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High-End Chipset Battle

The back panel is stuffed with connectors: there are six USB 2.0 ports, two eSATA ports, one Firewire 1394a port, both digital and analog audio outputs, a conventional PS/2 mouse connector, and the ridge of the northbridge cooler. Once the (included) radial fan is installed, hot air can escape right here.

The X48 northbridge is hidden under a massive cooler that connects to the copper heat pipe. The cooler is ready for liquid cooling solutions.

The ICH9 southbridge is also covered by a heat sink and connected to the heat pipe, although it doesn’t get as hot as the northbridge.

This photo leaves no doubt: the eight-phase voltage regulator is powerful enough to run any high-end processor. The MOSFETs are covered with heat sinks.

The mounting kit for liquid cooling solutions is included.

The SupremeFX II HD audio module is part of the Striker II Extreme as well; it offers all conventional audio jacks.

The LCD Poster is a little status display that displays vital system information for enthusiasts.

The radial fan Asus provides is necessary to cool the northbridge when a liquid cooling solution or another sophisticated cooler is installed. In this case, there won’t be any airflow from the CPU cooler fan.

Asus bundles Company of Heroes with the Striker II Extreme.