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Asus Crosshair V Formula review

Kat Orphanides
12 Mar 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
170
inc VAT

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

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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 socketAM3+
Form factorATX
Size305x244mm
Processor supportSempron, Phenom II, Athlon II, FX
Processor external bus200MHz (2.6GHz HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridgeAMD 990FX
Chipset south bridgeAMD SB950
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3 800/1066/1333/1600(OC)/1866(OC)/2000(OC)/2133(OC)
Maximum memory speedPC3-17600
Memory slots4
Maximum memory32GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£170
Supplierhttp://www.ebuyer.com
Detailswww.asus.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots4
Dual graphics architectureTriple SLI, CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots1
PCI slots1
Fan headers8
Floppy ports0
IDE ports0
Serial ATA ports7
RAID chipset (max disks)AMD 990FX (6x SATA III, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)

Features

Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC889 SupremeFX X-Fi 2 (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF out)
USB2 ports / headers12/3
Firewire ports / headers0/0
Legacy ports1x PS/2
Other ports4x USB3, 1x eSATA
Cables included4x SATA, 1x SLI bridge, 1x CrossFireX bridge
Brackets includednone
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustmentN/A

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