2019 so far has been dominated by Team Red. The Ryzen and Navi launch hype started all the way back in January at CES and only got more intense as the year went on. The hype culminated at the outset of July with a single massive launch, which actually lived up to most expectations. There is finally real competition in the mainstream CPU marketplace, and with competition comes greater consumer choice. One of the biggest debates that is still ongoing with this launch is which chipset to buy. Do you need X570?
Unlike Intel, AMD has made a commitment to supporting the AM4 socket over multiple CPU generations. So far, the team in red has held to that promise, and the new Zen 2 processors are widely supported on older-generation motherboards. While this is great for consumers, it also creates more complexity as more choice inevitably must. Do you need a new X570 motherboard? Due to the cost of the new chipset, the new generation of boards are more expensive feature for feature than the last two generations. This is largely due to PCIe 4.0, a costly and complex feature to implement.
In the graphics department, no card on the market has saturated even PCIe 3.0 yet, at least in the x16 configuration. The largest immediate benefit is with high-speed storage. NVMe drives in RAID configurations can and will take advantage of the extra bandwidth to push never before seen sequential read and write speeds. With your average game, even the switch from SATA to NVMe can be hard to notice, let alone to an even faster and more expensive RAID array. This is more relevant for content creation and media production, where high-speed storage can save significant time and therefore money, which is further bolstered by the near-HEDT core counts on the high-end Ryzen 3000 CPUs. Of course, graphics cards will eventually catch up as well, so for the discerning gamer who only upgrades every three to five years, the new standard could prove a good investment as well.
This is the third board in the "high end mainstream" bracket I have looked at, and by now, I have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the $350-$400 price bracket. So lets dive into the ROG Crosshair VIII HERO (WiFi) from ASUS to see what the Republic of Gamers has brought to the table. The ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO (WiFi) has been equipped with the accoutrement one would expect from the ROG brand ASUS has built up. With M.2 heatsinks on both slots, a premium lighting solution, integrated rear I/O shield, and great ASUS BIOS, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO (WiFi) has the ingredients of a premium board. Does it have the performance as well?
|CPU Support:||AMD AM4 socket Ryzen 2000 and 3000 series processors|
|Power Design:|| CPU Power: 14 phase |
Memory Power: 2 phase
|Integrated Graphics:||Dependent on installed CPU|
|Memory:||4x DIMM, Support Dual Channel DDR4-4600+(OC) MHz|
|BIOS:||AMI UEFI BIOS|
|Expansion Slots:|| 3x PCIe 4.0 x16 slots (x16/x0/x0 or x8/x8/x0 or x8/x4/x4)|
3x PCIe 4.0 x1 slots
|Storage:|| 8x SATA 6 Gb/s port |
2x M.2 port (SATA3/PCIe 3.0 x4)
|Networking:||1x Intel I211-AT |
1x Realtek RTL8125-CG
Intel WiFi 6 AX200
|Rear Ports:|| 1x Clear CMOS button|
1x BIOS Flashback button
1x Optical SPDIF out port
2x LAN (RJ45) ports
8x USB 3.1 (Gen2)ports
4x USB 3.1 (Gen1) ports
2x Antenna ports
5x 3.5 mm Audio jacks
|Audio:||1x ROG SupremeFX S1220 8-Channel High Definition Audio Codec|
|Fan Headers:||8x 4-pin|
|Form Factor:||ATX Form Factor: 12.0 in x 9.6 in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm|