2019-12-10 10_31_12-ROG Crosshair VIII Hero _ Motherboards _ ASUS Global

ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Review

2019-12-10 10_31_12-ROG Crosshair VIII Hero _ Motherboards _ ASUS Global
10

ASUS is among the best and most influential motherboard producers today. They’ve shipped over 500 million boards globally, since the year 1989. The company’s engineering skills acquired Intel’s attention in the past since it was able to create i468-compatible boards independent of Intel.

ASUS then diversified itself to produce a plethora of products for gaming and computing enthusiasts, and their products range from monitors, motherboards, keyboards, graphics cards, mice, as well as game-focused smartphones.

Today, we’re going to check out the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero from ASUS which joins their line of AMD-gaming boards. The company has put together another high-end and feature-rich AM4 X570 board, bringing with it the unfaltering performance and quality that we expect from ROG.

So let’s see what this motherboard has in store for us, but first, what’s inside the box?

What’s in the Box?

When we got our hands on the Crosshair VIII Hero, it came in a black box with delicate printed patterns. At the top right corner, you’ll see a brushed metallic background, while other parts of the package feature a line pattern.

The ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero motherboard name is written at the centre-left of the box, while the ROG logo is on the top right. You’ll see ASUS at the bottom left of the package, while its brand badging can is at the lower right area.

When you look at the back of the box, there are more details listed here that we find highly informative. It includes an image of the motherboard that has a view of its rear I/O, a specifications list, and its key features. Overall, the box’s design gives off a minimalist yet premium feel, which is great and highly convenient.

Inside, you will get the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero itself, plus essential accessories and a bunch of other extras. The box includes an ROG coaster, the usual ROG stickers, plus a CableMod coupon.

For the accessories, the box has a support & manual DVD, four SATA 6 GB/s cables, two M.2 mounting screws, and two addressable LED extension cables. You’ll also find a Q-Connector, a Wi-Fi antenna, and an SLI hard bridge. Take note that you won’t find any rear I/O shields since ASUS integrated this into the motherboard.

About the Product

Like a lot of top-notch motherboards in the market today, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero is designed on a black PCB. The board comes with black heatsinks over the chipset and VRM, as well as black shrouds along the audio circuitry and rear I/O ports. You’ll find broad streaks of grey steel diagonally running across the board. The board may appear a bit too simple once you get it out of the box. But with a bit of patience, it’ll surely pay off and transform nicely once you’re done building your rig. It will acquire extra flair once you’re done building, especially with the board’s nicely-placed RGB LED lights along the rear I/O shroud.

When comparing with other boards in the market, they often have scattered LEDs on the product which, in turn, causes a chaotic light show. It can easily distract and shift one’s attention from the rest of the rig, which isn’t your goal. The implementation of RGBs on the board gives a nice contrast to the mostly black motherboard, providing the entire system with a more aesthetic appeal. You’re allowed to utilize the board’s RGB headers to bring out more lights, coordinating them using the Aura Sync of ASUS.

A Motherboard for Overclocking and Gaming

Since the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero has a design aimed for gaming and overclocking, it sports a solid power build. It’s made up of sixteen IR-3555 PowIRstages that are made to handle a total of 60 amps each. Generally, it’s pretty cool since you get to see the power phases appearing from beneath the coolers.

With the thermal hardware, the company integrated the board with an entire host of overclocking features. These elements include buttons along the rear I/O panel for resetting and flashing the BIOS. You’ll also receive a power button on the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero for testing the product outside the case, or without having to connect the usual fine case power switch wiring. It also comes with a debug LED panel for diagnosing abortive boots.

Since this motherboard is based on the X570 chipset, the Crosshair VIII Hero provides numerous high-speed links, and among them is the chipset’s latest and vaunted aid for the PCIe 4.0. It will interest PC builders who want to install one of the newest PCIe 4.0-compliant M.2 SSDs.

On its rear I/O panel, you’ll see 12 USB ports where four of them are USB 3.1 Gen2 types. For storage, you’ll get a total of eight SATA 3.0 ports, plus two M.2 Key-M slots to support 64 Gbps of bandwidth over a PCIe Gen4 x4 connection. The exclusive heatsinks that are easy to detach conceal the M.2 slots.

For people who want to install some of the cutting edge PCIe 4.0-compatible SSDs today, then the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero is a good candidate.

