2007 is set to be a big year for Intel and its Core architecture. Designed from lessons learnt from the Netburst and Pentium-M architectures, Core micro architecture is set to push Intel through the 2007 year, and already we have seen processors from them that run cooler, perform better and even support quad cores on a single CPU package yet all of this is nothing unless you have an equally impressive platform to run it on.
Intel has its own chipsets for the Core 2, the already aging 975X chipset supports this baby with its Crossfire ready design as well as its mature architecture. P965, while it's supposed to be under the 975X in terms of features and performance, is the more attractive option with a cheaper price tag, support for DDR2-800 memory as well as the new ICH8 family of Southbridge, and with Crossfire dual graphics certification, it's no wonder Core 2 is making its way into so many desktops.
nVidia, not to be outdone, has finally put to rest its hopes for the nForce 500 series of chipsets for the Intel market and has gone for a whole re-design for the Core 2 platform, the 600 series of chipsets which we have looked at earlier have really made us sit up and take notice.
Today is ASUS's day in our labs. We have been sent the extremely feature packed ASUS Striker Extreme motherboard based on nVidia's new nForce 680i chipset for our testing purposes - it falls into the "Republic of Gamers" series of boards from ASUS and it's the first for the Intel platform. We are today going to see how well it performs and just what you get for the over $400 USD asking price when compared to a regular 680i motherboard and DFI's impressive RD600.