Package and Contents
Starting off as normal we come to the package and what's lurking inside. One thing is for certain, there is no shortage of bits and pieces in this box! The box itself is a plain affair on the front; this is because it's part of the R.O.G. or Republic of Gamers series of boards. Its basic design mimics the entire Intel range of ROG boards, only the name on the front is different whilst the colour scheme is identical with the same printing; very little at all on the front.
The back of the box contains a full spec sheet on the board's features, the exact same one that is on the website so that you get a full rundown of the slots, chipset and feature support. There aren't any full colour photos of the board but there are a few of the extra features the board comes with such as the audio module.
The box comes with a front open flip cover that gives you a better view of the ASUS Fusion block system as well as the audio board. There are no colour photos of the board here either, which is a bit of a disappointment. It would be nice to see in full view what you're buying before you actually take it home.
Moving along, ASUS has a light bundle in terms of software. Two CD's are provided; one contains all of the Windows XP, XP64 and Vista drivers you're going to need. If you are a Linux user you're going to have to search for drivers, but really if you're going to get a board this flash, it's for a gaming rig that 99% of the time will be running a Microsoft OS as the majority of games out there don't have Linux support. The extra CD is a full retail copy of the blockbuster FPS game, Stalker.
The user manual is extremely thick and contains oodles of information on the board, software, driver installation and BIOS setup. ASUS always goes full throttle on the user manual; leaving nothing unmentioned seems to be their way of thinking.
Moving along to the data cables, ASUS doesn't skimp here either. Out of the six internal SATA ports that the board gives you, there are six SATA data cables so you can populate this board with six drives straight out of the box. The ribbon cables supplied are a single FDD cable that supports one drive and an IDE cable with two-drive support; gone are the days of two IDE ports on the board, but SATA really has this market now and there is no need for IDE anymore apart from optical drives.
There is unfortunately one area where ASUS does skimp out, and that's power converters. Only one molex power splitter with two SATA power ports are included. If you want to use six SATA drives on the board, you had better hope your PSU has at least four native SATA power ports or you're back to the shop to buy more.