ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero Motherboard Review

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When the ASUS Crosshair was released in 2006, it served as the gaming platform for AMD users. For the past eight generations on this platform, the Hero has served as the mid-range board in comparison to the top-tier Crosshair Formula, which boasts a few enhancements of its own.

Nevertheless, among the most well-liked boards for enthusiasts and players constructed on the AMD X570 architecture is the Hero. ASUS prepared a number of new motherboards to go along with the AMD Ryzen 5000 CPU family, which was released in early November. The ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero Motherboard is one of these new boards.

Dark Hero is a total redesign of the Hero’s looks. The first step in doing this is to remove the chipset heat sink fan and black out the board’s heat sinks. By doing this, the board is free of any moving parts and operates silently.

An improvement over the award-winning ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero from the previous year is the ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero Motherboard. With a few improvements, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero is outfitted with the same accessories as the Hero from last year. The excellent ASUS BIOS, integrated rear I/O shield, premium lighting system, and M.2 heatsinks on both slots remain unchanged. The chipset fan has been eliminated by ASUS, and the VRM Power Stages have been raised from 60 A to 90 A. How much better is the ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero Motherboard is the only thing left to ask.

ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero Motherboard Packaging & Overview

The Dark Hero’s packaging has been updated with a darker color scheme. The ROG logo sits in the center, while a list of compatible CPUs and features is located at the bottom. The motherboard comes with reading materials. These consist of a driver CD, sticker sheet, and user manual. The RGB extensions, SATA connections, and Wi-Fi antenna are all included in the box.

The front and rear of the board are shown above. Both the plastic and the heat sinks are becoming black. As we approach the board, we begin with the PCIe 4.0 slots, which consist of three full x16 physical slots but are electrically arranged in x16, x8, and x4 order. USB headers, fan connections, and front panel audio are located at the bottom. 

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The ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero Motherboard VRM is an eight-phase design that parallels sixteen Texas Instruments X95410RR stages. The Intel i211AT along the edge and the ASMedia1074 for the rear panel Gen 2 are located below the VRM. Largely occupying the space beneath the memory slots on the Dark Hero is the AMD X570 chipset.

Eight SATA ports are included, and Realtek RTL8125 2.5G and Intel I211AT 1G controllers handle wired networking. While 5G would have been lovely, 2.5G is still pleasant after putting up with gigabit for almost 20 years! Add to it the Intel 802.11ax WiFi, and you have even more networking options.

The Hero’s VRM has been improved over the standard model. The power stages have been rated for 90 volts instead of 60, putting it on par with certain other high-end X570 boards. This board will see a lot of use from overclockers, even if your goal is to crush LN2 benchmarks. It can withstand the abuse with ease. The heatsinks are large, bulky devices.

The back IO is fully loaded. There aren’t many boards with more USB ports if you need them for that plasma ball or head massaging device. There are eight USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports total, with a Type-C connection. Four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports connect them. The standard assortment of audio connectors, including S/PDIF, LAN and WiFi antenna interfaces, and BIOS clear and flashback buttons are also present. Thankfully, preinstalling the IO shield is now a regular feature on good motherboards.

Typically, there are very little changes in performance amongst boards that have identical partnered components. This is especially true now that multiple generations have passed and any BIOS quirks with the X570 chipset have been effectively ironed out. A large portion of the time variability can be explained by a margin of error alone. 

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ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero Motherboard General Information

Processor SocketAMD AM4 Socket for 3rd and 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen™/2nd
and 1st Gen AMD Ryzen™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics/
Athlon™ with Radeon™ Vega Graphics Processors
ChipsetAMD X570
Memory4 x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4 5100(O.C.)/5000(O.C.)/
2133 MHz Un-buffered Memory
Multi-GPU SupportNVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
Expansion Slots2 x PCIe 4.0 x16 SafeSlots (x16 or dual x8)
1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4 mode)
1 x PCIe 3.0 x1
Storage8 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
2 x M.2 slots (Key M)
USB Ports1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Type-C
7 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
6 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
8 x USB 2.0
NetworkingIntel® I211-AT Gigabit Ethernet
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
AudioSupremeFX S1220 8-Channel HD Audio
ROG SupremeFX Shielding Technology
Form FactorATX (12 inch x 9.6 inch)

ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero Motherboard Conclusion

ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero Motherboard 4

The ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero Motherboard, like the Crosshair VIII Hero, is simply too much for a budget gaming PC. I’m not really like the ostentatious RGB blings, but I do like the overclocking-friendly design and features. It contains almost all the essential functions plus a few extras you’ll need for various system modifications, so if you don’t need the extra features and accessories on the flagship Crosshair VIII Formula, you can save a good chunk of money to invest in other components.

Regarding cost, the enhanced Crosshair VIII Dark Hero is likewise more costly than the Crosshair VIII Hero. Given that the Crosshair VIII Dark Hero costs 480 $, it is difficult to suggest it to people who already cannot afford the Crosshair VIII Hero. If you have the money to purchase one, the Crosshair VIII Dark Hero is a feature-rich X570 board that is well worth considering if you enjoy overclocking. The Dynamic OC Switcher is one outstanding feature that you should absolutely try out for yourself.

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ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero Motherboard
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