Finally, it’s here. AMD’s much vaunted X570 chipset arrives with a new generation of Zen micro-architecture CPUs in the Ryzen 3000 family. The combination of this new chipset and CPU family bring with them great advancements not only in platform features, but in power savings and of course performance.
That said, here I will be focused on the chipset and more importantly the motherboard that is possibly the most anticipated of them all, the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero, the Hero (Wi-Fi) to be exact. This is the quintessential Ryzen motherboard just as the previous iterations were for the respective Ryzen CPU generations.
Given just how well received the Crosshair VII was, it was always going to take a lot for the engineers at ROG to improve on what is an already refined motherboard. Fortunately, the ROG engineers have risen to the challenge and produced a spectacular motherboard that is well worth the Crosshair legacy. What follows is an overview of the motherboard, not only in features and layout but more importantly performance. As with most high-end ROG motherboards, performance and is at the forefront and the Crosshair VIII Hero is a true testament to this as you will see.
|Socket | CPU||Socket 1331 | AMD AM4 3rd, 2nd & 1st Gen AMD Ryzen with VEGA Graphics|
|Memory Support||4xDIMM DDR4 2133 – DDR4 4600+(O.C.) (Dependent on CPU generation)|
|Storage||6x SATA 6Gbps, 2x SATA 6Gbps (ASM1061), 3x M.2 x4 (2x 2280, 1x 22110)|
|Audio||ROG SupremeFX, ALC S1220, ESS ES9023P DAC, Sonic Radar III|
|Expansion Slots||2x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 4.0 x16 (x4 Electrical), 1x PCIe 4.0 x1|
|Connectivity||Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, BT 5.0, 1x 2.5Gbps LAN, 1x Intel Gigabit Lan (I211-AT)|
|Rear Panel I/O||8x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (1x Type-C, 7x Type-A), 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x Clr CMOS, 1x BIOS Flashback, 2x RJ-45 with LED, 1x 2×2 Wi-Fi Module|
|Total Fan Headers||9x 4-pin (PWM/Voltage)|
|Power Connectors||1x 24-pin EATX, 1x 8-pin 12V, 1x 4-pin 12V|
|Form Factor||ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm|
The Crosshair brings with it a few interesting features here, including a host of USB 3.2 gen 2 ports, 2.5G LAN and of course PCI express 4.0 compatibility. Not relevant for any graphics cards right now, but there are M.2 drives which benefit immensely from the increase in throughput. As a high-end board, it’s decked with every feature you can think of and by this alone makes a grand impression.
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Tags: AMD X570, Crosshair VIII, ROG, Ryzen 3000
There isn't a new chipset debuting with the AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs, but Asus' ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero wants to be the last AM4 motherboard you'll ever need.
Debuting back in September 2016, AMD’s AM4 socket is now well and truly into the twilight of its many chaptered career. Since it appears there won’t be an X670 chipset, it’s likely that X570 will be the last high end AM4 chipset before the switch to a new socket for Zen 4 processors with DDR5 memory support.
With that in mind, Asus is using this window to release a refreshed X570 motherboard: the ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero. It incorporates all of the 4+ years of BIOS updates, PCB, and electrical layout tweaks into what should be a mature and refined package. Importantly, unlike early X570 boards, the Dark Hero was designed with Zen 3 processors actually on hand during the design phase.
That means there’s every chance that the Crosshair VIII Dark Hero will be among the best, if not the best X570 motherboard for Ryzen 5000 CPUs.
The Dark Hero features a rather subtle design. Some might even say it’s a little bland. Perhaps we have reached ‘Peak RGB’ with recent motherboards being a little more discrete with their RGB implementations. It’s also unusual that there’s not a Crosshair VIII Apex or Extreme, especially when Gigabyte and MSI have boards priced well above the Dark Hero.
A $400 USD motherboard can never be described as cheap, but compared to the exorbitant prices of the MSI Godlike and Gigabyte Aorus Extreme, it certainly feels more affordable.
The layout of modern ATX boards tends not to vary too much these days. The primary M.2 slot is sensibly located above the PCIe slot. The second slot at the bottom also features a heatsink. The sockets are easy to access without having to remove the entire heatsink assembly.
