10 June, 2017   Rakesh Sharma    Reviews .  ASUS CROSSHAIR VI HERO Motherboard Review

Year 2017 came with a new era and a new hope for all the AMD fan boys. In May 2017, AMD released their Ryzen R7 line of processors with great multi core performance at a price again the decade long market dominant Intel. We all were very excited and waited eagerly to get a sample, but unfortunately all samples arrived too late for us. Thanks AMD India .

Anyway let move on.. today we are reviewing the flag ship AMD motherboard from ASUS, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero Motherboard featuring AMD’s new X370 chipset, offering lot of features to mainstream system builder and enthusiasts that all we will discuss below. But one very good feature ASUS implemented in this board which I like to mention.. new Ryzen CPU comes in a new AM4 socket with a new fan mounting profile, means that all the older AM3 cooler may not fit on the new platform, but ASUS also provided AM3 mounting holes along with new AM4 mounting holes in this board, so that users need not to upgrade their current CPU cooling solution when they move to Ryzen platform with ASUS Crosshair VI Hero motherboard. Nice.. thanks ASUS for this compatibility.

Now let’s see what this ASUS board have for us.

Features

AMD X370 ATX Gaming motherboard with Aura Sync RGB LEDs, DDR4 3200MHz, M.2, USB 3.1 front-panel connector and type-A/C

  • Aura Sync RGB LED: Stunning synchronized effects and two Aura 4-pin RGB-strip headers
  • SupremeFX: Exclusive new codec plus intuitive Sonic Studio III and Sonic Radar III
  • Compatible with both AM3/AM4 coolers
  • ROG Water Cooling Zone : Dominate your cooling system
  • 5-Way Optimization: One-click system-wide overclocking.
  • Best gaming networking: Intel® Gigabit Ethernet, LANGuard and GameFirst technologies
  • Best gaming connectivity: M.2, USB 3.1 front-panel connector and both USB 3.1 Type-A/C
  • Best gaming durability: Safeslot and premium components for maximum durability

ATER-COOLING SYSTEM - ROG WATER COOLING ZONE -ROG's innovative Water-Cooling Zone lets you monitor your cooling system like never before. ROG Water-Cooling Zone's dual water-temperature headers and flow-rate header feed information straight into ROG's intuitive Fan Xpert 4 utility ─ so you can stay on top of the heat and stay cool in every game!

EXTENDED COMPATIBILITY - READY FOR ANY AM4 OR AM3 COOLER - ROG Crosshair VI Hero has special mounting holes that are compatible with any AM4 or AM3 cooler/LN2 pot. Upgrade to a new AM4 cooler, or extend the life of your existing AM3 kit — the choice is yours!

AURA LIGHTING CONTROL - Customize your own favorite LED effects with Aura, the intuitive lighting-control software, to cast a stunning multi-color glow across your build via the ROG Crosshair VI Hero's brilliant built-in RGB LEDs or attached RGB strips via the two onboard 4-pin headers ─ all lights will perform in perfect synchronization! Fire up Aura and enjoy the creative freedom of nine different lighting schemes.

EXQUISITE AUDIO, INSIDE AND OUT - NEW SUPREMEFX CODEC – ROG's awesome SupremeFX audio technology has levelled up, delivering an exceptional 113dB signal-to-noise ratio on the line-in connection and 120dB on line-out — and that means our best-ever recording quality! We've also added a low-dropout regulator for cleaner power delivery to the SupremeFX S1220 codec, an ESS® Sabre Hi-Fi ES9023P digital-to-analog converter for superior front-panel output, and a Texas Instruments® RC4580 op-amp for high gain with low distortion — which all adds up to audio that envelops you as never before.

3D-PRINTABLE ACCESSORIES –As system parts are visible in custom PC builds, make yours stand out from the competition with 3D-printed accessories.

DDR4 OVERCLOCKING STRENGTH IN NUMBERS - THIRD-GENERATION ASUS T-TOPOLOGY With support for DDR4 memory you're able to drive memory frequencies up to 3200MHz (and beyond when overclocked)! ASUS-exclusive T-Topology circuit design plus OC Socket provides superb memory-overclocking capability to unleash the full power of DDR4 by minimizing coupling noise and signal reflection. With innovative equidistant memory channels, it delivers the most balanced control and powerful overclocking compatibility. ASUS works with almost every DDR4 memory vendor to ensure the best compatibility.

Specifications

 

 

CPU

AMD AM4 Socket for AMD Ryzen™/7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors 
Supports AM4 Socket 14 nm CPU
Supports CPU up to 8 cores
* Refer to
 www.asus.com for CPU support list

Chipset

AMD X370

Memory

AMD Ryzen™ Processors
4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3200(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2666/2400/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory *
AMD 7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors
4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 2400/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory *
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
 
* Refer to
 www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).

