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(user review) Asus Crosshair V Formula-Z with Zambezi FX

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ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z - a new shine for Bulldozers?

Today we finally look at the new flagship ROG AMD for this year. I saying for this year, because if Vishera becomes similar processor such as Thuban, we could theoretically wait for Extreme versions? Or at least dream of many AMD users, version Gene. But back to reality, away from dreaming. It's more than a year, it was introduced Motherboard ASUS Crosshair V Formula AMD990FX chipset. Chipset and motherboard itself I introduced you in a separate article, for example here:

Then for Bulldozer we waited another few months and enthusiasm for most users, unfortunately fallen. It is not true that Bulldozer was downright bad, but expectations were high. Domain of Bulldozer performance is erratic - sometimes high, the average and weaker elsewhere. Vishera fix it? This is a speculative question, but when I broached the topic, you must realize the basic thing. Vishera core Piledriver is only refresh of Bulldozer. Can it be slightly improved performance, fixed some bugs, improved the ratio of performance/ consumption, improved IMC, added instructions, etc. And it can be improved existing board Crosshair V? Yes, this can be improved, even if it is still on the same chipset :-).

First, therefore, look at the two plates together, uffff, and that is that? A careful eye will notice, however, at first sight a few differences (click to enlarge).

1)Function keys have been moved to another location on the board. Specifically, in the upper right corner, following the example of most of ROG boards last generation. And hooray, POST display, the one I was looking forward :-). Conversely disappeared On the contrary, the OC disappeared, but its function partially replace small, red BUTTON GO button. To recap, allows access to your favorite OC profile, which, at the appropriate BIOS submenu create.

2)Two more utility can be found directly to the left of the POST display. I, too, quietly behind them in a spirit of prayer and it was answered by me smile.gif. I'm talking now about the switch "slow mode" and LN2 jumper mode. Both are suitable for extreme overclocking (so for xremesystems guys :-)).

3)Little else and skip the eye we also takes us otherwise designated liabilities over the southern bridge.

4)Just a bit below it on the bottom edge of the board is also changed a few things ... Another switch "fast boot", specifically to support Windows8, but what I tested with Win7, and there is shorter than the older Crosshair V. Excellent and useful thing.

5)Just to the right we see a small black button called "direct key". Used to enter the BIOS without keyboard there smile.gif. Even to this feature later return.

6)At the bottom is too new Thunderbolt connector card. Just bought a cable to connect the card to this connector, then stick the other cable to the output of the graphics card (displayport).

7)SATA...we now have 8x SATA 6G, originally there was seven.

8)Classic PCI disappeared, now we can find only PCIe lines. Some may be unhappy, I do not need no PCI. It's just like last year, an additional power supply for the graphics card to the board (or rather power PCIe slots)-in a case involving a really voracious reader GPU such as SLI or Crossfire.

9)Have you noticed a strange line from the audio outputs of the board towards the sound chip? Yes, we have light LED "path" from the audio chip towards outputs, such as we know from the Maximus Gene or Maximus Formula V. But there was also a change in the actual sound chip. Now it is all covered with EMI shield, has strongly dimensioned capacitors (1500UF) and the extended support DTS (DTS and DTS connect sound). A new system called the entire Supreme FX III, last year there was "only" II.

10)I take quickly a look at IO outputs. Two e-SATA 6G, BIOS Flashback button for easy BIOS update. Again, great!

11) Other changes at first glance not see much, except really experienced users. The first of these is a separate power supply for the digital circuit memory with a control member. Roezebreme him well in the next chapter. equally with the signal distribution is also related memories through technology, T-topology. I to that in another context get. A slight modifications as part of the power for the CPU.

- ...and here VRM area at older Crosshair V:

12)Slight changes in the BIOS and naturally pleasant changes were also made to the supplied software. I'll get to as well in a separate chapter.


I made at last year's shooting and plate shot in nature. Boring is the bottom of the plate. We see only the bottom sheets drivers and backplate plate. Can you still perceive sound LED line.

