By ExtremeTech Staff, July 6, 2007
Asus this week launched the ROG Blitz motherboard line for gamers, which includes a new feature that creates X8 lanes for graphics cards.
The new boards, which include the Extreme, Formula and Formula Special Edition boards, are all based on the Intel P35 chipset and ICH9R south bridge.
Only the Extreme and the Formula Special Edition will contain a watercooling system that will cool the north bridge and south bridge, as well as the MOSFET on the motherboard, known as the Fusion Block system. The claim, according to Asus, is that the Fusion Block will cool the board 47 percent more than other systems.
All three, however, contain a technology called CrossLinx, a proprietary technology that Asus claims will better balance graphics performance. While the boards support ATI's CrossFire technology, the CrossLinx tech takes a x4 and a x16 PCI Express graphics card slot and reconfigures them as, essentially, X8 cards, eliminating the x4 bottleneck.
Not surprisingly, the boards will support four DIMMs of DDR-3 1066 memory, with the Extreme board adding support for 1,333-MHz speeds. The boards also support up to 6 SATA drives and two PATA drives. Only the Extreme board will support external SATA drives, however -- two of them. Asus did not announce a shipping date or price for the new boards.