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Digital-Daily : Motherboard Reviews : asus_blitz

ASUS Blitz Extreme and Formula (Intel P35)

ASUS Blitz Extreme and Formula (Intel P35)
Author: Aleksandr Mitrofanov
Date: 25.09.2007

ASUS Blitz Extreme
Chipset Intel P35
CPU LGA775 Pentium 4 FSB 1066/800/533 MHz
Celeron Prescott FSB 533 MHz
Dual-Core Pentium4
Yorkfield, Wolfdale FSB 1333/1066/800 MHz
Quad-Core Kentsfield, Dual-Core Conroe/Allendale
HyperThreading
Memory DDR3 800/1066/1333
HDD 1x UltraDMA/133
8x SerialATA(2xRAID)
Extras 2 IEEE-1394a
Audio Intel HDA
12 USB 2.0
2x Gigabit Ethernet
Price: n/a

ASUS Blitz Formula
Chipset Intel P35
CPU LGA775 Pentium 4 FSB 1066/800/533 MHz
Celeron Prescott FSB 533 MHz
Dual-Core Pentium4
Yorkfield, Wolfdale FSB 1333/1066/800 MHz
Quad-Core Kentsfield, Dual-Core Conroe/Allendale
HyperThreading
Memory DDR2 533/667/800/887/1066
HDD 1x UltraDMA/133
6x SerialATA(RAID)
Extras 2 IEEE-1394a
Audio Intel HDA
12 USB 2.0
2x Gigabit Ethernet
Price: $275-300 (Price.ru)

Today, we are testing another two motherboards based on the Intel P35 chipset made by ASUS. We note it straight off that the PCB of both the motherboards is the same but is radically different from the ASUS P5K(3) series. The first board is named Blitz Extreme and is aimed for use with the DDR3 memory. The second board uses DDR2 and is aimed Blitz Formula. Both the motherboards relate to the "Republic of Gamers" series and are aimed at computer enthusiasts for whom engineers at ASUS have prepared a lot of interesting. The first thing that immediately attracts your attention is that on the north bridge there is a water block integrated into the general system for cooling the chipset, the power supply module, and another additional Crosslinx chip. This chip is aimed at symmetrical distribution of PCI Express bus lanes among the PEG slots: 8 + 8 and not 16 + 4 as is the way on other motherboards based on P35. This feature allows using the AMD Crossfire technology in the most powerful mode.

We were also able launching the system with two NVIDIA video cards in the SLI mode. But to this end, we had to use modified video drivers.

Computer enthusiasts will be pleased by the package bundle which contains varied items as well as the full version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Specifications

ASUS Blitz Extreme

ASUS Blitz Formula


ASUS Blitz Extreme ASUS Blitz Formula
CPU - Intel Pentium 4 (Prescott (2M) / Gallatin / CedarMill) with the bus speeds 1066/800/533 MHz;
- Dual-core Intel Pentium D / EE (Smithfield/Presler) with the bus speeds 800/1066 MHz;
- Intel Celeron-D (Prescott) with the bus speed 533 MHz;
- Support for Intel Core 2 Duo (Kentsfield (4 cores), Conroe/Allendale (2 cores)) with the bus speed 1066 MHz;
- Support for Intel Yorkfield, Wolfdale with the bus speeds 1333/1066/800 MHz;
- Socket LGA775;
- Support for HyperThreading processors;
Chipset - North bridge Intel P35 (MCH);
- South bridge Intel ICH9R;
- Interbridge communication: DMI;
System Memory - Four 240-pin slots for DDR3 SDRAM DIMM;
- Maximum memory capacity 8GB;
- Supported memory DDR3 800/1066/1333;
- Dual-channel memory access;
- Power indicator;
- Four 240-pin slots for DDR2 SDRAM DIMM;
- Maximum memory capacity 8 GB;
- Supported memory DDR2 533/667/800/887/1066;
- Dual-channel memory access;
- Power indicator;
Graphics - Two PCI Express x16 slots;
- ASUS Crosslinx;
Expansion options - Two 32-bit PCI Bus Master slots;
- Two PCI Express x1 slots;
- Slot for SupremeFX II sound card;
- Twelve USB 2.0 ports (6 integrated + 6 additional);
- Two IEEE1394 ports (Firewire; 1 integrated + 1 additional);
- Two Gigabit Ethernet LAN controllers;
Overclocking options - FSB adjustable within 200 to 800 MHz in 1 MHz increments, adjustable multiplier;
- Adjustable voltage on the CPU, memory, FSB, and the chipset (MCH+ICH);
- ASUS NOS ( Non-Delay Overclocking System );
- ASUS C.P.R (CPU Parameter Recall);
- ASUS AiBooster / Ai Suite;
Disk subsystem - 1 UltraDMA133/100/66/33 Bus Master IDE link (JMB363; with support for up to 2 ATAPI devices);
- Support for SerialATA II (6 links - ICH9R, with support for RAID);
- Support for SerialATA II (2 links - JMB363, with support for RAID 0,1, JBOD) ;
- Support for LS-120 / ZIP / ATAPI CD-ROM;
- 1 line for UltraDMA133/100/66/33 Bus Master IDE (JMB368; with support for up to 2 ATAPI devices);
- Support for SerialATA II (6 lines - ICH9R, with support for RAID);
- Support for LS-120/ZIP/ATAPI CD-ROM;
BIOS - 16 Mbit Flash ROM;
- AMI BIOS with support for Enhanced ACPI, DMI, Green, PnP Features;
- ASUS EZ Flash 2;
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3;
- ASUS MyLogo 3;
- Multi-languages BIOS;
Misc - One port for FDD, a port for PS/2 keyboard;
- Onboard power indicator + buttons to power-on, reboot, and reset the CMOS;
- Support for LCD Poster;
- STR (Suspend to RAM);
- SPDIF Out;
Power management - Wake-up on modem, mouse, keyboard, LAN, timer, and USB;
- Main 24-pin ATX power connector;
- Additional 8-pin power connector;
Monitoring - Monitoring the temperatures of the CPU, system, north and south bridges, two additional thermo sensors, voltages, rotational speeds of the eight fans;
- ASUS Q-Fan 2;
- ASUS AI Gear 2;
- ASUS AI Nap;
- ASUS C.O.P (Component Overheat Protection);
- ASUS PC Probe II;
Dimensions - ATX form factor, 245mm x 305mm (9.63" x 12");