Also notable: No chipset cooling fan! Hooray!
Crosshair VII Dark Hero
Socket - AM4 Socket
CPU support - AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series/ 4000 G-Series/ 3000 Series/ 3000 G-Series/ 2000 Series/ 2000 G-Series
Storage - 3x M.2; 8x SATA
USB - Up to 5x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 10x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 4x USB 2.0
Networking - 802.11ax 2.4Gbps Wi-Fi; Intel I211-AT 1G & Realtek RTL8125 2.5G LAN
Audio - Realtek ALC1220 7.1 Channel HD Audio
Form factor - ATX
You get eight SATA ports, and wired networking is provided by an Intel I211AT 1G and Realtek RTL8125 2.5G controllers. 5G would have been nice but having put up with close to 20 years of Gigabit, 2.5G is still welcome! There’s also Intel 802.11ax WiFi on board so there are plenty of networking options.
The VRM has been upgraded over that of the regular Hero. The power stages are now rated for 90a, up from 60a which bring it in line with some of the other premium X570 boards. Even if you’re into smashing out benchmarks on LN2 (and this board will see plenty of that in the hands of overclockers), it will handle the punishment with ease. The heatsinks are big and chunky affairs.
The rear IO is packed out. If you need extra USB ports for that head massager or plasma ball, there are few better equipped boards. There are no less than eight USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one of which is Type-C. These are joined by four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. There are also BIOS clear and flashback buttons, the LAN and WiFi antenna ports, and the usual set of audio ports including S/PDIF. The IO shield is preinstalled, which is blessedly now becoming standard practice on decent motherboards.
The performance differences between boards with otherwise identical partnering components is usually very small. That's particularly true as we’re now several generations in and any BIOS niggles in the X570 chipset have been well and truly tuned out. A lot of the time variability can simply come down to a margin of error.
The AMD Ryzen 9 5950X we used for testing is highly cooling dependent as a thing; something as simple as an improperly configured AIO pump led to some initially below average results. Once that was sorted though, it’s clear that a Ryzen 9 5950X paired with a quality board like the Dark Hero can really shine whether you overclock it or not. It must be stated though that If you’re a pure gamer, the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X or AMD Ryzen 5 5600X chips are a better option.
Our 5950X sample was easily capable of benchmarking at 4.5GHz with all cores loaded, but pushed anywhere beyond this, you’d need top spec CPU cooling, though the board itself doesn’t even break a sweat with this kind of load.
An easier method than manual overclocking, however, is to simply enable the AMD Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO). With this enabled, our sample would still hit 4.5GHz on all cores, though more typically it settled at 4.4GHz. Importantly, it leaves lightly threaded boosting enabled and, as you can see in the benchmarks, you get a big multi threading boost and lose nothing under single threaded or gaming loads.
We were also able to reach an Infinity Fabric clock of 2,066MHz, which combined with a 1:1 memory clock results in DDR4-4133 with tight timings. That's not something we've been able to achieve with other Ryzen 5000 silicon or other boards so far. The Dark Hero was bootable with extra SoC and CCD voltage even higher than this.
That's worth repeating: We have not been able to achieve this on any other motherboard at the time of writing, though the latest AGESA updates may improve Infinity Fabric clocks on other boards. It’s always nice to get that feeling from a solid motherboard: Oh! I've done a thing that surprisingly worked!
So, what is it that makes a great motherboard? Features are important, as is a stable and refined BIOS, value for money, a good design, but sometimes it’s the intangible. Sometimes it's that the damn thing just works. Motherboard testing is often one of the most painful things a tech journalist has to do. With some boards you have to fight it to get it to do what you want, or expect it to, or have to or crank up some voltage setting to a level you don’t really want to, but the Dark Hero just seemed to boot first time, even as we played with the memory clocks and timings and the Infinity Fabric.
The Crosshair VIII Dark Hero might not be the best AM4 motherboard ever made, we’d have to review a few hundred boards to make that claim, but it’s an easy claim to make that the Dark Hero is certainly one of the best AM4 motherboards we've ever tested. Time and months of user feedback will determine if the Dark Hero assumes a position as one of the truly legendary ROG motherboards, but we wouldn’t bet against that happening.
