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Thursday, October 11, 2007
Intel P35 Motherboard Roundup Vol2

2. Asus Blitz Formula SE Retail Package

The Asus Blitz Formula SE costs around €234~250, as found at several online stores. The retail package has several logos indicating the motherboard's features:

All included cables are shown below:

The LCD BIOS poster connects to an onboard header and displays BIOS post related messages and errors, making it easier to find out what's wrong with a faulty system. Below is a list of what's included in the retail package:

  • 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

The addon sound card is based on the SoundMax AD1988 chipset and is essentially the same as that offered with the Asus P5K3 Deluxe.

Under total darkness, the SupremeFX II glows electric blue...

The board design looks very good, the heatsinks have been dramatically reduced in size, and now the board can be water-cooled!

Let's zoom in on the CPU.

The area around the CPU is free of obstacles, allowing for the use of large CPU coolers and water block cooling solutions. There are passive heat sinks for the northbridge and power circuitry. The Northbridge chipset is under the copper block in the photo above. Asus has designed the cooling mechanism so that the copper block works either with water cooling or as a standard heat pipe, cooling the entire copper cooling circuit!

The board also contains a series of LEDs for both the CPU and Northbridge chipsets, each located to the upper left of the monitored item. The LEDs are used for a quick guide of the supplied voltage in the specific area. In total darkness, the motherboard LEDs do look very impressive.

Its not a UFO, just the glowing leds of Asus Blitz Formula SE!

Another picture of the test bed

The motherboard has four memory module banks:

Moving to the south area of the board, we can see the passive heatsink of the southbridge and the 6x SATA 2 connectors, well organized, not crowded and easily accessible. The water cooling circuit is connected to the northbridge and CrossLinx chipset:

The motherboard supports the CrossFire Technology . There are 2x PCI-E x16 slots. Due to the CrossLink technology, if you use both the PCI-E lanes, they will operate at x8 x8 mode, offering higher performance than the usual x16 & x4 mode. There is enough space between the two PCI-E slots for extra big VGA cards:

Click to Enlarge!

We forgot the mention that there are also eight fan connections, spread around the motherboard:

There are several extra connections for USB, Front Panel Audio, COM2 and Firewire for the rear. Asus has include all port modules in the retail package. The back I/O panel has the usual connections:

  • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard port (purple)
  • 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

As with the P5K series, there is no PS2 mouse connection. In its place there are two extra USB 2.0 slots. The Clear CMOS button glows green in the dark.

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