The ROG Crosshair series of motherboards from ASUS was developed for AMD desktop processors, products with the number “six” turned out to be designed for the Summit Ridge line, that is, under the CPU known to everyone as Ryzen. Literally from the moment the new products were announced, the ROG Crosshair VI Hero model was available in retail, but the first experiments on it led to problems with the firmware, which few people could solve on their own, without contacting the service. I would like to believe that the problem has already been found and eliminated, and we chose a more charged version for acquaintance, where the wireless network adapter became preinstalled. At the time of writing this review, this board is the most expensive in Ukrainian retail, it is very interesting what it will be able to demonstrate during the tests.
A product of this class provides full access to the capabilities of the X370 hub, and also has a couple of additional controllers to provide more USB outputs on the rear panel. There are also unique features – coolers of the old format (AM3 +) are supported, and there is not a single video output here, so the developers unequivocally position the product as a basis for experiments with older processor models. They took care of a considerable number of indicators and various kinds of controls. The main feature set is described in the table below.
|Model||ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero (Wi-Fi ac)|
|Official product page on the Web||asus.com|
|Processor socket||AMD AM4|
|Processors||AMD Series: Athlon X4, A6, A8, A10, A12, Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2666/3200+*(OC), 64 GB maximum|
|PCI slots||2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16+x0, x8+x8) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x8) — APU/Athlon
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (x4) — X370
3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 — X370
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4
SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — CPU
1 x SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — APU/Athlon
|Integrated video core (in APU)||Radeon Series: R7, R5|
|Number of connected fans||7x 4pin|
|The port is USB||2 x 3.1 Gen2 (2 connectors on the rear panel (A and C), ASM1142)
1 x 3.1 Gen2 (no connectors on the rear panel, X370)
4 x 3.1 Gen1 (4 connectors on the rear panel, CPU/APU/Athlon)
6 x 3.1 Gen1 (4 connectors on the rear panel, X370)
6 x 2.0 (4 connectors on the rear panel, X370)
|Serial ATA||8 x SATA 6Gb/s (X370)|
|RAID||0, 1, 10 (SATA, X370)|
|Built-in sound||SupremeFX (7.1, HDA):
Codec — S1220 (Realtek ALC1220)
DAC — ESS Sabre ES9023P
Op Amp — Texas Instruments RC4580
|Networking||Intel I211-AT (Gigabit Ethernet)
Qualcomm Atheros QCNFA364A (Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174 (Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1))
|Dimensions, mm||305 x 244|
|Additional features||Thermal sensor connector, ROG Water Cooling Zone (support for a flow sensor and a couple of temperature sensors), 3D Print ready (presence of holes for attaching products from 3D printers), support for AMD 3-Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA 2-Way SLI, Q-LED (CPU , DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED), POST indicator (Q-Code), buttons: Power, Reset, Clear CMOS, Safe and others; technologies: Keybot II, Lighting Control Center (ROG Aura lighting system, including a pair of Aura RGB Strip Header), USB BIOS Flashback and others; compatible with coolers for socket AM3(+)|
|Retail price, $||308|
Packaging and equipment
The box is oversized, but its weight is quite normal, the handle was not prepared to facilitate transportation.
For a detailed examination of the product, it is enough to lift the top cover – the board is located immediately under the plastic protective cover.
Key features are described on the back of the package. Attention here is paid mainly to the product itself, its main features are listed. We decided not to mention proprietary utilities, technologies or lighting here.
The package included:
- user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
- a memo on the correct installation of memory modules;
- branded warranty card;
- a set of stickers with various images of the ROG series;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- a separate sticker with the ROG logo;
- coupon with a discount for the procedure of braiding wires (rounding);
- another set of ROG stickers for cables;
- cup holder also with ROG logo;
- four SATA 6Gb / s cables, two of which have an L-shaped connector on one of the ends;
- extension cord for connecting LED strip;
- an adapter for convenient connection of ASUS Q-Connector case connectors;
- mounting screw and stand for M.2 format devices;
- a set of a pair of screws and racks for mounting decorative elements;
- a remote Wi-Fi antenna with the possibility of fixing two positions, equipped with a stand with a built-in magnet;
- a plug for the housing, complete with a black sticker with a symbolic designation of all sockets. Its reverse part is pasted over with noise-absorbing material;
- double hard bridge for organizing SLI.
The board will look quite harmonious both in the case and in an open stand. Nine holes are provided for mounting. The design style is close to that used in the ROG Maximus IX series of products – these are shades of a monochrome range, the overall style is rather restrained, dark.
On the back surface of the board, they did not do without electronic components, so you should be careful during operation. Parts of the processor power subsystem attract the most attention. All heatsinks on this unit use a screw mount.
The chipset cooler has a lot of intricate holes, and the logo of the ROG series was highlighted with a sticker. The LEDs soldered on the board illuminate the entire structure.
The M.2 socket is soldered at the bottom of the board and allows you to install devices of various sizes, including the 22110.
There are eight SATA outputs, all of them are longitudinal type. Below them is a miniature disk activity LED (orange). For case USB cables, the board has one socket: 3.1 Gen2 (it is symmetrical), 3.1 Gen1 and the usual version – 2.0.
To the side of the main power socket there are points for measuring the most important effective system voltages.
At the top edge there is a diagnostic corner. There is a classic POST code indicator and a simplified system of multi-colored Q-LEDs.
The controls are located along the bottom edge. This is a large power button and miniature ones: reset, Safe (allows you to get into UEFI without resetting settings) and Retry (first turns off and then starts the system). There is also a Slow Mode switch and a jumper to activate the LN2 extreme mode.
PCI-E processor lines will be distributed between shielded slots, the rest will work with the hub. One of the key features of the model is an external clock generator that allows you to change the reference frequency.
The sound subsystem is based on Realtek ALC1220, the codec is located under the screen. It also uses a discrete DAC with an independent oscillator and an auxiliary op amp, as was implemented on the ROG Maximus IX series boards.
A nice feature that can be emphasized once again is the presence of holes for cooling systems such as AM3 +. The radiator on the power circuits is low, nothing should interfere with the installation of coolers.
The operation of the voltage regulator is based on the ASP1405I PWM controller and is described by the 4 + 2 “phase” formula. At the back there are six units of IR3599 doublers, thanks to which 8 + 4 channels are formed. There are also 12 external IR3535 drivers. The scheme is supplemented with twelve assemblies of Texas Instruments CSD87350Q5D, which is two pieces more than that of ASUS Prime X370-Pro, here they strengthen the processor part of the stabilizer. It turns out that for the SOC Voltage group, the circuits are equivalent.
There are no questions about the quality of the radiators. The main one has a heat pipe, which is correctly located near the very base, which means it takes an active part in the work. There are no questions about the area of the thermal pad, the chipset cooler could have done a little more.
I / O ports on the rear panel include many of the most common – USB. There are all their modern types. As I already wrote, it turned out thanks to the refusal of video outputs. There are five audio jacks and one optical. A couple of buttons will be needed to reset the settings and activate the emergency firmware recovery mechanism. The wireless network adapter is pre-installed from the factory, you only need to switch the antenna.