dm-6134796337611.png (if is this link wrong, after http://img.fileup.cz/?di=6134796337611)
When viewed from above us deliver the most black-red massive liabilities covering the CPU and power supply part of the northbridge. It is almost identical to last year's pasive. Slight fan should politely remove heat from the melted VRM. Separately cooler is then placed South Bridge ROG logo. The board has 4 power connectors. 8-pin and 4-pin CPU power connector for standard plates and an additional power connector PCIe slots for hungry graphics cards SLI/CF. Processor socket AM3 + is again, 942 sockets for pins. Attachment for cooler now also know from last year. In general, the space around the socket clean and nothing to prevent extreme overclocking comfortable and classical isolation procedure smile.gif. To the right of the socket are then 4 memory slots supporting up to 2400 MHz memory OC with a total capacity of 32 gigabytes This is followed by power and memory upper corners tweakovací part. Looking down, then there is some PCIe slots, of which four are PCIe x16 one but acts as PCIe x4 and then have found two black PCIe x2. The actual installation of graphics and support for NB is 16 +16 or 16 +8 +8. Recently PCIe x16 is connected to the SB and therefore only works as x4. A little unfortunate but I see casting PCIe x1, because when using SLI / CF will not actually have any available smile.gif. It's hard to say if one PCIe x1 for example, was above the first PCIe x16 ... Near the bottom right of the South Bridge SATA find eight outputs and a little above them USB3.0 port. Quite the bottom line is different then USB, audio, Thunderbolt, fan connectors. In the left corner of the already mentioned SupremeFX III.


Now look at some of the components and the motherboard detail. First we look at vrm with digital circuit. This is a slightly modernized and it can be found under its large deficit in the shape of the letter "L". After his withdrawal, we uncover the power section in all its glory. ASUS called it Extreme Engine Digi + II. This is a digitally controlled power supply with a separate controller from Chil (on board can be found at the first coil called Digi + EPC). This controls the entire 8 +2 power for the CPU and CPU IMC. In the picture are indicated by an individual mosfets (top and bottom). Individual drivers are located on the other side of the board from the bottom. For the mosfets is a good number of coils and capacitors. Note also the exposed northebridge and dual CPU power connectors. Standard 8-pin and 4-pin optional. But you need to do is plug the primary 8-pin. The second processor is used for high power loads.
I have marked 3 chips near IO outputs. From bottom is Asmedia1042 (USB 3.0), Asmedia1061 (e-SATA 6G) and again Asmedia1042 (USB 3.0).

Looking for something below. In the right corner of the photo is a connector for the temperature sensor below it (beside) is Intel's power chip. Even before the sound chip ITE IT8721F dimensional, that is in charge of I / O, such as checking voltage, fan speed, etc. Below that is already SupremeFX III audio using the Realtek ALC889 codec, noise should suppress stronger with thicker shielding capacitors 1500UF . And indeed, from the subjective sorvnání with the previous option, the sound seems smoother. The integrated solution is a good deed and that the sound card was unusable as of the time 10 years ago, does not. Obvious is the support for 8-channel audio and standard 5.0HD EAX, THX Truststudio and others. Again, for details enlarge.

Under the first PCIe x16 slot is another Asmedia SATA / eSATA chip 1061 and ICS clock generator.

Under the second PCIe x16 slot, four PCIe find dividers produced Asmedia - AMS1440. BIOS chip is placed a bit of an unusual place, we used to have it on the bottom of the plate completely. It has a capacity of up to 64 megabytes Someone might object that there is only one, but Formula is synonymous with gaming boards and overclockers with normal (not only) LN2. They usually solve suitability jendoho BIOS or another for various purposes. Moreover, for the BIOS flashback often unsure damaged original BIOS. Above the BIOS chip is a new BIOS chip with a sign-perhaps it is coupled with the function of BIOS flashback.

If we move to the upper right corner of the board (by clicking on the image moves different, better photos), we see other innovations in the form of switches and functional parts supply boards and memory. The board can be configured with up to 32GB memory slots for up to four frequencies up to 2400 MHz. However Vishera frequency should handle even a bit more. We are therefore eager new world records in the frequency of memory (3600 MHz +)! Already at the beginning I mentioned that communication with RAM now being called via T-topology, where the signal goes to the frame just as long paralel. Furthermore, the digital memory power has a positive effect on the stability of the clock and the RAM. Power is biphasic, and it dominates digital single member (arrowed). Again, it is a combination of double MOSFET and a number of coils and capacitors. On the left you can see the power DRAM connector for fan, temperature sensor dvoupin for a classic 24-pin power connector board. Below it are the voltage measurement points.
To the right of the power button DRAM is the go-button, and START Reser tkačítko and post screen. For that I really like, although I have a PCI post card, but mine does not work with UEFI-interface on modern motherboards is no longer in my case useless. Above the post display is jumper for LN2 mode (for example, allows a higher voltage options, or BIOS predefined profiles) and Slow Mode switch (also excellent usable when booting under LN2). A major two connectors for CPU fan with PWM.

