Inside the box
Upon opening the box one is greeted with a hard plastic cover for the motherboard, which you'll see on the next page, and a black box with the bundle of accessories of the motherboard. This black box is quite big and heavy, and this is the reason why:
An extensive bundle is an understatement: this is what you'll get out of the box :Motherboard Back Plate
External LCD post indicator
Black IDE cable
Black Floppy drive cable
Six (6) Red S-ATA connection cables
Two (2) double S-ATA power connector adapters
Two (2) chipset/heatsink coolers
Bag of plastic cable binders
Bag with rubber motherboard stand-offs
Bag with Asus quick-connect or kit
Bag of accessories for the Fusion Block chipset cooler
Back plate for 2 extra external USB 2.0 ports
Back plate for external IEEE 1394 (firewire) port
DVD-Rom with drivers and Software and a 3D Mark 2006 license (!)
DVD-Rom with the full game "Stalker"
Quick start manual
Full manual including (short) bios description
In the sample we got the driver cd or stalker game wasn't included, hence it is absent from the above picture. On top of all this you get an Audio module as well, but more on that on the next page. From this extensive package, a couple of things are worth mentioning again.
First we have the LCD "poster", as Asus calls it. This is a very handy little LCD screen which you can put outside your case, on your desk or wherever you like, and which displays the boot codes upon startup of your PC. This is very helpful while overclocking and troubleshooting your system and much appreciated. Once started, the LCD displays the time and is as such still of (limited) use.
Second we have the bag with rubber motherboard stand-offs, or "pedestal" as Asus names it in the specification list. This pedestal again comes in very handy for the overclockers among us, when you want to build your system outside your case. Personally, I have a couple of motherboard trays lying around, but if you're not as lucky, this stand-offs are a very good idea.
Furthermore, we have two heatsink coolers included in the package. As this motherboard supports water-cooling for its chipset out of the box (hence "Fusion" block, more on that later), we need to make sure all components are cooled sufficiently. Some components, like the mosfets, need some additional airflow and these two coolers provide this. While not very silent in operation, they're a welcome addition to the package, and again server the overclocker very well.
This is the most important package of course :
On top of the blister you can see the "missing" Supreme FX soundcard, which is nicely packed together with the motherboard into one package. This kind of blister we already saw in the new DFI packaging as well, and is a giant improvement over the old "wrap 'em in an antistatic bag and throw them into a box" packing methods: this way of packing is of course much more secure to safeguard your expensive motherboard ;-).
Let's have a look at the board itself now >