ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review :: Layout

06-02-2010 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

ASUS uses their standard black PCB in an ATX form factor for their Crosshair IV Formula motherboard. Starting at the upper right hand corner of the board we find an 8-pin power connector with four of the pins covered by a black cover. The MOSFETs and part of the power phase circuits are covered by a black heatsink, a heatpipe leading to another black heatsink covering the 890FX chip with another heatpipe leading to another heatsink covering the iROG and SB850 chips.


ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review Board

Board

ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review CPU area

CPU area

ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review Back of PCB

Back of PCB


The CPU Socket is designed for AMD AM3 CPUs including the recently released 1090T 6-core CPUs. Of course with the advent of the Socket AM3 interface for DDR3 memory there are two extra pins on the AM2 interface, meaning that you cannot install a Socket AM2+ or AM2 CPU on this motherboard due to the 940 pins on those CPUs compared to the 938 on the AM3. The board has an 8+2 Power Phase design with a black heatsink covering them partially.

Under the CPU Socket are four 240-pin DIMM Slots for DDR3 memory. The memory controller since the release of the Socket 754 interface for the AMD Athlon 64 CPUs has been on the CPU itself instead of on the Northbridge on the AMD market. The maximum memory supported by the CPU is 16GB of DDR3 memory clocked at up to 2000MHz if overclocked, as the CPU itself supports DDR3-1333MHz memory by default. The CPUFan is next to the CPU Socket, with another fan header next to an ITE chip.


ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review Republic Of Gamers

Republic Of Gamers

ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review DIMMS

DIMMS

ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review TurboV

TurboV

ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review ITE chip

ITE chip


The bottom of the board starts off with the aforementioned ITE chip. To the left of that chip is the TurboV overclocking chip. Below the TurboV chip are the ProbeIt contact points where you would put your multitester to test voltages on the motherboard. There is another 4 pin fan header and the 24-pin power connector. The MemOK button is next on the list, setting the memory to a default state if it has an issue with the board, meaning memory compatibility is better.

SATA ports are the next item on the list. The SB850 Southbridge supports SATA 6 Gb/second devices natively, meaning it will not take away PCI Express lanes as a non-native solution would. The board has six sideways facing SATA 6 Gb/second ports. A seventh port is upwards facing for connecting the external SATA port on the included bracket. A Fan header with a temperature sensor header is to the left of the SATA ports. There are two chips labeled iROG next to the second heatsink.

The left side of the board starts off with the Front Panel I/O followed by yet another fan header. Three USB headers follow. The SB850 Southbridge supports 14 USB ports, meaning that with nine USB ports on the Rear I/O of the board one of the headers is for a single USB port instead of two normally supported by each header. This board has four buttons next, the Reset, Start, Core Unlocker and Turbo Key buttons. The Firewire, SPDIF and Front Panel Audio headers are next.


ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review USB Header

USB Header

ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review FP I/O

FP I/O

ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review SATA

SATA

ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review Power Reset Unlocker, OC

Power Reset Unlocker, OC


The top of the board has three more Fan headers. There is a VIA VT2020 Sound CODEC on the board providing onboard sound. The SupremeFX X-Fi solution supports EAX 4.0 effects, which has a higher superset of effects not found in DirectSound including Flange, Echo, Distortion, and Ring Modulation effects. This is like having a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 soundcard on your computer as onboard sound solution.

The Crosshair IV Formula board has four full-length PCI Express slots and two PCI slots for expansion. The first slot on the board always works in x16 mode. The second slot always works in x8 mode. The third slot works in x16 mode when a single card is installed and in x8 mode when two cards are installed in slots one and three. The fourth slot always works in x4 mode. Note that this board’s last two slots have single-spaced separation, meaning if four cards are installed the last two must be single-slot.


ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review USB

USB

ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review Expansion

Expansion

ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review VIA VT2020

VIA VT2020

ASUS CROSSHAIR IV Formula Motherboard Review Rear I/O

Rear I/O


The Rear I/O on the board starts off with a PS/2 keyboard port. PS/2 mice or keyboards are legacy devices that are few and far between but the option is there if you need it. Seven USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, one External SATA port, one S/PDIF out Optical, one Firewire port, one RJ45 port, one ROG Connect on/off switch, one CLR CMOS switch and six audio jacks for the onboard audio are present. One of the USB 2.0 ports is also for the ROG connection. The two purple USB ports are the 3.0 ones.