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Striker II/Maximus Formula Questions

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May 3, 2008 2:40:26 PM

I'm gonna build a new rig so I've narrowed my choices down to the Maximus Formula and the Striker II Formula.
I also have a few questions about them.

1) I have a PCIe 4x HighPoint RocketRaid 2320 Sata Raid card. My current A8N32-SLi Deluxe has a 4x PCIe port, but I've put the Raid card in the 2nd 16x port because of space restrictions. Neither of the above boards have a 4x port anyway.

My current motherboard is able to detect the Raid card as a bootable device and I'm running Windows off this. It also shows the Raid card's BIOS configuration menu on boot.
Its absolutely vital that I will be able to boot from the Raid card. I refuse to run a computer without ALL its data+OS on a Raid 5 array, as I've had enough painful experiences with single drives (and Raid 0 :whistle:  ). How do I know for sure if any of these two boards will support my Raid card as a bootable device?

The Striker II being nForce, has a much higher probability of booting from my Raid card from the 16x port since it works fine with my current nForce board.

Has anyone successfully booted from a HighPoint Raid card on an Asus X38 board?

2) I've read a lot of complaints about Striker II (and I) boards that stop working. This is pushing me towards the Maximus because getting a board replaced in India takes many months, especially high end boards like these because no one buys them and there is no stock anywhere to get a replacement. Over here most people's whole computers cost less than one of these boards.

3) I'm planning to hold out on a graphics card until the 9900 comes out. The Striker doesn't have onboard graphics so I'll have to use my 7800GTX 512. I don't know whether I'll get SLi cheaper 9900s or a single high end 9900. I'll have to wait and see the 9900 benchmarks.

Hence having three PCIe 16x slots on the Striker is preferrable in case I get SLi. One for the Raid card, and two for the 9900s.

If I get the Maximus, I'm stuck with only one graphics card and the Raid card. Anyway its a CrossFire board so it doesn't matter.

4) I'm not going to overclock my PC because the room temperature here is 40 degrees Celsius, and all my previous attempts at overclocking (knowledgeably) have resulted in me going back to stock speeds.

I *might* overclock the new CPU since its a Core 2 and it should be a piece of cake to run it stably with a relatively "small" overclock. But I presume that the Striker will be able to handle a modest overclock of 500MHz, even though it doesnt support 1600FSB like the Maximus.

So considering that I *might* need SLi, my Raid card *has* to boot (known to work on nForce), rumors exist about dying Strikers, and I might be doing some small time overclocking, I'm tending to get the Striker.

Is there anything else I should know about which would make the Maximus preferable?
May 3, 2008 2:48:01 PM

Both boards can handle 1600 FSB with a bios update. If your not overclocking your spending way to much for either board.

Why buy a board designed to OC if your not gonna use it to its full potential? A sub $100 board would be just as good in your case, even for a mild overclock.
May 3, 2008 2:56:45 PM

I need a board with *true* 16x or whatever to both the PCIe slots.
Otherwise the Raid card only runs at 1x even though its in a 16x slot, as it won't split the lanes 8x+8x like when two graphics cards are connected. The graphics card will hog 16 lanes. Thats exactly what happened on an old A8N-SLi.
Hence it will give pathetic speeds of 100MBps instead of 370MBps which I get now.

And I need one PCI legacy port to be accessible for my X-Fi.
Related resources
May 3, 2008 3:08:27 PM

roadrunner197069 said:
Both boards can handle 1600 FSB with a bios update. If your not overclocking your spending way to much for either board.

Why buy a board designed to OC if your not gonna use it to its full potential? A sub $100 board would be just as good in your case, even for a mild overclock.



Well, that's kinda like saying why buy a Mercedes or BMW. The enthusiast boards are just plain nice and offer other features besides raw overclocking potential. IE, ease of overclocking. Asus, Gigabyte, DFI, etc. upper products are known for this. These boards not only overclock well, but they're easy to OC, have better thought cooling and some other features.

...but there's the economical boards for those that don't really want something nice, they just want something that will at least work.
May 3, 2008 3:25:44 PM

Can you suggest any alternative boards that have true 16x on both PCIe slots so the Raid card runs full speed?

It should be 1333 FSB as well because I'll be getting a Q9xxx.

Can't live without the X-Fi either so I'll definitely need 1 PCI slot to be accessible after putting in a GFX card.

And most importantly I dont know whether the Raid card will detect as a boot device on a non nForce board.
May 4, 2008 1:38:13 AM

The second board you posted is the Striker II Formula.