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Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero
If you're after a stable and refined motherboard to extract every last drop of performance out of your CPU and memory, this is the board for you.
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ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO (Wi-fi) review - Introduction
ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO (Wi-fi) motherboard
We all can be heroes.
ASUS rolling out some pretty nifty shizzle Ryzen 3000 series motherboards. We check out this Crosshair VIII HERO hardware in combination with a Ryzen 7 3700X processor, AMD prepped the 570 chipset, that offers a more fine-tuned experience for your Ryzen Generation 3 processor. The new Hero, however, is taking things to an entirely new level. Including PCIe Gen 4.0 and AX Wifi. The X570 motherboard is residing in the high-end motherboard spectrum for the 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors. With this release, you will spot a breathtaking motherboard loaded with features, DDR4 A-XMP functions, and PCIe 4.0 PCI slots and multiple PCIe 4.0 connected M.2. slots, with a massive heatsink.
AMD has been going strong over the past year, rattling all the cages with an Intel logo on them. From top to bottom they have been able to compete with Intel. With Zen2 (codename 'Matisse') AMD is introducing a new line of processors starting at hexacore processors in the entry-level to mainstream segment (yeah, you read that right), eight and twelve cores for the mainstream to high-end, and up to 16-core Ryzen processors for the enthusiast level. It is batpoop crazy when you think about what AMD has accomplished in, what has it been, two years time? Sure, the initial ZEN Ryzen processors had a bit of a rocky launch with the inter-core latency discussion, 1080p gaming performance as well as memory support. But the tide turned with each month that passed, and over time more and more people would actually consider an AMD processor-based PC for their next purchase. That shift in the paradigm is big when you think about Intel's monopolized position in the desktop processor market. When AMD launched the 12nm update of Zen, called Zen+, the memory compatibility issues were mostly all gone, of course, and with the launch of Ryzen 3000, the 3rd generation Ryzen products, AMD is about to rattle the cages once again with a massively strong and competitive processor lineup. A topic of discussion has been chipset compatibility. Basically, in short, if you have a Series 300 or 400 chipsets AMD motherboard, you should seek a BIOS/firmware update from your motherboard's manufacturer. Ryzen 3000 processors will (read: should) work fine, with one distinction, you have reverted back to PCIe Gen 3.0, and that also goes for the x4 PCIe based interlink between the CPU and chipset. When we reverse the situation (use a Ryzen Series 1000 or 2000 on X570) we see a similar condition, most of the older Ryzen processors will work fine on X570, just not with PCIe 4.0 and dandy features like optional AX Wi-fi 6
So if you go with a proper processor, you'll like want a proper motherboard loaded with the latest and greatest. AND ASUS does just that with the Crosshair VIII HERO (Wi-fi). Today's tested motherboard, the ASUS Crosshair VIII Hero Wifi, is based on the X570 chipset and thus its feature set. This socket AM4 motherboard offers extensive DDR4 memory support (as well as all other modern usual suspects like USB 3.2 gen 2, NVMe protocol 1.3 based M.2 support over PCI-Express Gen 4.0 and of course generic PCI-Express Gen 4.0 mechanical slots. This ROG Crosshair ATX model in particular offer 16 IR3555 PowIR stages, split between the CPU and the SOC, each rated for 60 amps. The PCIe slots have reinforcements to withstand the weight of high-end cards. The audio features a Realtek 1220 codec that improves input quality for streamers with an industry-leading 113-dB SNR for the line-in paired with an ESS ES9023P HD Sabre DAC. ASUS has fitted with a Realtek 2.5G ethernet jack and also an I211AT Gigabit Ethernet controller. An Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 adapter is used to give AX Wifi6 a home on this motherboard. The 802.11ax protocol and can broadcast fast signals up to a theoretical peak of 2400Mbps. The motherboard is a very feature-rich product that will look terrific in any DIY PC build. The dark styled PCB comes with shielding and very subtle light accents. Features wise you may expect triple x16 PCI-Express slots (16x/8x/4x), an 8-channel audio solution, the usual quality components and USB 3.1. Audio is based on Realtek 1220 but was enhanced with a software suite.
