You can almost feel it in the air, albeit some virtual air, like the internet. All of the PC world is holding its breath for another major component refresh. Intel launched its new “Penryn” CPU lineup, while AMD will follow very closely by launching its “Phenom” quad core CPU parts at the end of november - for real this time, we hope. As CPU’s will not function without a motherboard, these are very exciting times to be reviewing motherboards as well. On the Intel side, we have had the major chipset overhaul for the 965 chipset already, and the 975 chipset is getting its overdue retirement as we write this review. P35 and X38 are almost as hot as the CPU parts they have to support, for some maybe even more so: in case you didn’t know, Penryn needs a chipset from the last generation to function at all.
While we wait for more Penryns to arrive in our test labs, this is the ideal moment to review a top-of-the-line motherboard that supports the CPU. While we could have opted for the hot new X38 chipset, instead we chose a board with the proven P35 chipset for a review. Not just any board mind you, we bring you the top performing Asus P35 board : enter the Asus Blitz Formula
For those that want an update on Asus, here's how they see themselves:
ASUS, a technology-oriented company blessed with one of the world's top R&D teams, is well known for high-quality and innovative technology. As a leading provider of 3C (computers, communications and consumer electronics) total solutions, ASUS offers a complete product portfolio to compete in the new millennium.
In 2006, the company shipped 55 million motherboards, which means one in three desktop PCs sold last year was powered by an ASUS motherboard. Our 2006 revenues reached US$16.5 billion, and is expected to garner US$23 billion in 2007.
ASUS products' top quality stems from product development. It's like learning Chinese Kung-Fu; one must begin with cultivating the "Chi" and inner strength. Besides innovating cutting-edge features, ASUS engineers also pay special attention to EMI (electromagnetic interference), thermal, acoustics and details that usually go unnoticed to achieve complete customer satisfaction. ASUS notebooks are the first TCO'99-certified notebooks worldwide. The requirements for this honor include radiation emission control, energy (battery consumption), ecology (environment friendly) and ergonomics.
To succeed in this ultra-competitive industry, great products need to be complimented by speed-to-market, cost and service. That's why all 100,000 over employees of ASUS strive for the "ASUS Way of Total Quality Management" to offer the best quality without compromising cost and time-to-market while providing maximum value to all customers through world-class services.
With unyielding commitment to innovation and quality, ASUS won 2,168 awards in 2006, meaning on average, the company received over 5 awards everyday last year.
Like with many chipset launches lately, Asus was very quick to the market with its P35 boards. Together with the Gigabyte boards, the P5K was the first P35 board to hit many (r)etailers, and the board still holds its grounds today (which in my book, is quite impressive when you're first to the market). The Blitz family is the last P35 based motherboard to be added to the Asus lineup, and as its name implies, the board settles in nicely at the top of the P35 range. The Blitz family actually consists out of two boards : the Asus Blitz Extreme and the Asus Blitz Formula (Special Edition). The "Extreme" board is suited for DDR3 memory, while the Formula board accepts "regular" DDR2 memory. Today, we're looking at the DDR2 variant...
Have a first look at the magnificent box this board comes in:
some more box details, click to open
Let's see what you get for your money on the next page >