I would like to start by stressing that we reviewed the mainboard in alphabetical order, but we would like to draw our conclusions starting from the mainboard by MSI. MSI 990FXA-GD80 disappointed us, as we expected it to perform much more impressively. We were also a little upset with the manufacturer, because they failed to ensure that it comes with the current BIOS version. We were also upset about being unable to get better overclocking results. An additional SATA 2 controller instead of a SATA 3 can hardly be considered a serious drawback, but the COM-port support is hardly a big plus. There is one consolation though: MSI 990FXA-GD80 comes at a lower price than the competition,
The next mainboard on our list, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7, turned out an even bigger disappointment at this point. The parameters you really need are missing in the mainboard BIOS. Instead you have a bunch of parameters you don’t really need, which do not help the CPU and prevent you from increasing the memory clock frequency. It is hard to change anything, because you can’t always access the BIOS. The board is of larger size, which imposes certain compatibility restrictions, but it is still difficult to remove the graphics card. There are only four fan connectors onboard, and there is only one other fan besides the CPU one that allows you to adjust its rotation speed. This mainboard will be good for those who intend to build a four-way graphics configuration. However, if you want to really use this graphics configuration to the utmost of its potential, you will need a high-speed CPU, and the board can only lower its frequency below the nominal.
We do not need to once again list all the advantages of the Asus Crosshair V Formula mainboard to estimate its superiority over the competitors: they are all more than obvious, especially in comparison. We stopped at 4.5 GHz frequency during our overclocking experiments, but that occurred because of our CPU and its cooling system, and not because of the mainboard. I am sure that the mainboard can easily hit higher frequencies. It even tried to work with the memory at 2133 MHz, although it was way beyond the comfort zone for our particular memory modules. Had we used faster memory, I am certain this frequency would have been conquered successfully. A mainboard like that makes you a king. No wonder that AMD selected this particular mainboard to accompany their new CPUs at launch. Yes, the processors turned out not quite what we had expected them to be, but if you made up your mind to go with a Socket AM3+ processor, then it will be very hard to find a better mainboard than Asus Crosshair V Formula. Therefore, we are proud to award this product with our Editor’s Choice title as a great mainboard for computer enthusiasts that allows to unveil full potential of the new AMD processors: