Asus Crosshair II AM2+ Motherboard

Test Setup & Overclocking

Test Setup
As I don’t have a reference to base this board upon I will have to take it on its own merits so with the abundance of settings available in the BIOS I set about seeing how far this motherboard could go
Asus Crosshair II Setup Specs
A fresh copy of Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit with SP1 installed along with the most recent drivers then applied. No applications/programs apart from the ones used in benchmarking were installed to ensure a totally clean fair environment to which you can base your comparisons.
Synthetic CPU & Memory Subsystem
• SiSoft Sandra
• Everest

CPU & Motherboard stress test
• Prime95 ver25.6
• PC Probe II

File Compression & Encoding
• 7-Zip
• ViMark

Hard Disk I/O performance
• HDTach
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008cc

3D Rendering
• 3Dmark 06
• 3Dmark Vantage
• Cinebench 10

3D Games
• Crysis
• Cod 4
• Bioshock

It is common knowledge that the AMD CPU’s of late have not been great overclockers regardless of what motherboard has been used especially when compared to Intel, AMD already seem to have binned their chips at the max level. Add to that the fact that the CPU I have is reportedly very stubborn in the overclocking department should make this overclocking experience a very testing one. I will however, endeavour to get the best results possible on air cooling which hopefully will provide the end user with some insight as to the possibilities available with this motherboard.
I am particularly interested in the power regulation with the 8+2 phase design and while only having a mid-top end air cooler available which no doubt limits the amount of vcore available to use safely I will see how far I can push the vcore and what vdrop/droop I encounter when the cpu is under 100% load.
Stock Overclocked
 To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I expected a much bigger overclock but I guess the CPU I have really is nothing special and despite my best efforts which includes 2 days of fiddling with the many BIOS options, the most I could squeeze out of it was little over 2.5ghz. I had similar luck with the max FSB of the board despite raising the voltages past what I would normally recommend. Any more than 220FSB, regardless of CPU multi and voltages, simply refused to POST. Despite the many voltage, CPU and memory tweaks the Crosshair has, it made little effect on the max FSB, emphasizing the fact that this board and therefore my overclocking were crippled by the Phenom in this review. One good point to come out of this is that I didn’t notice ANY droop when putting the CPU under load – the vcore just didn’t budge – testament to the 8+2 phase power delivery the Crosshair II has.

It was a very frustrating couple of days testing and in the end I had to accept defeat. It’s a real shame especially as this board is crying out for a decent CPU.

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Most Recent Comments

16-06-2008, 05:59:54

Very good review! Not really that good a board?

Only 11k on 3DMark06 with a 9800GX2?Quote

16-06-2008, 07:10:20

It's an AM2 board mate

That is some pricey board right there whoaQuote

16-06-2008, 07:20:54

Hybrid SLI working yet chaps?

Good review as always, nice work Rich. Quote

16-06-2008, 10:44:41

Originally Posted by name='Toxcity'
Very good review! Not really that good a board?

Only 11k on 3DMark06 with a 9800GX2?
Yeah m8, I was innitially dissappointed with the score but when you consider its AM2 the the scores can't really be compared to the performance of Core2.

Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
It's an AM2 board mate

That is some pricey board right there whoa
Yeah - dunno if I would pay that with AMD lagging behind like they are.

Originally Posted by name='Azza'
Hybrid SLI working yet chaps?

Good review as always, nice work Rich.
Cheers m8. Hybrid SLI does work....sometimes. Occassionally it would refuse to automatically come out of hybrid SLI and lag like hell as the 3d game was running of the onboard vga @ 2560x1600 which I'm sure you can imagine was a very WTF moment. Took me a while to realise it was the onboard VGA doing its thing lol. All it took was a quick restart and things were back to normal. Most of the time it was unoticable so must have been working fine. Maybe a driver issue?

I tested the on board VGA's capabilities more indepth in the 780a preview hence it's sparse inclusion in the actual motherboard review.Quote

16-06-2008, 11:05:20

nice looking board, and good review

nice to see AMD fans arnt left out of the current market, all this new tech spring up left, right, and center, its good to see Asus havent just left AMD behind..Quote

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