We tested the Asus Striker Extreme against a selection of boards competing with it, but using different chipsets in order to give us an idea of how well it performed. You can find full details of our test set-up over on our sister site, Bit-Tech.net.
Surprisingly, the Striker Extreme was faster than competing boards almost right across the board, but the differences were typically just a few seconds here and there. In particular, the Asus Striker Extreme was one of the fastest boards we’ve tested in gaming scenarios. Performance isn’t everything though, because there’s no benefit in having stellar performance if the board is unstable when it’s put under the spotlight.
Since we have a pair of Striker Extreme boards in the office, we felt that it would be a good indication of stability if we pushed both boards to their maximum overclocks and then applied several different loads onto the system at the same time. In order to find the maximum overclock, we took CPU speed out of the equation and lowered the multiplier to 6.0x so that we could push the front side bus speed as high as possible. Once we reached our maximum overclock and found that it was Prime 95 stable (with two instances for the dual-core CPU), we set the two boards off running a much heavier load to verify overall system stability.
This comprised of dual instances of Prime 95 to stress CPU and memory, an instance of IOMeter to stress the south bridge and Far Cry running in the foreground at 1,600 x 1,200 4x FSAA 8x AF to stress the pair of graphics cards. Our first board topped out at 475MHz FSB, while the second board fared slightly better reaching 489MHz FSB. The two boards were able to continuously run our stress test at these frequencies without missing a beat for well over 35 hours before we manually stopped the test – this is a testament to how stable the Striker Extreme is.
In many ways, this is the ultimate gaming motherboard and it’s definitely one of the best motherboards I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. However, the great experiences I’ve had with the Striker Extreme are marred by poor availability and an outlandish price that only those with money to burn are going to want to spend.
There’s a £70 difference between the Striker Extreme and some of the cheaper nForce 680i boards and you have to question whether it’s worth spending that extra money on the Striker, or whether it’d be better spent on a faster CPU or a faster graphics card.
If you’re looking for a solid, feature rich and overclockable nForce 680i SLI motherboard, the Asus Striker Extreme fits the bill, but it’s only suitable for those with money to burn. Of course, that is all dependent on whether you can get hold of one or not, though.