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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Monday, October 15, 2007
Intel X38 Motherboard Roundup

3. The Package

The Asus Maximus Formula SE will be priced around €270 (+shipping). As Asus indicates, the motherboard will be produced in limited quantities. As usual, the retail package is covered in logos showing off the motherboard's features:

All included cables are shown below:

The add-on sound card is based on the SoundMax AD1988 chipset and is the same as that g used in the Blitz series:

Below is a list of what's included in the retail package:

  • Fusion Block System Accessory
  • LCD Poster
  • 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 board comes in a plastic shell that protects it from transportation "hazards".

The board design is among the best we have seen. A lot of copper heatsinks connected with the central fusion block that cools down both north and southbridge, and power chipsets. There is a lot of empty space around the CPU socket so big fans and water cooling blocks can be installed:

Flipping the board over, we can see a copper plate on the back. It keeps the fusion block in place.

The motherboard supports four banks for memory modules:

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

The motherboard supports PCI-E x16 on both slots when installing two cards ( the blue slots in the image below). There is enough space between the two PCI-E slots so no problem here with extra big VGA cards.

Click to Enlarge!

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

Since the arrival of the P35 and now with the X38, Asus has done away with the PS/2 Mouse port. Our motherboard is revision 1.02G:

Below, the two on-board buttons for power and reset.

While on-board LEDs indicate the CPU overclocking range. Things become quite impressive at night, when all LEDs light up. Fortunately, you can disable them from the BIOS.

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