ASUS Maximus V Formula Reviewccokeman -
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ASUS Maximus V Formula Introduction:
Over the years, ASUS Republic of Gamers motherboards have become the standard that others are measured by. Offering a unique feature set for the gamer as well as the extreme overclocker looking to set new records, ASUS ROG offerings are what I would consider a halo product. Over the past few years, I have looked at a broad selection of ASUS motherboards, including the ROG offerings. In this time, I have seen steady improvements in the feature set and build quality, as each part of the package has been meticulously refined to offer the gamer and enthusiast the best possible motherboard for the price. It's not always just raw performance that makes the motherboard attractive, but the long term reliability and impressive feature set that ASUS brings to the table. Having gone through the ASUS Maximus V Gene and looking at what ASUS brought to the table, it should prove interesting to see how the ASUS Maximus V Formula compares. For the $279 price tag, or $90 price premium over the Maximus V Gene, you get improved multi-GPU options, an updated VRM cooling solution called Fusion Thermo, a hybrid liquid/air cooled solution, an upgraded Supreme FX IV sound solution, an improved mPCIe riser card, and more.
ASUS Maximus V Formula is but a step away from the top of the product stack. Let's see how it performs when pitted against some of the top line boards from both ASUS and others. If past performance is any indication, the ROG Maximus V Formula should overclock well and provide a significant upside in features to go with the performance expectations.
Maximus V Formula Closer Look:
There is no mistaking the packaging of an ASUS ROG series motherboard. The bright red coloring and ROG Logo stand out among the many boards on your local retailer's shelf. The front panel focuses on the ROG imagery with the name of the board (Maximus V Formula), the fact that it supports PCIe 3.0, is Windows 8 ready, and supports multiple graphics solutions from NVIDIA and AMD, as well as being able to support Hybrid graphics with the use of Lucid LogiX Virtu MVP. The back side of the package shows several of the outstanding features used on the Maximus V Formula that separate it from the crowd, including improved cooling via the Fusion Thermo cooling system, SupremeFX IV sound solution, mPCIe Combo card with a dual-band WiFi/Bluetooth solution, and the inclusion of the ASUS GameFirst software package. Some basic specifications are listed for the consumer and a full size rendering of the I/O panel connectivity. The information train does not stop there. The front panel flips open to reveal the Maximus V Formula in all its red and black glory. On the opposite side flap are detailed descriptions of each of the features shown on the back side of the package. Inside the box, the motherboard and accessory bundle are split into separate boxes to allow the product to speak for itself when the front panel is opened. The accessory bundle fits snugly inside the second box and is incredibly robust as one might expect.
ASUS has consistently delivered a diverse bundle of accessories with each of the boards in the product stack that maximizes the potential of the motherboard at hand. This bundle is no different and is indicative of what you can expect with a ROG board. Front to back, ASUS has the user covered with the instruction manual, driver disk, "Do not Disturb" door tag, and SATA cable labels. The hardware part of the bundle is impressive, as a large part of it adds functionality that might otherwise go unnoticed. You get six SATA cables (four 6Gbps, two 3Gbps), ASUS Q-Connectors, 2-in-1 RF cable, ROG Connect cable, two WiFi ring antennas, SLI bridge connector, mPCIe Combo card with a dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n module + Bluetooth v4.0/3.0+HS module, and an I/O shield.
When you look deeper into the bundle, you get a feel for how deep the thought process is at ASUS as the company strives to offer the best components for the end user. Things such as the Q-Connectors may seem so trivial, but actually make life easier for those of us with large hands. Putting those front panel leads onto the motherboard has never been easier and is something I miss each time I take an ASUS board out of the test system. Then there is the ASUS I/O shield that reduces EFI interference through the back I/O panel and reduces injuries due to no knockouts left in the panel with sharp edges. The mPCIe module is equipped with a dual-band (2.4/5.0GHz) WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n module + Bluetooth v4.0/3.0+HS module, which adds functionality to the Maximus V Formula, including wireless connectivity and Internet sharing. This module also supports the use of a mSATA drive as a way to take advantage of ASUS SSD Caching or Intel's Rapid Storage technology to accelerate a mechanical drive.
So far, it seems ASUS has put together a pretty strong package and bundle. Let's take a look at the Maximus V Formula and see what the board has to offer enthusiasts and gamers looking for that next part of the puzzle that is going to help improve the gaming experience.