Inside the Box
First off as always it's into the box and what extras come with it for your dollars. The box is identical to all the deluxe series; the box has only the model number on the front.
The back has quite a bit of info on the boards features and specs as well as a picture of the actual board in full colour so there is no doubts as to what that board is, what it looks like and what you get for your dollars.
The documentation and software for the board are simple yet informative. The manual from ASUS, like any of there boards, are extremely detailed with all the info and setup procedures. The CD contains all the drivers to get Windows XP or 2000 up and running but as always, we recommend you go online and download the latest drivers for best performance and stability.
Most motherboards that you get only come with half the cables of the supported features on the board. ASUS provides you with all the cables and more companies should follow suit! There are 6 SATA data cables, 3 SATA power splitters with 2 drivers per splitter, 1 IDE and 1 FDD cable. This is exactly the mount of SATA ports and parallel ports the board supports - good on you ASUS.
ASUS gives you 2 extra PCI expansion brackets; one contains a single Firewire port for the onboard Firewire header and the other is a 2 port USB header for one of the 3 remaining USB headers.
Lastly on the list is the rear I/O shield and what ASUS called its Q-Connector. These are actually blocks that attach to the onboard headers. Rather than having to work out each wire, ASUS provides these blocks and you attach your front panel switches and headers to the blocks than attach the blocks to the motherboard headers, making it a lot easier to work with.
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