine seems to run fine using stock clock of 2.4Ghz

I have tried setting the NB to 1.5V memory to 1.7V and 1.45V/1.5V for CPU

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thanks

21-03-2008, 10:34:06

Luigi
Have you tried upping the FSB voltage?

21-03-2008, 10:36:51

JN
Hi breadloaf. What BIOS are you running on the board. I might be able to give you some nice beta ones if Asus give me the thumbs up.

Another thing. Are you sure its not just a real dodgy CPU you've got there? I can get past 3.2 with a retail Q6600 on an ancient chipset.

21-03-2008, 11:01:07

breadloaf
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
Hi breadloaf. What BIOS are you running on the board. I might be able to give you some nice beta ones if Asus give me the thumbs up.

Another thing. Are you sure its not just a real dodgy CPU you've got there? I can get past 3.2 with a retail Q6600 on an ancient chipset.
The one that shipped with the board (0402)

I have had the chip up to 3.2 on another board

I can get 3.4 and 3.6 but not stable

I think I have had a probem with the memory

just tested it as 3.4 Ghz and it crashed - set the correct timings for it manually test is running now and has been for 40 mins (before it crashed before 5)

I am hoping that the memory has been my problem - I am sure the chip will go higher - just need to get it stable

Thanks for the rapid reply too - how can I get the bios updates off you ?

Breadloaf

21-03-2008, 11:08:42

Luigi
Thats wierd, the memory is unlinked on nvidia chips so that shouldnt matter

let us know your thoughts on the board.

21-03-2008, 11:21:14

breadloaf
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
Have you tried upping the FSB voltage?
I have tried loads of different things, what setting are you looking at exactly as I am not sure which one you mean

Is it the CPU PPL ?

Not sure if I have changed that or not ?

I will have a look

21-03-2008, 11:31:06

breadloaf
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
Thats wierd, the memory is unlinked on nvidia chips so that shouldnt matter

let us know your thoughts on the board.
I set the memory timings to 9-9-9-24 1T

as this is what the memory is supposed to run at and it seems have made a diffence on a straight memory test but I am getting no luck with the overclock still

I kinda like the board so far although my old 780i board was able to overclock the same CPU to 3.2 ( One thing I had problems with is the Fusion block connections were a nightmare to fit

I was hoping to get a lot more out of the chip but so far it does not look good

more later ......

21-03-2008, 12:42:55

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
Thats wierd, the memory is unlinked on nvidia chips so that shouldnt matter

let us know your thoughts on the board.
Default setting is linked on the Striker II, but obviously you can change that/

21-03-2008, 15:20:39

breadloaf
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
Default setting is linked on the Striker II, but obviously you can change that/
I have tried linked and unlinked but I just cannot seem to get the machine to run stable

Windows Vista locks up all the time and www.memorytest.org fails although I have had this working @3.4 Ghz but then Vista still crashed - I am now going to try a new installation of Vista (stock speed for the install)

Can you post the settings that you used please so I can give them a try -

Thanks

Breadloaf.

25-03-2008, 11:25:25

-VK-
Feel free to mail that BIOS to Breadloaf, Jim.

The new BIOS is a big improvement.

25-03-2008, 11:59:02

Mr. Smith
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='-VK-'
Feel free to mail that 790i to Mr. Smith, Jim.

The new BIOS is a big improvement.
Nice one VK

Jim, where is it?

25-03-2008, 13:21:59

Luigi
nice, i need to check for bios's for my board, it never was asus's strong point.

27-03-2008, 19:05:02

breadloaf
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='-VK-'
Feel free to mail that BIOS to Breadloaf, Jim.

The new BIOS is a big improvement.
Excellent - any chance of getting the BIOS updates please Jim

I have managed to get the CPU up to 2.8Ghz (Stable)

I am still trying now settings but there are a couple of things I would like to point out :-

The V Core Voltage required seem to be much less than I would expect

The tube and clips included with the board are rubbish (well worth buying some better ones)

Auto Settings make the system unstable unless running at stock speed

At the moment I have still not reached a verdict on this board - I am hoping that in time BIOS updates etc will make things better

I will post more information soon

Breadloaf.

01-04-2008, 14:42:43

breadloaf
OK - I have just fitted my new QX9650

Basically as with the Q6600 the chip runs fine at stock speed but again will not overclock one little bit whilst remaining stable

I am starting to think the the board is at fault as I very much doubt that the chip will not overclock.

If I change the mutiplier to just 9.5 or 10 (from 9) the system will not run Prime 95 for more than 30 mns without hanging.

I have returned to Asus after having many many problems with previous boards and I have to say that so far I am not impressed with this board one little bit !!

Asus have no sign of any updates for the BIOS etc and actually point to the old 780i board for any drivers etc !!!!!

Hoping for more but I just don't see it happening

02-04-2008, 11:32:46

Luigi
what sort of drivers did you take from 780i?

That does seem like the board fault, although did you up volts at all or anything?

02-04-2008, 11:37:36

breadloaf
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
what sort of drivers did you take from 780i?

That does seem like the board fault, although did you up volts at all or anything?
Tried many settings and voltages etc .....

Thing is the machine runs perfectly stable at stock - I think I have managed to get the system working OK at 3.3 ghz now.

Not taken any drivers for the 780i board - full fresh install of Vista (stock speed for that) then used the CD that came with the motherboard

I am using a Targan 900W PSU too so I do not think it's a PSU issue !!

04-04-2008, 08:24:25

man_in_africa
Why does the back of the box say "780i chipset" ?

04-04-2008, 08:28:15

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='man_in_africa'
Why does the back of the box say "780i chipset" ?
Well spotted. Either a typo by Asus on a pre-production box, or a c0ckup by me using an image from the Formula box.

04-04-2008, 11:11:59

breadloaf
Back of the Box I have is different and says 790i Ultra Sli

04-04-2008, 11:23:25

JN
I might be a bit late to the table with this lads, but this thread has just reminded me about the BIOS I promised you all.

04-04-2008, 13:47:11

breadloaf
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
I might be a bit late to the table with this lads, but this thread has just reminded me about the BIOS I promised you all.
Awesome - testing the machnie now on 3.66 and it's been stable so far - I have never got this high before

Asus probe keeps giving warnings though - saying that the CPU PPL voltage has dropped- is this normal ?

Also my CPU temp is around 59 - 63 degree fully loaded - is this normal ? I have a liquid cooled chipset and CPU

Motherboard temp is 36 degrees which is miles better than the old Striker II

04-04-2008, 13:49:32

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='breadloaf'
Awesome - testing the machnie now on 3.66 and it's been stable so far - I have never got this high before

Asus probe keeps giving warnings though - saying that the CPU PPL voltage has dropped- is this normal ?

Also my CPU temp is around 59 - 63 degree fully loaded - is this normal ? I have a liquid cooled chipset and CPU

Motherboard temp is 36 degrees which is miles better than the old Striker II
Great stuff. I think there may even be a newer version than this one - I'll ask Asus.

04-04-2008, 14:05:10

breadloaf
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
Great stuff. I think there may even be a newer version than this one - I'll ask Asus.
what do you think about the temperature though and the CPU PPL power droop ?

I think I might have spoken too soon as the machine rebooted shortly after my last post

Still I think with a little bit of tweaking I can sort the problems out I am concerned about probe showing the voltage droping as it's also happening on my memory now !!!

What do you think ?

07-04-2008, 04:49:38

JN
Latest BIOS attached

29-04-2008, 04:56:31

ThaClown
mmm pricey but very very nice indeed..
Reply
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