by Thomas Soderstrom
The most powerful gaming systems rely on two GeForce 8800 series graphics cards in SLI mode, a configuration that requires an NVidia SLI-sanctioned chipset. The NForce 680i SLI represents NVidia's best-featured parts, and if you're paying a premium for an elaborate chipset, you might as well get the "whole package" of motherboard features that should go with it. Superior overclocking capability among 680i SLI competitors has combined with superb features to keep the Asus Striker Extreme on the top of our "most wanted" motherboards list ever since its initial review last year.
The Asus Striker Extreme is feature-rich and ready to rock.
Among the Striker Extreme's class-leading features are a removable audio riser card that reduces noise in the audio circuit compared with traditional onboard solutions, a verbose system statistic display panel facing out the rear of the port section, and dual External SATA ports. It has an enormous heat-pipe assembly that's able to cool NVidia's hot chipsets without adding more noise beyond what a CPU air cooler would normally make. But most important of all - at least so far as we're concerned - is its overclocking capability, which constantly pushes our own systems to astonishing new performance heights.
The Striker Extreme has already been chosen for two of our high-end System Builder Marathon configurations not simply owing to its high-end feature set. Intel's ostensibly better-overclocking parts haven't gotten NVidia's stamp of approval for use in SLI mode.
This best-available SLI-supporting motherboard has been reduced to a forgivable $300 ballpark price, so it might be a perfect time to add one (or two) to your holiday shopping list. For more information, please see the vendor's product page.
Be sure to watch the video The Making of Tom's Holiday Buyer's Guide.
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