|2010 CES: Computer Technology Highlights|
|News - Featured Website News|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Thursday, 21 January 2010|
Page 3 of 9
2010 CES: ASUS
ASUS had a large booth showcasing their motherboards, pre-built systems, and video cards. ASUS is aggressively pursuing the enthusiast market with new products like the P55-based Maximus III Extreme motherboard.
As a part of their "Republic of Gamers" series, the Maximus III Extreme is stuffed with high-end features. A new Bluetooth interface allows you to overclock your rig with your cell phone (presumably an application on your cell phone would be required, but I couldn't find any information on this, or which cell phones will be supported); and there's even an "LN2" jumper on the motherboard that "optimizes performance" when you're cooling with liquid nitrogen. 5 PCI-E x16 slots round out the features, and the board supports (presumably with the help of an NVIDIA NF200 bridge chip under the large heat sink near the SATA ports) full 2xSLI at 16x16, 3xSLI at 16x16x8, and even 4xSLI at 8x8x8x8. Of course there are also SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 ports. It's obvious the P55 has come fully into its own as the basis for a high-end gaming rig. Frankly with boards like this it's hard to see why anyone would spend the extra money on an X58-based system.
But just in case you do want to spend the extra money, ASUS has also updated their X58 platform with the ASUS Rampage III Extreme, which (as shown in the photo above) can also handle 4-way SLI or Crossfire. With two 8-pin EPS12V and two 4 pin Molex connectors on the motherboard, ASUS obviously expects the board to be used by really hard-core overclockers. Although they're not visible in this photo, heat sinks for the voltage regulator modules and chipset are all very low profile, the better to make room for large 3rd-party coolers. The board also has the same Bluetooth, SATA 6Gb/s, and USB 3.0 features of the Maximus.
ASUS was also showcasing some of their pre-built desktop and laptop systems. The laptop, a Core i7 system with Bang & Olufsen audio, had oddly positioned dual touchpads on either side of the keyboard. The audio may have been wonderful, but it was impossible to tell on the noisy show floor! The desktop computer is the ASUS Essentio CG5275, a midrange Core i3 or Core i5 based system with a 1 terabyte drive and NVIDIA GTX260 graphics.