Asus Striker II Formula 780i Socket 775 Motherboard

Introduction & Specifications

Introduction & Specifications
 
Back in August 2006, Asus unleashed their "Republic of Gamers" range of motherboards to the market. Designed to appeal to gamers and overclockers alike, the Nvidia 590 and 680i based "Crosshair" and "Striker Extreme" motherboards came complete with features such as on-board power switches, high quality "SupremeFX" sound, heatpipe cooling and overclocker-orientated BIOS's. However, after the release of the 680i Nvidia went a bit quiet on the chipset front, allowing Intel to steal the limelight with their extremely respectable P35 and X38 chipsets. Of course, Asus made full use of Intel's offerings by bringing some of their most overclocker friendly motherboards to date (codenamed the "Maximus" and "Blitz") into the market.
 
Now, after almost 2 years of waiting, Nvidia are once again back on the scene with their latest chipset dubbed the 780i. With full support for Tripple-SLI and PCI-E 2.0, the 780i certainly seems to have the right stuff. However, with reports of the chipset being nothing more than a "re-hashed 680i with PCI-E 2.0" floating around the internet, will the latest ROG motherboard from Asus - the "Striker II" be able to assist Nvidia in winning back some of the overclocking crowd? Here's what Asus have to say:
 
The Ultimate Gaming/Overclocking Platform
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.

- Intel® Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Duo / Pentium® Extreme / Pentium® D / Pentium® 4 Processors
- Supports Intel® next generation 45nm Multi-core CPU
- NVIDIA nForce® 780i SLI chipset
- CPU Level Up
- Pin-Fin Thermal Module
- SupremeFX II 8-CH Audio
- Voltiminder LED
- LCD Poster
- Extreme Tweaker
- ASUS EPU (Energy Processing Unit)
 
Unlike the previously reviewed "Blitz" and "Maximus" boards here at Overclock3D, the Striker II doesn't at present have an SE (Special Edition) or Extreme counterpart. This essentially means that the board doesn't come complete with the Asus "Fusion" waterblock system for cooling the Northbridge, Southbridge and Mosfets. For a large portion of readers I imagine this won't be an issue, however those of us who have had any experience with Nvidia's previous 680i chipsets will know that watercooling was almost a requirement to get any kind of reasonable overclocking on the board. It'll certainly be interesting to see how well Asus' "Pin-Fin Thermal Module" does at keeping temperatures under control.
 
A fairly new feature to appear on some of Asus' very latest motherboards is Energy Processing Unit (or EPU for short). The EPU is an onboard, hardware-based power saving IC controller that digitally monitors and fine tunes your CPU's power supply in real-time, providing improved VRM efficiency under light and heavy loads. This allows the EPU to provide up to 58.6% CPU power savings when running low-intensity applications.
 
More information on the various features of the Striker II board can be found on Asus's website, but for the moment all we're interested in are the nitty gritty specs:
 