As for the first board, its got only 1 LAN port, but I've got 2 networks I need to connect to, cos I'm running a cable to a second switch as well.
And its got 3 literally useless PCIe 1x ports.

Like you stated previously these expensive boards have these small advantages which you notice later.

Thats why I've to choose between the Striker II and the Maximus.
Is there any major reason I should choose one over the other? (A major reason would include a high failure rate of the Striker II, if thats true)

And are the prices still 329$ and 299$, or have they reduced?
May 4, 2008 2:09:21 AM

The reason I tend to choose expensive motherboards is that its the (to me) most important part of the rig. Not something I try to be economical on with my primary rig, I've personally seen the benefit of spending a bit more on my mobo's as opposed to finding the most economical thing that would get me by. Everyone's philosophy is different, mine tends to be you get what you pay for. Asus hasn't let me down...yet.

I would again, and I did, choose X48 over 680/780/790i for my most recent update. I've had excellent experience so far with the Rampage Formula, its $300.
May 4, 2008 3:48:20 PM

i would suggest the maximus formula (not the rampage; its not worth the money, u can even flash the rampage bios on a formula) for the simple reason that you can throw away (or sell;)) your raid card, since the board itself supports raid 5 (dont know if the striker does though, doesnt say on the asus hp)

for raid migration look here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/raid-migration-adve...
May 4, 2008 3:55:08 PM

weinzey said:
i would suggest the maximus formula (not the rampage; its not worth the money, u can even flash the rampage bios on a formula) for the simple reason that you can throw away (or sell;)) your raid card, since the board itself supports raid 5 (dont know if the striker does though, doesnt say on the asus hp)

for raid migration look here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/raid-migration-adve...


So in your opinion the X38 and X48 are identical and overclock the same?
May 4, 2008 4:41:54 PM

no, thats not what i meant. i meant the slightly better overclockability isnt worth the much bigger price tag.
May 4, 2008 5:50:17 PM

1768183,6,70717 said:
Someone will surely correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the X38/48 and 780/790i all offer dual/triple 16X PCIe slots

such as: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...[/quotem

The Nvidia 790, 780, etc boards are the only ones with 3 real 16x Pci-e speed slots (two 2.0 and one 1.0) as far as intel CPU's is concerned.
Lots of boards like the intel x38 and x48 have three or four 16x Pci-e, but the third slot (and 4th) is usually only at 4x speed and 8x at best.
I used to be confused as well, those slots look identical to 16x slots but only have 4x pci-e 1.0 speed and that is not enough for a modern 3D card.
Some specs are comfusing in that way, sometimes they don't mention the speed or the better specs mention this: 16x Pci-e (4x electrical).
Pci-e 2.0 16x would be the same speed as a theoretical 32x Pci-e 1.0, so these are 8 times faster than a 4x Pci-e 1.0.
I hope this makes sence for peeps that are not up to date with the new hardware specs.
There is one board with four real 16x pci-e 1.0, the intel skulltrail, but it is very expensive and uses two CPU's and expensive FBDimm memory. Or there are also AMD boards with more than two 16x slots but I'm not that familiar with them.
May 4, 2008 11:34:19 PM

Thanks for the info, it does get confusing.
May 5, 2008 9:24:19 AM

weinzey said:
i would suggest the maximus formula (not the rampage; its not worth the money, u can even flash the rampage bios on a formula) for the simple reason that you can throw away (or sell;)) your raid card, since the board itself supports raid 5 (dont know if the striker does though, doesnt say on the asus hp)


Onboard Raid 0 and Raid 1 performance is better than a dedicated card, but onboard Raid 5 performance is absymal. You get write speeds of 3-5MBps and it hogs the CPU 100%. My Raid card has a hardware XOR processor so Raid 5 speeds are blazing. 250MBps write and 370MBps read.

And I too felt that I wouldn't gain much by buying the X48 Rampage Formula over the X38 Maximus Formula.

tjoepie said:

The Nvidia 790, 780, etc boards are the only ones with 3 real 16x Pci-e speed slots (two 2.0 and one 1.0) as far as intel CPU's is concerned.
Lots of boards like the intel x38 and x48 have three or four 16x Pci-e, but the third slot (and 4th) is usually only at 4x speed and 8x at best.
I used to be confused as well, those slots look identical to 16x slots but only have 4x pci-e 1.0 speed and that is not enough for a modern 3D card.
Some specs are comfusing in that way, sometimes they don't mention the speed or the better specs mention this: 16x Pci-e (4x electrical).
Pci-e 2.0 16x would be the same speed as a theoretical 32x Pci-e 1.0, so these are 8 times faster than a 4x Pci-e 1.0.
I hope this makes sence for peeps that are not up to date with the new hardware specs.
There is one board with four real 16x pci-e 1.0, the intel skulltrail, but it is very expensive and uses two CPU's and expensive FBDimm memory. Or there are also AMD boards with more than two 16x slots but I'm not that familiar with them.


