As you know, both generations of Ryzen processors and motherboards for them are fully compatible. The release of the 400-series hubs separated the novelties from the products of the previous generation, making it easier for customers to choose in the store. At the same time, specialists from board manufacturers could apply the latest developments and correct errors. The flagship model from the ROG family has many differences from its previous version. First of all, the power regulator has changed, where the processor voltage began to prevail over the SOC Voltage. The weakening of the last section forced the engineers to exclude work with the APU, the flagship is completely concentrated around the CPU operation scheme, and if you call things by their proper names, its overclocking.
There are a number of other, no less noticeable differences. It would be difficult to list them all in one line. Added: a second M.2 port, a PS / 2 output, a slot for an additional cooler controller and a fourth block for RGB devices. On the other hand, they abandoned the Key Bot II complex, now there is one less classic PCI-E x1, and support for coolers for the AM3 + socket has also disappeared (more precisely, additional holes on the board). A set of basic characteristics is collected in the table below, you can compare it with the previous version of the device yourself.
|Model||ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi)|
|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 2133/2400/2666/2800*/2933*/3000*/3200*/3400*/3466*/3600*(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) — X470
2 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 — X470
|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
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — CPU
|Integrated video core (in APU)||–|
|Number of connected fans||8x 4pin, 1x 5pin (Extension Fan connector)|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||2 x 3.1 Gen2 (2 connectors on the rear panel (A and C), ASM3142)
1 x 3.1 Gen2 (no connectors on the rear panel, X470)
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, X470)
5 x 2.0 (2 connectors on the rear panel, X470)
|Serial ATA||6 x SATA 6Gb/s (X470)|
|RAID||0, 1, 10 (SATA, X470)|
|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)
Realtek RTL8822BE (Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2)
|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), 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: Lighting Control Center (ROG Aura lighting system, including a pair of Aura RGB Strip Header and a pair of Aura Addressable Strip Header), USB BIOS Flashback and others|
|Retail price, $||323|
Packaging and equipment
The color shade of the packaging, following the emblem of the Ryzen 7 CPU, has shifted from black to metallic shades. But the scarlet tint, traditional for devices of the ROG family, was left unchanged. The box is impressive in size, but there are no handles for easy transport.
On the reverse side there is a photo of the product with a table of the main features. Key accents are indicated for the “iron” component, there are no separate mentions about proprietary software.
The number of accessories is more than with conventional boards. There is:
- user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
- a set of stickers with various images of the ROG series, including those for cables;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- ROG device owner welcome brochure;
- coupon with a discount for the procedure of braiding wires (rounding);
- cup holder with ROG logo;
- four SATA 6Gb / s cables, two of which have an L-shaped connector on one of the ends;
- extension cable for connecting RGB LED strip;
- extension cord for connecting a controlled LED strip;
- remote antenna with the possibility of fixing only one position;
- an adapter for convenient connection of ASUS Q-Connector case connectors;
- mounting screw and M.2 device stand — two sets;
- double hard bridge for organizing SLI.
There is no plug for the back panel, because it is already pre-installed.
The dimensions of the product fit into the ATX format. There are nine mounting holes. In fact, all elements are made in black shades. Buttons and switches are located in a variety of places, there are both diagnostic LEDs and background illumination.
The back surface of the board has a lot of electronic components, but the protective screen was not prepared here. The coolers are fixed with screws.
The hub radiator exactly repeats the shape of its predecessor. Its color and design of the upper lining has changed. Under it, right on the board, multi-color LEDs are soldered.
The upper task area for M.2 type devices implies the installation of devices no longer than 80 mm. There is a thermo-stick on the cooler.
The lower seat has no restrictions on the length of the installed devices. Also here, if desired, you can install a cooler, dismantled from the upper section. But its length acts as a limiter for full compatibility with all M.2 format products.
The placement of a block for an additional cooler controller has led to a decrease in the number of SATA sockets, here there are six longitudinal units.
Case cables of USB interfaces have the right to count on one block of each generation, in total there are three of them, all of them are of the transverse type.
Sixteen lanes from the CPU can be shared between a pair of PCI-E x16, and four more of this number go to one of the compact M.2. In fact, using an M.2 pair in PCI-E mode will reduce the bandwidth of the graphics subsystem. Non-reinforced slots work with a hub.
The organization of the network and sound subsystems, apparently, remained untouched. There is one additional op-amp and an external DAC that works in conjunction with the ALC1220 codec soldered under the screen. The circuit is complemented by a group of special audio capacitors.
The first pair of useful buttons is located at the bottom – Safe Button and Retry Button. The activation of the start with safe settings is assigned to the duties of the first, and the second initiates a cycle of shutdown and subsequent start-up of the system. You can use your own thermocouple via the T_Sensor socket.
There is support for branded remote modules for overclocking (OC Panel II). Implemented full support for LSS in the face of a pair of temperature and one temperature sensor (pads are separated in white).
The five main system voltages can be measured with a multimeter, on your own, using the points for the probes.
At the upper right corner are: POST code indicator, a simplified Q-LED diagnostic complex, a start button (glows in red) and a system reboot.
Another feature of the device is the presence of an independent clock generator that allows you to change the reference frequency. Looking ahead, I’ll say that there are two ways for this procedure.
The power stabilizer zone looks unchanged: the same overlay over the input-output ports, the heatsink of the same dimensions, the same chokes and their number. You can focus on the new chip with firmware, it is unusually large. As I already emphasized in the introduction, cooling systems are now installed only ready for socket AM4.
The food system has been redesigned. The PWM controller is soldered on the back side, the model is ASP1405I. There are no external drivers now, only doublers (IR3599), of which there are five. As a result, we got a “5+2” phase scheme, for processor lines the number of channels was increased to 10. High-performance Infineon Technologies IR3555 assemblies are used, exactly like those of the ASUS ROG Strix X470-F Gaming, only their number is larger. The fifth and sixth elements (clockwise in the picture) are responsible for SOC Voltage, that is, the engineers distributed the main “heat spot” into two flanks.
The appearance of the power circuit heatsink has changed only due to cuts on the upper edge, and the overall shape has not been modified compared to the previous generation motherboard. There are no comments on the area of the thermal interface.
The back panel is completed as tightly as possible. It’s hard to think of what’s missing here (other than video outputs, of course). The model of the used wireless network adapter has changed, here the solution from Realtek is used.