My latest toy..the Maximus V Formula! Now..before we dive into the product showcase and review lets have a look into the history of ROG line of Hardware and this board in particular Rog was established way back in 2006 with the Crosshair(yes its an AMD board and back in the FX-64 days AMD literally thrashed Intel until the 45nm C2D and C2Q came out),soon they launched another Board Commando and soon other boards followed. Here’s a short history for the guys who are interested: JUL 2006 – ROG brand established, 1st gaming motherboard named Crosshair launched DEC 2006- Launched Commando, broke CPU overclocking world record JUL 2007 – ROG motherboard breakthroughs – Fusion Block system and CrossLinx DEC 2007 – New ROG product line – gaming notebooks G1/G2 OCT 2009 – ROG Maximus III Formula motherboard with ROG Connect allows PC tuning on a pure hardware level in real time. JUL 2008 – New ROG product line – Matrix graphics cards launched OCT 2009 – The first 3D gaming notebook in the world, ROG G53J 3D MAR 2010 – Rampage III Extreme motherboard attracts attention with great performance and overclockability JUN 2010 – The world’s fastest graphics card launches — the dual 5870 GPU ARES JUN 2010 – The world’s first active-noise cancelling pro gaming headset â€“ Vulcan ANC OCT 2011 – Launched TYTAN CG8565 desktop In short ROG offers the best from the stable of Asus in terms of performance and they are rarely matched. Close look This particular SKU comes without the ThunderFx module so everything except that is present. The bundle includes: The motherboard User’s manual Accessories Support disc Typical ROG style board with black and red layout;the thing that strikes out most is the ceramic heatsinks on the VRM and PCH area and the Fusion Thermo heat-sinks. The External I/O port is packed with stuff(expected with high end board) Lets see what they have: [*=left]1 x DisplayPort [*=left]1 x HDMI [*=left]1 x eSATA 3Gb/s [*=left]1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s) [*=left]4 x USB 3.0 [*=left]4 x USB 2.0 [*=left]1 x Optical S/PDIF out [*=left]1 x Optical S/PDIF in [*=left]5 x Audio jack(s) [*=left]1 x Clear CMOS button(s) [*=left]1 x ROG Connect On/ Off switch(es) Expansion slots are plenty for a board at this price range: 3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8 or x8/x4/x4) 1 x PCIe 2.0 x4 3 x PCIe 2.0 x1 1 x mini-PCIe 2.0 x1 looks good from this angle...isn't it? Special Features Fusion Thermo Heatsink This is one of the most innovative thing I have came across in the recent times. Basically its a Aluminum VRM Heat sink with channel for water cooling inside;so you can use it for passive air cooling or if you are one of those DIY water guys then you can actively water-cool it. It is compatible with all the major DIY water cooling sets so compatibility is not a problem,just add an extra loop and you are good to go. Extreme Engine Digi+ II An update to the existing DIGI + VRM’s found in the Asus motherboards.The Digi + II engine provides more control the voltages and allows you to do minute tweaking.A few screenshot would help you understand what kind of adjustments you can do: SupremeFX IV An upgrade over the Supreme FX III solution..am not an audiophile per se but i can give you an idea about the features: RedLine physical PCB separation and audio isolation (the red line you can see in the picture below) EMI aluminum cap and gold plated audio jacks large 1500uF ‘buffer’ capacitor high fidelity TI 6120A2 300 ohm headphone amplifier(yeah an amp in the motherboard,can you top that?) Extra software features like DTS Ultra PC II and DTS Connect. So all in all I can say a pretty good package. Turbo V Evo Not much to say..pretty much everything you need to OC the living daylight out of your processor. My advice: Overclock from the BIOS itself and use this tool for small adjustment to squeeze out the last MHz form your chip. And if you are one of those fire and forget types just click on “Cpu level Up” and select a frequency and let the board do the rest. Overclocking and benchmark results Overclocking Overclocking on this board is easy if