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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Thursday, October 11, 2007
Intel P35 Motherboard Roundup Vol2

1. Introduction

As time passes, users will eventually move over to motherboards based on either the P35 Express or the newly announced Intel X38 chipsets. After our first introduction and comparison of several P35 motherboards, three new models have arrived in our labs for review, with a choice of DDR2 or DDR3 memory support.

Today we will be looking at the Asus Blitz Formula SE, Asus Blitz Extreme and Biostar TP35D3-A7 Deluxe. Let's begin...

- Asus Blitz Series

The Asus Blitz series, represents the highest end models from Asus. Both the Blitz Formula SE and Blitz Extreme are essentially the same model, with however different memory support (Formula SE DDR2 and Extreme DDR3). The motherboards "belong" to the "The Republic of Gamers" that consists of only the best of the best. As Asus comments "...We offer the best hardware engineering, the fastest performance, the most innovating ideas, and we welcome the best gamers to join in. In the Republic of Gamers, mercy rules are only for the weak, and bragging rights means everything. We believe in making statements and we excel in competitions. If your character matches our trait, then join the elite club, make your presence felt, in the Republic of Gamers..."

The Asus Blitz Formula SE is based on the Intel P35 chipset, which supports Intel® Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Duo / Pentium® Extreme / Pentium® D / Pentium® 4 / Celeron® D Processors and the next generation 45nm Multi-Core CPU (LGA775). It features 1333/1066/800 MHz FSB, dual-channel un-buffered DDR2-1066/800/667 MHz x 4DIMMs with a maximum of 8GB. The Blitz Formula SE supports AMD's CrossFire across 2 AMD graphics cards, with both cards operating in 8x mode.

The main features are:

- Supports Intel® next generation 45nm Multi-core CPU
- Intel® Quad-core CPU Ready
- Intel® Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Duo Ready
- Intel® P35/ICH9R
- Dual-channel Native DDR2 1066 Support
- Crosslinx Technology
- Fusion Block System
- Extreme Tweaker
- SupremeFX II 8-CH Audio
- LCD Poster
- Voltiminder LED

CrossLink Technology
Crosslinx is an unique technology utilizing a dedicated controller to optimize PCIe allocation with dual x8 lanes. Crosslinx eliminates the graphics data bottleneck found in other x16, x4 solutions. The result is unmatched graphics performance for smoother gameplay and maximum benchmark potential.
Fusion Block System: H2O ready: The next step in thermal solution.
The Fusion Block System is a more efficient thermal solution compared to competing followers with complicated looks. It is a hybrid thermal design that combines the ROG´s renowned heatpipe design with the additional ability to connect to a water cooling system. By taking the entire integrated solution into design considerations, the user can enjoy exceptional thermal improvement to north bridge, south bridge, Crosslinx, and even VRM with a single connection. The Fusion Block System is the most versatile, efficient, and the most advanced thermal system there is on a motherboard.
COP EX: OC in confidence
The COP EX allows overclockers to increase chipset voltages without the worries of overheating. It can also be used to monitor and save an overheating GPU. The COP EX allows more freedom and less constraint for maximum performance achievement.
Voltiminder LED: Friendly reminder on the intentional madness
In the pursuit of extreme performance, overvoltage adjustment is critical but risky. Acting as the "red zone" of a tachometer, the Voltiminder LED displays the voltage status for CPU, NB, SB, and Memory in a intuitive color-coded fashion. The voltiminder LED allows quick voltage monitoring for overclockers.

Loadline Calibration: Stable and optimal power for sustainable CPU overclock
Maintaining ample voltage support for the CPU is critical during overclocking. The Loadline Calibration ensures stable and optimal CPU voltage under heavy loading. It helps overclockers enjoy the motherboard´s ultimate OC capabilities and benchmark scores.
External LCD Poster
The new LCD Poster now posts critical POST information in an ever friendly and flexible external display. When system malfunction occurs, the LCD Poster automatically detects device failure and translates the errors on the LCD during POST. Unlike other competing 2 digit displays, users won´t need to read "gibberish" to find out what´s wrong.