CPU
Intel Socket 775 Core™2 Quad/Core™2 Extreme/Core™2 Duo/Pentium® Extreme/Pentium® D/Pentium® 4 Processors
Compatible with Intel® 05B/05A/06 processors
Support Intel® next generation 45nm CPU
* Refer to www.asus.com for Intel CPU support list
Chipset
NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI
Front Side Bus
1333/1066/800 MHz
Memory
4 x DIMM, Max. 8 GB, DDR2 1066/800/667 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel memory architecture
*Refer to www.asus.com or this user manual for the Memory QVL(Qualified Vendors Lidts).
Expansion Slots
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 , support NVIDIA® SLI™ technology, at full x16, x16 speed(blue)
1 x PCIe x16 , at x16 speed(middle)
2 x PCIe x1 ( the PCIEx1_1 (black) is compatible with audio slot)
2 x PCI 2.2
Scalable Link Interface (SLI™)
Support three identical NVIDIA SLI-Ready graphics cards (triple at x16 mode)
Storage
Southbridge
1 xUltraDMA 133/100/66/33
6 xSATA 3 Gb/s ports
NVIDIA MediaShield™ RAID Support RAID 0,1,0+1,5,JBOD span cross Serial ATA drives
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN, both featuring AI NET2
Support Teaming Technology
Audio
SupremeFX II Audio Card
ADI 1988B 8 -Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
Coaxial / Optical S/PDIF out ports at back I/O
ASUS Noise Filter
IEEE 1394
2 x 1394a ports (1 port at back I/O, 1 port onboard)
USB
10 USB 2.0 ports (4 ports at mid-board, 6 ports at back panel)
Overclocking Features
Extreme Tweaker
Loadline Calibration
2-Phase DDR 2
Intelligent overclocking tools
- CPU Level Up
- AI Gear 3
- AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
- ASUS AI Booster Utility
- ASUS O.C. Profile: overclocking configuration-sharing tool
Overclocking Protection
- COP EX (Component Overheat Protection - EX)
- Voltiminder LED
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Special Features
ASUS MyLogo 3
ASUS EZ Flash 2
ASUS CrashFree BIOS 2
ASUS Q-Connector
ASUS Q-Fan 2
LCD Poster
Onboard Switches: Power / Reset / Cls CMOS (at rear)
ASUS EPU (Energy Processing Unit)
BIOS Wallpaper
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x IEEE 1394a
2 x LAN(RJ45) port
6 x USB 2.0/1.1
1 x Clr CMOS switch
1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
Internal I/O Connectors
3 x USB connectors support additional 6 USB 2.0 ports
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x IDE connector
6 x SATA connectors
1 x IEEE 1394a connector
1 x CPU Fan connector
3 x Chassis Fan connector
1 x Power Fan connector
3 x Optional Fan connector
1 x S/PDIF Out connector
1 x8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
24 -pin ATX Power connector
1 x En/Dis-able Clr CMOS connector
3 x thermal sensor connectors
Chassis Intrusion connector
System Panel Connector
BIOS
8 Mb Flash ROM
DMI 2.0
AMI BIOS
PnP
WfM 2.0
SM BIOS 2.4
ACPI 2.0a
Multi-language BIOS
Manageability
WOL by PME,WOR by PME,Chasis Intrusion, PXE
Accessories
User's manual
Cable Ties
ASUS Optional Fan
I/O Shield
LCD Poster
ASUS Optional Fan
SupremeFX II Audio Card
3 in 1 ASUS Q-Connector Kit
UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
Floppy disk drive cable
3-way SLI bridge
ASUS SLI bridge
SATA cables
SATA power cables
2-port USB2.0 + IEEE 1394a module
Support Disc
The hottest 3D Game: Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
Support DVD:
- Drivers and applications
ASUS PC Probe II
ASUS Update
ASUS AI Suite
Futuremark ® 3DMark® 06 Advanced Edition
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
Form Factor
ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.5 cm )
 
As we've come to expect from the "Republic of Gamers" series, the Striker II comes with all the usual bells and whistles including: OC Profile (for saving settings), Voltminder LED (for displaying voltage status), Asus C.P.R (for recovering after a bad overclock) and the LCD Poster (for displaying any error codes during the startup process). Asus haven't skimped on I/O ports either with a total of 12 USB ports, 2 Gigabit NIC's with teaming capabilities, 6x SATA ports and a SupremeFX II High Definition add-in sound card.
 
There's also plenty of accessories and free software in the box, but let's cover that in the packaging section over on the next page..
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Most Recent Comments

08-01-2008, 09:06:35

JN
"Armed with Nvidia's 780i chipset the latest addition to Asus' ROG series looks like it could well hit the spot. But can it keep up with the beastly Intel P35 and X38 chipsets?"

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...120538419s.jpg

Asus Striker II Formula Review

08-01-2008, 11:47:10

Brooksie
Ownage

Great review

mmm Triple SLI connector

08-01-2008, 16:19:45

ali_james
Nice review, shame it doesn't oc well. And the chipset coolers don't look pretty.. Kind of last minute job?

