2. Asus P5E3 Premium WiFi@n - Retail package
3. Asus P5E3 Premium WiFi@n - BIOS settings, Test configuration
4. Asus Striker II Extreme - Features, specifications
5. Asus Striker II Extreme - Retail package
6. Asus Striker II Extreme- BIOS settings, Test configuration
7. Benchmarks - Everest Ultimate Edition, SiSoftware Sandra
8. Benchmarks - PCMark Vantage, BAPCo's SYSmark 2007 Preview
9. Benchmarks - MAXON CINEBENCH, x264 HD Benchmark, TMPGEnc 4 Xpress
10. Benchmarks - SuperPI, wPrime
11. Benchmarks - 3DMark 06, Crysis CPU benchmark, Unreal Tournament 3 demo
The recent release of the Intel Yorkfield processors gave us a reason to upgrade our main CPU testing processor with a Q9300 in an attempt to further stress the tested motherboards. Users can now expect good performance even from their "old" P35 series and hopefully this roundup gave you an idea of all high performance chipsets for Intel processors that are available today.
But let's focus at the two new motherboards, the Asus P5E3 Premium and Asus Striker II Extreme.
The first one is based on Intel's top chipset X48 and comes with all the goodies that the P5E3 Deluxe offered, that means a dual 802.11n WiFi mode and of course the XpressGate. Both features may be useful to you. At the benchs, the X48 showed its teeth and gave higher CPU scores than other tested motherboards, although it stayed behind in memory scores - even behind the X38 chipset, which is rather strange. The only explanation we can give is that the motherboard didn't choose the best possible secondary memory timings so the memory performance was somewhat slower than the Maximus Extreme (X38). It's retail price is high as we expected, since the X48 is Intel's latest chispet.
The Asus Striker II Extreme should be considered as a good performer, although it did not manage to give the highest results in several tests. Compared to the rest Intel-based motherboards, we expected a little bit more, considering its high retail price. If the absolute benchmark scores is not your basic criteria, the Asus Striker II Extreme will please you with its rich accessories and findings inside the package. The supported 3-way SLI could also be an attractive feature, in case your plans include the purchase of some extra graphics cards.
There have been several comments about data corruption issues at high FSB speeds, and unfortunately we can confirm them, even with the latest 0601 BIOS installed. We experienced a registry corruption at least 3 times, something that rendered our Windows installation useless, while attempting to examine the FSB frequency margins. We hope that this problem will be addressed with a newer BIOS.
Intel processor users are currently offered more chipset choices in order to decide which one is the best for them. Pricewise, the Blitz Extreme is still a good solution offering support for DDR3 memory. We can say that both X38 and X48 chipsets could attract the overclocking enthusiasts, while Nvidia's 790i has its obvious target group, the Nvidia SLI fans. Generally, if your goal is just to overclock your Intel Quad core processor, all tested motherboards will make you happy.