Another day and I am getting along with another remarkable motherboard. This one is called Asus Maximus Formula V, or 5, as some people like to call it. Obviously it is not a brand new motherboard because Asus has released VI series. Let’s just say that this motherboard had a story behind it.
What’s the Story?
Figured out if you are interested in knowing why I went for the Asus Maximus Formula V. Well, it wasn’t my first choice. Frankly, this motherboard was beyond my budget. Initially, I bought the MSI Dragon Series Z77 GD65 motherboard. Exactly 2 months later, I started getting “Dumping Physical Memory” error and sometimes the mobo would restart in a loop, while a 55 q Code error showed up.
My Old MSI Dragon Series Motherboard
I thought okay, MSI motherboards are not good (completely wrong assessment on my part). I went for an RMA. At the time of writing this review, my old, but relatively new MSI Z77 series board is headed to the retailers for a replacement. Meanwhile, I thought of buying another motherboard because I didn’t want to phase out on gaming and product review testing.
I needed a test board – I needed something better this time.
MSI and Asus Motherboards RAM Memory Issues:
The next day, my brother and I bought the Asus Maximus Formula V. Frankly, it was my brother’s idea that we should go for something slightly more effective and powerful. Sounds good? Yeah, but here’s a little problem. 2 days later I was cursing Asus for creating a “shitty” product (again my fault here), because this motherboard would restart with either 3b, 55, or a combination of Q Code errors.
Sometimes I would get lucky and go all the way to Windows. After a few minutes, that god forsaken Blue Screen of Death with Dumping Physical Memory error would pop up. The board would shut down and keep restarting in loop. What is wrong with you Maximus? Please don’t give up on me; I am in no position to buy another motherboard.
So after going through various Q Code error guides, I figured out that my RAM/ Memory Sticks may be faulty. Point to be noted here. I have Kingston 1333 Mhz 8 GB Ram (2 GB Modules Each). Here’s my advice, try different combinations of RAM slots because your RAM is obviously faulty. Mine was, at least I know it now.
4 RAM Slots on the Top Right Side of Maximus V Formula
Here’s my little analysis on restart loops:
- Both MSI Z77 Dragon Series and Asus Maximus Formula V Motherboards were perfect.
- My RAM Modules were not compatible for some unknown reason to this date!
- Remove RAM from Slot 1 and only used RAM Modules in Slot 2, Slot 3 and Slot 4 of my ASUS Board (IT WORKS)
- Remove RAM from Slot 3 Only Doesn’t Work
- Remove RAM from Asus Maximus Formula V Slot 4 Doesn’t Work
In short, I had to sacrifice 2 Gigs of RAM because the moment, I would insert RAM in Slot 1, the board would restart or I’d end up with a BSD *(Blue Screed of Death).
Was my the RAM Slot Faulty?
In case you are wondering if the RAM slot on both MSI Z77 GD65 and Asus Maximus Formula V were faulty, you are probably wrong. A lot of blogs are also projecting a negative image about these motherboards that Asus is just ripping off customers by making faulty products and then refusing to help customers go through with a replacement.
My theory is that for an unknown reason, the RAMs, specifically 1333MHz are not 100% compatible with latest boards. After a week or two, you will have to change them. You will think that it is the motherboard creating issues, but the truth is that the board is just pointing out to memory issues.
Secondly, I had a very good friend who lent me his Corsair Vengeance series RAM modules. They are 2 X 4GB modules @ 1600 MHz bus speed. They worked in all of the slots. Therefore, the faulty slot suggestion is not valid in case of both mobos.
Box Contents Inspection at my Friend’s Place
I also removed my GTX 760 EVGA, all my 4 Hard Drives and the Wireless/ Bluetooth Module from the Maximus 5 motherboard to see if the error persists. Well, it was still there. The only thing that I didn’t take off back then was RAM sticks. After playing around with all 4 slots, I succeeded in removing the faulty module. Now my board is running perfectly without any issues or whatsoever. ASUS rocks!
