ASUS Crosshair III Formula Motherboard Review

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The ASUS Crosshair III Formula

The ASUS Crosshair III Formula isn’t a new kid on the block but that hardly means it’s old news. This third version of ASUS’ top AMD motherboard is a vast departure from the previous versions in that it no longer uses an Nvidia chipset to provide SLI. ASUS has jumped on the Dragon platform train by using AMD’s 790FX chipset and providing two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots with CrossFire functionality. I have mixed feeling about this as I’d love to see SLI on a top-end AMD socket AM3 motherboard, but 790FX with SB750 brings so much goodness to the table that it is with only fleeting sadness that I unboxed this board. I’ve always enjoyed the Republic of Gamer products from ASUS and the Crosshair III Formula delivers on nearly all accounts.

Asus Crosshair III Formula 790FX Motherboard Image

The Crosshair III Formula essentially takes the 790FX M4A79T-Deluxe pcb and tweaks it a bit while adding additional features and bumping the quality in the components. Like all Republic of Gamer boards the Crosshair III Formula comes with an add-in audio module providing cleaner sound. There is also the LCD Poster which provides diagnostic information and a menu for browsing through the options provided in TweakIt. TweakIt is a hardware supported overclocking feature that lets you adjust all the BIOS settings on the fly. This can help all overclockers push their systems to the edge of stability. Before we dig into the board images and tests here’s a list of the features on the board.

CPU

  • AMD Socket AM3 ;Phenom II /Athlon II /Sempron 100 Series Processors
  • AMD 140W CPU Support
  • AMD Cool ‘n’ Quiet Technology
  • Supports 45nm CPU

Chipset

  • North Bridge: AMD 790GX
  • South Bridge: AMD SB750

Memory

  • Dual-channel DDR3 memory architecture
  • 4 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket support up to 16GB
  • Supports DDR3 up to DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600
  • Supports ECC and non-ECC un-buffered memory modules

Expansion Slot

  • 2 x PCI Express Gen 2.0 x16 slots
  • 3 x PCI Express x1 slots
  • 1 x PCI slots

Storage

  • Support by AMD SB750
  • 5 x Serial ATAII 3.0Gb/s devices
  • RAID 0/1/5/10/JBOD
  • 2 x IDE Ultra DMA 66/100/133
  • 1 x eSATA

Audio

  • SupremeFX X-Fi Audio Card featuring 8-Channel Audio Codec
  • EAX Advanced HD4.0
  • X-Fi Crystalizer
  • Supports 1x S/PDIF output
  • Supports Coaxial/Optical S/PDIF output

Rear Panel I/O

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard or PS/2 mouse connector
  • 1 x RJ45 LAN connector
  • 1 x eSATA
  • 6 x USB ports
  • 1 x FireWire 800
  • 1 x Clr CMOS switch

Internal I/O

  • 1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector
  • 1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power Connector
  • 8 x 4-pin fan connections
  • 1 x Power on button
  • 1 x Reset button
  • 1 x IDE connector
  • 3 x thermal sensor connector
  • 1 x Front panel switch/LED header
  • 5 x Serial ATA 3Gb/s connectors
  • 3 x USB 2.0 headers supporting 6 additional ports
  • 1 x IEEE1394 header supports 1 additional port
  • 1 x LCD POSTER port

Form Factor

  • ATX Size, 305mm*245mm
  • 9 mounting holes

Warranty

  • 36 months on parts
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