For more information about the Asus Blitz Formula SE, please visit the Asus website.

- Full specifications

CPU
LGA775 socket for Intel® Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Duo / Pentium® Extreme / Pentium® D / Pentium® 4 / Celeron® D Processors
Support Intel® next generation 45nm Multi-Core CPU
Compatible with Intel® 06/05B/05A processors
* Refer to www.asus.com for Intel CPU support list
** Please update the latest BIOS to support Intel 45nm CPU
Chipset
Intel® P35/ICH9R with Intel® Fast Memory Access Technology
Front Side Bus
1333 / 1066 / 800 MHz
Memory
Dual channel memory architecture
4 x DIMM, support max. 8GB, DDR2-1066*/800/667 MHz, non-ECC and un-buffered memory
* The chipset officially supports the memory frequency up to DDR2 800 MHz. Due to the tuning by ASUS exclusive technology, this motherboard natively supports up to DDR2 1066MHz. Please refer to www.asus.com or user manual for Memory QVL
Expansion Slots
2 x PCIe x16 slot, support dual graphics solution
3 x PCIe x1 ( the PCIEx1_1 (black) is compatible with audio slot)
2 x PCI 2.2
CrossFire
Support ATI CrossFire™ graphics cards (both at x8 mode)
Storage
ICH9R Southbridge:
- 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports
- Intel Matrix Storage Technology supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.
JMicron® JMB368 PATA controller:
- 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66/33 for up to 2 PATA devices
LAN
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers, both featuring AI NET2
High Definition Audio
SupremeFX II Audio Card:
- ADI 1988B 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Noise Filter
Coaxial, Optical S/PDIF out at back I/O
IEEE 1394a
2 x 1394a ports(1 port at back I/O, 1 port onboard)
USB
max. 12 USB 2.0 ports(6 ports at mid-board, 6 ports at back panel)
Overclocking Features
Fusion Block System
Crosslinx Technology
Extreme Tweaker
2-Phase DDR2
Loadline Calibration
Intelligent overclocking tools:
- CPU Level Up
- AI NOS™ (Non-delay Overclocking System)
- AI Overclocking (intelligent CPU frequency tuner)
- ASUS AI Booster Utility
- O.C Profile
Overclocking Protection:
- COP EX (Component Overheat Protection - EX)
- Voltiminder LED
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Special Features
LCD Poster
Onboard Switches: Power / Reset / Cls CMOS (at rear)
ASUS Q-Connector
ASUS Q-Fan 2
ASUS EZ Flash 2
ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
ASUS MyLogo3
Back Panel I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 Keyboard port(purple)
1 x PS/2 Mouse port(green)
1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
2 x LAN (RJ45) port
6 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x IEEE1394a port
1 x Clr CMOS switch
Internal I/O Connectors
3 x USB 2.0 connectors supports additional 6 USB 2.0 ports
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x IDE connector for two devices
6 x SATA connectors
8 x Fan connectors: 1 x CPU / 1 x PWR / 3 x Chassis / 3 x Optional
2 x thermal sensor connectors
1 x IEEE1394a connector
1 x S/PDIF output connector
1 x Chassis Intrusion connector
24-pin ATX Power connector
8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
1 x En/Dis-able Clr CMOS
System panel connector
BIOS
16Mb AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI2.0a Multi-Language BIOS
Manageability
WOL by PME, WOR by PME, Chassis Intrusion, PXE
O/S Compatibility
Window XP / Vista
Accessories
Fusion Block System Accessory
LCD Poster
DIY Pedestal
ASUS Optional Fan
SupremeFX II Audio Card
3 in 1 ASUS Q-Connector Kit
UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
Floppy disk drive cable
SATA cables
SATA power cables
2-port USB2.0 + IEEE 1394a module
I/O Shield
Cable Ties
User's manual
Software
The hottest 3D Game: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
Support DVD:
- Drivers and applications
ASUS PC Probe II
ASUS Update
ASUS AI Suite
Futuremark ® 3DMark® 06 Advanced Edition
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
Form Factor
ATX Form Factor, 12"x 9.6" (30.5cm x 24.5cm)




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