Retail boxes

Contents:
  • Motherboard;
  • User's guide in English + a brief setup guide
  • 1x software, drivers & third-party software DVD;
  • DVD with the full version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.;
  • One ATA-133 cable, one FDD cable;
  • 6x SerialATA cables + a power supply adapter (2 connectors);
  • A bracket for 2 additional USB 2.0 and one Firewire ports;
  • 1x ASUS corporate logo sticker;
  • Kit of additional connectors;
  • 1x cap for the rear panel of the housing;
  • Two additional fans + one adapter;
  • A kit of clamps, adapters, and nipples for the water-powered cooling system;
  • 9 rubberized washers;
  • Set of buckles;
  • Three external thermal sensors;
  • LCD Poster;
  • Motherboard;
  • User's Guide + Quick Setup Manual in English;
  • 1x software, drivers & third-party software DVD;
  • DVD with the full version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.;
  • One ATA-133 cable, one FDD cable;
  • 6x SerialATA cables + a power supply adapter (2 connectors);
  • A bracket for 2 additional USB 2.0 and one Firewire ports;
  • 1x ASUS corporate logo sticker;
  • Kit of additional connectors;
  • 1x cap for the rear panel of the housing;
  • Two additional fans + one adapter;
  • A kit of clamps, adapters, and nipples for the water-powered cooling system;
  • 9 rubberized washers;
  • Set of buckles;
  • LCD Poster;

The major complaint about the motherboard is the incomplete implementation of all the motherboard's capabilities. If the buyer pays $300, then we assume he/she is entitled to get whatever needed for system assembly and not to have to come to the shop again for extra items. In this case, the buyer would have to return to the shop for two USB2.0 ports, to be more precise - to buy two more brackets for two ports on each (four ports altogether). The owner of the Blitz Extreme motherboard will have to buy two SerialATA cables and a few power supply adapters, because this version supports eight matching ports, whereas the board ships with only six cables and one adapter with two connectors. The owner of the Formula version board will not need extra SATA cables, but will need external thermal sensors (they are missing in the box). But we don't think they can be made available in a shop. We would also need power supply adapters for SATA devices on which ASUS decided to save.

Let's list what is in the package bundle. To start with, we say that additional items are in a separate box:

Inside the box, the buyer will find the documentation (user's guide + brief system assembly guide), as well as the software. These are primarily the DVD with ASUS proprietary drivers and utilities. Apart from that, the disk contains third-party software, including 3DMark 06 Advanced Edition. The other DVD contains the full version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Besides, both the motherboards come bundled with PATA and FDD cables, six SerialATA cables each (with one power supply adapter for two connectors), special Quick Connection Kit connectors, a cap for the rear panel, and a sticker with the ASUS logo.

Both the motherboards come bundled with a bracket for two USB2.0 and one Firewire ports. Besides, the package bundle includes two additional turbine fans which are installed on the radiators of the power supply module.

While on one of the radiators a fan is installed trouble-free, an adapter would be needed to install a fan on the other, narrower radiator.

On the same photo, you can see a kit of varied clamps, adapters, and connection pipes to link the water block to the water-powered cooling system.

The user also gets nine special rubber stands which can be glued to the motherboard, and assemble a system on the desktop.

Note that the audio subsystem is located on a separate board called SupremeFX II:

If the screen is removed, you can see both the board itself,

and the AD1988B codec:

Finally, the user gets an additional device named LCD Poster.

It is pluggable to the motherboard, and upon the system start-up it indicates the current state.

As regards the differences in the package bundles of both Extreme and Formula motherboards, there is only one - there three additional thermo sensors in the box for the Extreme board:

Using them, the user can measure the temperature of any system component. But what to do for the users of Blitz Formula - we have not yet come across such thermo sensors on sale.

Content:

  • Page 1 - Specifications, package bundle
  • Page 2 - Layout and Features; Expansion options
  • Page 4 - BIOS, monitoring, overclocking tools
  • Page 4 - Performance and conclusions




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