Alongside the launch of the new AMD 990FX chipset, I think most people would like to be seeing the next generation of AMD CPUs come with it. As AMD don't hop around changing the socket every 5 minutes like Intel, though, the interesting thing is, that while we've got a delay in the Bulldozer line of CPUs the 990FX based motherboards can still be released.
What's interesting is that AMD and its partners don't seem all that keen on getting the new 990FX based boards reviewed. There are two major features that the new 990FX chipset offer; SLI and Bulldozer CPU support, neither of which we'll be looking at today. The reason for this is because one isn't released, and the other isn't going to be nearly appreciated as much using CPU architecture that has been around for ages now.
Without Bulldozer, a comparison of the new chipset against Intel's Sandy Bridge platform will look incredibly negative from a performance perspective. The latest chipset isn't aimed at users who are looking at picking up a Phenom II X6; instead it's for people who want to jump on the Bulldozer bandwagon that we should see passing through sooner rather than later.
It's for that reason that we won't be comparing any 990FX based boards to Intels current Sandy Bridge platform. The 990FX chipset is only half of what will make up the new platform from AMD that will take on the Sandy Bridge platform. The 990FX and the Phenom II X6 1100T we've got today isn't designed to go head to head with Sandy Bridge, instead the 990FX and Bulldozer CPUs are.
Of course, when we finally get our hot little hands on a Bulldozer CPU, we will see how that platform goes against the Sandy Bridge platform. For today, though, we'll instead look at what the AMD 990FX chipset offers us via the very sexy looking ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula. We'll start by looking at the package before taking the time to have a closer look at the motherboard itself. Once that's done, we'll get into the BIOS to see what's going on, cover some overclocking and then check out what kind of performance the board is giving us with the Phenom II X6 1100T.
Being part of the Republic of Gamers series, the package is pretty full on with an absolute heap of information on the box covering some of the main features the Crosshair V Formula offers. Opened up, we can also get a bit of a sneak peak at the board itself.
Inside we've got lots of bits and pieces with paperwork, driver CD and some stickers that let us label devices. In the cable department we've got our ROG Connect cable, six SATA cables, I/O back plate, Q-Connector kit, SLI and CrossFire cables along with a 3-Way SLI bridge.
It's not a massive package, but it's indeed larger than what we see from a lot of other motherboard companies. With that out the way, though, let's take the time to have a closer look at the board itself.