The first boards of the Republic of Gamers series, which are designed for enthusiasts and gamers, were introduced 15 years ago and by this time they have become some of the best for overclocking and benching. ASUS ROG Crosshair X670E Gene, which was used when testing the Ryzen 9 7950X processor, was no exception. This is an mATX form factor board, with rich functionality and a lot of settings in UEFI. And this is probably one of the first ROG boards of this size for an AMD platform – they were usually full ATX.
As befits the AMD X670E chipset, it consists of two chips, which against the background of support for three M.2 drives seems incredible, because there is not much extra space on the mATX. In addition, the board has a powerful CPU power converter that requires good cooling, which also contributes to the amount of occupied space and puts demands on the CPU cooling system. But about all this below.
More detailed characteristics of the board are given in the table:
|Model||ASUS ROG Crosshair X670E Gene|
|Product page||ROG Crosshair X670E Gene|
|Processors||AMD 7000 Series (Ryzen 9, 7, 5)|
|Memory||2 DIMM DDR5 SDRAM, 6 GB maximum: 4800-5200 MHz, 5400-6400+ (OC) MHz|
|PCI-E slots||1 x PCI Express 5.0 x16 — CPU, 1 x PCI Express 4.0 х1 — X670E|
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 5.0 x4 M.2 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 5.0 x4 M.2 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 4.0 x4 M.2 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — X670E
|Integrated video core (in the processor)||+|
|Number of fans||7x 4pin|
|USB ports (panel I/O)||2 x USB 4 (Type-C — Intel JHL8540)
6 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (5 x Type-A, 1 x Type-C)
2 x USB 2.0 (Type-A)
|USB ports (connectors on the board)||1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (Type-C)
1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (2 ports)
2 x USB 2.0 (4 ports)
|Serial ATA||4 x SATA 6 Gb/s|
|RAID||0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, M.2)|
|Built-in sound||ROG SupremeFX 7 (Realtek ALC4080, Savitech SV3H712 AMP)|
|Network capabilities||2.5 Gigabit Ethernet
2×2 Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
|RGB||2 x Addressable Gen 2 (5 В)
1 x AURA RGB (12 В)
|LED RGB Header||3|
|UEFI||UEFI AMI BIOS, 256 Mb Flash ROM|
|Dimensions, mm||244 x 244|
|Additional functions||FlexKey, ReTry, Clear CMOS and BIOS FlashBack buttons, LN2 Mode, Probelt contact plane, Q-LED and POST indicators, Aura Sync, TPM, USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 with Quick Charge 4|
The motherboard comes in a large, for its format, red and black box, on the back of which there is an image of the device, its main features and a list of key specifications.
The board is located in a small box, which is covered with a black plastic cover – in old ROG products, it was always transparent.
The set of all kinds of accessories is very rich and corresponds to the class of this product:
- documentation and acknowledgment of purchase;
- a set of decorative stickers;
- fabric hood with ROG logo;
- flash drive with a capacity of 32 GB with complete drivers and software;
- a support for a video card;
- two black SATA cables with metal latches (straight and angled);
- extension cord for RGB connector;
- Wi-Fi antenna with platform;
- Q-latch and M.2 mounting screws;
- additional thermal pad for M.2 drives;
- ROG GEN-Z.2 adapter for two M.2 drives;
- ROG True Voltician;
- cables for ROG True Voltician.
ROG GEN-Z.2 is a new iteration of the DIMM.2 adapter familiar from older ROG products. It is equipped with a heat pipe with an additional plate radiator, and allows you to install two M.2 drives of size 2242/2260/2280/22110. One of the bottoms will be connected to the processor via the PCI Express 5.0 bus, and the second – to the chipset using PCI Express 4.0.
But ROG True Voltician comes to us for the first time. It’s a USB oscilloscope with which you can detect and visualize power consumption, measure processor supply voltage fluctuations, and more, if you understand how to connect it.
ROG Crosshair X670E Gene, like all the latest models of the Republic of Gamers series, is made in black. Almost the entire surface is covered by radiators of the VRM cooling system and the chipset. Only the decorative elements with the inscription and ROG logo remind that this is such a board. On the reverse side, we can see the amplifier plate of the new AM5 processor connector.
