We have already taken a look at upcoming reviews featuring storage, optical, and multimedia products. Today we will present a quick look at some of the motherboard products that we are currently testing and will provide reviews of in the near future. While this is not a complete listing and does not include the long awaited RD600 board from DFI, it should provide a good indication of the products we are excited about. With that said let's take a quick look at some of these product offerings.


Intel Performance

The continuing introduction of new chipsets and revisions to previous generation chipsets for the Intel Core 2 Duo processor series has created an enormous amount of product introductions since the end of June. So much so that our labs are literally stacked with motherboards that are in the process of testing and review analysis. Intel currently holds the overall performance crown with the Core 2 Duo and the continued rollout of new motherboards for this impressive processor series is amazing.

The ASUS Striker Extreme is based upon the recently released NVIDIA 680i SLI chipset that we reviewed a few weeks ago. The board supports LGA775 socket processors, features two full speed PCI Express x16 slots (SLI support), one x8 PCI Express slot (x16 physical), one x1 PCI Express slot, and two PCI 2.2 capable slots. Besides the six native Serial ATA 3Gb/s ports, ASUS has also included two external Serial ATA 3Gb/s ports via the Silicon Image 3132 chipset. The board features ASUS's new SupremeFX Audio Card that uses the ADI 1988B 8-channel HD audio codec and it includes an Array Microphone. Since the board is part of ASUS's Republic of Gamers product family it is equipped with a rear LCD status panel, onboard switches for power, reset, and clear CMOS, and a full software suite including Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, Futuremark 3DMark06 Advanced Edition, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, and several Windows utilities. In initial testing we have reached 7x534FSB with our retail E6600 sample and general performance has been excellent. We will be comparing this board to our EVGA 680i, Intel BadAxe2, and hopefully the DFI RD600 board if it is not delayed again in the near future.

The Intel D975XBX2KR is based upon the 975X chipset that has proven itself over the course of the last year to offer excellent performance and stability. The D975XBX2 is a follow up to the original D975XBX board and features improved electricals and enhanced BIOS tuning for greater performance potential with the Core 2 Duo along with Core 2 Extreme quad-core support. The board supports LGA775 socket processors, features two full speed PCI Express x8 slots (x16 physical, CrossFire support), one x4 PCI Express slot (x16 physical), and two PCI 2.3 capable slots. The board comes with four native Serial ATA 3Gb/s ports via the Intel ICH7R and Intel added an additional four Serial ATA 3Gb/s ports via the Marvell 88SE6145 RAID controller.

The board is also equipped with a SigmaTel 9274D 8-channel HD audio codec. In initial testing this board has shown some very good overclocking tendencies, although the inability to reduce the CPU multiplier is a hindrance when compared to other 975X/P965 boards. The BIOS options available for an Intel branded motherboard are a wonderful surprise. The stock performance and stability is equal to other 975X motherboards on the market and the board is backed by an excellent support team. We will be comparing this product to our MSI 975X Platinum, Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H, and DFI 975X Infinity boards shortly.

AMD Motherboards
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  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, December 4, 2006 - link

    ...and not a single one of them with an onboard DVI port. The Biostar NF61S MicroAM2 certainly has enough space to have one right above the serial/VGA ports.

    Is there a limitation of nForce 6100/6150 that I don't know of? I thought one of the primary uses for an mATX system was for HTPC use. A DVI port ought to be standard now, and an HDMI port should be considered. Too bad; the miniITX board was the only one that did DVI.
  • SignalPST - Monday, December 4, 2006 - link

    Great Preview! I'm eagerly looking forward to the motherboard and powersupply reviews in the upcomming weeks. Exciting news indeed, thanks AnandTech, keep up the good work!
  • ikjadoon - Sunday, December 3, 2006 - link

    You have AMD mATX boards and don't have any 6150/430 boards??? It's like having a 570 Ultra instead of the 590 SLi. Come on, what about the Abit NF-M2 nView?

  • jonp - Sunday, December 3, 2006 - link

    Have you seen the price for this motherboard? Price must be the inverse of size.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82...170-012&CMP=OTC-Froogle">Newegg page.
    ! When less truly is MORE!!! I think you can skip the review.
  • mino - Sunday, December 3, 2006 - link

    Maybe you should take into account the low-volume of ITX market and the uniques position this board has in it. That borad is prety much the most ultimate solution for ITX freaks. Consider it competes with VIA C3!!! boards at $200 prices...
  • MadAd - Monday, December 4, 2006 - link

    Not really the same comparison, C3 boards have the CPU embedded and included in the price.
  • mino - Monday, December 4, 2006 - link

    Those CPU's are of $20 price and -$50 worth (compared to $40 Semprons..), to NOT have C3 included is worth paying for IMHO...
  • yyrkoon - Sunday, December 3, 2006 - link

    Well, as the last reviewr said on newegg, this is a specialty board, made for cars, and travel trailers etc. However, this board would also fill the bill, on making a small form factor storage box as seen http://www.mashie.org/casemods/udat1.html">here (udat mod, by mashie).

    However, I'd also have to agree with the first reviewer on newegg, in that, this board would have been better suited with a s939 CPU (or better). Also, it would have been much nicer if they replaced the PCI slot, with a PCI-E 4x physical slot (or greater), and added another DDR slot. Using a PCI bus system on this system is very limited, in that, IF you do use this board for a storage system, you would be limited to around 123MB/s (and if I remember correctly this system has a fast ethernet, and GbE interface), running RAID in a system with this board would give terrible results.

    As far as the price, most Mini-ITX boards have been more expencive than PC based boards, however, they also included a CPU soldered onto the board, but some "specialty" boards simular to this also existed.
  • MadAd - Monday, December 4, 2006 - link

    I agree that an s939 would have been better since theres not a lot of 754 inventory left in channels however there is no choice when choosing PCI over PCIe, carpc modders are using the slot for either a decent sound card (most mITX sound is AC97), wi-fi cards or occasionally pci graphics.

    Only gfx is in great supply on PCIe currently so that would be a problem if we couldnt use our old pci with little or no availability of pcie parts.
  • yyrkoon - Friday, December 8, 2006 - link

    You can find PCI-E RAID controllers, and GbE controllers in abundance. Wi-Fi, perhaps not, but it should not be long before they start becoming available. As for the sound, why anyone would choose to use a computer for a sound system, over a good car audio solution is beyond me.

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