What about the mPCIe Module Issues with Asus Maximus V Formula?
Yes, there are a few unfortunate souls who ran into this issue. There could be two reasons for that:
This is the mPCIe Wifi/ Bluetooth Module on Maximus V (one with the white eye symbol) that i was talking About
- You are using a very small sized Chassis (i.e. maybe an old model) and the screw underneath the wireless module is touching something at the base. This causes the circuit to short, and it there is a risk of causing mass level damage to the Asus Maximus Formula V mobo.
- The module itself is faulty. Period. The only solution is not to use it.
Asus Maximus Formula V for First timers who Doubt the Board’s Performance:
In short, this motherboard is a wonderful treat to all the gamers out there. Yeah, you can use it for work related gigs, but hey, the Republic of Gamers and GamerFirst II is not a joke. Obviously these two perks are pressing upon the priority of gaming over everything else in the world.
As of this moment, there are 3 different versions of the Formula 5 series motherboards. These editions have little difference, which makes any of your purchase a worthwhile investment. The Maximus Formula V was preferred in my case because of the on board audio system. Currently I am using the Creative 5.1 speaker setup, which makes it easier for me to plug in all the jacks in the on board audio ports.
However, seeing that you probably have a thing for the Gene V or the Maximus V Extreme, you can go for any of them; i.e. if your budget allows it easily. If it is your first time purchasing a high end/ so called “hot rod RoG” mobo, I suggest that you keep other expenses in view.
Assembling the Asus Maximus Formula V all by Yourself?
Be very careful when assembling the motherboard all by yourself. I usually go to my local repair shop and pay that guy by the hour to assemble my system. This time, when my motherboard started looping with the Q Code 55 and God knows what else, I had to take it apart on my own. It was a good experience.
The only thing that matters is to make sure that all connections and screws are in place. Nothing is touching any metallic objects because you don’t want to short the motherboard circuit at any point. Also make sure that the cable connections for power, CPU and hard drives are sitting in snuggly.
First Time Boot Up Experience:
When turned On for the first time, expect a 30 second (minimum) delay. You will think that the motherboard has gone in the “Dead on Arrival” mode, but it is not like that. The beast is just starting to get warmed up. After a while, you will be able to see the Republic of Gamer icon and your BIOS interface.
If the BIOS interface part is skipped, let the motherboard do its thing; eventually it will stop at Windows Loading screen or won’t start completely. This is normal. Restart the system and press the relevant F1, F2, Del key to enter the BIOS setup mode. Here, the Asus Maximus Formula V settings can be tweaked and overclocked to your liking.
CAUTION: In case your motherboard is not starting and all you are seeing is a black screen, note down the error code on the LED. Check this code in the Asus Maximus Formula V manual. What does it say? Are you able to understand it? If not, go to the Asus Republic of Gamers forum to see what others are saying about this issue. Normally, there are tons of videos and solutions available at the official Forum threads.
Form Factor and Peripheral Details:
- Z77 Chipset – Meaning that you cannot install and run the Intel Haswell series processors.
- 2 Way SLI and 3 Way ATI CrossFire Support.
- 6 SATA Ports and 3.0 USB Ports
- Separate Section for R.O.G Connection at the Backside.
- On Board Audio
- On Board TPM Module for Bitlocking your HDDs
- Intel Gigabit LAN Connection at Backside.
Moving on, you get the following options for cooling system in the Asus Maximus Formula V:
- Chassis Fans are Connected as (CHA FAN1, CHA Fan2, CHA FAN). These connections are made via pins on the motherboard itself.
- Optional Fan Connections on the Maximus V are (OPT FAN1, OPT FAN 2, OPT FAN 3). You can see all fan connections through a diagram when the Asus SUITE is installed in your operating system. The fans will automatically be pointed out once the program is running.
- Thermal Sensor Connections are (OPT TEMP1, OPT TEMP2, OPT TEMP3).
All the cooling options are to be set through the Asus BIOS interface. In case you were wondering about the water cooling system, the Asus Maximus Formula V does offer it. You can see water cooling ports at the side of the heat sink. They are like small pillars with their opening ends at the top covered with rubber.
