ASUS ROG Maximus V Formula Motherboard Review

 

Testing - Setup and Overclocking

performance 

rig

CPU Intel Core i5-3570k
Thermal Paste Antec Formula 7 Nano Diamond
CPU Cooler Cooler Master V6 GT (not pictured)
Motherboard ASUS ROG Maximus V Formula
GPU ASUS GeForce GTX 560 Ti DirectCU II 1GB
RAM 2x4GB Patriot Viper Xtreme Division II 1600MHz DDR3
Primary HDD (OS) Kingston HyperX 3k 120GB SSD
2nd HDD (test)
Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD
PSU Cooler Master GX-750W
Chassis Cooler Master CM Storm Stryker
OS  Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

 

The Maximus V Formula installs just as easily as any other ATX board, however the presence of the mPCIe Combo card does require builders to think ahead a bit. Because the inputs for the external Wi-Fi antennas need to be tightened down on both sides of the I/O shield, it may be beneficial to first remove the rear case fan for easier access. It is very important that you attach the mPCIe Combo card before you install the board. Attempting to work it into place after the fact is likely to result in bent or broken connector pins.

As we have already discussed, there are numerous avenues for overclocking on the Maximus V Formula. TurboV EVO is certainly the most convenient since it applies your changes immediately without requiring a reboot for most operations. The preset CPU Level Up frequencies of 4.2 GHz, 4.4 GHz, and 4.6 GHz worked like a charm on the first try, giving us CPU voltages of 1.275V, 1.325V, and 1.33V respectively. With the CPU running at 4.6 GHz, we decreased the voltage in increments and ran Prime95 until we started to notice system instability at about 1.2V. It is interesting to note that these voltage readings are about 14% higher than those we saw on the ASUS P8Z77 V Pro, which only required a small drop in voltage before becoming unstable. Being that this is a gaming-oriented motherboard, it makes perfect sense that ASUS would apply a slight increase to the overclocking margins. Next we jumped into the BIOS to load the Gamer OC Profile. This setting raised the clocks of the i5-3570k's four cores to 4.5 GHz, 4.6 GHz, 4.7 GHz, and 4.8 GHz respectively. At this point the CPU had reached a voltage level of 1.35V. Anything beyond this level of overclocking would be ill-advised without excellent cooling on tap, as we observed spikes into the 80°C range with a Cooler Master V6 GT attached. However, it's important to remember that these stability tests are much more demanding of the CPU compared to playing the latest games like Battlefied 3 of Far Cry 3, so you're rig is more likely to run at a comfortable temperature. Lowering the voltage all the way down to an impressive 1.18V had our rig running in the mid to high 60s.  Finally, we queued up a mild-mannered overclock by setting the CPU Level Up to 'Auto' and leaving X.M.P. enabled. This resulted in a frequency of 3.8 GHz at 1.08V.

Being that memory overclocking is just a few clicks away in AI Suite II, we had to give it a try. It came as quite a shocker, but we were able to acheive 2400MHz on our 2 x 4GB kit of Patriot Viper Extreme 1600MHz memory (verified using SiSoft Sandra). This the first time we have been able to push these sticks to their limits, and it happenend without us ever having to lay a finger on the timings. The CAS timing of 11 is quite respectable, and we look forward to seeing what kinds of speeds we can acheive with other brands of memory on the Formula.

In summary, the TurboV EVO overclocking utility worked like a charm, and was fairly aggressive in maintaining lower voltages compared to most overclocking utilities. The built-in stability testing prevents the program from defaulting on a generic voltage that it hopes will work with all chips. Such voltages usually have to be much higher than necessary to ensure that even the wort chips will remain stable. The byproducts are wasted power and excess heat. As far as beginner-friendly implementations go, TurboV EVO sets a pretty high bar, and it is great to see that even a high automatic OC can give us a balance of performance and stability that we'd be comfortable with 24/7.

 

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