you know what you are doing,there are around a few hundreds setting there and all help you in getting a good benchmark score. As for overclocking your processor the automatic one clock solution gave me an option of overclocking up to 4.83Ghz(46X105MHz) But that ain’t enough for me… so i took matters into my own hand settled for 4.94Ghz(48x103Mhz)! Then took it some more to: 5Ghz(50x100MHz)[since my 2500k is limited to 50x multiplier am kinda restricted there] By this time I was kinda getting high with speed so I pushed some more for a suicide run(don’t try this at home and if you try don’t blame me if you blow up);and settled for : 5.2Ghz(100.1*52)! I was pleasantly surprised to see that in Z77 platform i got two extra multipliers. Now the benchmarks..not much to say..let the charts do the talking Setup 1 Core i5 2500K P8Z68 Deluxe GSkill 2*2GB 1600 C9 HD 7850 WD 320GB AAKX HDD AX1200W Setup 2 Core i5 2500K P8Z77 V Deluxe GSkill 2*2GB 1600 C9 HD 7850 WD 320GB AAKX HDD AX1200W Setup 3 Core i5 2500K Maximus V Formula GSkill 2*2GB 1600 C9 HD 7850 WD 320GB AAKX HDD AX1200W Every benchmark was run until the results were consistent to rule out margin of errors as much as possible. A few points when analyzing the graphs: *AIDA 64 Benchmarking suites:Higher score is better *SuperPi and Wprime:Lower score is better *3D Mark Vantage CPU and Cinebench and X26 Benchmark:Higher is better So now that’s over lets see what the board gives us. First up the 2D benchmarks Aida 64 CPU Suite The results from P8Z77 V Deluxe are a bit low when run on initial bios but they have been fixed on the later bios updates.And Maximus V Formula’s perfromance is consistent through out the phases. Aida 64 FPU suite Frankly, the formula amazed me a bit there… we see an almost 60% jump in stock FPU scores in some benches.So i guess someone can explain what sorcery is this. big boys of competitive benchmarking : SuperPi 1M and SuperPi 32M Competitive benchmarking is where the Formula Excels and we can see the formula leads the way ahead of the other two boards. WPrime32M and Wprime 1024M Here also we see the Formula keeping its lead. 3DMark Vantage is both CPU and GPU dependent(more than the other 3Dmark Benchmarks),lets see how the Formula fairs in this bench. Am a bit shocked at the scores when comparing with Z68.But i guess its more due to the platform than the board. I will test out with ivybridge when I can get my hands on a sample. Next up some real world workload tests: Cinebench 10 and Cinebench 11.5 The formula still leading at all speeds(this is getting a bit boring now) X264 Benchmark Now that concludes the Benchmarking part. Maximus V formula leads all the way as expected. Conclusion When a product has the ROG logo it is expected to perform better than the competition and the Formula has delivered! it kept its lead in all the tests and performed well till the end..so from my side its a win. From the features department it got something for everyone: Onboard switches and voltage measuring points for serious overclockers Excellent Cooling options an over the par sound solution for the gamers what more a person can need? Pro’s: Exclusive Cooling options Intuitive Bios Excellent performance Good sound systems through the Supreme FX IV chip Good connectivity options The on board Msata/wifi combo is a good touch Con’s Price (blame the Forex rates) although i wont mind paying Rs 23000 + for this board. NONE Overall an excellent package and since there is virtually NO competition as of now in this segment in INDIA no one can challenge its position. Anyone getting into serious competitive benchmarking and gaming should have it in their list. So from me and Team OCFreaks I give it an 5/5 rating. A little something from world famous overclocker Allen Golibersuch aka “Splave” In the end i want to thank a few people for making this review possible: Asus for providing the sample. Sanjib Ray for entrusting me with his pricey camera. and my Team for helping me in Everything. Until next time…signing out… sumon pathak MOZ since post merge is playing spoilsport can you divide it across multiple posts?