When it comes to expansion slots, the three PCIe x16 slots support the CrossFire twin, SLI twin, or even the triple-card installations. The four DDR4 DIMM slots also support up to 128 GB of memory at speeds of 4,600 MHz. Not only that, but you’ll get one PCIe x1 slot as well.

The ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero gives you outstanding networking support along with a top-notch wireless solution and two RJ45 ports. One of these ports is linked to a standard Intel i-221-AT Gigabit NIC while the other RH45 connects to a much faster Realtek RTL-8125-CG chip. It can go up to 2.5 Gbps with the correct service and router.

The ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero comes with the SuperFX S1220 audio codec. If you’re an audio enthusiast who keeps themselves updated with audio technology information, you’ll know that this is simply a rebadged version of the Realtek ALC-1220 audio codec, but with additional software. The company added an ESS ES-9023P headset amp to the motherboard, which helps enhance audio signals in SOP to audio buffs and for gamers utilizing analog headsets too.

Specifications

The ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero is based off from the X570 chipset and is a socket AM4 board that provides comprehensive DDR4 memory support. This specific model offers sixteen IR-3555 PowIR stages that are divided between the SOC and CPU, where each are rated for 60 amps. The PCIe slots come with support to handle the extra weight of high-end cards.

For its audio, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero features a Realtek 1220 codec that enhances the input quality for streamers. It’s with the help of a 113dB SNR for the line-in that’s paired with an ESS ES-9023P HD Sabre DAC. ASUS fitted the board with a Realtek 2.5G Ethernet jacket, plus an I-211-AT Gigabit Ethernet controller. In addition, the 802.11ax protocol can broadcast heightened signals up to a peak of 2,400 Mbps.

Product Features

Enhanced Performance with no Bottlenecks

The ROG Crosshair VIII Hero features an upgraded power design layout. It has all the necessary cooling headers to handle the tremendous power of the newest AMD Ryzen processors. With that, your motherboard will not experience thermal throttling, which may negatively affect its performance.

Straightforward System Tuning

ASUS ROG provides the essential tools that allow for quick and simple optimization. If you want to control every single detail of your system, the UEFI BIOS offers a vast range of advanced options. These come in intuitive categories for you to tweak your system with ease.

Accurate Voltage Tracking

Standard boards utilize single-ended sensing that’s tapped to an unconventional location. Thus, leading to a huge disparity between the Voltage provided to the CPU, and reported value to the software. This board offers a differential sensing circuit that makes tuning and overclocking straightforward by letting you track Voltages precisely.

High-Speed Connection

The ROG Crosshair VIII Hero comes with advanced connectivity to provide a smooth gaming experience. The newest ultrafast networking and dual Ethernet with a single 2.5G port, the motherboard eliminates all bottlenecks for LAN and online play.

It reduces lag and offers a seamless overall experience. Additionally, the M.2 supports AMD StoreMI technology, which maximizes your SSD’s speed to boost loading time. It also comes with SupremeFX onboard audio to provide high-quality sound while saving a PCIe slot.

AI Suite 3

AI Suite 3 is an in-OS utility for monitoring your ROG Crosshair VIII Hero motherboard. It also acts as a hub for some programs, like EZ Update, EPU, Fan Xpert4, and PC cleaner. It makes controlling your motherboard’s settings easier while allowing for smooth compatibility with components. You can optimize your RGB lights, audio, storage, network, and more.

GameFirst V

GameFirst V is one of the tools that you can use to optimize connection and network traffic. When you select the best Wi-Fi channel, you can reduce interference to allow for stable connectivity. It’s also where you can keep tabs on apps that demand a lot of bandwidth. Here, you can make on-the-fly adjustments with ease.

Aura Sync

With Aura Sync, you can complement the aesthetics of your ROG components and peripherals. The ROG Crosshair VIII Hero’s addressable 2nd generation headers can now detect the number of LEDs on the 2nd gen addressable RGBs. Also, the new headers are backward compatible with other existing AURA RGB gear.

Armoury Crate

Armoury Crate is a new software program where you can centrally manage all ROG accessories that support this. From a single interface, you can customize RGB lighting and effects. You can also adjust your keyboard, mouse, and other peripherals’ settings based on your preferences. For you to keep in touch with the ROG gaming community, Armoury Crate also comes with ROG news areas.

RAMCache III

RAMCache III boosts load times in gaming from milliseconds to microseconds. It’s compatible with the newest NVMe storage options, and it features smart technology to effectively cache a whole storage device to launch any app and game with ultrafast speeds.

