Asus Striker II Extreme Reviewccokeman - June 8, 2008
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Once all that shiny new hardware is in the chassis, the wiring has been hidden and everything is just right, it's time to power up that new rig and install the OS. That alone does not a blazing fast rig make - there are the drivers that must be installed to make that new hardware work as intended. Let's get those drivers going!
Once the driver disk starts to run, the installation GUI will pop up, and has several tabs to choose from. The Driver tab is used to install all of the drivers for the Striker II Extreme. The Install All feature is a tool to install the drivers with one click of the mouse. The Utilities tab contains some proprietary monitoring tools and utilities, as well as several applications - Photo Editing by Ulead, WinDvd, 3DMark06 for benchmarking, and a backup utility from CyberLink.
The Make Disk tab is where you can put together a driver disk for loading the drivers during the OS installation. The Manual tab contains additional user manuals that may be of interest, including RAID and network setup guides.
The Video tab lists an Extreme Overclocking clip, which was something I had seen on the Foxconn Mars driver disk. I was looking for an example of an overclocking guru putting the screws to an Asus board, but just got some music and still frame images. The Contact tab gives contact info for Asus across the globe.
Several proprietary utilities are included with the Striker II Extreme. AI Suite is a group of utilities accessed from one main interface; functions include AI Nap, CPU Level Up to overclock the CPU, QFan control to set the fan speeds and duty cycles, and AI Booster is another overclocking utility. Last, but not least, is AI Gear 3 - this utility allows configuration of the power saving abilities of the Striker II. Unfortunately, using this tool in anything other than the "Mid" tab caused instant lockups and required a reboot.
Asus Probe is purely a monitoring and information program that alerts the user to potential voltage, temperature, or fan issues. SoundMax Black Hawk is the sound configuration utility for the Supreme FX II HD audio card; it features several options to get the best sound out of your system.