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ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z Review: Cream of the Crop for AM3+

Author: Josh Walrath
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Conclusion

 

Asus certainly has the market for top end AMD boards cornered.  While other manufacturers have high end AMD boards, none seem to compare well against what Asus brings with their ROG products.  The price is not all that bad, considering.  $225 US will get you this board at most retailers, but some would argue if it is really worth it to buy this board at this price when the top end CPU for AM3+ is the FX-8350 being sold for $199 US.  CPUs are obviously not under their control at Asus, but even so they make an impressive product.

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The back is utilized by Asus for extra space when it comes to the VRMs for the CPU.

The Formula-Z takes all that was good about the Crosshair V and then supercharges it.  It really is a totally new design from the ground up.  There really is no part that Asus left untouched and it truly is a fantastic board.  The feature set matches that of the latest Intel boards that easily cost $100 more.  The aesthetics of the board follow that of other ROG products, and the red/black motif works very well.

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Here we see the Formula-Z compared to the earlier Sabertooth 990FX.

If there was one problem with the board, it is the overall weakness of the chipset as compared to other recent offerings.  I honestly wonder why the A85X chipset for FM2 is not used with the 990FX northbridge?  The SB950 utilizes the same 4 x PCI-E connections to go to the northbridge as the A85X does to connect to the northbridge portion of the FM2 processor.  Theoretically these should be interchangeable.  It would be great to see manufacturers given the option of using this, but I am afraid that it will never happen.  AM3+ looks to be a dying platform.  The 1090FX chipset was cancelled long ago and it will never see the light of day.  FM2+ with Kaveri looks to be the next enthusiast platform for AMD and current Vishera processors look to be the last AM3+ products to be released.

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The Redline is really a red line.  The board has some real curb appeal.

Having said that, Asus is sending AM3+ out with a bang.  The Crosshair V Formula-Z is one of the best motherboards I have ever tested.  Stability, feature set, quality, design, and overall appeal are tops.  The Redline audio is very interesting and very clean.  Connectivity options are outstanding as well.  I really cannot think of where Asus could have improved the design, other than squeezing in the A85X as a southbridge.

AMD enthusiasts will want to take a long, hard look at this board.  It offers a compelling package for the price.  The issue is again the seeming dead end socket that it embraces.  Vishera looks about as good as it will get.  I am not entirely certain that there will be a significant refresh of Vishera parts (eg. FX-8450 or the like).  Still, it is hard to ignore this product.

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May 29, 2014 | 07:53 PM - Posted by Sofia (not verified)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about reggae videos.
Regards

March 21, 2013 | 07:42 PM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

Who cares really?

I've sold my Crosshair 2 Formula and 980T ages ago and bought a Gibson double cutaway neck Pro, a Zakk Wylde overdrive pedal and an old Behringer tube amp from the money that came from them.

lol.

March 25, 2013 | 01:12 PM - Posted by meganerd (not verified)

"Who cares really?"

Pretty much sums up how I feel about this post.

March 26, 2013 | 11:18 PM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

The fact that you're a "nerd" tells me all I need to know about you.

March 22, 2013 | 10:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There are numerous mistakes/conclusions in this review.

1. Asus CHV Formula-Z is not the best mobo though it's OK other than being very over-priced and with many useless gimmicks and BIOS adjustments

2. Vishera is not the last AM3+ model CPU

3. Asus is all about hype without much substance and their product QC issues confirm this

4. Asus customer service is nonexistent IME

5. The technically challenged are always impressed with pretty product boxes - especially with digital T&A

March 23, 2013 | 03:18 AM - Posted by Lachigan

The Formula-Z is the product of teamwork between Asus and AMD
How much R&D has been done,
And this is how they have executed using that experience...

March 25, 2013 | 11:50 PM - Posted by One (not verified)

I own a CH F-Z and a 8350 CPU oc'ed @ 5 GHz. What can I say: is blazing fast, stable, cool... in one word amazing ! Don't listen to John Doe's BS. He is an ex-AMD employee kicked out because he was too lazy and stupid.

March 26, 2013 | 11:19 PM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

lol.

Cool story bro.

June 26, 2013 | 12:06 PM - Posted by Webduelist (not verified)

Cool story brah, your Intel i7 is faster than something that is meant to compete with the i5s. Wow I wouldn't have guessed that.

And let me explain why it is meant to compete with the i5s, have you ever seen a bell curve of cpu sales for enthusiast gaming builds? The i3s, low, i5s high, i7s low. Now low doesn't mean they are not selling only that the i5 is out selling them.

Now your a company who is hurting pretty bad and you need to sell the most product, you could spend money in R&D put out a cpu faster than the Intel i7 but also more expensive and in that lower section of that bell curve. So you focus on where you are going to make the most money which is the i5 range.

