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ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero Review

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ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero Conclusion:

The ASUS ROG Crosshair series has, for many, been the pinnacle of AMD performance boards for the longest time. There is nothing that I saw on this board that really changes that dynamic. When you look at the overall performance delivered by the Crosshair VI Hero, it falls in the narrow envelope occupied by comparison motherboards in just about every instance right out of the box. There are some exceptions to that rule, but not many.

ASUS did so great a job in the past of maximizing performance using the OEM's performance characteristics that it had a slight edge in performance right out of the box. Now that everyone has jumped on the bandwagon to truly tune the motherboards' BIOS for max performance, the out of the box performance edge has been nullified to some extent. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say. Motherboard designs have gotten so good that virtually all of them will get the highest overclocking margins out of your hardware without resorting to sub-zero cooling. Stability is a factor at that point, not just the gross result.

As far as overclocking on the Crosshair VI Hero goes, it gets my hardware to its maximums with very little fuss using just some basic settings in the BIOS. You can take the time to tune down voltages for reduced thermals, but it will get to the 4080MHz-4090MHz range with full stability. Cranking it up higher allows the R7 1800X to run upwards of 4140MHz with quite a bit more voltage, but at that point, we are playing for screenshots versus looking for true stability. At least with my processor. Will this board overclock? It most certainly will and then some depending on how you plan to use it (daily driver or benchmarking only).

So what truly makes this board better or worse than the competition when the CPU is ultimately going to determine your max overclock? It's tough to tell unless you dig so far into the hardware level that you get past the scope of the average consumer's understanding. But at the heart of it all is the hardware that helps bring that stability you need with an overclock for the long term. ASUS' all-digital Digi+ power circuit coupled with ASUS' TurboV processor and Pro Clock clock generator get the job done. ASUS' Third Generation T-Topology helps ensure you can run DDR4 memory speeds up to 3200MHz without any issues caused by winding traces and voltage circuits.

ASUS' SupremeFX S1220 sound solution uses solid audio components and a much-copied PCB design to split the audio signaling away from the main PCB electronics. The list runs on when you look at ESD Guards, LAN guard for the LAN ports, SafeSlot protection on the 16x PCIe slots, and so much more.

Once you get past the hardware that leaves us with the impressive software packages that allow the user to fully manage system performance. AISuite III is just packed with tools that let you tune up the system performance with a one-click overclocking tool, audio and LAN tuning, fan speeds and profiles through Fan Xpert IV, manage energy consumption, and even improve disk performance, along with a world-class UEFI BIOS. Add in tweaking the AURA software to get the best RGB look for your system and you get a winner. ASUS pretty much covers every base with the Crosshair VI Hero, except for wireless connectivity right out of the box. On the Crosshair VI Hero (WiFi AC) you get this functionality out of the box, but this board will take an add-in M.2 card. Not a deal breaker by any means.

Out of the store parking lot, the ASUS Crosshair VI Hero will set you back $245US. It's not the most expensive board for AMD's Ryzen processors, but you get a hell of a feature set when you step up to an ROG motherboard.

 

Pros:

  • ASUS ROG feature set
  • Overclocking
  • Software package
  • AURA RGB lighting
  • Performance
  • World class UEFI BIOS

Cons:

  • No WiFi
OCC Gold



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