ASUS Striker Extreme
- Fast and stable performance; plenty of overclocking features
- Only one IDE port
The ASUS Striker Extreme is a good board to consider if you're an enthusiast. It provides plenty of speed and has comprehensive overclocking features.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The first motherboard in ASUS' Republic of Gamers series was the Crosshair, which was built for AMD users. At the time, ASUS claimed that gamers preferred AMD CPUs over Intel. As Intel's Core 2 Duo has proven to be a superior performer to AMD's current crop of CPUs, this scenario is likely to change. Therefore, ASUS has released a Republic of Gamers board that is ripe for Intel users: Striker Extreme.
The Striker Extreme is based on NVIDIA's new nForce 680i chipset, which supports SLI, all the Core 2 Duo models currently on the market, including the quad-core QX6700, and a 1333MHz front side bus speed. This means it will be able to handle Intel's next major CPU releases.
The board also supports up to 8GB of memory though its four DDR2 memory slots and has six Serial ATA (SATA) ports and two external SATA ports (eSATA). As is the case with most new motherboards, it has only one IDE port. The Striker Extreme has plenty of USB 2.0 (10 ports) and FireWire (two ports) connectivity as well as 8-channel digital audio and two Ethernet ports.
We tested the board using an Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 CPU running at 2.6GHz (using the standard Intel cooler), with 1GB of DDR2 800MHz RAM, a GeForce 7600-based graphics card, a 150GB Western Digital Raptor hard drive and a Seasonic SS-650HT 650 watt power supply.
Using this configuration the board produced results that are faster than boards we've previously seen based on Intel's P965 chipset. In World Bench 5, for example, the Striker Extreme's overall score of 140 is better than the score Gigabyte's GA-965P-DQ6 could achieve (137). This is a lightning fast result for a board running an E6700 CPU and the individual application breakdown showed good results in the Adobe Photoshop photo editing, WinZip 8.1 file compression and Windows Media Encoder file encoding tests. We also ran Cdex to convert 53min worth of wave files to MP3 files: the Striker Extreme completed this task in 1min 29secs, which is a fantastic result.
One of the key selling points of the Striker Extreme is its overclocking ability. You can overclock the board through the BIOS either by using the pre-defined overclocking levels (5, 10, 15 or 20 percent) or by adjusting all the settings manually. The BIOS lets you tweak the memory, CPU and PCI Express frequencies and voltages, as well as the memory timings.
By overclocking the motherboard using the pre-set overclocking modes in the BIOS, we noticed slight performance gains but stable performance. When overclocked by 10 percent (2.9GHz), the Cdex test completed in 1min 21secs and when overclocked by 15 percent (3.1GHz), it completed in 1min 18secs. We realised a performance gain in Adobe Photoshop at 10 percent, where the application finished its workload in 207secs; when overclocked by 15 percent it finished this in 202secs. Without overclocking, the Photoshop test took 221secs.
The Striker Extreme combined well with an E6700 CPU in our tests and provided stable results when overclocked up to 15 percent. When we overclocked the system by 20 percent it would not boot up, which is where its innovative features came into play.
The board has illuminated onboard buttons for resetting the BIOS' default values, which is super-handy when the board hangs due to overclocking. It means you don't have to fiddle around with jumper settings. Additionally, it has illuminated buttons for powering on and for resetting the system. All of these buttons are located on the bottom edge of the board near the front panel connection pins and are handy for when you are performing upgrades or maintenance on your system and when you don't have the front panel buttons from your case attached.
A button on the rear port cluster of the motherboard also lets you turn on blue diodes that are located next to key components on the motherboard. The purpose of these lights is that they easily locate components when performing upgrades in the dark.
The physical layout of the board is neat and well-spread out. We didn't have any problems installing any components and we particularly love the arrangement of the SATA ports, which are all clustered together and face towards the front of the case. The dual PCI Express x16 graphics slots for an SLI configuration are well spaced, which allow cards with thick coolers to be installed without any problems.
ASUS cools the motherboard chipsets and the transistors around the CPU area with heat sinks and a heat pipe. A small fan is supplied in the box if you think your chipset could use a little more cooling.
Be prepared to fork out a lot of money for this board. It's definitely not one to consider if you just want something simple for an everyday computer. If you want to have all the latest features and plenty of flexibility for overclocking and you're an enthusiast with deep pockets, this board is for you.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P9 review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
- 2 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 3 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Asus and MSI accused of juicing GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card review samples
- Intel pits monster 72-core Xeon Phi chip against GPUs
- Dell claims its external graphics card tech beats Thunderbolt 3 options
- Radeon RX 470 and RX 460 graphics cards intensify AMD's affordable gaming push
- Gigabyte just showed an eGPU with Thunderbolt/USB-C for easier laptop external graphics
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTOracle Fusion Implementation ConsultantNSW
- FTNetwork EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Linux/MySQL/Oracle) 160630/SA/254Asia
- CCTechnical Writer | Experimental military technology | NV1ACT
- CCIT Business AnalystNSW
- FTUX DesignerVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- CCSAP BASIS ConsultantVIC
- CCWindows 2003-2012 R2 Active Directory Consultant/ManagerNSW
- CCService Desk AnaystNSW
- CCSAP ABAP - Senior developerVIC
- FTService Desk AnalystNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst- Process Mapping Specialist- Gov / Bank backgdNSW
- CCSystems Engineer | Experimental military technology | NV1ACT
- CCSenior Developer - AWS Cloud HSMNSW
- CCJava Developer with Oracle database experience | Defence intelligence | NV1ACT
- CCSolution DesignerACT
- CCSolution Architect / Designer - Cyber SecurityNSW
- CCMobility Developer (iOS or Android)NSW
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - BPRNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - Healthcare industryVIC
- FTContract System SpecialistAsia
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW