2. Asus Blitz Formula SE Retail Package
3. Asus Blitz Formula SE BIOS
4. Asus Blitz Extreme Retail Package
5. Asus Blitz Extreme BIOS
6. Biostar TP35D3-A7 Deluxe Retail Package
7. Biostar TP35D3-A7 Deluxe BIOS
8. Test Configuration
9. Everest Ultimate Edition 2007
10. SiSOFT Sandra
11. PCMARK - 3DMARK
12. Science Mark - PovRay - x264 Benchmark
13. Maxon Cinebench
15. SYSmark 2007 - WorldBench
16. Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
17. Overclocking DDR2 Motherboards
18. Overclocking DDR3 motherboards
In our second roundup, we examined three new motherboards based on Intel's P35 Express chipset. The two Asus Blitz boards are identical in design and features and their only difference is the different memory type support (DDR2 or DDR3). The Biostar TP35DE-A7 Deluxe supports only DDR3 memory and costs much less than an Asus branded motherboard.
The Blitz series represents the highest end motherboards from Asus. The board design is very good and all major chipsets (North/South-Bridge) are "watercool" ready! There are plenty of on-board fan headers, many LEDs spread around the motherboard with different functions. Asus has implemented CrossLinx technology in order to boost graphics performance in the event you install two identical graphic cards (Crossfire). The retail package is very complete, with a plastic shell protecting the motherboard from transportation hazards. We would like to have more SATA cables included however... The onboard power/reset/clear CMOS buttons are a very good addition and saves time for extreme users.
Passing to the BIOS design and features, there are some improvements compared with the P5K series, more voltage options and of course temperature readings from the CPU, NB/SB and Motherboard. The board now includes an auto-shut down feature in case the temperature exceeds tolerances, and more options for CPU fan are available.
The Biostar TP35DE-A7 Deluxe is a cost effective solution for users who want DDR3 memory with an Intel P35 chipset. The motherboard design is good and has one less PCI-e slot, compared with Asus, but this shouldn't be considered as a drawback, since not all users have the money or the intention of buying two graphics cards. The Biostar BIOS is not as complete as we would like, at least compared with what Asus offers. Users can only set voltages for the CPU and NB/SB, and not in absolute values but rather as offsets from a predefined default, which keeps you guessing as to what voltage has been selected.
Passing to the raw performance, the Biostar TP35DE-A7 Deluxe performed slower than the Asus DDR3 based motherboards. The overclocking performance also was slower than what the Asus P5K3 Deluxe and Blitz Extreme can deliver. The Asus Blitz Formula SE was a step below the P5K Premium in most CPU tests, but most users should not notice many differences in real life applications. This was proven in our gaming benchmarking, where no major performance differences were noticed between all tested motherboards.
The most advanced section, overclocking, is probably what will interest many of you. All tested motherboards showed very good performance, especially considering we left most settings at Auto. The Asus Blitz Formula and Extreme, reached a peak of 480MHz with our Intel E6600 processor. It should be possible with other processors and manual adjustments to get higher FSB, but 480MHz is still very good. The Biostar TP35DE-A7 Deluxe reached a very high CPU speed with Auto settings, and peaked at 450MHz when trying to find the maximum FSB. In the memory overclocking test, it was slightly slower with 1560MHz, whereas the Asus boards topped at 1850MHz.
In the table below, we've summarised all of the above. It is now up to you to judge for yourself, depending on your needs, to decide which motherboard is most suitable. From our point of view, both the Asus Blitz Formula and Extreme are very high end motherboards, especially designed for extreme users who are looking for something more, along with the thought of a water cooling system. But you will have to fork out around €240~260 in order to buy them. There is also the question of availability...
In contrast, if you're not interested in overclocking, the Biostar TP35DE-A7 Deluxe is a cost effective solution at €160 Euro, with DDR3 support.
Asus Blitz Formula
Asus Blitz Extreme
Biostar TP35D3-A7 Deluxe