Asus Blitz Formula and Extreme P35 Motherboards - HotHardware

Asus Blitz Formula and Extreme P35 Motherboards

0 thumbs up

asus_logo.jpg

If you're a PC hardware enthusiast - and chances are pretty good that you are if you're reading HotHardware - Asus is a company that needs no introduction.  Asus' track record for building quality products targeted squarely at power users is well known and documented, so we'll forego the history lesson here and get right to the point.

A couple of motherboards recently landed in the lab that filled a large void in the marketplace.  Just after the introduction of Intel's new Core 2 Duo and Extreme processors with 1333MHz front side bus frequencies, if you wanted a motherboard that officially supported one of the new CPUs, that also had a balanced (and flexible) PCI Express lane configuration for better multi-GPU CrossFire support, you were basically up a creek.  NVIDIA's nForce 680i SLI chipset supported the new processors, but we all know there is a large contingent of enthusiasts who prefer using Intel processors with Intel chipsets. Them's the breaks.  Unfortunately, the P35 chipset was the only game in town with true 1333MHz FSB and CrossFire support, and like the P965 that came before it, its PCI Express lane configuration was unbalanced.  With the P35, the first PEG slot got a full 16 lanes of PCI Express connectivity, while the second slot got only 4.  In addition, those 4 lanes powering the second slot were connected to the Southbridge, which then in turn has to interface with the Northbridge over another link, adding latency to the equation.  This setup works fine for single-GPU configurations, and admittedly works fine for CrossFire, but it doesn't offer optimal performance.

Asus saw the need for an enthusiast-class motherboard based on the P35 chipset, but with a more flexible PCI Express configuration.  And leveraging what they undoubtedly learned from designing the PW564-WS , engineered the Blitz Extreme and Blitz Formula motherboards, complete with a PCI Express switch that allowed them to connect the P35 Northbridge's PCI Express lanes to a pair of PEG slots.  Asus didn't stop there, however, and also outfitted the Blitz boards with a hybrid air / liquid cooling apparatus and a number of other features that are sure to please.

Asus Blitz Extreme and Blitz Formula Motherboards
Specifications and Features

Asus Blitz Extreme (DDR3)

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 gen 45nm Multi-Core CPU
  • Compatible with Intel 06/05B/05A processors

Chipset

  • Intel P35/ICH9R with Intel Fast Memory Access Technology
  • Front Side Bus 1333 / 1066 / 800 MHz

Memory (Blitz Extreme)

  • Dual channel memory architecture
  • 4 x DIMM, max. 8GB, DDR3-1333*/1066/800, non-ECC and un-buffered memory
  • The chipset officially supports the memory frequency up to DDR3 1066MHz/DDR2 800. Due to the tuning by ASUS exclusive technology, this motherboard natively supports up to DDR3 1333/DDR2 1066MHz. Please refer to www.asus.com or user manual for Memory QVL

Memory (Blitz Formula)

  • Dual channel memory architecture
  • 4 x DIMM, 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 PCI Express x16 slot, support dual graphics solution
  • 3 x PCI Express x1, PCIex1_1 (black) is compatible with audio slot
  • 2 x PCI 2.2

CrossFire

  • Support ATI CrossFire graphics cards (both at x8 mode)

Storage

  • Southbridge
    • 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports
    • Intel Matrix Storage Technology supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.
  • JMicron JMB363 PATA and SATA controller
    • 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
    • 2 x External SATA 3.0 Gb/s port (SATA On-the-Go)

LAN

  • Dual Gigabit LAN controllers, with 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 x back I/O, 1 x onboard)

USB

  • Max. 12 USB2.0/1.1 ports(6 ports at mid-board, 6 ports at back panel)

BIOS

  • 16Mb AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI2.0a Multi-Language BIOS

Asus Blitz Extreme (DDR2)

Overclocking Features

  • Crosslinx Technology
  • Extreme Tweaker
  • 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

  • Fusion Block System
  • LCD Poster
  • EL I/O
  • Onboard Switches: Power / Reset
  • Q-Connector
  • Q-Fan Plus
  • ASUS EZ Flash2 / CrashFree BIOS3
  • ASUS MyLogo3

Back Panel I/O Ports

  • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard port(purple)
  • 1 x Optical + 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF Output
  • 2 x External SATA
  • 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 / 4 x Chassis / 2 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
  • 1 x EL I/O Shield Connector

Manageability

  • WOL by PME, WOR by PME, Chasis Intrusion, PXE

Accessories

  • Fusion Block System Accessory
  • DIY Pedestal
  • ASUS Optional Fan
  • 3 in 1 ASUS Q-Connector Kit
  • UltraDMA 133/100/66 cable
  • Floppy disk drive cable
  • SATA data and power cables
  • 2-port USB2.0 module
  • IEEE1394a module
  • EL I/O Shield
  • Thermal sensor cables
  • Cable Ties
  • User's manual

Software

  • The hottest 3D Game: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
  • Support DVD:
    • Drivers
    • ASUS PC Probe II
    • ASUS Update
    • ASUS AI Suite
    • Futuremark 3DMark06 Advanced Edition
    • Kaspersky Anti-Virus

Form Factor

  • ATX Form Factor, 12"x  9.6" (30.5cm x 24.5cm)


Save for a couple of minor differences, the Asus Blitz Formula and Blitz Extreme ship with essentially the same accessory and software bundles. What you see pictured here is everything included within the Blitz Extreme's box...

   

   

As you can see, the Blitz Extreme ships with a broad assortment of accessories and software. Bundled with the board itself are six SATA cables, a single SATA power adapter, floppy and IDE cables, and a case bracket with additional USB and Firewire ports. In addition to these items, we also found an electro-luminescent custom, I/O shield, three thermal probes, a pack of rubber stand-offs, a baggie with wire ties, another baggie with fittings adn clamps for all types of liquid-cooling, a user’s manual, a pack of Q-Connectors, a couple of optional fans that can be mounted to the board’s cooling apparatus, and a driver and utility DVD complete with copies of Asus' PC Probe II and AI Suite, 3DMark06 and KAV (among other things). Asus also includes a SupremeFX II audio riser card which is powered by an ADI 1988B 8-Channel HD audio codec, an "LCD Poster" and perhaps best of all a copy of the excellent game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

     

The LCD Poster is an interesting addition.  While it doesn't do anything extraordinary in comparison to most other LCD POST code error reporters, it is far more convenient to use. Asus LCD Poster is unique in that it connects to the board via long cable and can be placed right on a desktop.  Three no need to bend down and peer into a system to read the LEDs mounted on the PCB itself – with the Blitz, the error codes are clearly visible right on the LCD’s screen, wherever a user decided to mount it.

Before we move on, we should note that the only differences between the Extreme's and Formula's bundles are that the Formula does not include the electro-luminescent I/O panel nor the three thermal probes.

Article Index:

Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment