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Published June 29, 2009
When looking at competing boards on offer, both the Asus M4A79T Deluxe (a current favorite) and the new Crosshair III Formula happen to utilize the same chipset, including the SB750 south bridge.
You will have to pick on the few differences to make up your mind between these two. The M4A79T Deluxe is also aimed at the high-end segment and offers a number of user friendly features such as Express Gate. The Crosshair III Formula on the other hand is geared for gaming and overclocking and as such comes equipped with many of those ROG exclusives that we talked about earlier. That said, we were a miffed to learn that the multi-GPU support of the M4A79T Deluxe is slightly better as it boasts four PCIe 16x ports for triple x16/x8/x8 or quad x8 configurations, versus two PCIe x16 slots in the Crosshair.
Also to be considered is the modest SATA support offered by Asus AM3 motherboards compared to the competition. For example, the Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P boasts support for 10 SATA devices and is slightly cheaper than the Asus M4A79T Deluxe. For even less the MSI 790FX-GD70 will provide users with 8 ports, so you can say the 5 ports of the M4A79T Deluxe and Crosshair III Formula boards is sub-par. While the need for more ports will depend on the user, I personally prefer to have room to expand here.
While the strengths of the Crosshair III Formula may not lie within its abundance of SATA ports, it does have some other winning attributes. As shown in our tests the Crosshair III Formula is an excellent performer and while it may be difficult to tell one motherboard from another, the Crosshair III Formula is at the top of its game. The abundance of BIOS tweaking settings and the ease of overclocking are also unmatched by most of its competitors if you are up for that kind of thing.
The only remaining concern regarding this motherboard is its price. At $200 it is one if not the most expensive AMD 790FX board currently available. It could be due to the fact that this motherboard has only been around for a couple of weeks, so if it goes down to the levels of its competitors (~$170), you got yourself a solid high-end motherboard that overclockers will crave for to couple with the latest Phenom II quad cores.
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