The board supports SLI and CrossFireX configs split between its main PCI Express x16 slots. The PCIe 4.0 and DDR4 slots have been reinforced to withstand the weight of high-end cards. Combine this motherboard with the Ryzen 3000 series six up-to sixteen-core processors and you'll be pleasantly surprised as to what it offers. Let’s start up the review, shall we?
In recent months, we’ve looked at several AMD X570 motherboards, but mostly have focused on the budget and mid-range, starting at around $200 and up. Now we’re stepping into a higher (though still mid-range) segment to evaluate if Asus’s Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi deserves a spot on our best motherboards list.
Priced at $379.99 on Newegg, it is a considerable step up from past X570 reviews. With this increase, we will generally find improvements in VRM count and quality, LED lighting, as well as other high-end features. The Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi doesn’t disappoint, and brings with it a robust VRM, 2.5G LAN, a slew of USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, integrated Wi-Fi 6/802.11ax, and ROG SupremeFX premium audio in a full-sized ATX form factor.
The Asus X570 motherboard lineup includes options from the TUF, Prime, Strix, WS (Workstation), and ROG lines in ATX form-factor only (currently). If you are looking for an ITX board, it will have to be from Gigabyte or ASRock for now, while Micro-ATX boards can be found in Asus, MSI, ASRock, and Gigabyte lineups. The OG Crosshair VIII Formula leads the pack, followed by the Hero and WS, with the Strix, Prime and TUF lines mixed in on the way down the product stack. With a total of 10 motherboards in its lineup, Asus has enough options to suit most builds.
The Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi’s $380 price point lands it in the upper mid-range of all X570 boards. The overall experience with the board was positive, as stock testing completed without a hitch and performance was as expected, with results right around the other boards.
Asus’ latest UEFI for the system looks good and is easy to work with, providing a good foundation for a full system. The board includes a whopping 12 USB ports on the rear IO, including eight USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (seven Type-A, one Type-C), fast 2.5G Realtek based LAN, as well as Intel Wi-Fi 6 integration. If you look close enough, you may find a kitchen sink.
As with other boards on this platform, the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero supports both Ryzen 2000 and Ryzen 3000 series processors. It includes eight SATA ports and four DIMM slots, the latter capable of supporting up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM. Asus does not have rated memory speeds listed on the specification page. For audio, we find the ROG SupremeFX codec (a tweaked Realtek ALC1220), a premium audio solution.. Below is a complete list of specifications from Asus.
|Voltage Regulator||14 phase / 12 + 2 (“teamed” setup with 7+1 controller)|
|USB Ports||USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps): 7x Type-A, 1x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps): 4x Type-A|
|Network Jacks||(2) Gigabit Ethernet|
|Audio Jacks||(5) Analog + SPDIF|
|Other Ports/Jack||Wi-Fi Antenna|
|CrossFire/SLI||AMD 3-Way CrossfireX, Nvidia 3-Way SLI|
|DIMM slots||(4) DDR4|
|M.2 slots||(2) PCIe 4.0 x4 / SATA + PCIe|
|SATA Ports||(8) 6Gb/s (RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)|
|USB Headers||(1) v3.2 Gen2, (1) v3.0, (2) USB 2.0|
|Fan Headers||(8) 4-Pin|
|Other Interfaces||FP-Audio, RGB-LED, TPM|
|Diagnostics Panel||Q-Code LED display|
|Internal Button/Switch||Power, Reset, Slow Mode, Reset CMOS, Safe boot, Retry|
|Ethernet Controllers||1G - Intel I211-AT 2.5G - Realtek RTL8125-CG 2.5G|
|Wi-Fi / Bluetooth||Intel Wi-fi 6 AX200 (2.4 Gbps, 2x2, MU-MIMO)|
|HD Audio Codec||SupremeFX S1220|
|DDL/DTS Connect||✗ / Yes|
Asus includes a fair amount of accessories with the Crosshair VIII Hero, from the basic driver disk, manuals and SATA cables, to RGB extensions and the Wi-Fi antenna -- everything you need to get started. Below is a complete list of what ships in the box, along with the board.