Multi-GPU Support

Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology 
Supports AMD CrossFireX™ Technology

Expansion Slots

AMD Ryzen™ Processors
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
 
AMD 7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x8 mode)
 
AMD X370 chipset
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode) *
1, 3 x PCIe 2.0 x1

Storage

AMD Ryzen™ Processors : 
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
AMD 7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors : 
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA mode)
AMD X370 chipset : 
8 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s),
 Support Raid 0, 1, 10

LAN

Intel® I211-AT, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Anti-surge LANGuard ROG GameFirst IV

Audio

ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220
- Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input
- SupremeFX Shielding Technology
- ESS® ES9023P
- Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback *
2
Audio Feature :
- Gold-plated jacks
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Sonic Radar III
- Sonic Studio III

USB Ports

AMD Ryzen™/7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors : 
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue)
AMD X370 chipset : 
1 x USB 3.1 front panel connector port(s)
 
AMD X370 chipset : 
6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
AMD X370 chipset : 
6 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 2 at mid-board)
ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller : 
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port(s) (2 at back panel, , Type-A + USB Type-C
TM)

ROG Exclusive Features

ROG RAMCache II
ROG CPU-Z
ROG CloneDrive
Slow Mode
Overwolf
ReTry Button
Safe Boot Button
Start Button
Reset Button
LN2 Mode
GameFirst IV
ROG Aura
- Aura Lighting Control
- Aura RGB Strip Headers
Extreme Engine Digi+ :
- MicroFine Alloy Chokes
- NexFET™ Power Block MOSFET
- 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
Mem TweakIt
KeyBot II
- One-click Overclocking
- DirectKey
- ClrCMOS
- Power On
UEFI BIOS features :
- O.C. Profile
- Tweakers' Paradise
- ROG SSD Secure Erase
- Graphic Card Information Preview
ROG RAMDisk
Loadline Calibration
BIOS Flashback

Special Features

ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5 :
- 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Expert 4, and Turbo App
TPU
- Fan Xpert 4 featuring Fan Auto Tuning function and multiple thermistors
 
Gamer's Guardian:
- SafeSlot
ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
 
- ASUS EZ Flash 3
 
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-DIMM
 
- ASUS Q-Connector

Back I/O Ports

1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (black)USB Type-C
TM
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (red)Type-A
8 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (blue)
 
4 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to USB BIOS Flashback)
 
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
5 x Gold-plated audio jacks
1 x M.2 Wi-Fi Slot

Internal I/O Ports

2 x RGB Header(s)
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s)
 
1 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
1 x TPM header
8 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
 
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s)
 
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
 
1 x W_PUMP+ connector
 
1 x AIO_PUMP connector
 
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x LN2 Mode switch(es)
1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
1 x Safe Boot button
1 x ReTry button
1 x Slow Mode jumper(s)
1 x System panel connector
2 x 3D Mount screw port(s)
1 x W_IN header
1 x W_OUT header
1 x W_FLOW header
1 x Start button
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector

Accessories

User's manual
ASUS Q-Shield
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x M.2 Screw Package
1 x Supporting DVD
1 x SLI HB BRIDGE(2-WAY-M)
1 x ROG big sticker
1 x Q-Connector
0 x 10-in-1 ROG cable label
1 x Extension Cable for RGB strips (80 cm)
1 x 3D printing mount package
1 x ROG coaster(s)

BIOS

128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 3.0, ACPI 5.0, Multi-language BIOS, 
ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Last Modified log,
 
F12 PrintScreen and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information

Manageability

WfM 2.0, WOL by PME, PXE

Support Disc

Drivers 
AURA
 
ROG GameFirst IV*3
ROG RAMDisk
 
ROG RAMCache II
 
ROG CPU-Z
 
ROG Mem TweakIt
 
ROG Keybot II
 
Sonic Studio III
Sonic Radar III
Overwolf
 
CloneDrive
 
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
 
DAEMON Tools Software
 
Winzip
 
ASUS WebStorage
 
ASUS Utilities
 

Operating System

Windows® 10 64-bit

Form Factor

ATX Form Factor 
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( cm x cm )

Package

Board comes in a nice Red/ Black cardboard box with model number, image of the board and details about supporting technology and features.

Inside the box

Board comes with very nice set of accessories:

Looks

Board made with a black PCB of size ATX (30.5 X 24.4 cm).

Layout

Detailed layout of board.

1. AMD AM4 socket

2. ASUS CROSSHAIR VI HERO is equipped with four DIMM for dual channel DDR4 memory supporting max. 64GB at 2133MHz in normal and up to 3200MHz when OC.

