Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25
  1. #1
    Retired MOD and Reviewer Array
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Reputation
    25
    Posts
    554

    ASUS Crosshair V Formula Review

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 1.jpg 
Views:	2360 
Size:	8.3 KB 
ID:	2340


    Review: ASUS Crosshair V Formula Motherboard Review

    Reviewed by: Kip Rouse
    Provided by: ASUS USA

    PAGE 1: Introduction

    PAGE 2: Features

    PAGE 3: Specifications

    PAGE 4: Packaging and Accessories

    PAGE 5: Board Layout

    PAGE 6: Hardware Install

    PAGE 7: UEFI

    PAGE 8: Software and Utilities

    PAGE 9: Test Setup and Methodology

    PAGE 10: Synthetic Benchmarks

    PAGE 11: System Benchmarks

    PAGE 12: SLI Benchmarks

    PAGE 13: Overclocking

    PAGE 14: Summary[/LEFT]
    Last edited by _; 02-20-2012 at 06:50 AM.

  2. #2
    Retired MOD and Reviewer Array
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Reputation
    25
    Posts
    554

    Introduction

    Today we have one of the first high end AMD 990FX chipset-based boards the ASUS Crosshair V Formula on my test bench. The Crosshair V Formula is not only the first ROG motherboard with AM3+ CPU support, but it is also the first AMD motherboard to support both 3-Way NVDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX as well as offering an advanced UEFI and DIGI+ VRM design not available on competing solutions.

    A wide array of advanced ROG overclocking tools are on hand too, while onboard SupremeFX X-Fi 2 delivers the most intense and immersive gaming audio experience. Better still, high-performance Intel Ethernet with GameFirst technology creates a LAN connection that is fast enough to keep up with the pace of modern multiplayer gaming over an internet connection that is also used being used for other online tasks.

    With their Crosshair V Formula ASUS hopes to deliver a board which exceeds anything else on the market and we will be testing it in several synthetic and real world tests to see if this board lives up to the lofty goals that ASUS always sets for themselves.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 2.jpg 
Views:	2314 
Size:	6.3 KB 
ID:	2341


    ASUS, the world’s top 3 consumer notebook vendor and the maker of the world’s best-selling and most award winning motherboards, is a leading enterprise in the new digital era. ASUS designs and manufactures products that perfectly meet the needs of today's digital home, office and person, with a broad portfolio that includes motherboards, graphics cards, displays, desktop PCs, notebooks, netbooks, servers, multimedia, wireless solutions, networking devices and mobile phones. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 3,398 awards in 2010, and is widely credited with revolutionizing the PC industry with the Eee PC. With a global staff of more than ten thousand people and a world-class R&D team of 3,000 engineers, the company's revenue for 2010 was around US$10 billion.

    Let's take a closer look at the Crosshair V Formula and see what a premium AMD 990FX chipset-based motherboard can do.

  3. #3
    Retired MOD and Reviewer Array
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Reputation
    25
    Posts
    554

    Features

    I just spent several hours reading the features of the Crosshair V Formula. We are going to list the “Key Features” here and then put them in the Crosshairs as we put the board through our tests.

    ROG Extreme OC Kit

    Extreme Engine Digi+

    Unlike ordinary digital VRM designs, Extreme Engine Digi+ combines the advantage of both digital and analog VRM design, delivering less switching delay while offering better accuracy at the same time. Not only does it offer finer spacing of PWM power frequency intervals, ASUS also use high permeability, low DCR chokes capable of handling 40 amps of current each. High permeability cores provide lower power losses, resulting in less heat and better efficiency in a given package size thus improving overall system stability within a set footprint.

    The story behind Extreme Engine Digi+, the ultimate power solution:

    The power solution has evolved a long way, from the standard multi-phase analogue switching power solution with fast response to the digital, which has the dramatically higher precision control with the drawback of a relatively lower response. And now, ASUS has kick started the new digital revolution to bring users an ultimate power solution that delivers the advantages of both the analogue and digital at the same time.

    Conventional Digital VRM Implementation:

    Conventional digital VRM solutions have all components sealed in a single chip package for ease of implementation together with the advantage of less power loss. This, though having the advantage of consuming a smaller physical footprint, has the drawback of high temperature and a slow response due to the adoption of serial connection architecture - which fuels the need to operate at high switching frequency to compensate for the slow response. Moreover, these older solutions also limit the ability to change components to ones with better characteristics for power delivery; restricting performance to the specifications of the digital VRM controller.

