ASUS ROG Maximus V Formula Motherboard Review


Final Thoughts


Summing up a product like the Maximus V Formula is like describing a chocolate fudge cake. It's just so densely packed that all you can really say is "wow!" A simple glance at the spec sheet and features list is enough in itself, but once you begin to understand all the stuff going on behind the scenes to create the experience, you grow a much deeper appreciation for the Formula and its ROG cousins. The board packs an incredible amount of cooling potential thanks to the Hybrid Thermal Solution built around the VRM, the thermal sensor inputs, and the premium Black Metallic Caps scattered everywhere else. Our only gripe is with the rather small 3/8" nickel barbs, which limit our choice of tubing. What's perhaps even more impressive are the lengths to which ASUS went to maximize stability and minimize latency in every conceivable area of the board, whether it be the PCIe slots, the sound card, or the CPU to DRAM topology. Everything about the board's hardware has been optimized to great extent, and buyers can rest assured that ASUS stands by the quality of their motherboards with a 3-year warranty.

The fully-featured and balanced interaction between the software and hardware of the Maximus V Formula is truly second to none. AI Suite II offers something for just about everyone, and the utility interfaces can be tailored for both amature and experienced eyes. DIGI+ Power Control and EPU offer great means of calibrating your PC for the task at hand. Fan Xpert II manages to accomplish things that even a dedicated chassis fan controller can't. USB 3.0 boost ensures that you get maximum throughput from ports that aren't even necessarily managed by the ASMedia Controller. You can count on AI Suite II to keep your system's components running at their absolute best, while filling in the gaps in areas where motherboards have traditionally lacked any reach. Keeping in mind that this is a gaming-oriented board, you'd be hard pressed to find a more thoroughly thought out audio system like SupremeFX IV, or a more intuitive traffic shaping utility than GameFirst II. The real-time overclocking and monitoring offered by ROG Connect is just the cherry on top for those with more than one computer at their desk.

Despite all these desktop-based enhancements to the gaming experience, the BIOS remains a welcoming environment for  overclocking veterans. The classic looks have been spruced up a bit, but UEFI implementation doesn't hold anything back from someone who wants to extract every last drop and tweak every possible parameter. The vast majority of users will not find any reason to adjust many of these settings beyond their default values, and the functionality built into AI Suite II offers an even more attractive and intuitive means of tuning your system, but the presence of more traditional options like those seen in the UEFI BIOS is proof of ASUS’ commitment to next-gen enthusiasts and previous generation overclocking purists alike. They have also taken a bold step forward by injecting a social element into the product line with ROG Exchange, something that is sure to inspire confidence in first time overclockers.

The $279.99 MSRP of the Formula isn't for everyone. If you concentrate solely on the Maximus V Series, all the extras bundled with the Formula make it the bargain of the family from a bill of materials standpoint, and we haven't yet mentioned that it comes bundled with a 1-year license of Kaspersky AV plus the full version of Daemon Tools Pro Standard. That alone is more than $50 saved for those who utilize those programs on a regular basis. Comparing the Formula to a channel board like the P8Z77 V Pro is a slightly different story for the average enthusiast buyer. The Pro packs a sizeable chunk of the core hardware and software features of the Formula at $80 cheaper, which is money that many would rather put towards a better SSD or a top notch cooler. It really just comes down to the level of refinement and gamer-esque theming that you're looking for. If you're determined to only fill your rig with some of the best hardware that money can buy, the decision is obvious.


The Good


The Bad

  • Unique Hybrid Thermal Solution offers excellent cooling with air or water.
  • Noticeably improved audio quality and volume thanks to SupremeFX IV.
  • A bevy of overclocking and monitoring options in the UEFI BIOS, AI Suite II, and ROG Connect.
  • Intuitive and graphically pleasing utilities that adapt to the user's level of competency.
  • Great value for the money considering the hardware level integrations and bundled software.
  • A 1/2" threaded inlet might have been better received by the water cooling community than the 3/8" nickel barbs.


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