When we looked at the retail packaging for the ASUS Crosshair V Formula, we got a glimpse of the board through the window under the front cover. With that first look, the Crosshair V Formula looked like a very clean board. Now that we have the Crosshair V Formula outside of the packaging, our first impression still rings true. For the most part the Crosshair V Formula is completely black and red with the exception of the release tabs for the expansion slots and DIMM slots. If ASUS would have used some black parts for this it would have added to the look, though the contrast isn’t bad either.
Starting out at the usual corner, the DIMM slots will support memory up to 2133 MHz and a maximum of 32GB in a dual channel 4x8GB configuration. To the right of the DIMM slots we have the ProbeIt voltage measuring points, three fan headers (3x4pin), and a four pin CPU power plug. The four pin power is in addition to the 8pin power that is back by the I/O panel. In the corner of the Crosshair V Formula we have the ASUS Go button. To the right of the 24pin motherboard power is a 4pin fan header and an temperature sensor header. Just to the left of the motherboard power is the internal SuperSpeed USB 3.0 header.
The ASUS Crosshair V Formula comes equipped with seven SATA III 6Gbps ports which run natively from the AMD SB950 chipset. Running our eyes along the left edge of the ASUS Crosshair V Formula we can find the pinout for the front panel, two more 4pin fan headers, followed by a pair of internal USB 2.0 headers.
Continuing past the pair of internal USB 2.0 headers we have a series of three buttons. The smaller black one is a reset button, the red one is a power button, followed by the larger black one which happens to be an OC button. The OC button will switch your system to an overclocked profile without the hassle of entering the UEFI BIOS. Just past the three onboard buttons is an optional temperature sensor plug, a four pin fan header, pin out for the front panel audio, and SPDIF. The ASUS Crosshair V Formula has four PCIe x16 slots, you can run your graphics cards in either SLI or CrossFireX. If you run two cards you can run them both at the full x16 bandwidth, or three cards at x16,x8,x8. To the left of the first PCIe x16 slot is a four pin molex adapter which will supply additional power to the expansion slots. This may be needed if you are doing some heavy overclocking on multiple graphics cards.
The I/O panel doesn’t feature anything that we haven’t seen before. The ASUS Crosshair V Formula features four SuperSpeed USB3.0 ports, though I’m not sure why they placed them beneath the single PS/2 plug, if your using a PS/2 keyboard or mouse you will need to plug in the other elsewhere on the back panel, or sacrifice a USB 3.0 port if you want them to be kept together. Next to the first set of USB 3.0 is a BIOS reset button, followed by a pair of USB 2.0 and eSATA ports. To the left of the second set of USB 3.0 ports is an Optical SPDIF out port, to the right is another pair of USB2.0 ports with the Intel Gigabit LAN port above them. Between the RJ45 port and the six audio jacks is an additional four USB 2.0 ports.
The area around the AM3+ socket is kept cool by a series of heatsinks connected using heatpipe technology. The Socket itself is molded out of black plastic, the fact that the socket is black indicates that it is an AM3+ socket instead of the white AM3 socket found on earlier boards.