    Extreme Engine Digi+

    Extreme Engine Digi+ as adopted by the Crosshair V Formula utilizes a parallel connection topology as used by traditional multi-phase analogue VRM solutions for fast delivery of power; this means it is able to offer a fast transient response at relatively low switching frequency. In addition, the adoption of a modular topology has allowed ASUS' power R&D team to enhance power delivery further by using higher grade power components - bolstering system stability and long-term durability. This approach to power design allows users to tune the system for optimal levels of performance and efficiency.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 3.jpg 
Views:	2493 
Size:	115.3 KB 
ID:	2342


    CPU Feature:

    FX™/Phenom™ II/Athlon™ II/ Sempron™ 100 Series Processors (AM3+ CPU)

    This Crosshair V Formula supports the latest AMD Socket AM3+ multi-core processors with up to 8 native CPU cores and delivers better overclocking capabilities with less power consumption. It features AMD Turbo CORE Technology 2.0 and accelerates data transfer rate up to 5200MT/s via HyperTransport™ 3.0 based system bus. This motherboard also supports AMD CPUs in the new 32nm manufacturing process.

    Chipset Feature:

    AMD 990FX Chipset

    The new AMD 990FX Chipset is designed to support up to 5.2GT/s HyperTransport 3.0 (HT 3.0) interface speed and dual PCI Express 2.0 x16 graphics. It is optimized with AMD latest AM3+ and multi-core CPUs to provide excellent system performance and overclocking capabilities.

    Multi-GPU Technology:

    SLI/CrossFireX on-Demand


    Why choose when you can have both?


    Let’s see, SLI or CrossFireX? Fret no longer because with the ROG Crosshair V Formula, you´ll be able to run both multi-GPU setups. The board features SLI/CrossFireX on Demand technology, supporting SLI or CrossFireX configuration. Whichever path you take, you can be assured of jaw-dropping graphics at a level previously unseen.

    Memory Feature:

    DDR3 2133(O.C.) Support


    This motherboard supports DDR3 2133(O.C.) that provides faster data transfer rate and more bandwidth to increase memory computing efficiency, enhancing system performance in 3D graphics and other memory demanding applications.

    Sound with Clarity:

    SupremeFX X-Fi 2


    Play with ultra-real cinematic in-game surround sound!

    SupremeFX X-Fi 2 delivers incredible gaming audio experiences to ROG die-hards. It features EAX 5.0 and OpenAL for ultra-real cinematic in-game audio. It even comes with THX TruStudio PRO branding, which makes games, music and movies sound way better! SupremeFX X-Fi 2 also implements gold-plated jacks and high quality capacitors to ensure high definition adventures in audio.

    ROG Connect updated with GPU support:

    As recognized by overclocker’s and enthusiasts worldwide, ASUS’ TweakIt Technology always pushes the envelope with new functions and features and bringing innovation to software based control. This new implementation is no exception.

    ROG Connects breaks new ground in that it allows for extensive hardware based software control of the Motherboards and its voltages and frequencies. This frees up users from being tied to having the board accessible to make any adjustments such as powering the system on, clearing the CMOS etc. While offering extensive functionality independent of overclocking like monitoring of temperatures and voltages as well as post code display; rounding out the feature set is flashing and recovery functionality, allowing the user to complete low level bios flashing or flash recovery for an external USB windows based system. This advanced functionality offers users an alternative to an RMA when their system is not booting or posting. Never before has a user had the option to recover a corrupted bios/rom chip this easily.

    For Overclockers looking to push the limits ROG Connect has ushered in the next level of control allowing users to dynamically adjust bus clocks, multipliers and key system voltages all while actively monitoring their system and while the system is active and running. This flexible and impressive low level control will also allow for last stage overclocking attempts where once in the operating system Overclockers can push frequencies to new levels. Considering this and more; ROG Connect stands alone as the most robust external software for overclocking and monitoring toolsets available.

    ASUS as always thought looks to its ROG development team of engineers and enthusiasts to continue to innovate so the development did not end there. Finally, and not the least, ROC Connect now features a new module within the application, GPU TweakIt, allowing users to tweak the “GPU Frequency”, “GPU Vcore” and “GPU RAM Frequency” remotely, as well as fan control for overclocking your graphics card on the fly.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 4.jpg 
Views:	2333 
Size:	110.8 KB 
ID:	2343



    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 5.jpg 
Views:	2346 
Size:	134.7 KB 
ID:	2344



    GPU.DIMM Post

    Troubleshooting is a long and tedious job, especially when you don’t know what actually fails. ASUS GPU.DIMM Post scans through the PCI Express slots for available graphic cards, as well as the presence of DIMM modules installed during POST stage, and displays the result in the UEFI/BIOS setup screen. This helps the users to find out if anything has gone wrong with the installation as well as the detection of the device without the need to try and error on their own, allowing users to troubleshoot for the cause of errors with ease. In addition it offers a clear and concise but informative breakdown of the GPUs (NVidia or AMD) and how they are mapped electrically and to which slots. Going along with this new level of monitoring and information display DIMM Post well also show how many banks of memory are populated and at what speeds.