UEFI BIOS

Now, let’s move on to the motherboard’s UEFI BIOS. For the past few years, ASUS offers the UEFI BIOS to make further configurations for their motherboards. It has all the settings for tweaking, fine-tuning, and configuring your system, which makes it our favourite until today. Aside from that, it offers a simplified mode for those who are new to tweaking their rigs, and it has a comprehensive menu for advanced users.

The interface of the UEFI BIOS features a red background and a dark grey centre. Its fonts are white, grey, and yellow to make it easy for everyone to see and read. It also has two modes: the EZ Mode and Advanced Mode.

First, let’s start with EZ Mode; this is where you’ll find the simplified menu. It has an informative screen that shows all the details about the processor and memory, storage, boot priority, fans, and more. You can also enable DOCP/XMP profiles, access QFan control, set boot priority, and choose from preset system performance profiles.

For Advanced Mode, its interface displays the headings for each section in a row. Here, you will see My Favorites, Main, Advanced, Monitor, Extreme Tweaker, Tool, Boot, and Exit.

The default screen when you open the Advanced Mode of UEFI BIOS is the Main section where you’ll find details about the UEFI version and CPU. On the right, you will find system monitoring information, including Memory, CPU, and voltage data. Aside from that, you can also set the date, time, system language, and BIOS security.

Since it has a well-organized interface, the BIOS is easy to navigate. Advanced overclockers will enjoy the full range of overclocking controls present in the Extreme Tweaker section. It’s good to note that new overclockers should be cautious when accessing these tools since it has more options than EZ Mode. Mishandling these configurations can cause instability for your system.

Like EZ Mode, the Extreme Tweaker is where you can adjust DOCP, CPU ratio, and BCLK, but it has more complex settings. It also allows you to set DRAM timings, access PBO functions, as well as Digi+ power control.

On the Advanced section, you will find configuration settings for the SATA, CPU, onboard device, USB, APM, Network Stack, HDD/SSD, and NVMe.

The monitoring section shows fan speeds and system temperatures. It’s also where you manage the pump and fan headers. The Q-Fan access provides more control over the system headers. Lastly, the Tool and Boot sections are self-explanatory, and you won’t find anything different here.

Performance

For our testing we are utilising the following hardware:

  • Motherboard: ASUS CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (WI-FI)
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
  • Memory: Corsair 16GB Dominator RAM
  • GPU: Gigabyte RTX 2080 Ti
  • SSD: WD Black 512GB M.2

We did a couple of tests with the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero, and the results only showed that this motherboard is in-line with the other X570 boards. The results acquired were adequate, and we didn’t experience any unnatural issues.

When we enabled the PBO, the performance of the board improved slightly, which is a typical result when you only allow it without making any tweaks. But to get the most out of the CPU when utilizing PBO, it’s best to adjust the limits set.

For overclocking with the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero the process is straight forward and performs very well. The VRMs were able to handle overclocking with ease, and although it became quite warm, it never turned hot to the touch. this will allow you to squeeze every inch of extra power out of your CPU.

It’s a reliable motherboard, and we didn’t have any trouble getting the system to work. We also didn’t experience any issues while installing software on it. Its built-in features worked excellently, and we were impressed with its build and quality. Functionality and aesthetics-wise, it was highly notable as well.

Overall, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero motherboard clocked amazingly well, and it reached the same speed as other premium boards we’ve tested. It has a nicely-made build, and we liked that it didn’t get hot despite the heavy loads. With that, we’re giving the Crosshair VIII Hero two thumbs up and would recommend this motherboard as well.

Conclusion

With its impressive advanced features, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero is an excellent motherboard for gamers and overclockers who are using the latest generation of AMD Ryzen processors. Designed to be the ideal match to the feature-rich Ryzen 3000 CPUs, there’s no wonder why a lot of people look forward to having this motherboard in their build.

The ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero comes with 2.5G Ethernet, 2.4G Wireless, and PCIe 4.0 support, making it one of the enthusiasts’ first choice among high-end motherboards. It has a neat layout and has significant improvements compared to the previous model. Although pricey, it delivers excellent performance, which is essential for extreme gaming, overclocking, and creating content.

If you’re in the market for the best high-performance motherboard, we highly recommend the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero.

Where to Buy

If you want the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero motherboard, you can purchase this from the company’s online shop.

2019-12-10 10_31_12-ROG Crosshair VIII Hero _ Motherboards _ ASUS Global
ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Review
10
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