This board looks completely awesome, no joke. The placement of the SATA 3.0 plugs on the right hand side will make for some interesting times in the future when plugging in new drives (Ed: This turned out to be true, but was not as onerous as I expected). Other than that, you can tell a lot of work went into making it a top of the line motherboard: There is plenty of clearance for the rear i/o, I’m wondering if there is supposed to be a second input shield in the box but it’s too late now… can always turn on Spread Spectrum to make up for it ghetto style. The grounding solder is very good, you can be sure the board will ground if you put the screws in properly to the risers.
Did I mention the board looks awesome? The board will not really light up under led lights well though due to the color scheme and heat ablation paint. If you want to take a chance on your overclocking you could always paint the seemingly excessive mosfet and northbridge heatspreaders with reflective paint, though not the whole surface, perhaps half. I’m leaving this at home so no paint here. Using a CoolerMaster Storm case I purchased a while back, so I’ll have to buy a front panel usb i/o port with 2 3.0 and 2 2.0 .
The reason for purchasing this board is to really test out a Phenom II 6 core and see if I should go for 8 cores on my next build for my WoW and Rift gaming.
The system in short is a Phenom II 1100T X6 3.3Ghz with turbo @ 3.7 Ghz, and 8 Gb 1600Mhz DDR3 RAM. Next month an AMD 6870 will be installed. I felt a 4870 1Gb Asus Dark Knight would suffice without cutting too many financial corners until next month. The 6870 will be there no worries I hope.
On a side note I managed to incur a dent in my checking account the size of a front end collision, so I can’t imagine how less well off people are doing this Christmas. Prays go out to those who can’t afford a new computer. Now to gut the old system which will get a board replacement for an A8 Quad Core.