    GameFirst:

    The speed you need to pwn

    Low Internet latency allows you to frag more, and get fragged less. That's why ROG has introduced GameFirst, a feature that manages the flow of traffic according to your needs so that you can still listen to online music, download and upload files, and engage in Internet chats without sacrificing the low ping times you need to pwn your opponents.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 6.jpg 
Views:	2324 
Size:	133.8 KB 
ID:	2345


    CPU Level Up:

    A simple click for instant upgrade! Ever wish that you could have a more expensive CPU or take your top of the line CPU to the next level? Upgrade your CPU at no additional cost with ROG's CPU Level Up! Simply pick the processor you wanted to OC to and the motherboard will do the rest! See the new CPU speed and enjoy that performance instantly. Overclocking is never as easy as this.All of these and there is more, when used in conjunction with the Probelt voltage leads and the advanced tweaking/tuning and monitoring ability of the ROG UEFI truly makes this new ROG Crosshair V Formula a special product.

    Let’s move onto the specifications now so we can get this baby out and get started.

  4. #4
    Retired MOD and Reviewer Array
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Reputation
    25
    Posts
    554

    Specifications

    Below are the Key Specifications for the ASUS Crosshair V Formula:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 7.jpg 
Views:	2390 
Size:	233.5 KB 
ID:	2346


    You can look over the full list of specifications on the ASUS Crosshair V Formula site.

    OK, let’s get this package open and see what we have here.

  5. #5
    Retired MOD and Reviewer Array
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Reputation
    25
    Posts
    554

    Packaging and Accessories

    ASUS continues with their ROG theme for the Crosshair V Formula which will definitely catch your attention; this packaging just screams that there is something very special inside.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 8.jpg 
Views:	2300 
Size:	157.2 KB 
ID:	2347


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 9.jpg 
Views:	2265 
Size:	238.9 KB 
ID:	2348


    Looking inside the retail package we found two smaller boxes; one containing the motherboard and the other contains the accessories.

    The accessories include virtually all the necessities; the manual, driver disk, SATA cables, Q-Connector, and I/O shield. There are six total SATA cables, specifically for the SATA III (6.0 GB/s) ports, no SATA II ports on this ROG board. With SLI and CF available ASUS has included bridges for both configurations. There is as always a large ROG case sticker and you have the ROG cable.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 10.jpg 
Views:	2252 
Size:	139.7 KB 
ID:	2349


    Here we have pulled a few of these accessories out for a closer look; you have the ROG cable labels which I have never used but have often wish I had once I start moving things around in the chassis. The I/O backplate isn’t that interesting to most folks but I think that it deserves a comment here; we have yet to find another manufacturer that provides one that is insulated and no sharp edges and always lines up perfectly. Lastly a second look at the ASUS SLI 3-way bridge for those of you that are lucky enough to have three nice NVidia cards to take advantage of this new feature found on the Crosshair V formula motherboard.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 11.jpg 
Views:	2214 
Size:	132.3 KB 
ID:	2350


    As expected with the Republic of Gamer products, the accessories are very extensive with everything to get your system up and running in short notice.

    Let’s now take a look at the board itself.

  6. #6
    Retired MOD and Reviewer Array
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Reputation
    25
    Posts
    554

    Board Layout

    The Crosshair V Formula is one great looking board; who would not appreciate the esthetics of the ROG theme. The PCB is entirely black and complemented by the contrasting Red and White.

    There are eight (8) fan headers strategically positioned all across the Crosshair V Formula and they are all 4-pin as well; look for the extensive customizations available for monitoring and tweaking within the UEFI so you get the most out of them. Oh yea, while we are talking about these fan headers you also have 3 thermal sensor connections which you can plug the provided probes into and attach the other end on the devices you want to monitor within the UEFI by enabling the Optional Fan Headers 1-3 if you use these probes. Now you can monitor the temps on those high end components as well.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 12.jpg 
Views:	2186 
Size:	168.4 KB 
ID:	2351


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 13.jpg 
Views:	2179 
Size:	104.9 KB 
ID:	2352


    The Crosshair V Formula is an ATX Form Factor board which measures 12”x9.6” which means you will be able to mount it in most any Mid-Size or larger chassis. A cursory look reveals the layout is nice with things being layout out on the board to make your install pretty much worry free.

    Turning the motherboard over we see ASUS is serious about removing heat from the MOSFETs, notice the heatsink plate which is held in place with screws instead of pushpins or glued on. ASUS continues to strive for quality in their products and I am sure you will have to agree as we take you through this review.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 14.jpg 
Views:	2167 
Size:	156.5 KB 
ID:	2353


    In the image below you will notice the 8-pin CPU power connector which is located close to the edge of the top of the board for easy cable access. There is also a second 4-pin CPU power plug connection where you can feed those 8-Core processors (when they arrive) more power if you are into some extreme overclocking when the voltages are going to be high and the temps extremely low.

    We really like the new color scheme of the CPU socket; the black looks so much nicer than that old cream colored socket on earlier AMD boards; why plant a cactus in the middle of a rose garden. The black socket also denotes that this board is an AM3+ board.