Lower right corner of the plate iROG preoccupied with two chips. Programmable, in charge of the OC-saving functions, etc from contact with AI Suite II software. Dole then USB connector, switch Fast Boot for fast booting into OS (Windows8 special functions) and function DirectKey. What is the Direct Key :-)? Look at it in the video below. Further to the right another fan connectors and connector for connection to a PC case.
How's the SATA outputs and south bridge? Eight zanutých 6G SATA connectors, six of them are native from southern bridge and the other two external mediates Asmedia ASM1042. Liabilities South Bridge is commendable fixed using screws. Above the deficit still see red USB 3.0 connector for a PC outlet box (also ASM1042).

Lower left edge of the connector offers audio, SPDIF output, another koenktor for fan, temperature connector TPM connector and power supply for connecting Thunderbolt card. And the USB port.

Finally, a description of the individual outputs on the I / O panel. From left to right are: PS2, 2x black USB 2.0, SPDIF connector, 2x USB 3.0, the BIOS Flashbakc, the ROG connect, 4x USB 2.0 (white is for BIOS flashback and ROG connect), 2x USB 3.0, 2x eSATA 6GB / s, LAN connector, 2x USB 2.0 and outputs for 8 channel sound.

And daring the BIOS, I will describe just a novelty, or only very interesting statements.
Screen Layout BIOS is here with us for over a year and a half. Since then, we have the red-and-black color I used to. Anyway, so the mouse and keyboard. Generally the BIOS I can only say that reacts flexibly, without the delays and jams, and compared to last year's model, there was added a few settings related to innovation.

The first screen of the Extreme Tweaker [/ B] tab is traditional. Extreme loading the profile settings takltování over DOCP profile or manually via the original dividers. CPU Level up like two OC profiles for gamers and lowskill OCguys. In addition, the CPU multiplier and uncore, HyperTransport, limiting EMI EPU energy saving modes and Xtreme tweaking for better score in the old 3D Marks (2001, 2003).

Despite DOCP profile can be set up to an astounding 2,800 MHz for the memory!

Standard memory divider is "only" 2400 MHz. Even so, it is a higher value than the older Formula V. Note that these values ​​are actually designed only and only for Bulldozer!

Another part of the screen related to the setting voltage. Standard and proven concepts I will not explain, but if you are not sure you can contact them or ask in the discussion.

The last major screen is on the settings of other voltage and frequency of the refresh circuit for NB with which the processor communicates.

For a few items are still looking detail. Has the possibility divider for the CPU / NB, this is now really extreme for up to 6200 MHz!

EPU is now divorced detail even in BIOS. You can choose your degree level of energy savings. I think that is a good thing and idle states, the territory of the other save watík extra osttaně, try to look at it later in practice, -).

Setting memory has undergone a few changes. Hooray, now we have at least two preset profiles for memory, so now on AMD. Timing is "only" on two screens, it is at the Intel ROG even 4 screens smile.gif ...

Memory drivings is also slightly enriched for each dualchannell separate.

correctness of hardware initialization during fasting, needless further comment...

We look at the subheading DIGI + Power control, the name suggests that it will be settings related to power and control of digital and analog circuits on the board.

First classic calibration of processor. Again, as I note in my every review boards or the clock - do not unnecessarily highest calibration, ideal at home is medium or high.Následují current protection for the CPU. Cleverly now disappeared highest above 130%, that is activated only when LN2 mode.

Switching phase-standard, optimized and extreme or manual. Controller can be set to 550 kHz.

Protection of the whole power system (phases) and how quick feedback

The same can be concluded for the CPU / NB

Since the board also has a digital control phases for memory, can not be missing a few settings for the control memory. Switching memory phase (after 300KHz) via the controller and the actual activation phase optimized or extreme.

Voltage processors again can be set manually or as offset by the positive or negative delta voltage from the VID.

MAIN tab is like the second in order. In addition to information about the PC and set the language allows us to still be setting passwords for the post.

ADVANCED tab includes detailed settings for CPU specific and energy-saving features, setting the north and south bridge and the same time, related peripherals, sound, network, external chips, Funck ROG connect ....

CPU saving states, virtualization, HPC function for higher computing power and APMM, remember that the higher OC off.

Set NorthBridge

SATA settings

Further setting for USB and USB3.0

Then we have a set of additional, external chips - eSATA, LAN, some USB3.0

Also setting ROG connect and post display

You can also deactivate the LED lighting

MONITORING is a separate tab, the name suggests, it allows you to read temperature, voltage, speed ventioátorů and their regulation.

The temperature section you can also set individual temperature protection.

Fan speed control is nicely part for setting the fans. The fan can be controlled according to the connected jack as PWM or DC. Speed ​​can then be set several profiles or individually (and even more interesting then the software Fan Expert I/II). Just enter the lowest and highest temperature plus the fan speed.

