ASUS Crosshair V Formula 990FX Review
Today's review is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand we can directly compare it against current AM3-based motherboards, but on the other we know that the primary reason for its existence, the Bulldozer CPUs, aren't yet upon us and so we're only scratching the surface of the potential available.
However we have always had a belief that we can't review things based upon potential, but rather we want to see how it performs right now so that if it was our money, would we be happy?
With the ASUS Crosshair V Formula we definitely would.
Even using a processor that isn't designed to maximise the board, the AMD 1095T, the Crosshair V Formula gave us results significantly better than we'd achieved on the Crosshair IV Formula.
The cornerstone of the AMD philosophy is that you can upgrade gradually without your current hardware being rendered obsolete the second your new motherboard is out of the packaging (are you listening Intel?). Rather you can retain your current AM3 based system, slot the Crosshair V Formula in and know that when we're all singing "Zambezi, Zambezi, Zambezi, Zam I'll find a way" you've already got a way, because your whole system is just a CPU swap away from awesomeness.
The ASUS Crosshair V Formula is bristling with features to take advantage of in the interim. So many design choices hit the sweet spot from the plethora of USB 3.0 ports to the choice of all SATA3 all the time, the CH5F is deserving of its ROG branding.
Whilst pricing isn't available at the time of going to press, knowing the Formula moniker ensures this wont be priced to the enthusiast sector is encouraging. There certainly isn't anything that springs to mind which would make the Extreme variant, if one such thing exists, worth holding out for.
The Formula is well built, looks the business, has the brilliant UEFI BIOS and will breathe new life into your current setup. Assuming it comes in under the £200 bracket we expect, there is no reason why it isn't worthy of anything other than Gold.
Now bring on the Bulldozers.