ASUS Crosshair IV Formula - 890FX/SB850 Motherboard
Date: June 7, 2010
Product: Crosshair IV Formula - AMD Socket AM3
Author: Jason Rabel
Bundled Software & Overclocking:
While familiarizing myself with this board, one thing I quickly noticed was that ASUS never really removes features, they just keep adding more. To explain better, when overclocking there used to just be BIOS options and that was it. Then came the ability to overclock via software programs. After software came buttons on the motherboard to quick-load profiles or automatically try to overclock. Even after all that, ASUS took it one step further and gave the ability to overclock a system remotely. So while it might seem overwhelming at first with so many options, in reality most of them do the same thing, it all boils down to personal preference.
As I mentioned while talking about the BIOS, the Crosshair IV Formula has additional voltage options, and it is nice to see that these options are available in the AMD Overdrive application. The picture below on the left is the 890FX, while the picture on the right is a 790X board.
ASUS bundles a bunch of drivers and software on the DVD. For those that would like to overclock via software, then I would recommend AOD (as pictured above), or the ASUS TurboV EVO application (pictured below).
The TurboV EVO application provides everything from fine granular control over all the voltage & speed settings, to an easy mode where one simply chooses a speed and the software attempts to adjust the rest of the settings. There is also an auto-tune feature, which is like a one-click overclocking option. Much like the Go Button, the TurboV EVO app allows for a hot-key combination to load an overclocking profile for an on-the-fly increase in performance.
The RC TweakIt program is part of the ROG Connect functionality, which is loaded on the remote computer. Once the two computers are connected via the ROG cable and the button enabled on the Crosshair IV Formula, one simply has to load up the program and it will display in real-time the various frequencies, voltages, temperatures, fan speeds, etc. For most people this feature is probably more of a novelty, but for overclockers really pushing the edge it's like having an extra set of hands. I can visualize where one person is managing the frequencies & voltages while another person running benchmarks and taking screen shots.
ASUS Turbo Unlocker:
Turbo Unlocker is a unique ASUS feature that offers on-demand boost in CPU speed, similar to Intel's Turbo Boost or AMD's Turbo Core technology. The great thing about this feature is it will work with any Black Edition AMD processor (even the latest 6-core models). All that is required is a board that supports this technology (most 8-Series boards do), a BIOS update, and a current version of the TurboV EVO application. What is nice about this feature is that performance boost is on-demand and dynamic, ASUS wants users to maximize their performance from their system while at the same time maximizing power savings when resources are not needed. I was skeptical about this at first, but after experimenting for a while and seeing real performance gains this feature definitely gets two thumbs up from me!