    While we are looking at the socket you will notice that the two bars that used to run on each side of the processor are gone which should mean easier cooler attachment.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 15.jpg 
Views:	2162 
Size:	205.4 KB 
ID:	2354


    Unlike ordinary digital VRM design, the Extreme Engine Digi+ combines the advantage of both the digital and analog VRM design, delivering less switching delay while offering better accuracy at the same time. In addition it also offers finer spacing of PWM power frequency interval, the choke used also sustains 25% more current than ordinary designs, capable of delivering up to 40A. As you can see the Crosshair V Formula has 10 large chokes surrounding the CPU socket; some folks just count these chokes to determine the Phase Count of the board which is generally accurate (although a phase is not something you can see it is an electrical term), however, you need to count the choke, MOSFET and the drivers since all three together make up a single phase. These chokes are filled with a specially mixed compound (trade secret I am guessing) which promotes superior performance and greater efficiency which is why we have a 40Amp choke over the 15Amps found on other motherboards. This design is a metallurgic process ASUS calls SAP or SuperAlloyPower where the choke has been developed under extreme temperature and pressure to produce a component delivery all around superior performance.

    Bring the implementation of EED+ together with the other aspects of the VRM the Crosshair V Formula allows for a wider range of switching frequencies and the ability to remain stable under voltage changes and lower electrical resistance allowing the board to be pushed harder and overclocked higher.

    The primary heatsinks are cooled passively and have a continuous heatpipe connecting them. These heatsinks are downright beautiful with a unique angular tower design; we’re betting they are also very functional and should definitely keep temperatures under control.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 16.jpg 
Views:	2148 
Size:	215.5 KB 
ID:	2355


    The lower "Southbridge AMD SB950" heatsink design kind of flows with the line of the PCIe slots as well as the SATA connections giving the bottom half of the board a more uniform look in my opinion anyways.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 17.jpg 
Views:	2128 
Size:	153.2 KB 
ID:	2356


    To the right of the CPU area, we see the DDR3 memory slots in dual-channel configuration. The DIMM slots are designed with Q-DIMM, which have tab-less bottom clips so they do not conflict with the longer graphics cards. The Crosshair V Formula is capable of 32GB of DDR3 with speeds up to 2133MHz.

    Further to the right of the DIMM slots is the motherboard’s 24-pin power connector, handily placed to suit either top or bottom-mounted power supply case designs.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 18.jpg 
Views:	2134 
Size:	213.8 KB 
ID:	2357


    Right in front of the 24-pin MB power connector are the ASUS Q-LED which is a real-time diagnostic LED for the CPU, DRAM, VGA and Boot Device. The debug monitoring option is really straight forward compared to the standard Port80 DeBug as it will lock and light up the LED of the device causing an issue.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 19.jpg 
Views:	2105 
Size:	123.4 KB 
ID:	2358


    Just above the DIMM slots we see that ASUS has included their popular “OC Zone”. Here in the OC Zone we have the probelt headers allow for the use of a voltmeter probes to measure critical real-time voltage readings for some serious high level overclocking.

    The GO button is the small red button to the right of the Probelt. The GO button is a dual purpose tool; with the system powered down you can use it as the MemOK! Button by pressing it the LED will start to blink and the board will automatically reset your memory to a stable state. With the system up and running in Windows you can also use the GO button and it will overclock your system to a preset profile that you have defined in the UEFI.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 20.jpg 
Views:	2064 
Size:	170.6 KB 
ID:	2359


    The on-board CPU Level Up, Power and Reset buttons are located just below the PCIe lanes. These will prove to be a valuable tool especially when setting up your system on an open test bench.

    Before moving on let’s take a second to consider the OC button just to the left of the Start and Reset buttons; This OC button provides a quick and easy button that enables a hardware overclock when first setting up the system. This is a great option for users who want better than stock performance but without the knowledge need for configuration of clock and voltage parameters within the UEFI.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 21.jpg 
Views:	2069 
Size:	186.5 KB 
ID:	2360


    To the left of the PCIe lanes you see the on-board 7.1 Audio Chip that is certified to work with the Creative X-Fi 2 software which is included on the motherboard CD.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 22.jpg 
Views:	2056 
Size:	187.0 KB 
ID:	2361


    The Crosshair V Formula features a total of seven SATA ports. The main group of six are ran through the AMD SB950 Southbridge; all six are SATA III 6GB/s and capable of RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10. The remaining SATA connection is controlled via the ASMedia Controller which also controls the eSATA port found on the back-panel. So, let’s recount, yep totals 7 SATA ports all 6GB/s capable a nice feature of this new ROG motherboard from ASUS.

    Seems like the ASMedia SATA port just might be unavailable if you are running 3-way SLI/CF but that might depend on the length of the cards. Actually, you still might be able to use it but it will require you use a right angle connector SATA cable and then run it flat vertically until you can clear the cards and route it out of the case.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 23.jpg 
Views:	2050 
Size:	170.9 KB 
ID:	2362


    The spacing of the PCIe slots is perfect for 3-way SLI/CR and with dual slotted cards you will have some nice room between cards for air flow. The breakdown of the PCI slots is, 3 PCIe 2.0x16 which means (dual x16 or X16, X8, and x8) with a single PCI slot at x1, another PCIe 2.0 at x1 and lastly a PCIe 2.0 at x4 mode.

