Asus ROG Crosshair IV Formula
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
Asus ROG Crossfire IV Formula Motherboard
4GB Corsair XMS3 PC3-12800C8 RAM
HIS Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
Samsung Spinpoint F1 320GB SATA II Hard Disk Drive
Samsung 22x DVD+/-RW SATA
Arctic Freezer 64 Pro CPU Cooler
BeQuiet! Dark Power 750W 80PLUS PSU
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
As a Republic of Gamers motherboard one expects a high quality BIOS heavily orientated towards Overclocking. None the less, this is exactly what you get. The roots of the Crosshair IV Formula are all too apparent when the first menu visible upon entering BIOS is the Overclocking section. Forget setting the time and date of your motherboard, this is much more important.
The layout of the System Performance tab remains strikingly similar to the Socket AM3 boards we've previously reviewed. From the top down you're offered the option between Manual and Automated Overclocking, CPU and RAM Frequency Ratios, followed by their corresponding Voltage parameters.
For those who use more exotic cooling solutions, Asus have also offered an Extreme Overvoltage option, which enables a higher range of Voltages across the board. With up to 2.1000V available for the CPU and up to 2.9000V for the RAM, it should be said that you won't be left limited on the Voltage front. We'll cover the board's Overclocking Abilities later on...
One of the more important features of the Crosshair IV Formula is it's Core Unlocking abilities. For those who are unaware, AMD removed the quirky (unlocking) Advanced Clock Calibration feature from the new SB850 southbridge so Asus have created their own implementation. You are also at liberty to select which cores you choose to unlock, such that a Dual Core can be unlocked to a Tri Core if one of it's cores are infact defective.
Another useful ROG feature is the Asus GO Button, which is effectively a hotkey that allows you to switch from your usual overclock configuration to another. Within a separate menu in BIOS it is possible to adjust the parameters you wish to associate with the GO button.
This is not a unique Asus ROG feature, however Asus' EZ Flash 2 utility deserves a mention. EZ Flash 2 allows the user to seek BIOS ROM Files from CD, USB Memory Stick and also your Hard Disk Drive.
Asus OC Profile permits up to 8 OC Profiles to be saved to your motherboard for you to recall at a later stage.