While the Republic of Gamer series is very popular for Asus, the original Striker Extreme is still the most popular of all sold to date, even despite its £200+ price tag at launch. The Striker II Formula hopes to follow in its tracks, although thankfully its price tag is a bit easier for most of us to swallow.
As you may have noticed, the second edition Striker now comes the "Formula" nomenclature as opposed to the original "Extreme" which is now limited to motherboards with DDR3. Whether we’ll see a Striker II Extreme though is yet to be seen. Not just content with updating the old Striker with a new chipset, the Striker II Formula has quite a few updated features even if on paper they look quite similar, and the layout has also been tweaked to amend the issues that irritated us with the original.
We’ve not been that impressed with the new nForce 780i SLI chipset to date, so does Asus tune the Striker II Formula to bring the best out of this chipset? Let’s find out.
Six red SATA cables
One IDE and floppy cable
One Molex to two SATA power adapter
Manual and Driver CD
Full Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts game
Two optional heatpipe fans
SLI and 3-way SLI bridge connectors
Two USB and one Firewire on a PCI bracket
As we’ve come to expect from the Republic of Gamer series, it’s almost akin to the DFI LANParty UT series when it comes to extras in the box. There’s everything that’s needed on the cable front, although you still have a pair of USB 2.0 pin-outs spare.
What does annoy us though is the provision of thermal probe pin-outs on the motherboard are not complemented by actually providing some supporting hardware in the box – so this becomes a non-feature, feature: it's there, but you can't use it.
It’s good to see the Q-Shield has made it to another Asus product – we originally saw it with the P5E3 Deluxe WiFi-AP @n, and while very simple, it’s surprising that it’s never been done before – it finally makes the rear I/O shield fit perfectly without cutting your fingers to shreds. In addition, there’s also the full copy of Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts – one of the latest real time strategy games that comes complete with DirectX 10 support.