Asus Striker II Formula 780i Socket 775 Motherboard
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:
Asus Maximus Formula (X38)
Asus Striker II Formula (780i)
DFI LANPARTY UT P35-T2R (P35)
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 "G0" 2.4GHz 2x4MB|
|Memory|| Cellshock PC2-6400 DDR2-800 (4-4-4-12)|
|Graphics Card || Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro 256mb PCI-E|
|Hard Disk ||Hitachi Deskstar 80GB 7K80 SATA2 7200RPM 8mb|
|CPU Cooling ||Stock Intel Aluminium Cooler|
|Operating System ||Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (Latest Updates)|
|Graphics Drivers ||ATI Catalyst 7.4.44981|
|Motherboard Drivers ||Motherboard CD versions.|
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 left-over 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 22.214.171.124
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c
3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• Quake 4
There's no denying that one of the biggest pitfalls with Nvidia's 680i chipset was it's inability to match the overclocking performance of Intel's P965, P35 and X38 chipsets when running a Quad-Core CPU. Given that Nvidia have had around 2 years to work on this issue, it will be extremely interesting to see how the 780i based Striker II compares to the other two boards being tested today.
To ensure that every motherboard was given an equal chance to show how far it could overclock our Intel Q6600 "G0" retail processor, a standard VCore of 1.5v was set on all three of the boards. In addition to this, the memory divider setting was also adjusted to ensure that the Cellshock kit used in today's review would not hinder the results in any way.
Unfortunately, the Striker II couldn't quite keep up with the rest of the pack, falling over 300mhz short of the maximum overclocks obtained on the Asus Maximus (X38) and DFI Lanparty (P35) motherboards. In desperation we even bumped the Vcore up to 1.55v and increased the default Northbridge voltage by 0.16v. This only seemed to make matters worse, with the Northbridge temperatures verging on 80°C and the Southbridge also getting pretty toasty at 64°C.
The maximum front-side bus speed for all three boards was obtained by dropping the CPU multiplier down to x6 and slowly increasing the FSB speed from within the BIOS. With each increment in speed, the PC was booted into Windows and tested for stability. As with the "Maximum Overclock" testing, the memory divider setting was also adjusted to ensure that memory stability did not factor in the results.
Under normal circumstances we would also include increasing the Northbridge voltage to add extra stability. Unfortunately, with the Northbridge temperature of the Striker II getting close to 70°c when under load, any increase in voltages would have been suicidal.
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