Asus Crosshair V Formula review

With Creative audio drivers and one of the best AM3+ UEFIs around, this is a great motherboard for overclockers, despite its expense

12 Mar 2012
Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
170
inc VAT

Specifications

AM3+, ATX, AMD 990FX chipset, supports: Sempron, Phenom II, Athlon II, FX

At £170, Asus's Crosshair V Formula is one of the most expensive AM3+ motherboards around, but it doesn't skimp on features, having seven SATA3 ports, support for up to 32GB of memory running at 2,133MHz and four PCI-E x16 slots that support a variety of CrossFireX and SLI GPU configurations. It's also worth noting that one runs at x4, while another runs at x16 and the other two can either act as one x16 and one x4 slot or as a pair of x8 slots. If you enjoy testing and tweaking your hardware you’ll be pleased with its onboard power, reset and CMOS clearing buttons too.

Asus Crosshair V Formula

Although the motherboard’s advertised as having Creative’s X-Fi audio, this is only a set of drivers. The audio codec chip is actually a Realtek ALC889, but the Creative driver provides extra features, including THX TruStudio Pro surround sound audio processing to go with the 7.1 analogue audio outputs and optical S/PDIF port on the board.

Asus Crosshair V Formula

The motherboard has eight USB and four USB3 ports at the back, and onboard headers for two more USB3 and four more USB2 ports. There's also an eSATA3 port on the back panel and a token PS/2 port for legacy keyboard or mouse connections.

Asus Crosshair V Formula

Buying a high-performance AM3+ motherboard to go with AMD's eight-core Bulldozer processor is, in some ways, a bit of an odd choice because neither its performance nor its overclocking potential can match that of Intel's Core i5, unless you use it for specialised tasks that take advantage of the CPU's multiple cores. If you do want to push Bulldozer to its limits, however, then the Crosshair V Formula is definitely the board to use, thanks to its easy-to-use UEFI interface and more or less every feature you're ever likely to need. It’s also worth noting that the MSI 990FXA-GD65 costs much less and has better performance out of the box.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor socket AM3+
Form factor ATX
Size 305x244mm
Processor support Sempron, Phenom II, Athlon II, FX
Processor external bus 200MHz (2.6GHz HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridge AMD 990FX
Chipset south bridge AMD SB950
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics No
Supported memory type DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600(OC)/1866(OC)/2000(OC)/2133(OC)
Maximum memory speed PC3-17600
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 32GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £170
Supplier http://www.ebuyer.com
Details www.asus.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 4
Dual graphics architecture Triple SLI, CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 1
PCI slots 1
Fan headers 8
Floppy ports 0
IDE ports 0
Serial ATA ports 7
RAID chipset (max disks) AMD 990FX (6x SATA III, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)

Features

Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC889 SupremeFX X-Fi 2 (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF out)
USB2 ports / headers 12/3
Firewire ports / headers 0/0
Legacy ports 1x PS/2
Other ports 4x USB3, 1x eSATA
Cables included 4x SATA, 1x SLI bridge, 1x CrossFireX bridge
Brackets included none
Software included none

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment N/A

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