As you'd expect, the ROG Crosshair V Formula is a great board; it's got a strong feature set, some fantastic quality components, gives us some nice overclocking ability and features all the ASUS software we've grown to love. We'd expect nothing less from ASUS and as usual, the company delivers an awesome quality board.
Then there's the AMD 990FX chipset which is what we're really looking at today. How's it? - It's good, it brings some nice features to the table like SLI support, and in the Crosshair V Formulas case it brings 3-Way SLI support. Its USB 2.0 and SSD performance is also up when compared to the AMD 890FX chipset, which again is something that's appreciated.
The AMD 990FX chipset is only half the picture, though; to what AMD hope will be a strong competitor to Sandy Bridge. The board and chipset alone only tells us some of the story and while the 990FX looks like it's going to be a great platform, it needs to have that new AMD CPU in it for people to really appreciate what the chipset is able to offer.
What's funny is that what we like about AMD and dislike about Intel is what makes the AMD 990FX chipset less exciting at the moment. If AMD was using a completely new socket that only Bulldozer worked in, the 990FX launch would've been delayed and instead we'd see it launch side by side with Bulldozer CPUs. Because the 990FX chipset supports the current crop of CPUs, though, we are able to get the new chipset, but not enjoy the benefits on the new CPUs which are currently not here.
People are getting excited about Bulldozer; and for good reason, it indeed looks like it's going to be something special. That and the fact that it needs to be something special, but if we've learnt anything from our $599 US PC endeavors in the last few weeks, AMD systems are extremely capable gaming machines.
If you're getting excited for the new Bulldozer line of CPUs, though, you can go out and pick yourself up the 990FX based Crosshair V Formula and slide your current Phenom II CPU into it. Maybe take the plunge and buy yourself an SSD and setup Windows and enjoy what the board offers you now. When you can get your hands on a Bulldozer CPU, though, you can swap your current CPU out and enjoy the benefits that Bulldozer will bring you without the need to mess around with formatting your PC and all that other annoying stuff.
We would've loved to have been looking at the AMD 990FX and new AMD CPUs here today, but instead we only get a taste of what the new platform will bring. No doubt when we see Bulldozer CPUs the Crosshair V Formula will be able to really spread its wings and fly.
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