08-01-2008, 16:22:51

FarFarAway
Awesome review as usual Jim.

780i = a bit of a disappointment :S

08-01-2008, 16:31:16

JN
Cheers guys. Yeah the cooling isn't the best looking or performing tbh.

I hear there's an Extreme version on the way tho (DDR3). So it'll be interesting to see if anything changes.

08-01-2008, 16:37:33

!TIMMY!
oooohhh a pci-e 2.0 with ddr3, sounds good.

Great review Jim as always!

08-01-2008, 17:00:29

Bungral
Yeah quality review mate...

I'm pretty disappointed with this too to be honest. For 220 and to fall behind the Maximus I know which board I'd choose.

08-01-2008, 17:01:20

Toxcity
Most useful review ever read!

I have to have hats off to Jim because early monday morning the day I was going to order myself the Striker II he PMed me with a little infomation on the board.

I am thankful that he did because I nearly wasted 200quid.

My new fave motherboard is the Maximus and will be with me by the end of the week!

Amazing review and you're great guy, JImbo!

08-01-2008, 17:51:15

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Toxcity'
Most useful review ever read!

I have to have hats off to Jim because early monday morning the day I was going to order myself the Striker II he PMed me with a little infomation on the board.

I am thankful that he did because I nearly wasted 200quid.

My new fave motherboard is the Maximus and will be with me by the end of the week!

Amazing review and you're great guy, JImbo!
No worries fella I've been using the Maximus for a few weeks now and its a stellar board. I'm sure it'll make ya happy

09-01-2008, 06:56:02

mrapoc
Hell 200 is a lot of money for a mobo!

I thought my p5b dlx was expensive xD

21-01-2008, 21:42:07

chillinjim
I want to run this board with an intel E8400 insted of the quad and im thinking that it will do better accross the board with overclocking performance. Also will an intel x38 chipset board run two 8800GT's in SLI or Crossfire format.

Wanting to run

striker 2 board

E8400

4gig balistix ram

asus 8800GT TOP 512 vid maybe 2.

WD Raptor

please let me know what you think thanks.

24-01-2008, 16:13:29

dwarry
Hi mate, Asus 8800 Gt's (or any Nvidia cards for that matter) wont run in crossfire it is only ATI cards and I believe that is hit and miss from the research I have done (could be wrong though...!) If you want SLI then you have to use an Nvidia based MoBo. I have been told that SLI only benefits in resolutions over 1600 x 1050 but I used it at 1280 x 1024 and saw substantial benefits.....I think....!

Striker II Formula looks like a cool MoBo for SLI and is the latest technology at the moment, but it is hard to find (at the moment!)

I think SLI Rocks, but that is just my humble opinion...!

Cheers, DW

24-01-2008, 16:26:36

Hatman
SLI is indeed very good its just the people who buy it for low res and then moan about it that puts it down.

High res for SLI is the best

24-01-2008, 16:38:46

chillinjim
Hey thanks for the info decided to go with this mobo and a 8800 GTS from EVGA I think it will do the job for awhile since im building this system for a friend I dont know if he'll do SLI right now since you cant run dual monitors in SLI or so I've heard (Please let me know if this is correct).

Thanks again

I am interested in overclocking software other than what comes with the mobo to overclock vid card. I've read that you can do 4ghz on the 8400 easy with air cooling since Im running water cooling mabe I could push it even more let me know what you think thanks.

24-01-2008, 19:25:18

Mullet
Nice write up Jim.

Shame about the OC results...no shock tbh tho.

24-01-2008, 20:03:02

ali_james
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='chillinjim'

I am interested in overclocking software other than what comes with the mobo to overclock vid card. I've read that you can do 4ghz on the 8400 easy with air cooling since Im running water cooling mabe I could push it even more let me know what you think thanks.
For the graphics card I would suggest:

Rivatuner

and

ATI Tool

For the cpu, no overclock is guaranteed so you just have to try it and see. From what I've seen, people are getting 4ghz on that chip, as you've got a 9 times multiplier it seems pretty obtainable.

