Cosmetically, the Crosshair III Formula looks very smart, with passive coolers on the chipset and power regulation hardware that are linked by a flattened heatpipe. During our testing, the coolers remained, well, cool, which is typical of AMD 790FX/SB750 hardware. No doubt Asus would claim that its Pin Fin Thermal Module technology also plays a part by increasing the surface area of each heatsink.
Cool runner: Asus' Pin Fin Thermal rig
The Bios of any Republic of Gamers motherboard is a playground for the enthusiast as it offers enormous scope for overclocking. If you fancy making life easy on yourself you can use the CPU Level Up to select a preset profile to automatically overclock your processor.
In the case of our 2.6GHz Phenom II 810 we were offered three options for overclocking: 2.8GHz, 3.0GHz and 3.2GHz. We went for the fastest speed and saw the clock settings increase from 2.6GHz (13 x 200MHz) to 3.2GHz (13 x 247MHz) and the system was as solid as a rock. It was clear that Asus was being fairly conservative as we were able to increase the speed manually to 3.41GHz (13 x 262MHz) without any trouble.
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As Phenom motherboards go, the Crosshair III is very impressive and will do very nicely for most gamers who fancy a decent PC without spending a fortune. You need a contrary nature to choose Phenom II X3 or X4, but if you select your processor wisely you’ll find that AMD can offer a decent alternative to the mighty Intel Core 2. ®
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AMD ATI Radeon HD 4890
Asus Crosshair III Formula AM3
Annihilator (Annihilator? Really?)
If you're building a new PC it's much easier to plug the CPU, CPU cooler, memory and graphics card into your motherboard and then install the OS and drivers with the system flat on the bench. If you suffer a problem such as incompatible memory or something silly like a duff cable it is much easier to sort it out on the bench than it is inside the case. If you get into overclocking you'll find that some motherboards will reset the BIOS after a problem while others will lock solid and necessitate a reset. In the latter case micro buttons are a Godsend.
oh, that's so cool
I want a motherboard with a big red start button on it that I can't see in normal use.
Just knowing it's there will increase the stability of my experience.
Why on earth would you need to do a "dry build" outside of the case? What settings are you playing with that requires it to be outside the case? I generally configure the BIOS with a keyboard myself. On high end mobos the bios reset switch is usually conveniently located on the back plate for any screw-ups.
Have always managed just fine with a screwdriver to jumpstart it - or indeed, an actual jumper. I often find I have a screwdriver to hand when building a rig :-)
I could forgive the button, were it not big, red with "START!" emblazoned on it.
I'm going to take your question at face value, although I suspect there may be some deep sarcasm that escapes me. Micro buttons are quite common on high end motherboards for Power, Reset and Clear CMOS. They are dead handy if you do a dry build of your system before you plug the components into your PC case as they allow you to tinker with settings and configure the BIOS without connecting the case buttons to the front panel headers. Micro buttons also avoid the need to short the headers with the blade of a screwdriver to turn the system on.
whats the start button for ???