Ok, now your going to come back with, "the 8350 doesn't beat the i5", when in reality they are about the same, the 8350 is even better when you are doing cpu heavy game streaming.

The only games I know of that the i5 pulls away is GW2, and Skyrim. Typically the i5 will get 1-5 fps better average, the minimum is typically the same.

Other than that right now the i5 and the 8350 are pretty much on par with each other. If cpus were cars your problem is your comparing, f1 cars (i7) to muscle cars (i5/8350)

June 26, 2013 | 12:06 PM - Posted by Webduelist (not verified)

Cool story brah, your Intel i7 is faster than something that is meant to compete with the i5s. Wow I wouldn't have guessed that.

And let me explain why it is meant to compete with the i5s, have you ever seen a bell curve of cpu sales for enthusiast gaming builds? The i3s, low, i5s high, i7s low. Now low doesn't mean they are not selling only that the i5 is out selling them.

Now your a company who is hurting pretty bad and you need to sell the most product, you could spend money in R&D put out a cpu faster than the Intel i7 but also more expensive and in that lower section of that bell curve. So you focus on where you are going to make the most money which is the i5 range.

Ok, now your going to come back with, "the 8350 doesn't beat the i5", when in reality they are about the same, the 8350 is even better when you are doing cpu heavy game streaming.

The only games I know of that the i5 pulls away is GW2, and Skyrim. Typically the i5 will get 1-5 fps better average, the minimum is typically the same.

Other than that right now the i5 and the 8350 are pretty much on par with each other. If cpus were cars your problem is your comparing, f1 cars (i7) to muscle cars (i5/8350)

June 26, 2013 | 12:07 PM - Posted by Webduelist (not verified)

Cool story brah, your Intel i7 is faster than something that is meant to compete with the i5s. Wow I wouldn't have guessed that.

And let me explain why it is meant to compete with the i5s, have you ever seen a bell curve of cpu sales for enthusiast gaming builds? The i3s, low, i5s high, i7s low. Now low doesn't mean they are not selling only that the i5 is out selling them.

Now your a company who is hurting pretty bad and you need to sell the most product, you could spend money in R&D put out a cpu faster than the Intel i7 but also more expensive and in that lower section of that bell curve. So you focus on where you are going to make the most money which is the i5

April 10, 2013 | 08:35 PM - Posted by yourmama (not verified)

sounds about right. he is awfully mad at amd for no apparent reason.disgruntled from the unlubricated butt fuckin

June 26, 2013 | 12:08 PM - Posted by Webduelist (not verified)

Cool story brah, your Intel i7 is faster than something that is meant to compete with the i5s. Wow I wouldn't have guessed that.

And let me explain why it is meant to compete with the i5s, have you ever seen a bell curve of cpu sales for enthusiast gaming builds? The i3s, low, i5s high, i7s low. Now low doesn't mean they are not selling only that the i5 is out selling them.

Now your a company who is hurting pretty bad and you need to sell the most product, you could spend money in R&D put out a cpu faster than the Intel i7 but also more expensive and in that lower section of that bell curve. So you focus on where you are going to make the most money which is the i5

September 18, 2013 | 01:11 PM - Posted by leester22 (not verified)

so if the AM3+ cpu line is dead how soon is it dying????? i was just watching the release of the new jackhammer processor the other day... like 3 months ago or so

September 28, 2013 | 04:54 PM - Posted by Hamzilla (not verified)

Great article Josh. I just bought one of these boards for a FX-9590 I just got for 299$ (600$ off one day sale)

July 23, 2014 | 07:27 PM - Posted by Christopher Cromwell (not verified)

Well, speaking from a true Asus/AMD fan (no not a troll), I currently love my Asus Crosshair V Formula Z board. I got it all up and running maxed out on speed & RAM. Just saving up my money to get 2 high end MSI video cards for it. But if any of you are interested to know, that I currently still run and still use the original ROG motherboard. What is the original ROG motherboard? I am talking about the original release ROG Crosshair 1 board from 2008; even though BIOS just simply calls it "Crosshair". I first saw this board on Amazon back then when I was building my new high end system, and it interested me enough to try it. It continues to run strong and fast to this day, just changed the CMOS battery earlier this year! :-) Goes to show how good ROG boards are! I am a ROG fan for as long as they make them for AMD CPU's. :-D

August 22, 2014 | 02:58 PM - Posted by kray (not verified)

I have a pc it has cross-hair a fx chip 16 gig of memory and radieon 7990hd black edition gfx and it works ..dam i dont know how they do it but it works i can play games surf the net and stuff, (giggles) there was this one time right i went all out and talked to my friends while i played a game and surfed the net on another monitor i know right it was a little naughty but hey you only live once right.
so all i can say is i have no problems and as long as thats the case im happy.
and thats all thats important to me

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