Package and Contents
ASUS's latest series of deluxe motherboards are now packaged in a black series box with the AILife, ASUS logos and the name of the board model number. The box is a two stage package with an outer boxing that encases the actual boxing that stores all the parts and accessories. On the back of the box is a list of all the features and specifications of the board itself, so you can see what you're getting before you even open the box.
In terms of documentation and install aids, ASUS simply puts in a user manual with a rather large footprint. The manual contains everything you will ever need or want to know about the board. The CD included comes with a digital manual in PDF format, drivers for both Windows XP 32bit and 64bit, depending on what OS you are running. The CD also supports a boot function that if you want to create a Windows Mass Storage Driver Floppy for the nVidia RAID setup you can do it from a menu setup ASUS provides in DOS environment.
ASUS is one of the best manufacturers for adding in extras for their boards. The first thing we saw when opening the box was two special rotary fans. According to the user manual, these fans attach to the heat pipe sinks in the event of the user running water cooling, this we will explain later on in the article.
ASUS is one of the few manufacturers who actually places extra space between their two graphics ports allowing you to use Arctic VGA coolers. The standard PCB based SLI bridge doesn't reach. ASUS uses a ribbon cable that resembles what is used in laptop's to connect track pads to the boards.