AMD 990FX Mobo Round-Up: Asus, ASRock, Gigabyte

Asus CrossHair V Formula

The Asus CrossHair line of motherboards for AMD processors has long been a favorite amongst enthusiast and this latest addition seems poised to carry on the tradition. As we've mentioned, the CrossHair V Formula is based on the AMD 990FX chipset and supports all current socket AM3 processors and future AM3+ based processors as well. Asus has also augmented the board with a number of additional controllers to further enhance it's feature set and connectivity options.

The Asus CrossHair V Formula

Asus CrossHair V Formula 
Specifications & Features
CPU AMD AM3+ FX/Phenom II/Athlon II/Sempron 100 Series Processors
Supports AM3+ 32 nm CPU
Supports CPU up to 8 cores
Supports CPU up to 140 W
AMD Cool 'n' Quiet Technology
Chipset AMD 990FX/SB950
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 Hz ECC, Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Multi-GPU Support Supports NVIDIA 3-Way SLI Technology
Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology
Expansion Slots 3 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (dual x16 or x16, x8, x8)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
1 x PCI
Storage AMD SB950 controller :
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
ASMedia ASM1061 controller :
1 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
1 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
LAN Intel, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller
Audio SupremeFX X-Fi 2 built-in 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity
- EAX Advanced HD 5.0
- THX TruStudio PRO
- Creative ALchemy
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
USB Ports ASMedia USB 3.0 controller :
6 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)

AMD SB950 controller :

12 x USB 2.0 port(s) (8 at back panel, black+white, 4 at mid-board)
Form Factor ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

In addition to exploiting all of the features inherent to the 990FX chipset, the CrossHair V Formula also sports a pair of ASMedia controllers that add additional SATA 6G ports and six USB 3.0 ports. The board supports both 3-Way NVDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX multi-GPU configurations and the board is outfitted with an advanced UEFI BIOS and DIGI+ digital VRM design as well. As you'll see a little later, the UEFI setup menu on this board is about as good as it gets.

As expected from an Asus RoG (Republic of Gamers) board, there are plenty of overclocking tools built in too and an onboard SupremeFX X-Fi 2 chip delivers decent audio, especially for an integrated solution.


The Asus CrossHair V Formula AM3+ AMD 990FX-Based Motherboard

In addition to the CrossHair V Formula pictured here, a Thunderbolt edition is on tap as well. The CrossHair V Formula/ThunderBolt will come with Asus’ ThunderBolt audio/LAN combo expansion card. The ThunderBolt card is outfitted with XONAR audio technology which provides better sound quality than integrated solutions, and also offers a built-in headphone amplifier with adjustable impedance settings for fine tuning of the audio output. The Crosshair V Formula/Thunderbolt also incorporates the Bigfoot Networks Killer E2100 NIC.

Other noteworthy features of the Asus CrossHair V Formula include its "CPU Level Up" tool which allows for easy overclocking, RoG Connect for accessing PC health status via a secondary system like a notebook or netbook, ProbeIt voltage check points, and its Intel Gigabit LAN controller. The layout of the board is also very good and there is ample cooling for the chipset and voltage regulators. As you can see in the final image above, there is also plenty of connectivity in the board's backplane, including USB 3.0, USB 2.0, eSATA, PS/2, LAN, digital and analog audio, and RoG connect port.

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