Asus has a very solid lineup of products for the AM3+ platform and the current and upcoming Bulldozer CPUs from AMD. While Bulldozer certainly did not impress, it is the basis for all future AMD processors on the desktop and server markets. Obviously if a user is looking for integrated graphics, then the Llano based processors are now carrying that particular torch.
The power delivery circuitry on the Crosshair V. Impressive stuffs.
With the M5A97 we see Asus addressing the lower end space for both AM3 and AM3+ processors. If a user is looking for a very solid, yet feature complete motherboard for around $100, then the M5A97 is a great choice. It has excellent BIOS and overclocking features, and while it does not come with all the extras of the higher priced boards, it is more than adequate to get a user up and running with minimal fuss. In a pinch it can do CrossFire, but I would not suggest it. It has plenty of USB 3.0 ports available with the correct case, and the overall quality of build and layout are excellent for a board in this price class. I really found no issues whatsoever with this board, which is a good thing since the 970 chipset has been around essentially 1.5 years. UEFI BIOS support is excellent and it will make for a good foundation for an inexpensive AMD based machine.
The M5A99X is another gem from Asus. Just as its little brother, it offers a great amount of features for the price range it is aimed at. It does feature full CrossFire and SLI support, and if a user does want to go the multi-GPU route, this should be the entry level solution that should be considered. Support for both major multi-GPU architectures is key here. Full use of all six SATA 6G headers from the SB950 chip is a big plus, and the ability to run e-SATA with the ASMedia controller gives a little bit more flexibility. The addition of Firewire is nice as well, but happily we are seeing fewer and fewer new products supporting that connectivity option.
I really do like the Asus UEFI BIOS. Very clean and functional.
Finally we come to the big daddy of them all. The Crosshair V is without question the most impressive AM3+ board I have worked with to date. Installation was flawless, BIOS support was mature and quick, and the overwhelming amount of features integrated into this board is staggering. Not only are there a lot of features, but the design is so well thought out and implemented that there is no performance or stability degradation with all of the bells and whistles enabled and running. This is truly a fantastic board with about everything one could use (or imagine) actually being integrated on the motherboard.
Asus has again proven to me why they are the top selling motherboard manufacturer. These products just simply work as they are supposed to, they do not cost an arm and a leg, and they have very logical layouts and feature sets according to price and positioning. Every board here is great, and they complement the previously reviewed SABERTOOTH 990FX quite nicely. I know I sound like I am gushing here, but none of the boards gave me a lick of problems. All of them performed around the same and were competitive with other products. They all overclocked to a high level, reaching areas that previous generation boards could only dream about.
It is truly unfortunate that Bulldozer did not quite live up to expectations. This may not always be the case though, as a new revision of the CPU is expected in Q1 2012. Improvements in IPC and TDPs are expected, and we will see faster clocked parts that hopefully will more adequately compete against the Intel i5 and i7 “Sandy Bridge” based processors. For the time being, the Phenom II X6 1090T and 1100T are available at bargain prices. If a user is adamant about sticking with AMD products, then these motherboards would make for a tremendous foundation for such a build.
Asus M5A97 EVO Editor’s Choice
Asus M5A99X EVO Editor’s Choice
Asus Crosshair V Gold Award
You may want to check the
You may want to check the UEFI photo at the end of the article. It appears to have the wrong manufacturer.
You are absolutely correct.
You are absolutely correct. That is the new MSI ClickBIOS II. I’m not sure what I was thinking. I will get that swapped out here shortly.
seems biased to me
seems biased to me
the board does not perform much greater then the m5a99x on some or most tests you perfromed it was the same speed
sure you get dual pcie x16 but this is the only benefit i can see
if your not interested in dual x16 then by looking at your benchmarks nobody would buy it
Gold award just because its the so called “top of the line”
did you get paid for this
Nope, not biased. I wasn’t
Nope, not biased. I wasn’t paid for it either. Pretty much all AM3+ boards perform the same, as they all are based around the SB850/SB950 southbridge, which controls the majority of all I/O functions. Also, since the memory controller and northbridge is integrated into the CPU, this further lessens the effect of motherboard performance.
