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Software and Accessories

790i Ultra SLI Motherboards Compared

While we waited for a couple of competing brands to finish their 790i designs, the Asus marketing department ran out of review samples. Asus located a bare motherboard and a used retail box, but the package arrived missing a few small components, as well as the driver DVD. We downloaded the latest motherboard controlling applications from the Asus website.

AI Suite includes several utilities to control clock speed and voltage, as well as overclocking, underclocking or both, depending on the user’s choice.

The menus include AI Booster, CPU Level Up, and Asus Q-Fan. AI Booster provides manual frequency control, but uses automatic voltage control and gave us very little flexibility.

CPU Level Up is meant to adjust the CPU clock speed to that of a higher CPU model by increasing FSB clock, but since our E6850 is already the highest speed Conroe-core model, our only option was “Crazy”. The “Crazy” setting raised our VCore to 1.440 volts and the bus speed to FSB-1556, resulting in a 3.50 GHz final speed from our 3.00 GHz Core 2 Duo.

AI Gear includes mode settings of Auto, Turbo, High-Performance, Medium Power-Saving and Max Power-Saving. Turbo Mode increased our system to FSB-1400, while High-Performance Mode locked our system to stock CPU FSB speed. The Medium Power-Saving Mode dropped our system to FSB-1264, and Max Power-Saving Mode dropped it further to FSB-1200 while also decreasing the CPU multiplier to 6x. Auto Mode detects CPU load and adjusts between the highest and lowest speeds automatically.

EPU Monitor shows how much energy you are saving by enabling a power-saving mode, with a friendly animation to make you feel good about it.

The Asus PC-Pro II provides somewhat accurate information, with an alarm feature for any setting that falls outside a user-defined range.

Documentation & Software Motherboard Manual
Motherboard Driver DVD
Game: Company of Heroes, Opposing Fronts
Chipset Fan Instructions
Hardware 1x SupremeFX II Audio Riser Card
1x Liquid Cooling Connector Kit
1x 3-Way SLI Bridge
1x 2-way SLI Bridge
2x Heatpipe Cooling Fan (Supplemental)
6x SATA Data Cable
1x Asus Q-Connector Kit
1x LCD POST Diagnostics Display
1x I/O Panel Shield
1x Floppy Cable
1x 80-conductor Ultra ATA cable
1x 4-pin to SATA power adapter (dual-device)
1x Port Breakout Plate (2x USB, 1x IEEE-1394)

Asus also includes an “LCD Poster” desk module, but it was one of the few things missing from our used accessory kit (we were successful at patching up the box however…using Photoshop). Also missing from this photo are the driver and game DVDs. Unique to the top products from Asus are the liquid cooling line adapter kit, and lighted port panel shield.

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