Asus Crosshair V Formula
We are very well familiar with the design and peculiarities of ASUSTeK’s mainboard packaging for the products from the ROG (Republic of Gamers) series. As usual we get a vertical box with a convenient carry-handle, a front flip-cover with a clear window underneath that reveals the mainboard inside. There is a brief list of mainboard features and technical specifications on the inside of the flip-cover and on the back of the box.
There is a separate box with numerous accessories inside:
- Six SATA cables with L-shaped metal connector locks;
- “12-in-1 ROG Cable Label” a sheet with twelve paper tags that can be used to mark all SATA cables;
- A flexible bridge for two-way AMD CrossFire graphics configurations;
- A flexible bridge for two-way Nvidia SLI graphics configurations;
- A hard bridge for 3-way Nvidia SLI graphics configurations;
- “Asus Q-Connector” set including adapters for easy connection of the system case front panel buttons and indicators and a USB port;
- “ROG Connect Cable” with two USBs to connect to other PCs;
- I/O Shield for the back panel;
- A couple of plastic ties for cable management;
- “ROG Theme Label” – a large sticker with a Republic of Gamers image like the one in the lower right corner of the mainboard package;
- “Powered by Republic of Gamers” sticker;
- User manual;
- Brief installation guide in several different languages;
- DVD disk with software and drivers (including DAEMONT Tools Pro Standard and a one-year Kaspersky license).
The mainboard is also packed in a separate box with a clear plastic cover.
The first thing that catches your eye is the powerful cooling system. Three heatsinks on the chipset North Bridge and on the heating components of the processor voltage regulator circuitry are tied together into a single system with a heatpipe. Both heatsinks on the voltage regulator components are additionally enforced with metal backplates on the back side of the PCB. All heatsinks, including the one on the chipset South Bridge, use reliable screw-on retention. There is an additional four-pin power-connector that you can use for the CPU power supply besides the primary ATX12V one. All these extras are totally necessary. High power consumption and heat dissipation of this system required an additional fan for cooling the around-the-socket area even in nominal mode. Crosshair V processor voltage regulator is unique and is called Extreme Engine Digi+. It not only uses high-quality components, but it works using the advantages of analogue and digital approach at the same time. Therefore, it is not only powerful, but also quite energy-efficient and produces higher precision voltages.
The photograph of the mainboard and a components layout scheme reveal an entire range of peculiarities typical of Asus’ mainboards from the ROG series (Republic of Gamers). The memory modules are installed into Q-DIMM slots with a latch-lock only on one side of the slot. Convenient wide latches on the graphics card slots known as Q-Slot will make it easy to remove the card even in a busy system case. There is Probelt contact group a little above the memory DIMM slots. It allows to manually monitor all major voltages with a voltmeter. The mainboard has glowing Power On, Reset and CPU Level UP buttons for automatic processor overclocking. There is also a GO button that allows applying the frequencies, multipliers and voltages saved in the “Go Button File” sub-section of the mainboard BIOS, which means that we can instantly overclock our system to a certain preset level when necessary. If you press this button before you power on the mainboard, MemOK! function will kick in and will allow the mainboard to start successfully even if there are problems with the system memory. Q-Led diodes will help you identify the problem after failed system start, and Voltiminder LED will warn you if any of the voltages have been excessively increased. The mainboard allows connecting up to eight fans and three additional thermal diodes. I really wish they included a few of those with the bundled accessories.
Despite four graphics card slots, the mainboard doesn’t fully utilize the functionality of the AMD 990FX North Bridge. You can have one or two graphics cards working at full PCI Express 2.0 x16 speed, or three graphics cards working at x16/x8/x8. The fourth slot has only four PCI-E 2.0 lanes from the South Bridge at its disposal. Six SATA 6 Gbps ports are provided by AMD SB950, the seventh – by the additional ASMedia ASM1061 controller, and the eighth exists as an eSATA port on the mainboard back panel. Another peculiarity of this mainboard is that it is equipped with three USB 3.0 controllers. Two of them support four USB 3.0 ports on the back panel and the third one is used for one internal onboard pin-connector, which can deliver another two ports.
Here is the complete list of all ports and connectors on the back of our ASUS Crosshair V Formula:
- PS/2 connector for keyboard or mouse;
- Eight USB 3.0 ports (blue connectors) implemented via two ASMedia ASM1042 controllers. The third controller like that delivers an onboard pin-connector for two more USB 3.0 ports;
- Clear CMOS button;
- Eight USB 2.0 ports (including a white ROG Connect port), four more can be connected to two onboard pin-headers;
- An eSATA 6 Gbps port implemented via ASMedia ASM1061 controller. The same controller also supports one more SATA port on top of six SATA ports implemented via the chipset;
- Optical S/PDIF and six analogue audio-jacks provided by eight-channel Realtek ALC889 codec;
- A local network port (network adapter is built on Gigabit Intel WG82583V controller).
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