Looking closer at the included accessories (value added) we see three items that stand out. First out is the included wireless adapter. Yes it is just a wireless adapter which is nothing really special on this level of board but that is not what makes it stand out. The location, connection and functions that ASUS has added.
The next item that is a real plus for the enthusiast are the header adapters/extensions. Hooking up the case wiring has always been a nuisance and many times the only wire I ever hook up is the power connector. Not so with ASUS boards and they also include a USB extension though I have never had issue with USB.
Though this is a little out of the scope of the review, it is not out of the scope of our site and having previously had a not so good an experience with heat control on the Ivy bridge CPU it was decided a little testing was in order; we were pleased.
The core of the Ivy Bridge CPU is about 20% smaller than the Sandy Bridge and this means less surface area for heat dissipation. Using a direct contact heat pipe CPU cooler one may be able to lower thermals and prevent CPU throttling. This did not help much with the now known exponential voltage increases needed to increase speed above 4.6-4.7Ghz but it did (in our case) substantially lower temperatures.
The shot below represents what I see happening with the change in orientation. Though there are issues with the thermal interface material (TIM) used between the CPU core and the integrated heat spreader (IHS) most people do not remove the IHS and replace the TIM. It is not worth voiding the warranty.
The darker areas above represent the way I see the heat migrating from the CPU core. Because the core orientation is parallel to the heat pipes and the TIM is substandard generally heat never makes it to the outside pipes. By changing the orientation one could (may not work in all cases and it has not been tested on non-exposed heat pipes) reduce and normalize core temperatures.
The results of this test were: At stock speeds we had no major drop in temperatures but the temperature readings equalized across all cores to within 3ºC when running Intel Burn Test (IBT) and when overclocking there was a 16ºC drop when running (IBT) set to maximum while running 100Mhx faster (4.5 compared to 4.4 where we were maxing temps and hitting the 105TJ max). If there is comment to this please see this thread in our forums: http://bit.ly/KOvrEx