Asus Blitz Extreme P35 Socket 775 Motherboard

Board Layout & Features

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.

Asus Blitz Extreme Board Layout Asus Blitz Extreme Board Layout

Starting with the aesthetic appearance of the board, I have to say that Asus have done a great job. The board consists of 3 unoffencive colours (Black, Blue, White) that are used on on all slots, sockets and plugs. This is a welcome change from some of the garish and ugly colour combinations used by a handful of other manufacturers.

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.

Asus Blitz Extreme Socket Area Asus Blitz Extreme Socket Area

The CPU socket area is fairly uncluttered, with only the mosfet heatsinks at the left of the board posing any possible clearance issues. However, on testing the board with several waterblocks including the Swiftech Apogee, D-Tek Fuzion and Danger Den Maze 4, we experienced no fitting issues whatsoever.

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 Blitz Extreme I/O Asus Blitz Extreme I/O

Just like the recently reviewed P5K, the Blitz Extreme keeps thing fairly modern on the I/O panel, providing only one legacy port for a PS2 keyboard. This is a great idea considering I've often experience problems with my USB keyboard not working correctly when trying to enter the BIOS or after swapping a motherboard over.

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!

Asus Blitz Extreme Fuzion Block Asus Blitz Extreme P35

At the heart of the Blitz Extreme is the Intel P35 chipset cooled by Asus' own Fusion water block system. Featuring 3/8" barbs, the Fuzion block should work with a large portion of "ready made" water cooling kits and from what we could see inside the block, shouldn't hinder flowrates too much either.

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.

Asus Blitz Deluxe Crosslinx Asus Blitz Extreme Southbridge

Asus Blitz Extreme Crosslinx Asus Blitz Extreme Southbridge

As previously mentioned, the Fusion system also cools the Southbridge and Crosslinx chips via copper heatpipes. Whether or not these chips actually need any type of cooling is debatable, but it's good to see that Asus are removing any possible heat issues that may impede overclocking.

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.

Asus Blitz Extreme Slots

With three x1 and two x16 PCIe slots, the Blitz Extreme certainly seems to be putting its faith in manufacturers releasing their existing PCI cards in PCIe format. This is even more apparent when you consider that one of only two available PCI slots on the board will more than likely be blocked by a GPU cooler when two graphics cards are installed for Crossfire.

Asus Blitz Extreme SATA

As with the rest of the "Republic of Gamers" series, the Blitz Extreme features right-angled SATA and IDE connectors. These not only help to keep things looking a bit more tidy inside your PC case, but are also significantly more robust than the standard SATA connectors found on most other motherboards.

Asus Blitz Extreme Headers Asus Blitz Extreme Power Switches

At the very bottom of the motherboard we can see where the Asus 3-in-1 Q-Connectors come in to play. Colour coded in red, blue and white for the IEEE1394, USB and Switch/LED headers respectively, these connectors are a boon for those of us who regulary install and remove our motherboards.

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.
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Most Recent Comments

16-08-2007, 16:42:37

ionicle
they've taken there previous motherboards, and just tweaked them to make them slightly better, added a higher pricetag, and shoved it on the market, genious really

oh, and great review

very....extensiveQuote

16-08-2007, 16:55:54

Rastalovich
I think ASUS fans will like this especially, for the reasons ionicle states. Though it does imply that this latest tweak will allow u to get that much more % of an oc.

Outside of this review, I`d like to see a study where some1 takes 1 set of a full pc hardware install, and install the OS on it a large number of times. Each time take the benchmarks like XMS has used, and find out how much a difference u get in terms of a % each time. It`ll be small, I`d think, but it would add proof to my thinking that one board beating another in a finite benchmark doesn`t necessarily mean anything, unless it goes over a %.

My theory being, u build a setup and install u`r OS fully and u`ll get 1 result. Next time around, wipe the drive, and re-install everything and u`r result will be off by a few %.Quote

16-08-2007, 17:31:19

FarFarAway
No generally that's not the case actually as I have done that a couple of times for varying reasons. You get a score almost exactly identical, shown especially by the benchmarks on these three boards that are exactly the sameQuote

16-08-2007, 18:14:52

Ham
Big question:

Is it better than the IP35 Pro Quote

16-08-2007, 20:07:06

glocktodahead
great review, I enjoyed reading it.Quote
Reply
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