    For a dual card setup you would use the 1st and 3rd PCIe 2.0 slots. For a three way SLI or CF you would add the 3rd VGA card into the second PCIe 2.0 slot. ASUS gives us this slot layout so we can have 3-way GPU support with overhang with the majority of 2-slotted cards available today. This is pretty sweet because overhang requires a much larger and more expensive chassis.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 24.jpg 
Views:	2038 
Size:	208.5 KB 
ID:	2363


    OK, are you confused yet, this reviewer might be, so I have a diagram taken from the ASUS reviewer’s guide which will make a lot more sense, at least it does for me.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 25.jpg 
Views:	2019 
Size:	97.2 KB 
ID:	2364


    The rear of the Crosshair V Formula features an impressive array of ports, sporting a PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, an impressive total of eight USB 3.0/2.0 ports, an eSATA port, and a Clear CMOS button to assist in recovering from any system issues. There is also the ROG Connect USB which is the white one and lastly an Intel GB LAN and Realtek 7.1 audio with optical out.

    The Intel LAN is an outstanding implementation with regards to its performance, reliability and most significantly its advanced configuration options and compatibilities with applications and other operating systems is just another attribute that sets the Crosshair V Formula apart from the competition.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 26.jpg 
Views:	1994 
Size:	136.2 KB 
ID:	2365


    To use the ROG Connect feature you will need to turn it on; this is done by the switch that is located directly behind the rear I/O panel.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 27.jpg 
Views:	1997 
Size:	183.7 KB 
ID:	2366


    Let’s install some hardware onto the Crosshair V Formula and see how things look.

  7. #7
    Retired MOD and Reviewer Array
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Reputation
    25
    Posts
    554

    Hardware Install

    This writer likes to install some if not most of my hardware on the board long before I start the final install into the chassis of my choosing. This way I have a good idea of any potential problems or complications beforehand.

    Looking at my potential test system the dark blacks and bright red aesthetics are fantastic. The black Corsair Vengeance memory modules, the TT Firo CPU heatsink and fans and the ASUS GTX580 DirectCU II graphics card nicely complement the native heatsinks on the Crosshair V Formula.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 28.jpg 
Views:	2012 
Size:	138.5 KB 
ID:	2367


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 29.jpg 
Views:	2012 
Size:	129.6 KB 
ID:	2368


    Should you use memory modules with tall heat spreaders such as the Corsair Vengeance you most will have issues with certain large air coolers, particularly in the DIMM slot closest to the CPU. It does depend on the CPU cooler though; the Thermaltake Firo cooler is quite large with its dual fan configuration and would have caused a conflict with my Corsair modules. Memory with a lower profile heat spreaders or a less bulky CPU cooler might be less troubling.

    Corsair has been listening and they are now offering their very popular Vengeance series RAM in a LOW Profile option.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 30.jpg 
Views:	1974 
Size:	156.6 KB 
ID:	2369


    My ASUS GTX-580 card is on the longer side and might make it a little more difficult to be changing SATA cables at the board. The spacing of the on the PCI-E slots and using slots 1 and 3 for SLI configuration means greater airflow which translates to improved temperatures between the cards.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 31.jpg 
Views:	1949 
Size:	110.5 KB 
ID:	2370


    A dual card setup won't interfere with the headers along the bottom of the board. The positioning of the PCI-E slots is very good and there's quite a bit of room to maneuver on the Crosshair V Formula. ASUS has done an excellent job with the overall layout.

    Let's have a look at the UEFI (BIOS) now.

  8. #8
    Retired MOD and Reviewer Array
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Reputation
    25
    Posts
    554

    UEFI

    The new UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) (BIOS):

    ASUS has been long known for its rich available BIOS options, the Crosshair V Formula is not an exception. However, considering the adjustments of the UEFI options has always been a difficult task for the entry level users when building their very own system for the very first time, ASUS has implemented the most user friendly UEFI interface named EZ Mode. Featuring a simple, clean, yet intuitive user interface listing only the most vital options for everyday usage, the UEFI adjustments become something that is available to all users. Furthermore, the nature of being an UEFI style of BIOS also ensures its future-proof for the new technologies to come.

    ROG UEFI Print:

    The dump of the UEFI setup screen often involves highly trained photographic technique, while the outcome may not always be as satisfactory as it can be. Users can create the UEFI screen dumps with a simple press of the F12 key, and the UEFI screen shot will be stored to your USB storage device automatically. ROG UEFI Print, your new best friend when sharing UEFI screens with your others. I will be using a 2GB thumb drive formatted in FAT32 to capture the screens for this review.

    Booting the Crosshair V Formula for the first time you are greeted by the “Advance Mode” which will provide total control of your system. However, I want to take a second and show you the “EZ Mode” screen which you can set your UEFI to boot to but on the Crosshair V Formula the default is to boot to the Advance Mode and why not; you bought this board for its advanced features.

