The Threadripper series and top motherboards with TRX40 chipset are the pairings to go for if you want the very greatest performance from AMD CPUs. If you don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on a system like this, motherboard suppliers have been able to push the AMD X570 chipset a long way, allowing you to use high-end platforms with less expensive CPUs.
The ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Extreme comes into play in this situation. It costs around $800, which is a lot of money for a motherboard, but it supports AMD Ryzen processors and has a lot of capabilities that less competent boards don’t have. We’re going to take a look at ASUS’ flagship X570 board to determine if it’s worth using in your next AMD PC setup.
ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Excessive: Worth and availability
ASUS’ flagship AMD X570 motherboard is the ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Extreme. It performs similarly to other X570 motherboards in terms of performance, but it has a lot more capabilities. This is how much a high-end enthusiast motherboard costs.
The Crosshair VIII isn’t for people on a shoestring budget, since it costs $800 at the time of writing. This is nearly the same amount of money as some people spend on a full computer, much alone a single component. It’s pricey, but it’s well worth it if you want to take advantage of many of the more advanced capabilities that aren’t available with less priced models.
ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Excessive: What’s good
The ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme from ASUS, like other X570 motherboards, offers a quality foundation for a PC build. The AMD X570 chipset has some interesting features, including PCIe 4.0 enabling faster SSD storage and increased GPU headroom. But it’s everything else that comes with the Crosshair VIII Extreme that sets it apart from the competition.
The ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Extreme was well-designed by ASUS.
Along with the ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Extreme, the box contains an ASUS fan controller, DIMM.2 SSD expansion card, Wi-Fi antenna, ROG Audio cable, and the standard SATA cabling and other accessories that come with a motherboard. When you unbox everything, you’ll notice the small details. ASUS packaged all of the components within the strong foam rather than dumping them underneath the board.
The Ryzen 2000, 3000, and 5000 family of processors are fully supported by the motherboard. Up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM can be installed at speeds up to 5GHz (2.5GHz x2). Two PCIe 4.0 x16 slots are available, with full support for NVIDIA and AMD dual-GPU setups. Then there are five M.2 slots (three on the motherboard and two on the expansion card), three of which are PCIe 4.0 capable.
Not only that, but ASUS has included 2.5Gb and 10Gb LAN connectors for increased network bandwidth, as well as the Realtek ALC4082 audio codec. There are also eight USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, two Thunderbolt 4 connectors, and LED audio jacks on the back. The major selling factor is that it’s a board with a lot of functionality.
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 2000AMD Ryzen 3000AMD Ryzen 5000|
|RAM||4x DDR4 DIMM (as much as DDR4-5000), 128GB restrict|
|Growth||2x PCIe 4.zero x16 (x16 or twin x8)1x PCIe 3.zero x1|
|Storage||8x SATA (6Gbps)1x M.2 2242/2260/2280 (PCIe 4.zero x4, SATA)2x M.2 2242/2260/2280 (PCIe 4.zero x4)2x M.2 2242/2260/2280 (SATA)|
|Rear ports||USB BIOS FlashBack Button(s)1x 10G LAN1x 2.5G LAN1x ASUS Wi-Fi2x Thunderbolt 48x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 (as much as 10Gbps)2x DisplayPort in1x Optical S/PDIF out5x Illuminated audio jack|
|Dimensions||305mm x 277mm|
ASUS used the EATX “standard,” which measures 305mm x 277mm, to compress all of this technology onto a PCB that fits within most mid- and full-tower PC cases. It’s just an ATX motherboard with a bit more width. This next entry in the AMD series from ASUS has a little less aggressive look than the outgoing X470 Crosshair VII, which should fit in with designs that don’t rely on RGB lighting.
It’s a simple, all-black PCB with a large metal shroud. Though this falls short of what NZXT offers with their N7 B550 motherboard, we’ve grown to know and appreciate ASUS’ approach to covering M.2 slots without making anything critical inaccessible. Because of the entire metal backplate, it’s unusually heavy for a motherboard. However, because this is an EATX board, you must ensure that your chassis can accommodate a 277mm-wide platform.
All of the extra features on this board will be appreciated if you have a good case. Let’s start with the dual 8-pin CPU ProCool II power connections in the upper left corner, which are standard on high-end boards like this one. The 18+2 power stages (rated for a total of 90 amps) are next, with microfine alloy chokes and 10K black metallic capacitors built in Japan.
It’s an excellent foundation for Ryzen 9 processors with strong performance. There are four DIMM slots and one more DIMM slot. 2 slots for a PCIe 4.0 M.2 expansion card, which is optional but included. The little OLED panel below the CPU socket, which can display temperatures, clock rates, and other statistics, has returned.
On the right, you’ll find the standard 24-pin ATX power connector, as well as an onboard 8-pin PCIe port. For cases that accept either, ASUS has generously included two USB-C and two USB-A 3.0 connections. The enthusiast features are located near the bottom of the board, beneath the standard array of six SATA points of contact.