What we are essentially looking at in terms of differences in these boards is slightly better overclocking potential on the Crosshair V. With the V you also get the improved sound due to the THX and Supreme FX II implementations, improved networking due to the Intel controller vs. the cheaper Realtek solutions, full 2 x 16X functionality (which does make a difference in multi-GPU solutions with top end cards), the extra SATA 6G controllers that the previous boards do not have, ROG connect, and a more granular control of the board from a voltage standpoint due to all of the other bell’s and whistle’s that Asus implemented.
There is no denying that the M5A99X is a very solid and well fleshed out board, but the Crosshair V takes that to a whole ‘nother level. Better cooling, 6 USBB 3.0 connections, pro-belt for voltage monitoring… I could go on and on. It is a significant upgrade overall from the 990X board. So yes, I do believe that it deserved the Gold award. It has packed all of these features into one board, for a decent price (it is cheaper than the Intel based ROG implementations), and all of it works flawlessly and matches the performance of less featured and more focused motherboards.
I bought this board with the
I bought this board with the fx 6100 ozc series 3 120gb solid state, 16gb vengeance ram 1tb segate a blueray drive and regular dvd drive with 2 XFX 6950 gpus in crossfire and a h80 water cooler in the Coolermaster scout. I put MSI afterburner on and also use AMD overdrive. I was taught by this com how to overclock the cpu and the gpus in 2 weeks. I have 4.899 for my 6 cores stable and with MSI Kombuster I get 403 fps. I just started learning and I think thats pretty good. I would have to say its the boards ease of use that made that possible. I’m having tons of fun with this. Next is learning to overclock the ram. Please keep up the great work and tell everyone there that frozen Grand Rapids MI listens to your pod casting.
Sounds like a really good
Sounds like a really good overclock! I wonder if you can unlock those other cores though? I haven’t heard much about doing that, but it was certainly possible in the older Phenom IIs. Still, 6 cores at 4.9 GHz is gonna give you a pretty good experience.
As for memory overclocking… I would just do the max amount on those particular dimms. If it is 1600 MHz, then just go for that. If you can get to 1866 MHz, which is the top supported speed, then that would work too. Good luck!
Well, you have realy good PC.
Well, you have realy good PC. What was the total cost of the project? Is your power supply 1200 wats? Do you think SDD was smart choise?
I have a cooler master pro
I have a cooler master pro gold 80+ 1000 watt. I like the snappiness of the ssd though. I’ve had no probs with it yet and hope not to. But the computer in a whole has taught me I need to get back into school. Some things are learned better in the environment of others around you knowing and learning about the same things, I don’t know anyone I can ask questions so I will probably stop trying to mess around with the clocks before I fry this thing. Some people only get to make their dream machine once. I don’t want to kill it to fast. Oh the whole project after rebates costs 1200, but I don’t know now with the hard drive prices still going up. I got mine for 54 bucks for the 1tb, now maybe 125-150 for the same drive.
Mr. Josh, I’ve been tweeking
Mr. Josh, I’ve been tweeking out the com some more. I bought a sound card for it, slid it in between the 2 graphics cards and hooked it up. The sound card runs fine, SoundBlaster X-FI Titanium Fatality Champion Series. But it looks as though having it plugged in is affecting the crossfire setup with the 2 XFX 6970s. I pulled them and reseated them, and reseated the crossfire bridges. I got my crossfire back but the gpu1 still doesn’t do what it used too. I have the M5A97 EVO for my board. Should I take out the sound card? It will only fit on the board in between the 2 cards. Will I have to keep one gpu in the desk drawer and pop it in the com when its time to play or lose the sound card? Your thoughts please, this is pissin me off but I am a real newb. Thanks for the time to read this.
Never mind I figured out what
Never mind I figured out what I had to do, make sure everything was seated right. LOL
hello i just got the asus
hello i just got the asus m5a97 evo and when i reformat my hhd i lost the auto tuning in the bios how can fix it
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I cannot get this board to
I cannot get this board to accept any of the video cards I have. Any suggestions as to video cards. Thanks