- SATA cables
- 1x M.2 screw package
- Support DVD
- ROG big Sticker
- Wi-Fi Antenna
- 80cm RGB extension cable
- Addressable LED extension cable
- ROG Coaster
- ROG Thank you card
The board itself gives off a premium vibe with a jet black PCB and heatsinks. Accenting the black is a silver swath going through the chipset heatsink and up through the VRM heatsink.
Emblazoned on the rear IO heatsink is the Crosshair VIII name, while just below it in the sliver area is the word “HERO,” with RGBs illuminating the word with a faint frosty glow. The ROG symbol on the chipset heatsink also incorporates RGB lighting and shares the same frosted look. RGB control is handled by Asus’ AURA software.
Other than that, it's black on black for the VRM heatsinks, audio shroud and DIMM slots. Two of the three full-length PCIe slots include reinforcement for heavy GPUs and EMI slot protection. The Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi really presents itself as a premium motherboard. Without polarizing styling cues, it will fit in with most build themes too.
Starting at the top, on the far left is the rear IO cover which reaches out over the heatsink. The cover is made out of mostly brushed-finished aluminum, with some plastic. We see the Crosshair VIII naming on top and “HERO” on the bottom, the latter lit up with RGBs.
Feeding the VRMs are a required 8-pin and optional 4-pin EPS connector, sandwiched between the shroud and VRM heatsinks. This board uses a ASP1405i/Infineon IR35201 8-phase controller running in 7+1 mode. The heatsinks aren’t the biggest we’ve seen, but they are connected to each other via a heat pipe, sharing the thermal load between them. The power bits stayed well within spec during our stock and overclocked testing.
Instead of using phase doublers to touch all VRM phases, Asus uses a different topology, teaming, which the company says provides optimal transient response (versus doubling). The board is equipped with premium Infineon PoweRstage IR3555 rated at 60A each. In other words, there is plenty of capability in the VRM, and handling even the upcoming 16-core 3950X shouldn’t be an issue.
To the right of the socket area, we spy the four DIMM slots, with each slot using a single-sided locking mechanism for ease of installation and removal. The board supports up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM but curiously, Asus doesn’t list any memory speeds on the specifications page.
Above the memory slots are three of the eight 4-pin fan/pump headers. In this area specifically are the CPU_FAN, CPU_OPT and AIO_PUMP headers. Just to the right of these is the handy two-character Q-Code debug LED display used for troubleshooting during startup.
Sliding down the right side we see a large start/power button along with a smaller and simpler reset button. Just below it is the 24-pin ATX power connector and below it the front panel USB 3.2 Gen 2 header.
One really helpful feature, especially for the overclocker, are voltage read points. With software displaying the incorrect information at times, this is the most accurate way to get readings. Voltage read points include a ground, Vcore, NB_SOC, DRAM, PLL and SB.
For RGB headers, we spy two (of four total) in the upper right corner. One 3-pin ARGB and the other 4-pin. The 3-pin is a 5V addressable header that connects up to 300 individually addressable RGB LEDs, with a maximum power rating of 3A (5V). The 12V LED connector supports 5050 RGB LED strips, also with a 3A (12V) rating. Control over the attached strips is managed by the Asus Aura software.
The bottom half of the board is, for all intents and purposes, covered by heatsinks/shrouds. On the far left, the SupremeFX S1220 audio is hidden along with the Texas Instruments RC4580 op-amp and ESS ES9023P DAC, but we can see a glimpse of the Nichicon audio caps, said to produce a warmer and more natural sound. The codec is a tweaked version of the premium Realtek ALC1220 chip, but with improved audio such as SnR. This audio solution should be more than adequate for most users.
In the middle of the board is where we find the three full-length PCIe slots and the x1 slot. The top slot will run x16 while the second is capable of x8 speeds. When using both slots, they will run at x8/x8 PCIe 4.0. Both of these slots are reinforced as well. The bottom full-length slot is capable of PCIe 4.0 x8 speeds, with its bandwidth sourced from the chipset. The Crosshair III Hero Wi-Fi supports both 3-way SLI and Crossfire multi-GPU solutions.