Physical buttons for safe boot, retrying a BIOS setup, and switching BIOS are available to use. You’ll also need water cooling to get the most out of your processor. The ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Extreme can regulate the pump, radiator fans (two headers can produce 4A of electricity), and even monitor water temperatures and flow rate via a custom water-cooling loop.
Metal shrouds cover the three M.2 slots, as is the case with many motherboards today. Behind the 2-inch OLED panel is the top-most M.2 slot. It’s easy to remove, as are the other two M.2 slots, and ASUS uses a toolless technique to secure the SSD to the board, which is fantastic. Thermal pads are also present beneath and above the primary M.2 drive.
There’s a lot to like about the ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Extreme. There isn’t anything to criticize about the motherboard. This is the board for you if you have a large case with a lot of front-panel USB ports, more than three M.2 SSDs, a fast Ryzen 9 processor, and you want to construct a custom water-cooling solution to keep everything inside a certain temperature range.
It’s one thing to have more features, but how does the motherboard perform in comparison to the competition? To evaluate how big of a difference the Crosshair VIII Extreme made, we put it to the test with an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X CPU, ASUS ROG GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, and Sabrent PCIe 4.0 SSD. We weren’t anticipating significant improvements because even mid-tier motherboards work admirably.
We haven’t tested many enthusiast motherboards and hence don’t have numbers to compare apples to apples, but the difference is small when compared to mid-range motherboards like the ASUS ROG Strix X570-E while using factory settings in the UEFI BIOS. But that would be an injustice to the Crosshair motherboard, as cranked everything up gave it a little advantage over everything else we’ve tried. I’m talking about a percentage of up to 5%.
At 44C stock settings, VRM temperatures were detected. This was raised up to 49C by overclocking components. The Ryzen 9 5950X could be overclocked to 5.1GHz at 1.45v without difficulty. I was able to get the installed G.SKILL Trident Z Royal RAM to run at maximum speed and 1.49V for a long time (versus the rated 1.5V). At 1440p and 4K resolutions, the RTX 3080 delivered the same amazing results that one would expect from such a GPU (see the card review for more details).
ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Excessive: What’s not good
There was nothing about the Crosshair VIII Extreme that I didn’t appreciate. Given the number of changes ASUS has gone through with past chipsets, it should be anticipated that it accomplishes almost everything properly. So long as you can afford it, the newest X570 version is a world-class motherboard.
The audience is the biggest issue with such a high-end product. Is a motherboard with up to five M.2 slots, more power supply headroom than you’ll ever need, overclocking features like physical boot buttons, and 10Gb LAN really necessary? The answer is probably no, which makes recommending the ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Extreme to anyone who isn’t a PC aficionado tough.
ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Excessive: Competitors
You may compare this motherboard to any other X570 motherboard because they’ll all work with the same processors. When compared to more affordable X570 motherboards, you’ll get a tiny performance boost, but not one that’s worth the extra money. If you’re solely interested in computational power, a cheaper board is preferable.
This is where the ASUS Crosshair series shines in terms of features. There are numerous M.2 slots, excellent water-cooling support, enhanced overclocking support, improved power delivery, and 10G and 2.5G LAN connections. This is a great starting point for a hobbyist or creator PC.
ASUS had to stretch the specs a little to incorporate all of this capability on a single PCB, thus this motherboard is slightly wider than typical ATX. Some cases may be ruled out if they are unable to support such a size. If you’re building a tiny PC, a Mini-ITX motherboard like the Gigabyte X570-I AORUS Pro Wi-Fi is a good choice.
ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Excessive: Must you purchase it?
You should purchase this if …
- You might have an AMD Ryzen 9 processor
- You intend to overclock your CPU
- You need to use 10Gb LAN or Wi-Fi 6
- You need an enthusiast-grade motherboard
- You’ll be able to spare $800 out of your PC price range
You should not purchase this if …
- You do not have a lot of cash to spare
- You do not have any less than a Ryzen 7 processor
- You do not plan on overclocking the CPU
- You will not make the most of many of the options
The answer to the question “should you buy this motherboard?” depends on how much money you have available. You should go ahead and spend $800 on a motherboard alone if you don’t mind feeling a little sad afterwards. But only if you intend to use the majority of the sophisticated features, such as the DIMM.2 extension card, front USB connections, overclocking support, and water-cooling capabilities.
If you’re not going to use any of those features, the ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Extreme becomes more difficult to recommend. That isn’t to imply it’s a bad motherboard; just the contrary. This is a superb AMD Ryzen PC build foundation. It has a beautiful design, is well-made, and uses high-quality components to ensure consistent power delivery. All of the most important checkboxes have been checked.
The problem is that none of these functionalities are required in most PC configurations. Most gamers don’t need to build their own water-cooling loops or connect up to five M.2 SSDs to their computer. Even ASUS’ own mid-range motherboards, such as the outstanding ROG Strix X570-E Gaming, provide comparable performance at a significantly lower cost. However, such boards are unlikely to include an OLED display, physical BIOS switches, or other features.
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