Our sample of the Crosshair III Formula arrived with this device, the OC Station. The OC Station connects to Republic of Gamer boards via USB and proprietary cables and allows us control of the motherboard and fans. Powered by a single Molex plug the OC Station sits in spare drive bays and through use of the 3 inch display and dial we can monitor or adjust the system settings. Essentially this device gives us control of the Asus EPU and AI suite functions in an external form.
Overall the device works well, it is nice to have the temperatures on display at all times and Asus offer options such as displaying slide shows on the screen. Overclocking essentially involves navigating through options by turning the dial and then hitting OK. The settings are applied quickly and we found that the OC Station worked as well as the Asus software; it had no impact on our maximum overclock potential.
Overall this is like any other external monitoring or overclocking device, though it does look exceptionally classy. Essentially it does exactly what it is advertised to do but we feel that for most people it is a luxury that can be done without as it adds little over the functionality we already have in Windows.
NOTE: For those using Windows 7, at the time of publishing Asus have not added full support for that OS.
Last month Intel launched their Z97 chipset, essentially an evolution of Z87, which in many cases brought new features such as SATA Express and M.2 compatibility to the mainstream desktop market. There was of course no new CPU at that time with the existing socket 1150 processors working without issue in the new boards. Since then though Intel launched (along with some lower spec models) the Core i7-4790K, a model which sits at the top of their mainstream platform. Today we see how it compares to various other models when installed on Gigabytes Z97X Gaming 5 and paired with PowerColors new dual core 290X Devil 13.
PowerColor offer their own branded version of the liquid cooled R9 295 X2… and now for those who want a similar level of framerate they have their air cooled dual core R9 290X with Devil 13 branding. Today we take a look at this R9 290X2 to see what Powercolor can do with their custom design card in a selection of games including Battlefield 4 and GRID Autosport at 4K resolution.