Between the PCIe slots and hidden below the heatsink and shroud are two M.2 slots. Both slots are able to run SATA or PCIe based m.2 modules. The primary, (top) slot will hold up to an 80mm drive, while the bottom slot supports up to 110mm. As is the norm on X570 due to the PCIe lane count, no SATA ports will be affected regardless of what type of M.2 module is used.
To the right is the chipset heatsink and fan along with the eight SATA ports. The fan is quiet during normal use scenarios, so we have nothing to worry about there though it is, like most other chipset fans, right underneath the video card and its exhaust. Asus says the 60,000-hour lifespan fan uses a specially designed air duct to concentrate airflow over the fins and eventually out the bottom past the bottom M.2 slot.
Some readers have made a lot of fuss about these fans. But throughout my X570 testing, the vast majority of the board’s chipset fans have been inaudible over the other components. The eight SATA ports are more than most builders will need, and all are sourced from the chipset and support RAID 0, 1,5 and 10.
Worth noting is the Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi is a watercooling ecosystem in itself. Between all the fan and pump headers, water flow sensor and temperature headers, the board is able to replace many fancy fan/system controllers with control and monitoring handled through software or the BIOS. With cases forgoing 5.25-inch bays these days, this can be a help and spare that slot for optical drives if that is still needed.
Across the bottom edge of the board is a holy ton of headers and buttons responsible for various things. We see USB headers, buttons for retry and safe boot, an LN2 switch, temperature headers and more. Here’s a full list:
- Front Panel Audio
- 2x Fan headers
- CMOS jumper
- Dual BIOS switch
- 2x USB 2.0 headers
- USB 3.1 header
- USB 3.2 header (fast charge)
- Front panel header
- Clear CMOS jumper
Spinning around back to the rear IO area, we’re greeted by an integrated black rear IO panel which maintains the high-quality feel. The rear IO also holds the most USB ports we’ve seen yet on an X570 board, with a total of 12.
This count includes eight USB 3.2 Gen 2 (7x Type-A and 1x Type-C), along with four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. Outside of the generous USB port count, we can see both the Intel I211-AT Gigabit LAN as well as the Realtek 2.5G LAN port. You’ll also find a Clear CMOS and BIOS Flashback buttons out here for easy access. We spy the Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 antenna mounts (the gold protrusions) and finally, the gold-plated audio stack, which consists of five 3.5mm jacks and SPDIF as well.
Overall, the rear IO on the Crosshair VIII Hero is loaded with functionality that is typical for this class of board. Where it really earns its keep is with the high number of USB ports.Note, though, that the board does not include any video outputs. So those looking to use integrated graphics on APUs will have to look elsewhere. That said, it’s unlikely that anyone would want to use a low-end APU with a motherboard that costs well more than twice as much. So there’s no real worry there.
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ASUS CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (AMD X570) Motherboard Review
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Today we take a look at ASUS's staple motherboard for the X570 platform, the Hero. Many vendors, including ASUS, have taken steps to build up their X570 motherboards to be even meaner and more loaded than their X470 motherboards, and in this case, it's true when we compare the VII and VIII Hero motherboards.
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If you are going to have to charge consumers a pretty penny because of platform costs, you might as well load up your offerings, and in this case, ASUS has loaded the Hero with a healthy serving of features. Let's see what the motherboard has to offer.
The CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (WI-FI) features two PCI-E 4.0 M.2 slots, 2.4Gbps WIFI controller, 2.5G LAN, an Intel Gbit NIC, tons of 10Gb/s USB, and high-end audio.
The CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (WI-FI) costs around $379.99
ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) ATX Motherboard
|Today||Yesterday||7 days ago||30 days ago|
* Prices last scanned on 10/21/2021 at 6:56 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.
Packaging and CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (WI-FI) Overview
Packaging and Overview
The box and packaging are quite good and do a solid job of protecting the motherboard.
The accessory package includes four SATA6Gb/s, WIFI antenna, RGB LED extension cable, addressable RGB LED extension cable, coaster, Q-Connector, case badge, and M.2 screws.