Hope thats some help.

Cheers!

05-02-2008, 13:42:02

sinephase
I like the reviews, but I'm just curious: why would you benchmark an nvidia chipset using an ATI card? I can think of arguments which make sense for using the same card for every test, but it also makes sense to me to use an Nvidia card with similar specs to the ATI one. Also, because it's a PCIe 2.0 supporting board, why not use a GeForce with the same specs but with 2.0 enabled, so we can see what the actual difference is?

Anyway, just my two cents.

07-02-2008, 14:07:10

chillinjim
Well i got everything put together and started her up and the north bridge fried its self before i could instal an OS anyone else have this problem because I've read reviews that it's been happening on 1 out of 6 boards. Should get new board tomorrow guess I'll have to get all of my 7 fans running before I start up.

Let me know if anyones had the same problems.

should of waited for the 790I oh well its only money.

thanks

07-02-2008, 15:01:05

Hatman
If it fried itself you can RMA, just contact your retailer.

07-02-2008, 17:54:37

chillinjim
Yeah I sent it back I guess I was wondering if I should check anything before I start it up for the first time. A buddy of mine said that the heat sink could have poped off the chipset. Who knows.

17-02-2008, 22:56:58

chillinjim
Well got the second one back from zipzoom and it ran for awhile but then it basicly craped out. SO BACK IT WENT. I got the evga 780i board and it runs fine. GO FIGURE!!!.

Please dont by this board its crap!!! you'll be lucky if it works wait for the 790i to come out this summer sound like a big improvment.

18-02-2008, 01:12:39

PV5150
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='chillinjim'
...wait for the 790i to come out this summer sound like a big improvment.
Bad luck on your run with the motherboard mate, that would be frustrating.

I just pity the people who bought the 780i or 790i (when it comes) to have it made somewhat obsolete by Intel's next offering for Nehalem (on-die memory controller). I think the 790i will only be offering a slight increase in speed over the 780i and the emergence of DDR3 support which is nothing revolutionary. I may be wrong however.

I think a 780i motherboard, a 45nm proc, some fast DDR2 1066Mhz RAM or faster and a couple of decent gfx cards (if you have to have SLI); your system will hang right in there with the 790i systems of the near future.

06-02-2010, 03:32:16

ceolwynn
hey cillinjim.. you still here? I know it was a long time ago when you asked if anyone else had experienced a NorthBridge frying before they got windows installed and it happened to me last thursday 02-04-2010 with a MSI X58 Eclipse. the board started rebooting before windows got 50% installed... on about the third reboot I went into bios and saw a 89 Deg C Temp on the N Bridge. so, I bought two active coolers for the N and S bridge at frys electronics the next day and it was too late.. the only thing the board will do now is a continuous reboot without even getting into POST.

I had assembled another MSI X58 Pro for my chiropractor pal for his office barely a week earlier and he had complained last tuesday that it seemed even slower than the 4 year old machine I replaced... so I went over there yesterday and did a reboot into the bios hardware monitor and it displayed a 76 deg C temp on the northbridge after 15 minutes idling on the bios page. I am sure it is higher than that when it is processing a digital xray ... answering a fax, communicating with the patient files on the server, and printing a report all at the same time. I am surprisd it is not fried yet too. tomorrow I am going toput artic silver under the stock chipset sinks until the active onesshow up in the mail about wed I hope.

when I took the N Bridge cooler off of the fried one here at my house it had zero paste betwen the cooler and the chip, as it was all squished outside the periphery of the flip chip core, and the paste was so dried and hard that when I chiseled it off with a razor knife it made powder...

MSI gtold me there is no known problems with their heat sinks installs but when I searched I found many pages explaining the exact same issue with MIS X58 boards and sveral with pics. I also took pics and will be putting the whole story on my youtube page in a few days.

one thing I hoped toget fromyou chillin jim was a url to any of the reports youfound describing the high N Bridge failure rates ?? if I show enough of this to my chiropractor pal I might get to do the systems for his other machines still

regards... Tom in dallas
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