Penultimate is the BOOT tab. There are quite a lot of added items. First set NumLock on boot. Sometimes it is useful.

POST Delay Time - Post time delay, the shorter, the faster boot.

Fast boot - the main purpose of fast boot time is running Windows8, even with windows7 SSD and you will see quite a lightning start.

PS2 keyboard / mouse support - also an interesting item, you may have an active PS2 devices during fasting or up only in the operating system
DirectKey enabled - if it is in its default setting, pressing Directkey the PC off and then on to get to the BIOS. That you are indeed seen in the video. You do not have to press DEL etdy crazy and can come in handy during that know about a problem you need to solve through the BIOS and you're lazy grabber of a mouse or keyboard and the PC rebooted. Alternatively, you leave this problem for another day, and at least it will not forget ...

Security boot parameters - also useable for more Win8 and data security and authenticity of the operating system, installed software. Advantage or disadvantage -)? If you set Win8 UEFI, it is a "problem" for many of you in the world smile.gif.

The last tab is a TOOL, it contains information about SPD memory based flash EZ Flash 2, saving options OC profiles and profile under the button GO Button.


The alpha and omega of software AI Suite II. That in itself has several subsections and useful featur, list them gradually encapsulated:

Turbo-V Evo: software for debugging and stepping of the processor. Voltage can be set for different subparts of the processor, memory

Digi + power control: phase control settings and everything associated with it, not only for the CPU, but also for the DRAM

EPU: setting saving methods that do not relate directly to the p-state of the processor. However, I do not recommend the use for OC!

Fan Expert I/II: management and monitoring of fan speed, you can choose from several preset profiles, or simply use the mouse moves on the chart vytovřit and then save your own profiles. Definitely a nice utility you will use.

Probe II:software for monitoring voltage, temperature and fan speed, which alerts you to critical events. Critical values ​​of the sliders directly set and exceeded their software will alert you in the operating system jumping messages window.

Sensor recorder: the name suggests, it is a video recording voltage, speed and so you can create a small report to save.

AI Charger+: perfectly clear, rechargeable via USB, even if your PC is resulting (iphones, other smartphones with Android-my love smile.gif, cameras etc...).

USB 3.0 boost, yes or no? This functionality I have thoroughly tested the permeability through the classic test in AS SSD Benchmark, the results can be see in the image below. The first picture shows the classic 16 gigabytes used on USB3.0 A-Data USB flash drive, the second shows the throughput after enabling USB3 boost.
without boost OPx1i.jpg

with boost rGOT4.jpg

Then there is the monitoring of temperatures and frequencies info and except as novelties SPD information and info on the board so it's about everything.

And now second software, new in AMD boards, Gamefirst software. Quite an interesting thing, where you can assign packet priority, measure the transferred data, and much more!


Even brief tabular information to the board

AMD FX-8150 B2+AMD cooling set (simillar as ANtec Kuhler 920)
Asus Crosshair V Formula-Z :-)
Corsair AX1200W
2x 4GB Kingston HyperX 2400 MHz cl11 (defaults at 1866 MHz)
Radeon HD7870

For performance at stock frequency I used the following tests:
Superpi - old x87 test at 16M decimal places
AIDA 64 - test throughput with a focus on reading, writing and copying memory
SiSOft Sandra 2012 - again test of memory throughput and CPU multicore perf.
Wprime 1.55 - multithreaded calculation at 1024M
y-cruncher - very hard loading calculation with additional optimizations for modern processors
Fritzchess benchmark - Chess multi-threaded test calculation
Cinebench R11.5 - multi-core rendering test according Maxon Studios
POV-Ray - next rendering test
x264 5.x - innovative and popular x264 encoding benchmark to simulate high-definition video, now newly resolution 1080P!
x264 FHD - Encoding video also test the output resolution FHD
winrar - test of compression
7-zip - Test compression and decompression in one result
Geekbench - SUMMARY test of subsystem, the resulting score is counted
Truecrypt - test file encryption
3DMark11 - test Performance, Physics score
3DMark Vantage - CPU score

Let's look at the test results. Again I would like to point out that perhaps SuperPi does not reflect the real CPU nothing (good as it is informative compared to a similar architecture and popular as a simple benchmark), only the x87 performance in operations, which has long been in decline. AMD has focused on them.




















Power consmuption old vs new and new with and without EPU
Interestingly I measured and consumption, including a fully active EPU. Without EPU consumption was equal to 100 watts 5W difference is not large, but measurable, yes, this function thus fulfills its purpose. Even though this board has slightly higher power than the original formula V is a larger number of output ports and external elements. Richly appointed boards are always a few watíků more power. The load but it is surprising contrast.



