Even as I write this evaluation, I’m not sure which ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME Motherboard is the best. I mention this because I have the X570 Dark from EVGA waiting in the wings, and as testing comes to an end, it appears to be a rather reliable platform on its own.
There’s history with the Crosshair Extreme. For years, AMD has relied on this platform, and ASUS demonstrates why with an all-out motherboard that offers an abundance of connectivity and an extremely powerful setup for overclockers who wish to push the boundaries.
Similar to the Dark Hero, the Extreme is powered by the X570S chipset. However, some sources claim that the ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME Motherboard is really constructed on a more advanced technology that makes it cooler and uses less power. I’ve sent a message to my AMD contact to confirm this, so we should know before I write the EVGA piece later this week.
Being compatible with all Ryzen CPUs dating back to the 2000 series puts the Extreme at the top of the list. It can support up to 128GB of DDR4 memory, with different speed ratings according to the CPU generation. We support the frequency range of 2133MHz to 5000MHz for Ryzen 5000.
Two Thunderbolt 4 ports that allow Thunderbolt video out and DP 1.4 are available later on. Six SATA ports, five m.2 slots, and two networking interfaces—Intel i225 2.5Gbe and Marvell 10Gbe—are also included. Through the use of Intel’s AX211 chipset, Wi-Fi 6e is added, along with Bluetooth 5.2.
ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME Motherboard Packaging & Overview
The packaging features the well-known ROG theme along with integrated chipset and CPU support logos. The whole board specifications are provided here, with the features mentioned to the right, for the back. SATA and RGB cables are part of the kit. The fan controller, Dimm.2, and Wi-Fi antenna are located in the upper row.
As one might anticipate from its flagship stance and hefty price, the ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme has a ton of goodies. Along with a number of other, more standard components like SATA cables and the Wi-Fi antenna, the contents of the box include the ROG Clavis DAC, thermistors, the ROG Fan controller, and the DIMM.2 add-in card (which allows you to insert more M.2 drives). To put it briefly, this flagship-class board comes with everything you need to get going and much more.
Aside from the weight—it’s constructed like a tank and has a backplate—one of the first things you’ll probably notice after taking the board out of its packaging and giving it a once-over is its upscale look. Large, deeply grooved heatsinks are used by the Crosshair Extreme for the VRMs; the ROG branding and Crosshair moniker are displayed on the left heatsink.
Under a heatsink with a 2-inch adjustable LiveDash OLED panel that by default shows important system information, conceals the primary M.2 socket. The remaining M.2 sockets and PCIe slots are encased in shrouds, the lower part of which is mirror-finished.
In terms of RGB illumination, the Crosshair Extreme delivers what you need. Along with a lengthy frosted strip running along the board’s right edge, the ROG emblem on the chipset and the ROG inscription at the top also light up from underneath. The Armoury Crate suite from the company controls the bright and saturated RGBs through the use of Aura Sync software.
The Crosshair Extreme appears to be a high-end motherboard overall. The board blends nicely with most build themes because to its mostly black appearance and integrated RGB lighting, and its informative OLED panel adds a special touch to the whole thing.
Keeping our attention on the upper portion of the board, we can see more of the massive VRM heatsink, which extends over the back IO section and bears the RGB-lit ROG branding. The top portion of the VRM heatsink shares the load with the other parts by connecting to them with a big heatpipe. All things considered, this motherboard heatsink is arguably the heaviest one I have ever seen. We anticipate that these will function well under all conditions because they have a large surface area for heat dissipation in addition to deep grooves and other design features.
There are two strengthened 8-pin EPS connectors to supply power to the CPU directly above the VRM heatsinks. One is necessary, while the other is voluntary. The first of eight 4-pin fan headers is located directly to the right of those. While the water pump headers operate at full speed, the CPU, Chassis, and Radiator headers are all Q-fan controlled and support PWM and DC-controlled devices.
You should have no trouble getting enough electricity to run your water-cooling loop off of the headers. Up to 1A/12W can be supported by the CPU and chassis fans. The two radiator fan headers can support up to an incredible 4A/48W, but the two water pump headers can only handle up to 3A/36W. To date, this is the highest output I can remember seeing on a motherboard.
The radiator headers are happy to support the addition of a few powerful fans. The water block sensor header, which detects flow rates with compatible devices, is located just to the right. The board includes all the capabilities required to operate your water-cooling loop solely on the board.
ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME Motherboard General Information
|AMD 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
|4 x DIMM, Max. 128GB, DDR4 4800(O.C.)/4600(O.C.)/
|3000(O.C.)/2933/2800/2666/2400/2133 MHz Un-buffered
|NVIDIA® 3-Way SLI™ Technology
|AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
|2 x PCIe 4.0 x16 SafeSlots (x16 or dual x8)
|1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4 mode)
|1 x PCIe 3.0 x1
|8 x SATA 6Gb/s ports
|4 x M.2 slots (Key M)
|4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (3 x Type-A+1 x Type-C)
|10 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
|4 x USB 2.0
|Aquantia AQC-107 10Gb Ethernet
|Intel® I211-AT Gigabit Ethernet
|Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
|SupremeFX S1220 8-Channel HD Audio
|ROG SupremeFX Shielding Technology
|ESS® ES9023P DAC
|Extended ATX (12 inch x 10.9 inch)
ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME Motherboard Conclusion
While this board isn’t cheap—its $799 MSRP makes it so—it does provide one of the most comprehensive platforms for enthusiasts using AMD’s Ryzen CPUs.
