ASUS Crosshair V Formula ‘Bulldozer’ Motherboard Review

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ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula

ASUS Crosshair V Formula AMD 990FX Motherboard Layout

Last week we took a look at the performance of the new AMD FX-8150 Octo-core ‘Bulldozer’ processor. It was stacked up against some pretty stiff competition. For our testing we used the ASUS Crosshair V Formula AMD 990FX motherboard. We didn’t get into much detail about the Crosshair V Formula motherboard then since the focus was on the AMD FX-8150. Today, we are going to switch the focus back to the ASUS Crosshair V Formula socket AM3+ motherboard. The ASUS Crosshair V Formula is the top AMD 990FX motherboard in the ASUS Republic of Gamers product stack. The ASUS Crosshair V Formula is designed with the enthusiast in mind, unfortunately, with the number of features packed into the ASUS Crosshair V Formula does come at a premium price. The Crosshair V Formula is currently retailing for $229.99. Hopefully the old analogy that you get what you pay for holds true!

Starting out with the basic features of the ASUS Crosshair V Formula, it is built around the AMD 990FX chipset and uses the latest AMD AM3+ socket. The socket itself is nearly identical to the previous AMD AM3 socket. This is advantageous because we can use the previous generation of AMD Phenom II, Athlon II, and Sempron processors in it. If you like to upgrade one or two components at a time, you can upgrade your motherboard to the ASUS Crosshair V Formula and take advantage of NVIDIA SLI technology while using your existing Phenom II processor and upgrade to and AMD FX ‘Bulldozer’ processor down the road. As a quick refresher for those that haven’t been following motherboards
lately, with the launch of the AMD 990FX chipset AMD 990FX motherboards are capable of running NVIDIA SLI technology.

As stated above, the ASUS Crosshair V Formula has a boat load of features packed into it. One of the more obvious is the four PCIe x16 expansion slots. This gives us the option for 3-way NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFireX. The ASUS Crosshair V Formula features what ASUS has called ‘Sound with Clarity’ and features the ASUS SupremeFX X-Fi 2 audio. The physical chip on the ASUS Crosshair V Formula is the Realtek ALC889, coupling the Realtek ALC889 codec with the software ASUS includes will give you a great listening experience. The SupremeFX X-Fi 2 features EAX 5.0 and OpenAL, this will help provide a ‘ultra-real cinematic in-game audio’ according to ASUS.

The ASUS Crosshair V Formula also features the Extreme Engine Digi+. The Extreme Engine DIGI+ is comprised of a high performance digital VRM design that can be tweaked to hit the maximum performance with an adjustable CPU PWM frequence. The will help the heat dissipation and keep the critical components cooler, which in turn helps out the life span of the parts. The other features of the ASUS Crosshair V Formula include ROG Connect, GameFirst, CPU Level Up, GPU.DIMM Post, and BIOS Print.

ASUS Crosshair V Formula Socket AM3+ 990FX Motherboard Specifications:

CPU AMD AM3+ FX/Phenom II/Athlon II/Sempron 100 Series Processors
Supports AM3+ 32 nm CPU
Supports CPU up to 8 cores
Supports CPU up to 140 W
AMD Cool ‘n’ Quietâ„¢ Technology
Chipset AMD 990FX/SB950
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 Hz ECC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Multi-GPU Support Supports NVIDIA 3-Way SLI Technology
Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology
Expansion Slots 3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (dual x16 or x16, x8, x8)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
1 x PCI
Storage AMD SB950 controller :
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
ASMedia ASM1061 controller :
1 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
1 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
LAN Intel, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller
Audio SupremeFX X-Fi 2 built-in 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity
- EAX Advanced HD 5.0
- THX TruStudio PRO
- Creative ALchemy
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
USB Ports ASMedia USB 3.0 controller :
6 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
AMD SB950 controller :
12 x USB 2.0 port(s) (8 at back panel, black+white, 4 at mid-board)
Overclocking Features ROG Connect :
- RC Diagram
- RC Remote
- RC Poster
- GPU TweakIt
Extreme Engine Digi+ :
- 8 + 2 phase power design
UEFI BIOS features :
- ROG BIOS Print
- GPU.DIMM Post
GameFirst
iROG
Extreme Tweaker
Overclocking Protection :
- COP EX (Component Overheat Protection – EX)
- Voltiminder LED
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Special Features ASUS TPU :
- CPU Level UP
Core Unlocker
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- MemOK!
- AI Charger+
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
- ASUS Fan Xpert
ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS MyLogo 3
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Connector
Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x eSATA 6Gb/s
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
4 x USB 3.0
8 x USB 2.0 (white port can be switched to ROG Connect)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
Internal I/O Ports 1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
7 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
2 x CPU Fan connector(s)
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
3 x Optional Fan connector(s)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x 4-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s)
8 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
3 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x En/Dis-able Clr CMOS header(s)
1 x EZ Plug connector(s) (4-pin Molex power connector)
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x CPU Level Up button(s)
1 x ROG Connect switch(es)
1 x Go Button(s)
Accessories User’s manual
I/O Shield
6 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x 3-Way SLI bridge(s)
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x CrossFire cable(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
1 x ROG Connect cable(s)
1 x Cable ties pack(s)
1 x ROG theme label(s)
1 x 12 in 1 ROG Cable Label(s)
BIOS 32Mb Flash ROM, UEFI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.5, ACPI2.0a, Multi-Language BIOS
Manageability WOL by PME, WOR by PME, PXE
Support Disc Drivers
Sound Blaster X-Fi 2 Utility
Kaspersky Anti-Virus
DAEMON Tools Pro Standard
ROG CPU-Z
ASUS Utilities
Form Factor ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

Before we get to the performance, join us on the next few pages where we will take a look at the retail packaging, layout, and ASUS UEFI BIOS of the ASUS Crosshair V Formula!

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