ASUS put eight fan headers on the motherboard, all of them offer DC/PWM mode selection. The two headers circled in red have shared control. The two headers circled in red offer up to 3A of current, while the rest of the headers operate at up to 1A. The motherboard does have an external temperature probe header, it's circled in purple.
The motherboard also offers support for ASUS's NODE, which isn't included, but is used to expand fan control and RGB LED support. There are also water cooling headers circled in green that can be used to monitor water temperature and flow rate. The motherboard offers sleek aesthetics, and the back of the motherboard is bare of major components.
The rear IO panel features four USB 3.0 ports, six USB 3.1 (10Gbps) ports five type-A ports and one type-C, clear CMOS button, Flashback button, WIFI antenna, 1G LAN, 2.5G LAN, and 7.1 gold plated audio outputs with S/PDIF out.
Here we find the PCI-E slot arrangement, which is very similar to many other X570 motherboards. The first top two x16 slots operate at x16 PCI-E 4.0 or x8/x8 PCI-E 4.0. The bottom x16 slot is wired to the chipset at x4 PCI-E 4.0, and there is also a PCI-E 4.0 x1 slot. Both M.2 slots offer x4 PCI-E 4.0 and SATA drive support, and both have heat sinks.
One USB 3.0 right angled internal header can be found below the USB 3.1 (10Gbps) type-C header. There are eight SATA6Gb/s ports on the motherboard; all are from the chipset.
At the top right corner of the motherboard, we find a POST code display, an addressable RGB LED header, an RGB LED header, a power button, and a reset button. We find a slow more switch at the bottom of the motherboard that will take the CPU to a low multiplier on-the-fly. We have two USB 2.0 internal headers, and a node header.
At the bottom of the motherboard, we find another addressable RGB LED header, an RGB LED header, a re-try button that will reapply your UEFI settings, a safe boot button that allows you to always boot up after a bad OC, and an LN2 mode jumper that can unlock higher voltage levels. There is also a hole under the socket to insert a thermocouple if doing liquid nitrogen overclocking. ASUS offers a reinforced 8-pin power header as well as a 4-pin power header.
The VRM heat sink is typical of most ASUS boards, and the chipset heat sink has a fan built into it.
ASUS CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (WI-FI) Circuit Analysis
The CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (WI-FI) shows us the goods with the heat sinks removed!
The VRM is in a 14+2 phase configuration, which is achieved by doubling the number of power stages per each PWM phase, so in this case, the IR35201 (custom labeled on the rear of the motherboard) is in 7+1 phase mode. There are no doublers, and ASUS claims there is a benefit in not using doublers here since it should improve transient response. The IR3555 60A PowIRstages are used to power the CPU; even the SoC phases use the high current 60A part.
The memory VRM is controlled by a Digi+ ASP1103, and the MOSFETs are the same PowerPAKs as we have seen for minor rails on previous Crosshair motherboards, and we have a two-phase configuration for the memory.
ASUS CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (WI-FI) Circuit Analysis Continued
CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (WI-FI) Circuit Analysis Continued
Audio hardware includes a Realtek ALC1220 under an EMI shield, an ESS SABRE ES9023 DAC, a de-pop circuit, a bunch of high-end Nichicon audio capacitors, a physical PCB divide, and a Texas Instruments RC45801 amplifier.
Normal Gbit LAN comes from an i211AT Intel NIC, and 2.5Gbit LAN comes from an RTL8125. There is also a WIFI6 AX200 controller on the board.
The four rear USB 3.0 ports come from an ASMedia ASM1074 USB 3.0 hub. The internal USB 3.1 type-C header gets a PI3EQX USB 3.1 re-driver and an ASMedia ASM1543 type-C switch and CC logic chip.
All of the rear USB 3.1 ports utilize PI3EQX re-drivers, and while there is only one type-C port on the rear IO, we find two ASM1543 type-C switches, which is odd. ASUS is using a 256Mbit BIOS chip, which is a bit pricey but should offer support of more CPUs as time goes on, and we find a BIOS chip that facilitates flashback recovery of the UEFI ROM.
The Nuvoton NCT6798 is the SuperIO, and we find a TPU chip which should expand fan control and other ROG features.
