ASUS Crosshair V Formula 990FX Motherboard Reviewajmatson -
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There is no secret that AMD has been working on a new CPU socket for their upcoming flagship eight core processors. With all that hype, they have been causing quite a stir and a lot of gossip. Some of that gossip was concerning what the new chipset would be and what it might offer to complement the new line of processors. The new socket is dubbed AM3+ and is designed to support both current AM3 processors (including the now current Phenom II X6 1100T flagship processor) as well as the new processors that will be launching in the near future. The one thing about new chipsets that make them even better is the support and additional functionality that the manufacturers put into them. One manufacturer that puts a lot into their bread and butter boards is ASUS and their Republic of Gamers series. The ROG series puts the best of the best into the boards designed to give you the best bang for your buck. Anyone who has used an ASUS ROG board knows the potential they have at their disposal.
ASUS has been producing Republic of Gamers series boards for AMD users for some time under the Crosshair name. Just a year ago we saw the power of the Crosshair IV Formula with the release of the Phenom II six cores and today we are going to see the successor of that board with the introduction of the new "Scorpius" 990FX chipset with the ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard. The new 990FX chipset combines the power of the 990FX Northbridge and the SB950 Southbridge for an unprecedented pair to be reckoned with. The new chipset boasts full PCI Express 2.0 support, SATA 6Gbps support via the SB950 chip, support for multiple graphics cards including Quadfire and a first on AMD boards, Tri-SLI. That's right you heard it here, the Crosshair V Formula will allow you to not only run four AMD graphics cards but now you have the choice to run multiple NVIDIA cards stacked up to three deep. If I don't have your attention by now you must really be a noob :) Anywho, how about we stop the yapping and dig down into what we all have been waiting for.
The ASUS Crosshair V Formula comes packaged in the signature Republic of Gamers design with the red color scheme. On the front are the logos that the board supports including the new feature for NVIDIA SLI that everyone has been screaming for. On the back of the box are some closeups of the most important features and a breakdown of the specification for the Crosshair V motherboard. One thing I love that manufacturers do is provide the "windows" for us to see first hand what we are getting without having to open the box. By flipping up the front flap on the box you get a good look at the beauty that the Crosshair V has to offer. On the flap there are some more details of the features that you get in this rocking board.
To protect the motherboard and accessories there are two inner boxes. One houses the board itself and the other houses the accessories in compartments so when you take out your new investment everything is safe and sound just the way it should be.
The Republic of Gamers boards come with a decent bit of accessories. The Crosshair V Formula is no exception. Included with the board is the standard bit of accessories and some unique ones as well. We have the User manual which you will definitely have to read with the amount of features that this board offers, the software CD, a window cling for your case, a set of cable labels which really makes a difference when cleaning up your case with proper cable routing, six SATA 6Gbps cables, the white ROG connect cable for remote overclocking using your notebook or netbook, the shielded back plate, the Q-Connectors and the Crossfire and SLI bridges for your multi-GPU setup.
Now that we have everything out of the box let's take a better look at the board itself.