What's red and white and black all over?
The Crosshair V Formula is a premium piece of kit. This high-end gaming and overclocking-centric board seems to have every bell, whistle and gadget under the sun, but it also has the price tag to match. Despite appearances, it isn't the most extravagantly equipped board among the launch models supporting Bulldozer, but it does, however, have a slick UEFI BIOS that's second to none, as well as an inherently useable board design.
ASUS's attractive board controls (power, reset and overclocking buttons) make an appearance, combining with the red, black and white colour scheme to give the impression of a premium product. The power system's heatsinks look effective but are potential dust collectors, while the back plate is fully populated with four USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports and an Intel Gigabit controller for reliability.
The Crosshair V Formula supports three-way SLI and CrossFireX set-ups, with two x16 bandwidth for two-card set-ups or one x16 and two x8s when three cards are installed. You can fit double-width cards in with no problems.
Support for THX TruStudio Pro on the board's Creative SupremeFX X-Fi 2 chip is an excellent touch for gamers, while overclockers (beginners and expert) will take some value from the ROG Connect overclocking monitoring system enabled on the spare USB port.
Is this board every thing to every (wo)man? Sure, as long as you have deep pockets. While this board is definitely the most feature-rich we looked at among the launch set, it's also the most expensive by a long shot, and ultimately, it's not going to make you a better shot in Battlefield 3.Available from ASUS, retailing for $359
.APC rating: 9/10 (Editor's Choice)