I'm sure that the nVidia boards are true 16x, but I dont know whether the Maximus Formula has true 16x on both ports. Can someone confirm that the Maximus Formula gives true 16x on both ports?
May 5, 2008 5:51:20 PM

TheTorch said:
Onboard Raid 0 and Raid 1 performance is better than a dedicated card, but onboard Raid 5 performance is absymal. You get write speeds of 3-5MBps and it hogs the CPU 100%. My Raid card has a hardware XOR processor so Raid 5 speeds are blazing. 250MBps write and 370MBps read.

And I too felt that I wouldn't gain much by buying the X48 Rampage Formula over the X38 Maximus Formula.



I'm sure that the nVidia boards are true 16x, but I dont know whether the Maximus Formula has true 16x on both ports. Can someone confirm that the Maximus Formula gives true 16x on both ports?


y, all x38/x48 have 2 pcie 2.0 x16 ports afaik

link to maximus formula specs:

http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=572&l4=...
May 5, 2008 6:22:47 PM


I've heard a lot of people say the difference between X38 and X48 isn't worth the difference in cost (which is ~$20 {Newegg, Maximus vs. Rampage}). Is the only difference official Intel support for 1600 FSB because $20 isn't that much so I'd not want to miss something for the sake of saving $20.
May 5, 2008 9:04:54 PM

it also has an eSata port which is very nice if you dont have one on your case alreay
it has a better bios, although you can flash it on the fornula as mentioned above
and some say it overclocks slightly better
May 5, 2008 9:04:54 PM

sry - double post
May 5, 2008 10:08:56 PM

weinzey said:
it also has an eSata port which is very nice if you dont have one on your case alreay
it has a better bios, although you can flash it on the fornula as mentioned above
and some say it overclocks slightly better


Hmmm... my Rampage Formula does not have eSata.
May 6, 2008 3:13:53 AM

The Striker II Formula does have eSata, the Maximus and Rampage don't.

And I finally found a review which states that the Maximus Formula's PCIe ports both run at full 16x simultaneously.

I'm not going to be doing extreme overclocking. I think either board will be able to handle medium overclocks equally well, and I'm not going to get a 1600FSB CPU anyway.

Hence I think I'll get the Striker II Formula because I know that my Raid card will probably be recognized as a boot device.
May 6, 2008 10:28:15 AM

halcyon said:
Hmmm... my Rampage Formula does not have eSata.


sry, got that mixed up. formula and rampage extreme have sSata, not the normal ones.

@torch. google it! i'm sure there'll be some people that have the same card and can tell you if it works on a x38 chipset. plus, you could contact the company you got it from, they should know...

if both chipsets support it x38 is far ahead of 780i.
May 7, 2008 8:39:31 AM

I'm unable to find the Striker II anywhere. All shops say that the distributer has removed it from the latest price lists. Guess I'm left with the Maximus Formula and Rampage Formula.
The Maximus Formula is Rs.16750 and the Rampage Formula is Rs.18750.
The difference is much more than 20$ over here...
May 7, 2008 10:35:11 AM

TheTorch said:
I'm unable to find the Striker II anywhere. All shops say that the distributer has removed it from the latest price lists. Guess I'm left with the Maximus Formula and Rampage Formula.
The Maximus Formula is Rs.16750 and the Rampage Formula is Rs.18750.
The difference is much more than 20$ over here...


My apologies Torch, I was going by this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

May 8, 2008 8:53:30 AM

Just a recommendation - AVOID the striker II extreme!!!! Take a look at the ASUS forums on this board and see how many people have issues (myself included). ASUS have thrown this out on the market using the public as guinnea pigs to do their beta testing.

Lockups, BSOD's, System auto reboots itself... and for the clicher, DATA CORRUPTION - yes, this motherboard will corrupt your files/os, etc! Wondering if its across the 790i range of boards, know that Nvidia is investigating. I'm waiting for a press release!

Maybe Tom could review this board... it has been out for awhile.

Its prob a good thing distributer has removed... probably bc of all the returns they've had.

This is my first non-intel chipset board and it was a mistake. Heard that similar problems occured with the release of the 680i chipset. Very shoddy, Asus/Nvidia, hang your heads in shame.



May 9, 2008 2:52:09 AM

I've decided on the Rampage Formula, thanks.
!