Sunday, September 29th 2019

ASUS Rolls Out ROG Crosshair VIII Impact - Not Strictly Mini-ITX

ASUS over the past week rolled out its flagship socket AM4 motherboard for SFF gaming PC builds, the ROG Crosshair VIII Impact. Based on the AMD X570 chipset and supporting the latest 3rd generation Ryzen processors, this board is slightly longer than the Mini-ITX specification, while retaining its mount-hole layout. The logic here is that most ITX gaming PC cases have two expansion slots to accommodate dual-slot graphics cards, and so it would make sense to extend the motherboard's PCB up until there, reclaiming precious PCB real-estate. Technically this board would qualify as mini-DTX, but ASUS believes it should fit in most ITX cases that have two expansion slots. The board's dimensions are 203 mm x 170 mm.

The ROG Crosshair VIII Impact draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, conditioning power for the AM4 SoC using a massive 8-phase VRM. The AM4 socket is wired to a pair of DDR4 DIMM slots, the board's sole expansion slot, a PCI-Express 4.0 x16, and the interestingly-named SO-DIMM.2 slot. Physically, this is an SO-DIMM slot that's been re-wired with PCIe gen 4.0 leading up to a proprietary SO-DIMM daughterboard that holds two M.2-2280 slots with PCIe 4.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring, each. Four SATA 6 Gbps ports make for the rest of the storage connectivity. The area of the motherboard just below the PCIe x16 slot has another proprietary slot that holds the second daughterboard, this one with the SupremeFX Impact IV onboard audio solution, which has been physically isolated from the main PCB, and has an EMI-shielded Realtek ALC1220 main CODEC, ESS Sabre ES9023P DAC for the main stereo channel, a de-pop circuit, and audio-grade capacitors.
The chipset and VRM are cooled by an elaborate compound heatsink arrangement similar to the one on the ROG Strix X570-I Gaming, which is located near the rear I/O area, and uses a pair of fans for active cooling. The board uses a metal back-plate for additional heat dissipation. Networking options include 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 WLAN, Bluetooth 5.0, and gigabit Ethernet, all driven by Intel-made controllers. USB connectivity includes a staggering six 10 Gbps USB 3.1 ports, one of which is type-C, and four 5 Gbps ports, two of which are located at the rear panel, four by headers. The rear I/O features the board's POST code display, and buttons for clear-CMOS, USB BIOS Flashback, and reset. There are power, POST retry, and failsafe boot buttons on the board. ASUS is pricing the ROG Crosshair VIII Impact around the USD $450-mark.
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15 Comments on ASUS Rolls Out ROG Crosshair VIII Impact - Not Strictly Mini-ITX

#1
Nephilim666
So not strictly min-ITX, because it IS strictly mini-DTX. Don't take ASUS' word for it, check that your case fits mini-DTX.
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#2
Totally
I'd also like to point out that the majority of this reclaimed pcb is wasted by the inclusion of 90 degree connectors.
Looking at it it looks like their motive for their decision was to simply squeeze an m.2 on there and not make a more robust board.
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#3
Camm
I'm all for more board makes adopting dtx. especially for gaming orientated boards, but ASUS marketing around this is really rather confusing.
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#4
Crackong
Board is fine, we need real price and availability, Thanks.
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#5
Woomack
Price around 450 EUR. Available in online stores. Mine arrived last week.
DTX is like ITX + 1 PCIE slot size so it's as wide as ITX with 2 slot graphics card. It requires as much space as most ITX gaming cases have.

For most users including more demanding gamers, this board is the same as Aorus X570 I Pro WiFi but ASUS costs nearly twice as much. I mean the CPU will hit a wall at the same frequency on ambient cooling and both boards support DDR4-4800 (tested on both). For competitive benchmarking or pushing memory to the limits, ASUS will be better but not always worth the price difference.
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#6
Apocalypsee
ASUS could stretch this one a bit and make a great mATX board.
Posted on Reply
#8
Khonjel
Totally, post: 4124724, member: 90126"
I'd also like to point out that the majority of this reclaimed pcb is wasted by the inclusion of 90 degree connectors.
Looking at it it looks like their motive for their decision was to simply squeeze an m.2 on there and not make a more robust board.
I watched a review last week. The stretched PCB hosts the audio solution. The M.2 drives are vertically connected (like RAM sticks) by modified SO-DIMM daughter-board.
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#9
lZKoce
Awesome board and I would love to play with it. I have a unique case that goes for DTX. It's the Quantax Mini ITX, they made like 300 pieces of it. Has 3 low-profile slots. Should fit this little bugger.
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#10
WonkoTheSaneUK
lZKoce, post: 4124811, member: 102554"
Awesome board and I would love to play with it. I have a unique case that goes for DTX. It's the Quantax Mini ITX, they made like 300 pieces of it. Has 3 low-profile slots. Should fit this little bugger.
Looks like it will also fit the Lian-Li TU-150 nicely.
Posted on Reply
#11
Chrispy_
I just wish mini-DTX cases were more popular, because mITX boards are usually too much of a compromise but most mATX boards will never use three of the four slots.

At least with mini-DTX all the compact dual-slot GPU builds could run an extra m.2 drive or two.
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#12
Landcross
Totally, post: 4124724, member: 90126"
I'd also like to point out that the majority of this reclaimed pcb is wasted by the inclusion of 90 degree connectors.
Well, they can't just put straight connectors there because then it would interfere with the GPU...
Posted on Reply
#13
Franzen4Real
This is the board I have been holding out for since they were first announced to do a new build... if I could just catch a 3900X back in stock now...

I gotta say, that back plate seems excessive. It is quite fancy for something you'll never see (but it sure is nice!).
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#14
Xajel
It's just a weird design decision, using a larger form factor just for M.2's, I'm sure they could do the same while also having extra PCIe slot, I mean most users move to larger motherboards for extra features, ASUS is not, the daughter board could be perpendicular, like the SO-DIMM one for the M.2's. Saving a space for an extra useful PCIe slot.

And the price, well, I just can't say how much this is just over. And where are the high-end mATX boards ASUS ?
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#15
niinjoe
Comparing this to the ASUS ROG Strix X570-I (mITX), which is currently $259.99 at amazon, what are you paying for additionally exactly? It's almost twice the price, but what exactly is worth twice its price? I am gathering all the parts to build a new PC in a NXZT H210i.
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