Gamer kit - The Asus "Commando" and Sapphire's "The Godfather"

Two items of hardware to make gamers salivate.

Two items of hardware to make gamers salivate.

The first is an overclock-friendly "Republic of Gamers" series motherboard from ASUS called Commando.

The new Commando board is built on the Intel LGA775 Core 2 Duo processor and Intel P965 chipset.  It is specifically aimed at the hardcore enthusiast and has the ability to boost the front-side bus to 2.28GHz and the memory up to 1.3GHz.  It also features an 8-phase capless power system to eliminate capacitor problems.  In addition it features on-board switches for power-up and resetting the CMOS - ideal for those that like to build systems outside of a case.

Commando motherboard

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Other features include 6 x SATA-II 3-Gbits/s connectors, and an LCD panel for displaying error messages, which does away with those archaic beep codes.

The street price for the Commando is expected to be around $260 and it should be available in early January.

In other news, Sapphire also internally demonstrated its dual-GPU Radeon X1950 Pro board, called "The Godfather".  This is a dual-slot board which still manages to fit into a standard 9" riser.  The card requires one x16 PCIe connector on the motherboard, and the performance of the single card is said to be similar to that of two Radeon X1950s operating in Crossfire mode. 

This card does not require a Crossfire compatible motherboard, but if you have such a board (and very deep pockets) you can pair two identical X1950s in Crossfire mode for an insane amount of graphics processing power, making it the first card capable of quad-Crossfire (each card also needs 2 x 6-pin power connectors).

Being an X-series Radeon, the card is also capable of physics processing when leveraged by a physics processing engine such as Havok.

The Godfather should be available sometime Q1 '07 but there's no pricing information as yet.