Without a doubt in my mind the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula motherboard is a force to be reckoned with. The ASUS Crosshair IV Formula is one of the best looking motherboards I have tested, but looks always take a back seat for me when it comes to computer components. Performance is king, and the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula easily takes the crown today! For the most part performance across the board was above and beyond that of either of the AMD 890GX chipset boards that were compared today. The only tests that the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula faltered on were SiSoft Sandra 2010 Memory Bandwidth and Rightmark Audio Analyzer. Although if you look at the BIOSTAR TA890GXB HD article, you can see that the BIOSTAR TA890GXB HD fell short of the ASRock 890GX Extreme3. In today’s article those two boards switched places. SiSoft Sandra is a great application for looking at performance like memory bandwidth, though the performance is so similar that the memory bandwidth of all three boards today varied by only ~1%.
When it comes to the features of the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula the list is long and plentiful. Features like ROG Connect, ProbeIt, and Extreme Tweaker are just a few of the features that make the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula the enthusiast level board that it is. The layout of the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula is top notch as well. There are only two aspects of the layout that I wasn’t wild about. The first is the black SATA port for the e-SATA. Since ASUS Gives you a bracket for the expansion slots that includes an e-SATA port, I would have liked to have seen the internal port for it closer to the back of the board. The other option would be to lay it out parallel to the other SATA3 ports so it doesn’t interfere with the graphics cards. Fortunately using the expansion bracket isn’t required and is easy enough to leave off, especially since there is an e-SATA port on the I/O panel. That brings us to the only other issue I experienced with the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula: the release latch for the first graphics card. Because of the size of the heat sink on the northbridge there is very little room between the graphics card and the heat sink, which makes it difficult to depress the latch. It isn’t impossible to do, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Neither of these issues are deal breakers in the least; I would happily sacrifice in these small areas for the level of performance that the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula offers!
Overclocking on the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula was a breeze. It took very little effort to break that pesky little 4GHz barrier. Past 4GHz it did get tougher, though I think that the ThermalTake SpinQ VT that we were using may not have been up to the task of keeping the 125W TDP AMD Phenom II X6 1055T cool at those types of speeds. Though being able to achieve 4GHz on air is an impressive task!
AMD 890FX chipset based ATX motherboards range in price from $139.99 to $229.99 on Newegg. The ASUS Crosshair IV Formula motherboard retails for $229.99 shipped, which makes it the most expensive AMD 890FX ATX motherboard on the market today. The Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD7 takes the overall crown as having the most expensive 890FX powered motherboard with their extended ATX monster. The price tag on the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula might be high, but this is an enthusiast class board and has all the features that gamers and power users are going to want. It also comes backed by a 3-year warranty if anything happens to go wrong.
Legit Bottom Line: Top notch performance, a solid layout, and great looks seal the deal and make the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula my top pick for my next AMD based system!