Pros of the ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME Motherboard:
- Top-Tier Performance: The ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME motherboard is built to deliver exceptional performance, catering to the needs of high-end gaming and overclocking enthusiasts. With support for the latest AMD Ryzen processors and cutting-edge features, it offers unparalleled speed and responsiveness.
- Advanced Overclocking Capabilities: Designed with overclocking in mind, this motherboard provides extensive BIOS options and robust power delivery systems to push your CPU and memory to their limits. It offers advanced overclocking features that allow users to extract maximum performance from their components.
- Premium Build Quality: ASUS ROG motherboards are renowned for their premium build quality and durability. The CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME is no exception, featuring high-quality components, reinforced PCIe slots, and robust VRM cooling solutions to ensure stable operation even under heavy loads.
- Comprehensive Connectivity: With a wide range of connectivity options, including high-speed USB ports, Thunderbolt 4 support, and multiple M.2 slots for fast storage, this motherboard offers unparalleled flexibility for connecting peripherals, storage devices, and expansion cards.
- AI Overclocking and Optimization: ASUS AI Overclocking technology automatically optimizes CPU performance based on system load and temperature, ensuring optimal performance without manual intervention. Additionally, AI features such as AI Cooling and AI Networking enhance system stability and efficiency.
- Integrated Wi-Fi 6E and Ethernet: The motherboard comes equipped with built-in Wi-Fi 6E and high-speed Ethernet connectivity, allowing for lightning-fast wireless and wired networking performance. This ensures smooth online gaming, streaming, and file transfers without lag or latency.
- Premium Audio Solutions: Featuring high-fidelity audio components, including premium DACs and audio capacitors, the ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME delivers immersive sound quality for gaming, music, and multimedia content. It also supports advanced audio technologies like DTS Sound Unbound for a superior audio experience.
- Customizable RGB Lighting: With ASUS Aura Sync RGB lighting technology, users can personalize their gaming rig with customizable RGB lighting effects and synchronize lighting across compatible devices. This allows for stunning visual customization and enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the system.
- Multi-GPU Support: The motherboard supports multi-GPU configurations, including NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX, allowing users to install multiple graphics cards for enhanced gaming performance and visual fidelity. This is ideal for gaming enthusiasts and content creators who demand maximum graphics power.
- Comprehensive Software Suite: ASUS provides a comprehensive software suite for the ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME, including intuitive overclocking utilities, system monitoring tools, and firmware update utilities. This makes it easy to fine-tune system settings, monitor hardware performance, and keep the motherboard’s firmware up to date.
Cons of the ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME Motherboard:
- High Price: As a premium motherboard with top-tier features and performance, the ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME comes with a correspondingly high price tag. It may be out of reach for budget-conscious users or those who don’t require its advanced capabilities.
- Complexity for Novice Users: The extensive overclocking options and advanced features of this motherboard may be overwhelming for novice users or those who are unfamiliar with BIOS settings and system tweaking. It requires some technical expertise to fully utilize its capabilities.
- Large Form Factor: The motherboard’s extended ATX (E-ATX) form factor may not fit in all PC cases, especially smaller form factor cases. Users should ensure compatibility with their chosen case before purchasing this motherboard to avoid installation issues.
- Limited Availability of PCIe 4.0 Devices: While the motherboard supports PCIe 4.0 connectivity, the availability of PCIe 4.0 devices such as SSDs and graphics cards may be limited compared to PCIe 3.0 devices. Users may not fully utilize the benefits of PCIe 4.0 until more compatible devices become available.
- Power Consumption: The high-end features and performance capabilities of the ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME motherboard may result in higher power consumption compared to standard motherboards. Users should ensure they have an adequate power supply to support the motherboard and other system components.
- Potential Compatibility Issues: While ASUS strives to ensure compatibility with a wide range of hardware and software, there may be occasional compatibility issues with certain components or peripherals. Users should check for compatibility lists and firmware updates to address any compatibility issues that may arise.
- Limited Warranty Coverage: While the motherboard may come with a standard warranty, the duration and coverage may vary depending on the region and retailer. Users should review the warranty terms and conditions carefully to understand their rights and options for warranty support.
- Advanced Features may be Overkill for Some Users: For users who don’t require advanced overclocking capabilities or extensive connectivity options, the features of the ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME motherboard may be overkill. A more budget-friendly motherboard with basic features may be sufficient for their needs.
- BIOS Updates Required for Optimal Performance: To ensure optimal performance and compatibility with the latest hardware and software, users may need to regularly update the motherboard’s BIOS firmware. This process can be time-consuming and may require technical expertise.
- Limited RGB Control without ASUS Aura Sync: While the motherboard supports RGB lighting customization, users may find that advanced RGB control features are only available through ASUS Aura Sync software. Without Aura Sync, customization options may be limited to basic presets and color schemes.
ROG CROSSHAIR VIII EXTREME Motherboard