My first build was a Socket A motherboard with an nForce chipset. For nearly five years, I used exclusively nVidia boards. Like most AMD fanboys, I scoffed at Intel processors, and even more at Intel Chipsets. I felt that if someone belittled themselves enough to use a Pentium, at least they should have enough sense to use an nVidia motherboard.
Waiting for AMDs successor to the X2, I held out as long as I could. But as a hardware reviewer who is expected to review vendors' products on modern equipment, I was at a real disadvantage. Finally, last fall I bit the bullet, and bought a Core 2 Quad to review an Asus P5K Deluxe Wifi-AP motherboard, which utilizes an Intel P35 chipset. I was more than impressed with all aspects of this motherboard, the properties of the Intel chipset, and what Asus had done with it. For the next seven months I used and reviewed Intel chipsets. Though my loyalties had been with them for so long, AMD and nVidia were all but forgotten.
A couple of months ago, I read a post in a forum that stated: "with an Intel processor you should use an Intel chipset", and have seen something similar nearly every day since, including today. I guess that I agreed with it, subconsciously if nothing else. Such was the distance that I had strayed from my roots in such a short time. Which is why when I was informed that I would be reviewing an LGA775 board with an nVidia chipset, I was a little apprehensive, and still am.
Today I will be looking at the brand new Asus Striker II NSE motherboard. It is a full-featured DDR3 board for LGA775, utilizing the nVidia nForce 790i SLI chipset, belonging to Asus' ROG (Republic of Gamers) motherboard line. Will the Striker II NSE interrupt my current love affair with Intel chipsets? Read on to see...
Chipset: nVidia nForce 790i SLI
CPU: Intel LGA775, supports Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Duo, Pentium D and Pentium 4
System Bus: 1600 (OC)/1333/1066/800 mHz
- Dual Channel memory architecture
- 4 x DIMM, support max 8GB, DDR3-1600/1333/1066/800mHz
- non-ECC and unbuffered memory>
- 2 x PCI-E 2.0 x 16 slots, supports nVidia SLI technology at full x16, x16 speed (blue)
- 1 x PCI-E x 16 slot, at 16x speed (middle)
- 2 x PCI-E x 1.1 (black), compatible with audio slot
- 2 x PCI 2.2
Scalable Link Interface (SLI): Supports nVidia 3-way SLI graphics cards (triple at x16 mode)
- 1 x Ultra DMA 133/100/66/33
- 6 x SATA 3.0Gb/s
- nVidia MediaShield RAID supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, and JBOD span cross SATA drives
- Jmicron JMB363 SATA controller - 2 x eSATA 3.0Gb/s
LAN: Dual gigabit LAN controllers
Support Teaming Technology
High Definition Audio:
- Supreme FX Audio Card
- ADI 1988B 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Noise Filter
- Coaxial, Optical S/PDIF at back I/O
- Company of Heros: Opposing Fronts
- Support DVD
- Drivers and Applications
- Futuremark 3DMark06 Advanced Edition
- Kaspersky Anti-Virus
Form Factor: ATX, 12" x 9.6" (30.5cm x 24.5cm)
Fusion Block System: *H2O ready - The next step in thermal solution
CPU Level Up: A simple click for instant upgrade
Memory Level Up: Next Step for instant upgrade
Fusion Block System
Pin-Fin Thermal Module Design
COP EX (Component Overheat Protection Extension)
Frequency LED Packaging
The Striker II NSE comes in a box similar to other Asus ROG motherboards. The rear of the box gives the main specifications and some of the features.
Inside, the motherboard is protected in a clear plastic box similar to the boxes sheet cakes come in, as are other ROG motherboards. The bundle is in a large box with graphics similar to the front of the main box.