Any old scrap heap will get you from point A to point B, but it’s about the ride, playa, and that’s where the Crosshair IV Formula shines. Not only does the red and black color scheme look pimp, the board backs up its ferocious style with extensive overclocking controls and enough cooling potential to blow down a brick house. How so? Asus plopped eight freakin’ PWM fan headers around the motherboard.
The Crosshair IV Formula looks as mean as it performs.
AMD users accustomed to building rigs on the cheap might question why someone would want to spend more than $200 on a motherboard, because let’s face it, AMD’s claim to fame has been to beat Intel on the bang-for-buck front. Boards built around AMD’s flagship 890FX chipset, like the Crosshair IV, command a premium, and Asus went the extra mile to help lessen the blow. Subtle touches abound, like the one-clip RAM slots and snag-less I/O panel, both of which we’ve seen on previous Asus boards. Want more? Try gold-plated audio inputs, a bevy of onboard buttons controlling everything from powering on your board to one-touch overclocking, and the familiar Q-Connector for front-panel connections.
We’re just scratching the surface, folks. Asus supercharged the onboard audio with a SupremeFX X-Fi module, which adds groovy effects like EAX and Creative’s Crystalizer. Several contact points around the board allow armchair electricians to keep tabs on actual voltages (as opposed to what the BIOS reports) with a multimeter. Asus even tosses in a year-long subscription for Kaspersky Anti-Virus rather than a wimpy 30-day trial.
If we’re to find fault with the board, it’s that Asus included two standard PCI ports instead of another PCI-E slot. If you’re going to kill off PATA, you might as well go the extra mile and dump PCI, too. That’s all that holds this board back from a Kick Ass award.