There is an AURA RGB LED controller chip hidden under one of the PCI-E latches.
BIOS and Software
The UEFI BIOS is very loaded on this motherboard with a few options that are custom. For starters, you get a voltage sense option where you can have the VCore reported from the die or the socket, and ASUS implemented special hardware to offer this capability.
All overclocking settings are present and accounted for, and there are presets for memory. Fan control is present in the form of a GUI and manual input through a menu. There are also two operation modes, an EZ Mode and an Advanced mode.
Software includes Armoury Crate, AURA, DIP5, 5-Way Optimization, TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Expert 4, Turbo App, AI Suite 3, AI Charger, and EZ Flash 3.
Test System Setup
Steven's Motherboard Test System Specifications
The RGB LEDs are subtle, but they are present, and you can see the word Hero light up over the IO cover.
We are looking for the optimum performance, and given that we are using the included cooling solution, you should be able to overclock quite a bit higher, as we hit thermal limits. We did notice VCore reporting was kind of accurate, and we noticed higher temperatures at the same VCore reported on other motherboards, so it does look like ASUS has optimized software reporting of VCore to be closer to the actual value. We got our best performance at 4.25GHz, at 4.3GHz we were thermal throttling, but we were also stable. Memory overclocking was also very easy; we just enabled D.O.C.P.
CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks
3DMark: Fire Strike
3DMark: Cloud Gate
Performance is pretty standardized depending on default power and performance settings; overall, we didn't find issues. The boards trade blows back and forth, but nothing too intense.
System IO Benchmarks
ixChariot Network Throughput:
Storage and network performance are excellent; most of these motherboards have the same implementation of features and the same WIFI controller.
Sound Judgment by Ear: Excellent, ASUS has done a great job. There are five ratings for audio: 1. Problems, 2. Okay, 3. Acceptable, 4. Very good, 5. Excellentâ€ƒ
Power consumption is a bit lower than some of the other motherboards.
What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts
Very nice VRM: With sixteen 60A IR3555 and a powerful digital PWM, the VRM on this motherboard is designed to handle and overclock any of AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen processors, including the 16-core model.
Networking: A lot of the motherboards in this price range have a 2.5G NIC, a 1Gbit NIC, and the new Wireless AX cards capable of up to 2.4Gbps, and so does the Hero.
OC Features: The motherboard has a lot of overclocking features for a mid to high-end motherboard, including the slow mode switch, safe boot switch, and re-try button found on high-end ASUS motherboards. It's designed for liquid nitrogen and even has a jumper for LN2 voltages and a hole in the back of the socket to stick a thermocouple into.
Two M.2 Ports: There are eight SATA6Gb/s ports and a lot of USB 3.1 in use, but ASUS could only put two M.2 slots on the motherboard because of it.
The CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (WI-FI) costs around $380, which is a decent sum of money for a motherboard. It does carry the high-end re-drivers and switches that are compatible with PCI-E 4.0, and that is one reason for the increase cost compared to the previous Hero.
The motherboard does offer a high-end assortment of features such as the high-end LAN, great audio, and a healthy serving of 10Gbps USB. The aesthetics are also very nice, and it looks wonderful when it is lit up. If you are in the market for a high-end X570 motherboard to compliment the new higher core count CPUs, give the ASUS Crosshair VIII Hero a look.
The Bottom Line
Loaded with a strong VRM, high-end features, and a decent assortment of overclocking features, the ASUS Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi is a fully loaded motherboard.
ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi) ATX Motherboard
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Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.
" He to Me. "Drive me to the store, I will give the money. And then if suddenly my wife hides, you tell her, what are you going to say?" It is logical. I quickly put on my shirt and pants and fly to the store.
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And Nelya, in turn, satisfied them, again noting to herself the bullish member of Ando, which in this position already penetrated God knows what depths. But what had happened did not happen again, and the pain from the open wound became stronger and stronger, and in the end it was only the feeling. Of nowhere and how the debt to these guys that had arisen made her give them all satisfaction.
Moreover, the acts now lasted much longer than the first time. And then someone suggested that we run into the garden and rinse ourselves.