The socket is used with LGA contacts instead of PGA, so it has a frame that presses the processor. This is good, will not stick the CPU to the heel of the cooling system. AM5 is compatible with older AM4 coolers, but some manufacturers have released mounting kits for the new connector. Another advantage of the new socket is that the backplate is rigidly fixed and you can easily replace the CO even if the board is already installed in the case.
The motherboard is based on the X670E logic, so it uses two chips that are located almost together at the bottom edge.
They are cooled by a solid radiator, which complements the M.2 storage radiator made in the same style.
Since this is a ROG Gene family board, it is equipped with all the necessary overclocking controls and system setup for benching. In the upper right corner, there is a POST indicator and Start and Flex Key buttons for turning on and rebooting the system (the latter can be assigned another function). There are also Safe_Boot and Retry_Booton, which will help restore the working state in case of incorrect settings in UEFI. Below we have the Slow_Mode switch, which will be needed when accelerating with liquid nitrogen. There are also buttons for adjusting the reference frequency and contacts for measuring the voltage of key nodes of the board. On the left side there is a switch for selecting the operating mode of the PCI Express processor bus: Auto, PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 3.0.
Given the area of the X670E’s cooling system and board format, the number of PCI Express bus connectors is limited to the graphics PCI-E 5.0 x16 and the conventional PCI-E 4.0 x1, which is connected to the chipset. A slot in the slot allows you to physically install a PCI-E x4 expansion card.
The proprietary mechanism for removing the video card from the PCIe x16 connector, which appeared that year, is also used here. The usual lever on the cable helps to remove the card from the slot without any problems, especially when, for example, it is also covered by a large processor cooler. But it also has a small drawback – the attachment point of this mechanism coincides with the mounting hole on the board, which is necessary for fixing it on the pallet in the case. And the user will have to remove this rack in the case to install the board, because otherwise it will not be possible to screw it, or to grind off a little excess (about one millimeter). Near the lever button, you can see the additional power connector of the PCI-E x16 slot.
The use of the X670E chipset affected the overall layout of the motherboard. We see a cluster of elements in the corners, while the lower side is limited only by jumpers. Also, the developers had to place the SATA ports in different places, and one pair is vertical, the other is horizontal.
There are also USB ports: 2.0 and 3.2 Gen1. There is also a horizontally placed A-RGB connector designed for 5 V. To be honest, this is the first time I have seen this.
Of course, now NVMe drives are more popular, so the board has one M.2 connector for the maximum size of 2280 with cooling radiators and installed thermal pads, and two more on the ROG GEN-Z.2 adapter.
It is inserted into a separate connector near the DIMM slots and will be able to be cooled by the air circulation that occurs inside the PC case. All three M.2 are operational and work with the maximum number of PCI Express lanes.
The processor’s power supply voltage converter is cooled by a rather large radiator made of two halves and joined by a heat pipe. It has thick ribs and slits on the main part that covers the I/O panel, through which the RGB backlight can be seen. Contact with the elements is made through thick thermal pads, which are also on the radiator of the chipset. The attachment to the board is screw.
Under the radiators are 18 Vishay SiC850 power chips rated at 110 A and two Renesas ISL95858s controlled by Infineon’s Digi+ ASP2205 controller. Power is supplied through two EPS12V connectors.
And finally, a few words about the sound path and the back panel. The branded SupremeFX module is made with the Realtek ALC4080 codec and supplemented with a Savitech SV3H712 amplifier. It is separated from the main part of the PCB by an insulating transparent.
The rear panel is equipped with a blank, it has the BIOS Flashback and Clear CMOS buttons, you can also find here:
- PS/2 combo port;
- два USB 2.0 (Type A);
- два USB 4 (Type-C, Thunderbolt 4, DP);
- one USB 3.2 Gen2 (Type-C);
- five USB 3.2 Gen2 (Type-A);
- one RJ-45 (2.5G);
- п’ять Mini Jack (Line in, Line out, Mic in, C/SUB, Rear);
- one S/PDIF Out (optical);
- two SMA (for connecting the Wi-Fi antenna).