ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z Review: Cream of the Crop for AM3+
I am transitioning some of my tests to utilize new, fast SSDs. So unfortunately, a lot of the previous results from boards do not translate as they used a fast 7200 RPM spinning disk drive. I compared the Crosshair V Formula-Z to its predecessor, the Crosshair V Formula. In the weeks to come I will be comparing these results to Intel based boards when those reviews come out.
Eight SATA-6G ports, six of which are native to the SB950.
I am also using the latest, top end AMD CPU. The FX-8350 is the Piledriver based product that runs at a base 4 GHz with a 4.2 GHz turbo mode. The CPU features four modules/eight cores, 8 MB L2 cache, and 8 MB of L3 cache. This CPU is not overclocked, so the memory controller and cache run at the standard 2.2 GHz featured with this architecture. The memory used runs at DDR-3 1866 speeds with XMP profiles enabled.
The northern part of the board is pretty busy with buttons and diagnostic lights.
The test still uses the trusty AMD HD 5870 graphics card. Since the tests I am using are not GPU bound, it is a nice companion to the test setup. The latest Catalyst 13.1 drivers are used for testing. A fresh install of Windows 7 64 bit SP1 is done with the latest updates and drivers available.
The motherboard is actually mounted in a case throughout testing. I feel this is important as airflow will be more representative of usage as compared to an open test bench. Corsair provided the Carbide 300R case for testing purposes. This is a nice, roomy case with very good airflow and acoustics. Thanks again to Corsair for providing the 300R and the TX750M (modular) power supply for testing.
The VRM portion is nicely designed and keeps the socket in compliance with AMD's design specs.
AMD FX-8350 CPU
GSkill DDR-3 1866 memory @ 126.96.36.199 timings
WD Caviar Black 1 TB HD (OS)
Samsung 256 GB 840 Pro SSD (File Tests)
Lite-On Blu-Ray Drive
Corsair TX750M Power Supply
Corsair Carbide 300R Case
Windows 7 64 Bit
Catalyst 13.1 Drivers