Since DFI has now introduced the AMD ATI RD600 chipset, it's now a matter of preference on what you want to buy. While Intel P965 is a very good and solid chipset (Gigabyte's DQ6 is a perfect example), it lacks some of the features of the nVidia 680i chipset, which could be the make or break point for you and that is nVidia SLI dual graphics technology.
Since nVidia won't (or hasn't yet) validated any Intel chipsets to run SLI configurations, unless seemingly Intel send a huge amount of cash over to the green team, you are stuck with only nVidia chipsets to run this technology. So, if you do plan to go down the SLI road, you will have to pay the extra bucks for an SLI-ready motherboard, such as the ASUS Striker Extreme. Intel chipsets like the P965 and 975X all come with ATI Crossfire ready support, so that's another thing you will have to look at, depending on your budget in the VGA department.
Compared to the very impressive DFI RD600 motherboard, the ASUS Striker Extreme is around 30% more expensive and it is indeed a very expensive product. The Striker motherboard is designed purely for gamers and overclockers and it does a very good job at that with FSB speeds attainable over 500MHz and there are not many out there that will do that - the engineers to designed this motherboard must be overclockers themselves as it packed full of features which all enthusiasts want. It also comes with an extremely good software package and plenty of other features to make your life easier. Your friends at your local LAN party will be jealous of you and your new motherboard but they also might wonder how you could justify spending that much money.
Overall the ASUS Striker Extreme had no quirks or problems that we found and it really impressed us. If you overclocked too far to the point the system refused to post, the board would reset the BIOS back to default after a preset time and bingo, you're back and ready to try another setting. If you've got plenty of cash to spend, it would make as a truly fantastic foundation for your next high-end gaming system but if you are more budget conscious, you'll probably end up buying another motherboard from companies like Gigabyte or DFI.
Built for gamers
Supports all processors including Core 2 Quad
Fast and Stable
A couple of e.SATA ports
Full-speed SLI support
Impressive overclocking above 500MHz FSB
Plenty of onboard features
Stunning software package
Extra features to make installation easier (EL I/O, Onboard LED, LCD Poster and more)
Rating - 9 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Editor's Choice Award
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications]
- Page 3 [In The Box]
- Page 4 [Motherboard]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Overclocking]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Sandra]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - PCMark]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - WorldBench]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Adobe Premiere Elements]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - PREY]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Far Cry]
- Page 13 [Final Thoughts]
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