When looking at the ASUS Blitz Extreme, it's rather unique. ASUS engineers have packed almost every imaginable feature for a gaming motherboard, yet its layout is phenomenal and there are no overcrowded or poorly designed areas. Starting in the upper right hand corner of the motherboard are four DDR3 slots. These memory slots support a maximum of 8GB of DDR3 and supports memory operating at DDR3-1333/1066/800MHz. These memory slots are far enough away from the CPU socket area to prevent any concerns about obstructing some large after-market heatsinks or water blocks. Between the dual channel memory slots and the edge of the PCB are the 24-pin ATX connector and the floppy disk connector.
Lower on the motherboard rotated 90 degrees from their conventional orientation are the IDE ATA-133 and Serial ATA 2.0 ports. Going back to the Canterwood (Intel 875P) days with the Abit IC7-MAX3 we have seen IDE connectors positioned and rotated along the edge of the PCB, but this is the first time we have seen this for Serial ATA ports. These six Serial ATA 2.0 ports support Intel Matrix Storage Technology with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 support. In addition to these six SATA 2.0 ports there are two additional ports on the rear of the motherboard for eSATA (External SATA) support or what ASUS refers to it as "SATA On-The-Go".
Also in this corner of the motherboard is the front panel header with its Q-Connector support, three USB 2.0 headers, two 3-pin fan connectors, and physical power and reset switches. These switches are especially handy if, like us, you are running this motherboard outside of a chassis and thus it saves on having to hook up the front panel switches. Also on this end of the motherboard is the southbridge, which is Intel's ICH9R. Covering the ICH9R is part of the ASUS Fusion Block System, which assists in cooling not only the northbridge and southbridge but also the CrossLinx and VRM in a single connection. We'll talk more about the Fusion Block System later in the article.