Traditionally I tested Overclocking AMD CPU using AOD stability test. Half an hour had enough, otherwise I could've tested her spend whole evenings. However, it is know that the BIOS is not completely etched and small mistakes when overclock and then find stability. After processing site complete satisfaction, the board seems really stable for the processor and I reached the same piece of FX-8150 up to 4888 MHz frequency! That's not bad at all! It is more nearly a 40 MHz compared to last year at Corsshair V Formula (I have not tested the OC until recently with this piece FX!). However, the negative point? I waited for the T-topology and digital control of phase and some memory improvement in RAM, it has not happened and I even had problems with just a bit over 2400 MHz stable. This is not bad, CL10 timings, but the last time I got to about 2500 MHz for benchmarks even further. The fault could be another piece of Trident (GSkill memory) than the previous ones.




The maximum possible benchmarks proved equally as the older Formula V, see for yourself on a sample of SuperPi. I set cores active all, just like last time. Cinebench I tried briefly, a few tens of MHz above 5 GHz is also the same.

lG1lW.jpg We like this... :-)



Motherboard ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z's original innovation Formula V. Why? AMD has not issued a new chipset and uses the AMD 990FX again. I Bulldozer processors so ultimately spoke to enthusiastic users as the need for changes ROG AMD boards. However, innovation less visible to the eye are also useful in practice. Whether we take the so-called readiness for operating systems Win8, fastboot, direct input into the environment through the BIOS and for us enthusiasts LN2 jumper and a truly enjoyable slow mod. Can enjoy a decent number of outputs on the rear panel and flashing the BIOS without the need for CPU. This fully digital power supply for Intel's design and quality components makes this mounting plate queen for AMD processors. And I almost forgot the game Záveská "do not disturb" on the door knob :-).
Personally, I'm hoping a change in the deficit over the mosfets Desing (something along the lines of last Maximus series-it's really beautiful board), but I believe that in a year we will see this innovation as well smile.gif. I would also be pleased for integrated Wifi. Even so, I would like to appeal to the possibility of ROG mATX board, as well as through smaller AMD market, in my subjective feeling AMD mATX ROG definitely take. Even if it should be considerably worse than the Intel equivalent. It still meet up with this idea, not only on Czech forums, but also abroad AMD fans. We can only wish you good luck with AMD steamroller higher desktop.

PS:And what Vishera? Yes ... Do not forget that this is a light refresh architecture, performance measure therefore expect according to clear logic. And the results with you after the NDA definitely share smile.gif. As enthusiast of AMD I must it have smile.gif.
lucky Vishera
(14 items)
FX-8370@4999 MHz Asus 970 Pro Gaming/Aura Saphire R9-270X Toxic 2GB DDR5 2x4 GB G.Skill RipjawsX 2400 c11 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
HyperX 3K SSD 18x DVD-RW Samsung Cooler Master V6GT win XP 32-bit and Win 7 64-bit 
Samsung 2053BW Corsair TX850 HAF 922 razer deadadder 
  hide details  
lucky Vishera
(14 items)
FX-8370@4999 MHz Asus 970 Pro Gaming/Aura Saphire R9-270X Toxic 2GB DDR5 2x4 GB G.Skill RipjawsX 2400 c11 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
HyperX 3K SSD 18x DVD-RW Samsung Cooler Master V6GT win XP 32-bit and Win 7 64-bit 
Samsung 2053BW Corsair TX850 HAF 922 razer deadadder 
  hide details  
post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 

with AIR AMD FX smile.gif...
lucky Vishera
(14 items)
FX-8370@4999 MHz Asus 970 Pro Gaming/Aura Saphire R9-270X Toxic 2GB DDR5 2x4 GB G.Skill RipjawsX 2400 c11 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
HyperX 3K SSD 18x DVD-RW Samsung Cooler Master V6GT win XP 32-bit and Win 7 64-bit 
Samsung 2053BW Corsair TX850 HAF 922 razer deadadder 
  hide details  
lucky Vishera
(14 items)
FX-8370@4999 MHz Asus 970 Pro Gaming/Aura Saphire R9-270X Toxic 2GB DDR5 2x4 GB G.Skill RipjawsX 2400 c11 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
HyperX 3K SSD 18x DVD-RW Samsung Cooler Master V6GT win XP 32-bit and Win 7 64-bit 
Samsung 2053BW Corsair TX850 HAF 922 razer deadadder 
  hide details  
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