This motherboard is of course designed to work with Intel’s 4th Generation of processors – Haswell. The socket is LGA1150 but has the mounting holes for LGA115X so if you have a cooler that has been used on another socket such as LGA1155 then it will work fine here too. ASUS have actually included dual fan headers for the CPU cooler just behind the top heatsink which we are pleased to see.
Formula utilises Extreme Engine Digi+ III which include a selection of exclusive hardware upgrades used throughout the motherboard. The MOSFETS are NexFET handle up to 90% efficiency under normal load and offer enhanced stability compared to standard MOSFETs, and at half the size which is rather impressive. The other components that make an appearance are the BlackWing chokes which have been given some gold 'bling' – these chokes can sustain 60A per unit and up to 125C. Japanese 10K black solid CAPs are used throughout the motherboard for long-life and are generally able to tolerate higher temperatures compared to standard solid CAPs.
Covering the MOSFETs are two rather substantial heatsinks. ASUS have equipped Formula with a CrossChill hybrid thermal design which can utilise air of water cooling. This is what ASUS have to say on this particular feature:
Choose between air or water cooling: it works with both! Unlike competing hybrid thermal solution, CrossChill requires no fan, so there's no noise or dust build-up. For those who do venture into water cooling, you can achieve up to 23˚C lower MOSFET temperatures for more stable overclocking! Internally the water channel fins help to maximize the surface area for heat transfer, and thanks to its G1/4 threaded fittings, CrossChill even fits into any existing setup! Don't settle for a second-best solution.
Behind the heatsinks is combination of 8-pin EPS and 4-pin for additional juice when overclocking.
The socket area for Formula
CrossChill hybrid thermal design
The ROG armor even extends round to the edge of the memory region. The memory slots support dual channel DDR up to 3000MHz (OC) kits. As with other ASUS motherboards, the memory slots are single latch from the right-side.
Also in the memory area are onboard power and reset buttons, LED debug and MemOK! These features deliver extra functionality for trouble shooting and come in extremely useful. Over by the 24-pin ATX socket is a single USB 3.0 port for connecting to the USB 3.0 on the front panel of the computer chassis.
Dual channel DDR3 up to 3000MHz and additional features
Over on the next page we will continue with our closer look at the Formula motherboard.