ASUS Power User Gathering March 2012

ASUS Power User Gathering March 2012

We were delighted to be invited by ASUS Singapore to their Power User Meeting, a community outreach organised by ASUS with the kind sponsorship of Ban Leong Technologies Limited and other sponsors. The presenters at the meeting were the folks from ASUS Singapore and the attendees of the meeting had the opportunity to view the Intel Z77 Express chipset motherboards up-close.

The main dishes of the buffet spread of hardware are the ones based on the Intel Z77 chipset. Other side dishes include the <a href="">ASUS RT-N66U wireless router (which scored well in our tests)</a> as well as some Intel H77-based motherboards.

Extreme Overclocking with Coolice

As the saying goes, less talk and more action, renowned overclocker Coolice (he is none other than Mr. Ng Teng Liang, an ASUS Technical Marketing Specialist) showed off his skills in his attempt to overclock an Intel Core i7-3960X processor on the ASUS Rampage IV Formula motherboard, with the aid of extreme cooling from liquid nitrogen.

Coolice's OC rig with extreme cooling! The yellow blowtorch on the right brings to mind scenes from the Unreal Engine 3 Samaritan real-time demonstration video!

ASUS GTX 680 Graphics Card (GTX680-2GD5)

As the evening wore on, the ASUS GTX 680 Graphics Card was unveiled. This is the first Kepler-based graphics card from ASUS we have come across and it goes by its plain vanilla moniker ASUS GTX 680. From first looks, it seems that ASUS has not deviated from the reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 card we had just reviewed. One of its distinguishing features is its inclusion of its very own tweaking utility ASUS GPU Tweak.

According to ASUS, the ASUS GTX 680 card is a near-verbatim interpretation of the reference NVIDA GeForce GTX 680 graphics card. We are sure that there would be other interesting Kepler-based variants from the company in the near future. We also overheard that its street retail price is about S$870. Time to start saving!

Good Things Come in Small Packages

For gamers looking to upgrade to Intel's next generation of 22nm CPUs, ASUS has launched ROG Maximus V Gene, a micro-ATX board that is packed with exclusive features like the mPCIe Combo expansion card that allows the Maximus V Gene to be fitted with an mSATA SSD or/and a mini-PCIe add-on card. All these expansion efforts can be done without increasing the board's real estate.

No Intel third-generation Core CPUs were on show. The ROG Maximus V Gen motherboard is powered by an Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge CPU. We also spotted a pair of ASUS MS-100 USB-powered speakers on the display case.

Besides this micro-ATX Intel Z77 motherboard, the P8Z77-I Deluxe also made its appearance. It is a mini-ITX form factor board that is targeted at rig builders who wish to build their very own high-end home theater PC (HTPC).

One of the interesting features of the P8Z77-I Deluxe is its Digi+ VRM components that are installed on a raised board. This is to overcome the area estate constraints of the PCB.

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