ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review :: Features

06-02-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
  • Phenom II/ Athlon II/Sempron 100 Series Processors (AM3 CPU)
  • AMD 890FX Chipset
  • DDR3 (O.C.) Support
  • ATI CrossfireX Technology
  • PCIe 2.0 support
  • ROG Connect
  • GameFirst
  • iROG
  • Probelt
  • MemOK
  • CPU Level Up
  • Voltiminder LED
  • Extreme Tweaker
  • COP EX
  • Loadline Calibration
  • Onboard Switch
  • Q-Connector
  • SupremeFX X-Fi Built-in
  • Kapersky Anti-Virus
  • Core Unlocker
  • Turbo Key II
  • TurboV EVO
  • Turbo Unlocker
  • USB 3.0 Support
  • SATA 6Gb/second support
  • O.C. Profile
  • Q-Shield
  • EZ Flash2
  • MyLogo3
  • Stack Cool 2
  • SATA on the Go
  • IEEE 1394a interface

Part Number CROSSHAIR IV Formula
Manufacturer ASUS
Chipset 890FX
North Bridge 890FX
Socket AM3
Memory speed DDR3 2000 (OC)/1866 (OC)/1600(OC)/1333/1066/800
Processor Types Phenom II/Athlon II/ Sempron 100 Up to 6 core
Number of CPUs 1
QPI 5200MT/s
Memory Type DDR3
Memory Channels Double
Maximum Memory 16GB
External Graphics PCI Express x16 x3
IGP HD 4290
South Bridge SB 850
Audio 8-channel
IDE 133/100/66
SATA 3.0 GB/s
RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, 10
LAN 10/100/1000 4 LAN Ports
Firewire IEEE 1394a
Form Factor Micro-ATX

The ASUS Crosshair IV Formula motherboard is based upon on the 890FX chipset. This is the “Big Dog” of AMD motherboard chipsets and supports the latest AMD AM3 CPUs including the 6 core Phenom II X6 1090T and 1055T CPUs that were recently released. The 890FX chipset supports HyperTransport 3.0 (5.2GT/second) and dual PCI Express 2.0 x16 graphics cards.

The 890FX has the ability to do full-speed CrossfireX on the graphics card slots. Compared to the 22 PCI Express lanes on the 890GX chipset the 890FX has 42 PCI Express lanes. This allows motherboards on the 890FX chipset to fully support two x16 lane slots and have more lanes to spare for those extra PCI Express slots of the x1, x4, x8 variety. The Crosshair IV Formula has four PCI Express x16 slots which work at x8/x8/x8/x8 mode when all are populated with graphics cards.

The 890FX chipset supports up to 11 separate PCI Express devices. In addition to the 32 lanes dedicated to the graphics, there are also an x4 link available for the USB 3.0 and six x1 lanes available for other devices. The SB850 chip is the new Southbridge and adds two further PCI Express x1 lanes for connectivity. The 890FX chipset is manufactured on TSMC’s 65nm fabrication process and has a TDP of 20W due to the lack of the HD 4290 graphics on the chipset. Here is a chart:

Chipset AMD 890FX AMD 890GX AMD 880G SB850
HyperTransport 3.0 3.0 3.0
Graphics slots 2x16, 4x8 1x16, 2x8 1x16
PCI Express 2.0 6x1, 1x4 6x1 6x1 2x1
AMD Overdrive 3.2.1 3.2.1 3.2.1.
Max TDP 19.6w 25W 12.5W
Integrated graphics No HD4290 HD4250
Clock speed N/A 700MHz 550MHz
SPs N/A 40 40
USB Ports 14

Republic of Gamers Connect or ROG Connect is an innovative new feature on ROG motherboards. It allows you to monitor the tweaking parameters of your motherboard with a notebook computer allowing you to see POST codes and hardware status readouts on your notebook and make changes to the hardware parameters on-the-fly on a hardware level from that notebook. ASUS has designed an IC which enables ROG functions at any time of operation called iROG.

One of the issues with gamers is internet latency. With the advent of broadband internet, the latency in games is less, but there are also more things to use the Internet for like listening to music, watching HD video, downloading huge files in a short amount of time. GameFirst manages the flow of traffic according to your needs so it can make gaming a priority, while simultaneously allowing you to listen to music, or other tasks while making the game the top priority.

ASUS includes several overclocking for this motherboard including Probelt, MemOK, CPU Level Up, Voltimeter LED, Extreme Tweaker, COP EX, Loadline calibration, the onboard switch, and Q-Connector. Probelt is a series of connection points where you can attach a multitester to test resistance, continuity and voltage on the motherboard for specific areas including the CPU, the SB, the HT, the VDDNB1, the NB, the DRAM, and the CPU_PLL voltage.