    So, in the “EZ Mode” one great feature here is that you can simply drag and drop your drives into the boot sequence you desire as well as get a snapshot of how the system is performing in regards to temps, voltages, CPU fan speed, etc…. You can also change your settings so that you will boot into the “EZ Mode” if you don’t intend to tweak your system but you probably didn’t need to buy this motherboard if that’s the case.

    2.2TB+ HDD boot support via GPT:

    Insert your GPT supported OS installation disc (Windows 7 64bit / Windows VISTA 64bit SP1 or later) into the optical drive; then select the optical drive or USB pen drive with the OS installer in it from either the UEFI EZ Mode screen or you can press F8 during POST to trigger the boot menu. Then you are off to the races; follow the standard OS installation procedure like always to complete the OS install to a HDD 2.2TB or larger.
    Implementation of the UEFI graphical interface also supports using the mouse as your input and navigation device. Spending a few minutes moving around within the UEFI should have you shouting “hell yea, where has this been”!!!!!!!!

    While we are looking at the “EZ Mode” you will notice in the middle of the screen you have three gauges. You can select any of the three for some quick changes in relation on how your system will regulate energy savings to performance. In the image below you see that “normal” is currently selected which is running the system at stock speed/settings operations.

    To the left you have “Power Saving” mode which is for as the name implies; saving power and reducing temperatures. It is an undervolt (does not affect performance but does apply an undervolt to the CPU) which reduces the CPU voltage consumption and overall power consumption in addition to reducing the core idle and load temperatures of the CPU.

    On the far right side you see the “Optimal” mode which is for users looking for a quick and easy way to overclock their system. This mode will apply an overclock to the system based on the components detected and is designed for basic use since it is defined for use with the retail CPU heatsink.

    Personally I think the “EZ Mode” is for those with no sense of adventure but it is available, so take a quick look and then let’s get on into the “more power” section and have some fun.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 32.jpg 
Views:	1948 
Size:	105.8 KB 
ID:	2371


    In the upper right hand corner of the EZ Mode you see the Exit/Advance Mode; click on this and you can select opening up the Advance Mode which will look like this:

    I went into the “Main” tab so that I could setup my preferred language, who am I kidding, my only language and that’s been challenged. You will notice that in the Main Section you will set your system date and time also.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 33.jpg 
Views:	1948 
Size:	86.7 KB 
ID:	2372


    The Extreme Tweaker tab is very similar to what you would have found on previous ASUS motherboards, with extensive options to tweak the necessary voltages, RAM timings, and frequencies to achieve some great performance results.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 34.jpg 
Views:	1943 
Size:	103.1 KB 
ID:	2373


    ASUS had a nice surprise here with their new GPU.DIMM Post readings. Troubleshooting is a long and tedious job, especially when you don’t know what actually fails. ASUS GPU.DIMM Post scans through the PCI Express slots for available graphic cards, as well as the presence of DIMM modules installed during POST stage, and displays the result in the UEFI setup screen. This helps the users to find out if anything has gone wrong with the installation as well as the detection of the device without the need to try and error on their own, allowing users to troubleshoot for the cause of errors with ease.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 35.jpg 
Views:	1936 
Size:	82.8 KB 
ID:	2374


    In the Advanced tab is where the CPU and SATA configurations allow for further tweaking. In the image below you can see that the UEFI automatically detects the presence of SATA connected devices and ACHI is select as default. You can change this to IDE or RAID mode if you choose. You also have the ability to designate each device as “Hot Plug” (hot swap) enabled or disabled.

    This option is great for chassis that support hot swap as well as for SSD Erasure via applications like parted magic which will generally require this function to be enabled.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 36.jpg 
Views:	1933 
Size:	92.7 KB 
ID:	2375


    In the Monitor Section is where you will find the settings to keep an eye on your voltages, temperatures and fan speeds. In the image below you see the available fan profiles on the Crosshair V Formula.

    I would like to point out that most manufactures offer a minimal amount of fan control but ASUS gives us a wide array of options; manual fan control on the CPU, chassis fan headers with three presets for each fan header. This flexibility is great for customizing the ramping of our fans especially with CPU configurations such as setups using push/pull configuration on those Big Air Coolers.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 37.jpg 
Views:	1922 
Size:	103.8 KB 
ID:	2376


    Looking into the Tools Section there is the O.C. profile section where you can save your profiles for easy loading so you won’t have to start over from scratch every time you want to put the system in an Overclocked state. Remember we discussed you can label your profiles; below you see where we have labeled our first profile as “3.7”. We could have named it to whatever struck our fancy; most of ASUS’s competitors do not offer this feature.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 38.jpg 
Views:	1917 
Size:	94.3 KB 
ID:	2377


    In the Tools section is where you will find the EZ Flash utility for really simple BIOS flashing interface; with this graphical interface you will just browse to the location of your new BIOS.Rom, select it and let it Flash away.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 39.jpg 
Views:	1932 
Size:	74.5 KB 
ID:	2378


    So, what do you think of ASUS’s new UEFI? This is one hell of an upgrade as far as we’re concerned; kind of like learning how to walk one day and winning a marathon the next. We have looked at several of the new P67 boards from a few other manufacturers and ASUS is by far the front runner with their new UEFI style of BIOS.

