Today we have by far the deadliest SLI platform in our hands, because we bring you the ASUS Striker II Extreme motherboard, which is based on the new Nvidia nForce 790i Ultra SLI chipset.
In contrast to the previous generation 780i, this new chipset has been completely revised to meet technologies such as PCI Express 2.0 and Triple-SLI. The nForce 790i uses Nvidia's C73 north bridge and MCP55 south bridge, providing the right 1600 MHz FSB support for the latest Intel 45 nm processors.
However, there is a crack in the armor of the Striker II Extreme, and that's its exclusive support for DDR3 memory. While this can be seen as both a positive and a negative feature, at least for now we believe that most consumers will consider this a disadvantage. DDR3-1333 currently costs about four times more than DDR2-800 memory and offers almost no performance advantages. Only when frequencies of more than 1600 MHz have been reached will DDR3 begin to develop.
The nForce 790i Ultra SLI chipset tries to even out these supporting memory modules up to DDR3-2000, which makes it a league of its own.
In fact, the 790i chipset will be available in two variants: the Ultra SLI used by the Striker II Extreme and the (not ultra) SLI. The & # 39; Ultra & # 39; version is said to offer more overclocking options and support SLI memory up to DDR3-2000, but otherwise there doesn't seem to be any further differences between the two. At this stage, it remains to be seen how these will differ in price, and most likely it will ultimately depend on how the manufacturers' implementations are brought to life.
In the case of the Striker II Extreme, ASUS has made it an uncompromising platform for those who are willing to pay the premium. In other words, it will dethrone its previous flagship, the Striker II Formula, which is based on the nForce 780i SLI chipset.
In this case, in addition to the obvious difference in memory support (DDR2 vs. DDR3), we wonder where the new Striker II Extreme improves. Of course, there has to be more to it, otherwise the older platform would be the most practical solution. We will examine the ASUS Striker II Extreme in more detail and then test it …