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ASUS Crosshair V Formula Z Motherboard Review

formerstaff    -   June 3, 2013
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ASUS Crosshair V Formula Z Conclusion:

I have had the luxury of owning the ASUS Crosshair V Formula Z, as well as most of the competitions flagships in the 990FX flavor and after putting the screws to all of them, I really find it difficult to not consider the Formula Z the Flagship for the entire chipset by any number of metrics. As by now you have seen time and time again, the real difference amongst motherboards of the same chipset is the feature set. What is so very impressive about the motherboards leaving the dock at ASUS is the completeness of the package. From the drool over good looks of the true black multilayer PCB, with the innovative and very stylish black and red heatsinks, with a hidden ROG insignia tucked away to the glowing red line of the EMI 'no fly zone' that provides noise free HD hi-fi. You are hard pressed to find a better looking board in the AM3+ range of products. The Crosshair V Formula Z is simply one of those boards that brought about the transparent left side.

The boards components are of the highest quality, to deliver ultra high overclocking ability with enough options to keep the most hard core overclocker busy for weeks, trying to get another 20MHz out of their favorite CPU. For the true geek among us, there is the ROG connect, whereby you can OC your rig on a separate machine via the included ROG connect USB cable with less CPU interruption, lessening the chance of crashes, while trying out the limits of your machine. For the hardcore, close to absolute zero overclocker looking for a place on HWbot, there are serious onboard accommodations in the form of the LN2 switch to take the cold bug out of play, as well as the 'Slow Switch' to slow things down so you can make them go fast. Many boards give a tip of the hat to exotic cooling and overclocking, however the CVF-Z is the real deal when it comes to actually bolting a pot to a motherboard for that record attempt.

Then there is a very polished software suite that gives most folks more options than they will probably ever use. Specific to the Formula Z are the features such as Mem-OK, which with a push of an onboard button resolves any memory issues and lets you get on with business. The direct Key feature whisks you instantly to the BIOS for quick in and out changes. The Intel Ethernet LAN and Game First software lets you shape internet traffic, for better ping times and stutter free play . Let's not forget the GPU/DIMM post feature that keeps a constant vigil over your GPU and system memory, to alert you of everything from a power delivery problem, to a bad seating of the RAM modules.

The Turbo EVO Suite II software is without a doubt the best in the business and makes the enthusiast overclocker feel like a kid in a candy store. The software suite in concert with the UEFI BIOS makes the overclocking experience as technical and protracted as you want, or a 30 second auto function if that is more your speed.

When it comes to power delivery for the 990 FX, ASUS's 8+2+2 Extreme Engine Digi+ II is top dog again, with dedicated phases not only for the system memory, but the memory controller as well. Add to this the options to adjust the capacitance and switching frequencies of the VRM and you have the most tunable AMD board on the market right now. In addition to the precision and quality of the power delivery of the Formula V-Z are the delivery points. Four power connections for the board, CPU, and graphics in addition to a very large capacitor for the audio, really speaks to the lengths ASUS has gone to make this overclocking animal inherently stable while doing so. I don't wish to be querimonious, although I do have one request. ASUS if you are listening, PLEASE make an 'E' version of the Formula-Z that supports quadfire, in the form of four cards.

The Crosshair V Formula Z is not simply an aesthetic refresh of the Crosshair V Formula, but a ground up rethink implementation of the overclocker's motherboard and a shining example of what the ASUS engineers can do when an ASUS motherboard goes ROG.

 

Pros:

  • Great Looking Board
  • Highest Phase Count of All 990/950 Boards (8+2+2)
  • Triple Crossfire Capability
  • Great Overclocking
  • Extreme Engine Digi+ VRM
  • Power Delivery Connections
  • Supreme FX III Audio
  • Supports 2400MHz Memory
  • Software Suite Turbo EVO Suite II
  • Intuitive and responsive UEFI BIOS
  • On-Board Button Access
  • LN2 Overclocking Modes
  • Game First Program
  • Excellent Accessory Bundle
  • Build Quality
  • ROG Package

 

Cons:

  • No Native Quadfire Support


 

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