Specification and Accessories
We start every mainboard review with the formal first look. Namely, we discuss its formal technical specification declared by the manufacturer on the official website. And of course we have to check out the package and accessories, too.
ASUS Striker Extreme specification is pretty standard for an Nvidia nForce 680i SLI based solution. Nothing in the list of its technical features proves the board’s elite. Take a look yourselves:
ASUS Striker Extreme
NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI (C55 + MCP55PXE)
133-750MHz (with 1MHz increment)
Adjustable Vcore, Vmem, North and South Bridge voltages
4 DDR2 DIMM slots
PCI Express x16 slots
2 (supporting NVIDIA SLI)
PCI Express x8 slots
1 (mechanically compatible with PCI Express x16)
PCI Express x1 slots
PCI expansion slots
USB 2.0 ports
10 (4 – on the rear panel)
2 IEEE1394a ports
1 ATA-133 channel (in the chipset)
6 Serial ATA-300 channels (in the chipset, with RAID support)
ATA RAID support
RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 in the chipset
8-channel HD codec – ADI 1988B
2 Gigabit Ethernet controllers (in the chipset)
ASUS LCD Poster
Phoenix AwardBIOS v6.00PG
ATX, 305mm x 245mm
If we compare the data from the table above with the specifications of the Nvidia nForce 680i SLI reference mainboard, the outcome will not be in favor of the expensive ASUS board. In fact, the only advantage of ASUS Striker Extreme is the two SATA On-the-Go ports. Other than that, it offers the same functional variety as the Nvidia nForce 680i SLI reference board. Moreover, all reference mainboard are equipped with a fully-fledged POST controller, which is absent on ASUS Striker Extreme.
However, ASUS Striker Extreme owes the similar list of features not to ASUS engineers’ stinginess, but to the Nvidia nForce 68-I SLI chipset capabilities, which are rich enough to allow designing high-end mainboards without any additional onboard controllers. Therefore, another ASUS mainboard on the same chipset, P5N32-E SLI, featuring the same PCB layout differs from Striker Extreme only by the absence of eSATA ports. However, it costs about $100 less thanks to smaller accessories bundle and fewer attractive add-ons that ASUS Striker Extreme is simply stuffed with.
ASUS Striker Extreme is shipped in a massive box with black and gray color design. As usual the box contains the information about the main mainboard advantages and specs, which turned out so numerous that ASUS had to continue listing on the other side of the flip-open cover. The box also has a few cut out holes allowing you to take a closer look at the mainboard rear panel and some unique items from the accessories bundle such as the stand alone sound card and Andrea SuperBeam Array Microphone with the noise-reduction system.
Your eye also catches two stickers on the mainboard package. The first one is the promising one, saying that the product is Vista Premium Ready. And the second one is the concerned one, saying that ASUS doesn’t guarantee that the mainboard will work with memory modules outside the Qualified Vendor List.
Inside the box we found a transparent plastic casing with the mainboard and the above mentioned sound card with the Andrea SuperBeam Array Microphone, as well as an additional box with numerous accessories.
Besides the pretty common things such as user’s manual, the back panel I/O shield, FDD and Parallel ATA cables, six Serial ATA cables and corresponding power adapters, we have also discovered a few rare things there. For example, a bracket for the case rear panel with two additional USB ports, a bracket with a FireWire port and a flexible cable for graphics cards working in SLI mode. But this is also not all yet, ASUS Striker Extreme comes with a few truly unique accessories. They are the centrifugal chipset fan, a set of cable ties, a Q-Connector set, a leather key-chain with Republic of Gamers logo and three external thermal sensors that can be connected to the mainboard. ASUS has also paid special attention to the software bundle coming with the board. Besides the standard set of drivers and utilities it also includes InterVideo WinDVD player, Kasperski Anti-Virus, Futuremark 3DMark06 Advanced Edition benchmark and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon game.