Asus Maximus Installed Inside a Corsair Chassis | Courtesy of Amazon Customer Images
The motherboard is classified as Enhanced ATX board. Its size is still the standard 12 Inch X 10.1 Inch. I did have a problem with installing the motherboard in my casing. The Cooler Master Scout CM is way too small for this casing. Once you have the board lying in there, all 9 of the screws will not fit. I had to buy the HAF X series casing to get things going on.
Power Supply Requirement:
I am using the GX750 Bronze series power supply. It supports 2 GPUs, multiple hard drives, peripherals and also takes care of the motherboard in any way deemed fit. If you are into calculations and stuff, you can see that the normal motherboard to power consumption ratio will be 40:70 percent load. At this stage, you can go for a high quality PSU; either one of the Corsair AX850 or Zigmatec series will do fine.
Memory and On Board Wi Fi Issues:
I already talked about these issues in detail earlier in this Asus Maximus Formula V review. Just in case you did not pay attention, I’d like to emphasize on the importance of running memory tests. MemTest program is already available in this motherboard installation CD.
This is that White Halo-like WiFi Antenna
If you fail to find that program, you can download the CPUZ RoG from the internet. If that doesn’t work either, enter: “MemTest” in your Google search bar and download a free version of any popular program. These programs basically tell you about the Q Voltage distribution to all RAMs, their serial numbers, month of manufacture and all other details.
The Wi-Fi / Bluetooth on the Asus Maximus Formula V is supposed to work via a module. It is a small chip that comes in a separate plastic bag. You attach it to the motherboard via a screw inside the bag. The component is also known as the mPCIe unit.
People have mentioned that it causes the Asus Maximus Formula V motherboard to malfunction. Well, I can’t say anything. In my case, it worked fine. I just removed it, thinking that this component was causing the reset loops. I was wrong and so was ALL THE MISLEADING blog posts about the Formula V series motherboards. People, please don’t mess up with your motherboard while listening to other people’s advice.
Once the WiFi module is attached, you will need to connect those antennas to it. They are connected through the back panel of the motherboard. This antenna consists of two wires, a white cable with a circular HALO like appearance; you will see it in a separate packaging inside the Asus Maximus Formula V box.
Reckless Behavior will Not be Tolerated:
I have seen people handling the Asus Maximus Formula V in a very reckless and care free mood. What the hell, guys? What if you end up frying your motherboard components due to electrostatic discharge? Please use newspapers or any other big piece of paper to spread underneath the motherboard while it is lying out there naked.
Use gloves if you have to. The key is to properly insulate and isolate all chances of possible electrostatic discharges. ASUS will not help you for screwing up with your motherboard. Yes, there are no Electrostatic Charge related warnings on the Box or inside the Maximus V manual (maybe I missed them), but common sense is expected from you.
- Handle the motherboard by the edges.
- Don’t use moist hands, sweaty finger tips, damp areas for motherboard installation.
- An Antistatic wrist band would be nice!
- Ground yourself through the grounding strap!
The Asus Maximus Formula V is a remarkable motherboard. It is kind of an overkill, which is a good thing for gamers out there. Once combined with an SLI setups, 16 Gigs of RAM, SSDs and high quality hard drives, the motherboard serves to be a lifetime investment and future proofing at the same time. Asus has become a household brand. Its products are slightly expensive but they are definitely worth it.
Word from Asus:
The ASUS Republic of Gamer (R.O.G.) series motherboards have always been the pioneers to new overclocking methods for enthusiasts. With the great expectations from gamers, R.O.G. is pleased to introduce the Maximus V FORMULA motherboard, featuring Intel’s® Z77 chipset supporting the latest LGA 1155 processors.
The Maximus V FORMULA employs the exclusive Fusion Thermo technology, which is a dual configuration that enables both air and water cooling with an 100% copper water channel, as well as a heatpipe wrapped in the thermal module.