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, 11:47:10

Brooksie
Ownage

Great review

mmm Triple SLI connector Quote

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?Quote

08-01-2008, 16:22:51

FarFarAway
Awesome review as usual Jim.

780i = a bit of a disappointment :SQuote

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.Quote

08-01-2008, 16:37:33

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

Great review Jim as always!Quote
Reply
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