    Let's take a quick look at some of the included software features and utilities that come as part of the ROG package with the Crosshair V Formula.

  9. #9
    Retired MOD and Reviewer Array
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Reputation
    25
    Posts
    554

    Software and Utilities

    AI Suite II

    AI Suite II is a user friendly interface combining all popular ASUS applications in one single package for flexible use. With the full customization capabilities the AI Suite II integrates a large variety of applications covering features from all different, including:

    - For System Tweaking:

    TurboV EVO:

    To enable the instant access to the performance related UEFI options aimed to provide a little more edge when conducting extreme overclocking. TurboV is a great place for enthusiast that are not totally comfortable in the UEFI to do some fine-tuning.
    For those interested you will find a great on-line video that shows how you can use TurboV directly from within the software while in Windows. The video is a little on the long side time wise but very interesting, you will find the TurboV overclocking in the last 7-10 minutes. TurboV Video:

    OK, now that you have seen the video let’s get back to the review:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 40.jpg 
Views:	1905 
Size:	120.9 KB 
ID:	2379


    -DIGI+ VRM:

    This allows making direct alternation to the behavior of the onboard digital VRM in real-time. As far as I can remember this is a first, having extensive control of the VRM real-time within the operating system. It is impressive to see the same options from the UEFI accessible within windows.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 41.jpg 
Views:	1904 
Size:	114.8 KB 
ID:	2380


    -EPU:

    Here you can configure power management in a number of ways adjusting CPU Core Voltage or CPU frequency as well as other devices such as HD, Fans and more. Whether you are customizing an efficient power profile, Undervolting or just looking to save power easily EPU allows these adjustments easily and effectively.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 42.jpg 
Views:	1908 
Size:	135.1 KB 
ID:	2381


    -Fan Xpert:

    Fan Xpert allows for extensive adjustment to the CPU Fan and Primary Chassis Fan headers. Through the applications users can quickly see the current temperatures relating to both areas and make adjustments accordingly real-time within the OS. Whether you are looking for a quick and easy preset / profile or you prefer manual control in designing your own fan ramp/gradient Fan Xpert has you covered.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 43.jpg 
Views:	1902 
Size:	122.1 KB 
ID:	2382


    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 44.jpg 
Views:	1887 
Size:	123.6 KB 
ID:	2383


    - For Real-time Monitoring:

    - Probe II:

    Allows the real-time monitoring of the key voltages, temperatures, and fan speeds together with warning capability to warn the users when any of the readings exceeds the threshold set by the user.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 45.jpg 
Views:	2070 
Size:	144.8 KB 
ID:	2384


    - Sensor Recorder:

    Allows the users to show the key voltages, temperatures, and fan speeds in a graph for a quick tracking of the system status. Furthermore, an historical record can also be kept for later reference if needed.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 46.jpg 
Views:	1884 
Size:	156.5 KB 
ID:	2385


    - Side bar:

    There is the display of the sensor and CPU status at the right hand side of AI Suite II to allow instant monitor of the system status when fiddling around with other applications.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 47.jpg 
Views:	1872 
Size:	74.2 KB 
ID:	2386


    - System information:

    This will quickly show the CPU and DRAM info without the need to install any additional third-party applications.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 48.jpg 
Views:	1877 
Size:	127.3 KB 
ID:	2387


    ROG CPU-Z

    How about your own ROG themed version of CPU-Z?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 49.jpg 
Views:	1850 
Size:	142.3 KB 
ID:	2388


    Game First:

    Network management via GameFirst coupled together with Intel LAN solution to deliver the best ping rate for the ultimate network gaming experience when you go to war armed with the Crosshair V Formula.

    The speed you need to win: Low Internet latency allows you to frag more, and get fragged less. That's why ROG has introduced GameFirst, a feature that manages the flow of traffic according to your needs so that you can still listen to online music, download and upload files, and engage in Internet chats without sacrificing the low ping times you need to pwn your opponents.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 50.jpg 
Views:	1862 
Size:	231.1 KB 
ID:	2389


    ROG Connect

    Plug and Overclock - Tweak it the hardcore way!

    Monitor the status of your desktop PC and tweak its parameters in real-time via a notebook—just like a race car engineer—with ROG Connect. ROG Connect links your main system to a notebook through a USB cable, allowing you to view real-time POST code and hardware status readouts on your notebook, as well as make on-the-fly parameter adjustments at a purely hardware level.

    Let’s take a closer look at the features of ROG Connect:

    Once you have ROG Connect installed on both the Crosshair V and your notebook you will connect the included ROG connect cable to the back of the Crosshair V and the notebook.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 51.jpg 
Views:	1857 
Size:	74.3 KB 
ID:	2390


    Remember back while we were looking at the layout of the board; we have to set the ROG Connect switch to the “ON” position. The switch is located right behind the white USB ROG connect port on the Crosshair V Formula.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 52.jpg 
Views:	1974 
Size:	21.5 KB 
ID:	2391


    Note: Make sure the AC standby power is turned on for the Crosshair V Formula system to allow ROG Connect to function.

