Asus unwraps its nForce 680i SLI mobo
A new motherboard from Asus has joined the ranks
of new, high-powered offerings based on Nvidia's new nForce 680i SLI
chipset. Simply dubbed Asus Striker Extreme, the board is visibly different from Nvidia's reference design. Asus has relocated the Serial ATA, floppy, and ATX power connectors, and the processor socket is completely surrounded by copper heatpipes and heatsinks that run from the south bridge to the north bridge and CPU power regulation circuitry. One of the PCI Express x1 slots in the reference design is replaced by a custom slot designed to house Asus' "SupremeFX" audio card. Much like DFI's LanParty boards, the Striker Extreme also has some buttons right on the PCB to turn the system on, reset, and clear the CMOS.
On the I/O panel, Asus has made the interesting choice of placing the two-digit POST code display normally housed on the board PCB. Also on the back panel are a couple of eSATA ports as well as a switch to turn on some "strategically-placed LEDs" meant to help users plug in their devices in the dark. Last, but not least, the Striker Extreme comes with free copies of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Futuremark's 3DMark 2006 Advanced Edition, and Kaspersky Anti-Virus Personal.