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Well, the simple answer is yes, well priced at around £150, you definataly get your moneys worth.
Well, its a thing of beauty, you definately need a case with a window. From the red heat sinks around the CPU, to the alternated colours of the RAM slots, it looks wonderful before you've even added anything. With the ROG (republic of gamers) tag lighting up, it definately shows its place within the case, and asus has also succesfully incorparated a practical use to the LED's dotted around. But we will touch on that later.
With 6 well spaced USB's,Ps/2 keyboard port, an IEEE 2394a port, 2, yes 2, gigabit LAN connections, and an included 7:1 supporting sound card. You will never be caught short again. 8 SATA ports inside, 2 speeding HDDs, and 6 normal. You have plenty of room to add the hard drives of the future in with. not only that, it comes with the classic IDE port, for older devices. Unfortunately, this is made for high end gaming, so there is no monitor port on the back, so you have to get a graphics card.
To put it simple, you can put almost anything in, and it will cope.
So much you can do, a lot can be changed in the bios, and there is even options in your OS to tweak settings. Buy this, and your sorted for the next 5 years. You can change anything from voltages to the latency your RAM works at, in an easy to use bios interface.
After a good hour read of the manual , which i would highly reccommend to you to do if you purchase one. Took me about 30 mins to put everything in, however, the only downside of this, is you may need some time to sort things out. I had a terrible problem with the SATA driver, for some reason it would just wipe windows off upon installation. But after discovering this, i just left it uninstalled, and all is fine.
well with the programs Asus have included with this, you will need a meaty PSU, but the Asus 6 engine program enables you to use power saving options, and reall bring down the amount of juice your PC is using.
As you may know, asus throw in the creative Soundblaster Xfi sound card, unfortunately, this only works in the first PCi-e, which isnt much of a problem, but i know some other people have an issue with this. The program with the soundcard is brilliant, you can change almost anything, and with 7:1 capabiltiies, you can get a real 3D kind of sound. Brilliant!
well, this does depend more on the case and what you are doing, however, the heat sinks do a great job of taking the heat away from the main areas, and with my North bridge and South brige both running at about 35 degrees celcius, it is not a problem.
I said i would come back to this, they do make the thing look beautiful, but also play an important roll in the workings of the computer, if the light is green, your voltages are fine, if they are orange, slightly abnormal, but if they are Red, you really should consider checking your pc for problems, and with this early warning, you can save yourself the hastle of breaking a part due to overheating or whatever.
What comes in the box:
Well, you get a whole bag of treats, 6 sata cables, an Ide cable, a USB hub that goes in the pci slots, and plenty other goodies which add to the brilliance of this product. Along with all this, the Support DVD with all included drivers, and software, including 3D mark Advanced.
When up and running:
Now, as i have it running now, i think it is going to last me a good while, and after ironing out some issues at the begginning, the motherboard can now work its dreams, and successfully aid me in gaming in the next generation.. wooo!!!
All in all a great motherboard and a reccommended buy for anyone.