Asus Striker II Extreme 790i DDR3 Motherboard

Test Setup & Overclocking

Test Setup & Overclocking
To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configuration used in this review can be seen below:
DDR2 Motherboard(s)
XFX nForce 780i SLI (780i)
Asus Maximus Formula (X38)
Asus Striker II Formula (780i)
DDR3 Motherboard(s)
Asus Striker II Extreme (790i)
Asus P5E3 Premium (X48)
Asus Maximus Extreme (X38)
• Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 "G0" 2.4GHz 2x4MB
Memory Modules
• Cellshock PC2-6400 @  DDR2-800 (4-4-4-12)
• Cellshock PC3-14400 @ DDR3-1066 (7-7-7-20)
Graphics Card
• Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro 256mb PCI-E
Hard Disk
• Hitachi Deskstar 80GB 7K80 SATA2 7200RPM 8mb
Operating System
• Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (Latest Updates)
During the testing of the boards above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used between switching boards, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard install.

To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:

Synthetic CPU & Memory Subsystem
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c
• Lavalys Everest 4.0

File Compression & Encoding
• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

Disk I/O Performance
• HDTach
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark05
• 3DMark06

3D Games
• Quake 4
• Bioshock
• F.E.A.R
It's no secret that motherboards based on nVidia's 680i and 780i chipsets have always played second fiddle to their Intel P35, X38 and X48 counterparts where overclocking has been concerned. A large part of this problem has been down to the sheer amount of heat that the nVidia MCP produces, forcing many enthusiasts to water-cool their entire motherboards (see EVGA Black Pearl) just to come close to the overclocking results easily obtainable on Intel chipset based motherboards.
Obviously the question everyone is asking with the release of the 790i chipset is "are things any better this time around".  So armed with an Intel Q6600 G0 chip, a thermal probe and an entire day with nothing better to do than play around with Asus' latest motherboard, we set out to find the answer....
Maximum Overclock
In all honesty the graph says it all. The 790i chipset is MUCH MUCH better at overclocking than its 680i and 780i counterparts with the Striker II Extreme taking our Q6600 to 3798mhz with 1.50v vcore. Not only did the Striker II Extreme leave its 780i based "Formula" brother for dead, but it also managed to give all of the Intel chipset based motherboards we've reviewed over the past few months a run for their money.
The process of overclocking on the board was a pleasure too, with very little adjustments outside of the usual FSB, Vcore and Memory needing to be made. Unlike a lot of other motherboards and chipsets, we didn't come across any "gotcha's" on the Striker II Extreme, and for a motherboard that hasn't even hit retail yet, the BIOS felt extremely mature and recovered extraordinarily well from failed overclock settings.
Maximum FSB Speed
The improvements didn't stop there either with the Striker II Extreme managing an impressive maximum FSB of 490mhz on our Q6600 test chip. While this may fall a few mhz short of the top FSB obtained on some of the Intel based motherboards, we also tested the Striker II Extreme with a QX9650 chip and managed to effortlessly push the board to 508mhz.
We also need to bear in mind that the ASUS Striker ll Extreme FSB overclocking was performed with only the stock Asus passive cooling on the Northbridge (we didn't plumb in the Fusion waterblock), and despite increasing the NB voltage to around 1.50v; the chipset was never overly hot to touch and recordings taken from our Infrared thermometer never passed 43°c.
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Most Recent Comments

18-03-2008, 10:29:33

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 screamingQuote

18-03-2008, 10:46:26

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.Quote

18-03-2008, 10:52:03

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?Quote

18-03-2008, 11:07:18

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

18-03-2008, 11:07:49

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.Quote

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