3. ATX Power connector (24-pin EATXPWR)

4. ATX CPU Power Connector 8-pin ATX12V_2x4.

5. Back I/O Ports - 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s), 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (black)USB Type-CTM, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (red)Type-A, 8 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (blue) , 4 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to USB BIOS Flashback) , 1 x Optical S/PDIF out, 1 x Clear CMOS button(s), 1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s), 5 x Gold-plated audio jacks, 1 x M.2 Wi-Fi Slot

6. 7. 8. 19. 1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin), 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin), x Chassis Fan connector(s) (3 x 4 -pin) along with 1 RGB header for AMD FAN and ASUS Q-Code display

9. USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s)

10.8 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports

11. M.2 Socket 3 with M Key design, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (Supports both SATA & PCIE SSD)

12.W_IN header, W_OUT header and W_FLOW header

13. 14. System Front panel(s) (Q-Connector) , RGB header and W-Pump 4 Pin connector.

15. USB 3.0 Connector

16. 17. ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s) and TPM connector(s)

18. Reset button, LN2 Mode switch, Safe Boot button, ReTry button and Slow Mode jumpers

20. Front panel Audio connector

21. Expansion Slots - AMD Ryzen™ Processors - 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8), AMD 7th Generation A-series/Athlon™ Processors - 1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x8 mode) AMD X370 chipset - 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode), 3 x PCIe 2.0 x1

Removing Heat-sinks

Heatsinks are made up of dense aluminum with thermal pad installed, giving great passive cooling to VRM MOSFETs and x370 chipset.

Component Layout

Let’s now see what all components ASUS have planned for this board.

1. 2. This board have 8+4 phase configuration at VRM section driven by ASUS DIGI+EPU (ASP1405I) controller. Every phase has its own driver/doubler chip IR3599 which drive a Texas Instruments Synchronous Buck NexFET™ Power Block MOSFET (CSD87350Q5D) capable up to 40A operations. VRM section also have 60A Ferrite Chokes and 10K Black Capacitors for smooth CPU power.

3. Two separate DRAM Power section controlled via ASUS Digi (ASP1103) PWM controller.

4. ROG custom chip for BIOS flashing from back I/O panel.

5. ASMedia ASM1142 is PCIe-to-two-port USB 3.1 controller

6. Intel's i211A is used as the integrated GBit LAN solution.

7. The ITE IT8665E is the main SuperIO controller used for fan control, voltage and temperature monitoring.

8. This is Integrated Circuit Systems (ICS) 9VRS4883BKLF Micro used as clock buffer here to manage BCLK for CPU and memory.

9. ASMedia ASM1480 PCI-e lane switch chips.

10. The AMD x370 Chipset.

11. UEFI BIOS is stored in a Winbond 128MB chip along with BIOS chip used for ASUS BIOS Flash feature.

12. 13ASUS custom TPU and another ROG controllers.

14. ASUS CROSSHAIR VI HERO audio subsystem is based on SupremeFX S1220 codec (a customized ALC1220) with 10 DAC channels, simultaneous 7.1-channel playback, independent 2.0-channel, multiple-stream stereo to front-panel outputs, and an EMI cover for purer audio quality.

A semi-transparent line on motherboard separates the whole audio section from the rest of the board in order to minimize interference.

Audio section of this motherboard is having a great combination of high audio grade components including dedicated ESS ES9023P DAC (digital-to-analog converter), RC4580 op-amp as buffer with premium Nichicon Gold Capacitors for audio filtration.

RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) suite is used for testing test ASUS CROSSHAIR VI HERO audio against Asus Xonar U7 External Sound card. You can see clearly the difference between Noise level, dynamic rang and Total harmonic distortion percentage produced by on-board audio.

RMAA Asus Xonar U7

RMAA SupremeFX Audio

Testing

CPUAMD Ryzen 7 1700X
Board ASUS CROSSHAIR VI HERO
RAM2 X 4GB AVEXIR DDR4 3000Mhz
SSDKingston SV300 120GB
CoolerCustom Phase Cooling
GFXAsus GTX 950
PSUCM V1200
DisplayAcer S220HQL
OSWindows 10

BIOS

Bundled Software

Overclocking

Benchmarks

Power Consumption

Wattage reading as per displayed by APC Pro 1000VA (Model no. BR1000G-IN) UPS.

Pros

  • AM3 cooler Compatibility
  • Super Nice looking board
  • Good Audio
  • Nice Overclocking
  • Comprehensive BIOS

Cons

  • NIL

Conclusion

AMD Ryzen being an all together new CPU platform and there were some memory compatibility issues earlier. Now after the AMD AGESA update almost all compatibility issues are gone and even we are getting more higher and stable memory speed with the Ryzen Platfrom.

And again ASUS has come up with one the best performing AMD motherboard out there, the new ASUS Crosshair VI HERO motherboard. With this board ASUS has bundled lot of features along with one of the most comprehensive BIOS giving users the ability to tweak AMD Ryzen CPU and memory and get best out of their system. The board is the best you would expect from a ROG series and is fit for any gaming or high performance system build and worthy of our PC TeK Reviews EXCELLENCE Award.

Manufacturers Info

Site Link

Thanks.

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