    Now that we have the Crosshair and the notebook connected and powered up we can get into all the features of ROG Connect; the main window is RC TweakIt.

    In the image below I have circled in RED the main things we are going to be talking about so you can refer back to this image as you follow along.

    Here you can make all desired changes of the frequencies and voltages on the while on the notebook then press “Apply” to save the changes to the Crosshair V Formula system. This can be done regardless if the system has been turned on as long as the standby power is there it will work.

    These changes can also be stored into profiles for later use. You can also monitor the system status including all critical voltages, temperatures, fan speeds and frequencies here and once you have the items you want to monitor selected you can save them to “Favorite Settings”.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 53.jpg 
Views:	1844 
Size:	149.2 KB 
ID:	2392


    Pressing the “Function” button brings up the additional features of ROG Connect:

    Pressing on the RC Poster button you will bring up the RC Poster submenu witch will show the POST status of the system in either String or Code mode and you have the option to switch between them.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 54.jpg 
Views:	1845 
Size:	50.0 KB 
ID:	2393


    Moving to the right we find the RC Remote button which brings up a submenu with the functions of Power On/Off, Reset, 4 second force shutdown and the CLRTC (clear CMOS) button.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 55.jpg 
Views:	1842 
Size:	50.6 KB 
ID:	2394


    Pressing the RC Diagram button will bring up its submenu featuring an oscilloscope like monitoring tool:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 56.jpg 
Views:	1839 
Size:	72.5 KB 
ID:	2395


    Want to do some graphics overclocking? Then press the GPU TweakIt button to bring up its submenu where you can make on-the-fly changes to take place immediately; don’t forget to press Apply to save these setting before leaving for the settings to take effect.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 57.jpg 
Views:	1839 
Size:	67.3 KB 
ID:	2396


    Should be pretty nice to be able to OC and monitor your Crosshair V Formula remotely without having to continuously be rebooting to get into the UEFI to make changes.

    Security:

    ASUS has provided for your protection while on line with a full year of Anti-Virus protection with Kaspersky Anti-Virus.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Image 58.jpg 
Views:	1834 
Size:	119.7 KB 
ID:	2397


    I think you will have to agree; the ASUS Crosshair V Formula offers a great deal of software and features to satisfy the demands of the most ardent enthusiasts.

    OK, let’s fire things up with some overclocking and do a little Benchmarking next……….

  10. #10
    Retired MOD and Reviewer Array
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Reputation
    25
    Posts
    554

    Test Setup and Methodology

    Test System:

    Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
    Cooler: Thermaltake Firo
    Motherboard: ASSUS Crosshair V Formula
    RAM: Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600
    Power Supply: CM Silent Pro Gold 1000W
    Video Cards: ASUS ENGTX580 DCII, and 2x ENGTX560 Ti DCII
    Hard Drive: WD 320GB and Crucial M4 256GB SSD
    Optical Drive: ASUS BD Burner
    Operating System: Windows 7 Professional x64

    A word about our testing:

    For all of the benchmarks, appropriate lengths are taken to ensure an equal comparison through methodical setup, installation, and testing. The following outlines our testing methodology:

    A) Windows is installed using a full format.

    B) Chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) are installed followed by a defragment and a reboot.

    C) To ensure consistent results, a few tweaks were applied to Windows 7 and the NVIDIA control panel:

    · UAC – Disabled
    · System Protection/Restore – Disabled
    · Problem & Error Reporting – Disabled
    · Remote Desktop/Assistance - Disabled
    · Windows Security Center Alerts – Disabled
    · Windows Defender – Disabled
    · Windows SuperFetch – Disabled
    · Screensaver – Disabled
    · Power Plan - High Performance
    · NVIDIA PhysX – Disabled

    D) Programs and games are then installed & updated followed by another defragment.

    E) Windows updates are then completed installing all available updates followed by a defragment.

    F) Benchmarks are each ran three times after a clean reboot for every run of the benchmark unless otherwise stated, the results are then averaged. If they were any clearly anomalous results, the 3-loop run was repeated. If they remained, we will mention it in the individual benchmark write-up.

    Here is a full list of the applications that we utilized in our benchmarking suite:

    · AIDA64 Extreme Edition v1.80
    · wPrime Benchmark v2.04
    · PCMark 7 Professional Edition 64-bit
    · Cinebench R10 64-bit
    · Cinebench R11.5 64-bit
    · 3DMark Vantage
    · 3DMark 11


    Regarding our Benchmarking:

    Your PC’s performance is determined by the interactions between different hardware components, the operating system and the type and amount of software running. A benchmark provides a set of performance tests that can be repeated with a high degree of accuracy on a wide range of computer hardware.

    We will show our results with several benchmarks while running the system at stock speed 3300MHz and also while overclocked at 4056MHz.

    That is about all you need to know methodology wise, so let's get to the good stuff!

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •