Asus Striker II Formula Reviewccokeman - March 4, 2008
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The accessory pack that ships with the Striker II is pretty substantial. The included items allow the user to use all of the connectivity options available without having to purchase additional cables. This bundle includes convenience as well as performance based accessories.
The documentation set with the Striker II includes a users manual, a quick start guide specific to the Striker II, a driver and utility disk, and a full version of Company of Heroes Opposing Fronts. You can see how well the Stiker II performs in this game later on in the testing phase of this review. Drive connectivity includes six SATA cables, one floppy drive cable, one IDE cable, and an expansion slot bracket that provides an additional two USB 2.0 and one 1394 Firewire external connections.
For convenience items Asus has included the Q connection system to make hooking those pesky front panel connections up to the motherboard a much easier process. Simply place all of the connections where you can see them and plug in the Q connector to the appropriate connection on the board as a whole assembly. The LCD poster is an external display that follows the post process to help make diagnosing a boot problem easier than making an educated guess. Another feature of the LCD poster is that it can be used to display the current time, as well as a user defined message, when the board has finished the post process.
The I/O shield is standard fare, for the most part. The shield is identified with the ROG logo and has a foam backing that is covered in what appears to be a heat reflective covering.
Cooling the heatsinks around the CPU socket can be accomplished by using the supplied blower style fans. These fans come in handy with either stock air or water cooling. If you decide to use a large air cooling solution they do not fit. The fans slip right onto the heatsinks and use a three-pin power connector to connect directly to the motherboard. Each fan comes with a short instruction manual that shows the proper installation to the heatsink.
The Supreme FX II sound card is included, and provides true HD 8 channel sound. This card goes into a dedicated PCI-e 1x slot just above the top PCI-e 16x slot on the Striker II. The Supreme FX II logo lights up when the system powers on, for that additional bling when it is visible through the case window.
Since the Striker II features an Nvidia 780i SLI chipset running dual or more GPU's is an option. With three PCI-e 16x slots for video cards, Tri SLI has become a reality. Asus has included a Tri SLI bridge, as well as the standard SLI bridge, to interconnect the video cards whatever the situation. At this time, though, Tri SLI is limited to the 8800GTX and Ultra video cards.
Now that we know what comes with the Striker II Formula, it's time to take a look at the motherboard.