ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero Motherboard Overview
The ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero has to be one of the best-looking X370 motherboards out there! Keeping with the Republic of Gamers there ASUS has gone with a black and dark grey color scheme with some gunmetal accents. This board has a black PCB with dark grey throughout. There is a large black I/O cover with the Crosshair VI logo on it that not only covers the rear I/O but also a good part of the audio components on the board. There are aggressive gunmetal heatsinks that cover the power delivery components and one covering the PCH as well.
Starting at the CPU socket we of course have the AMD AM4 socket which supports the new Ryzen processors. Around the socket are the mounting points for new AM4 coolers or AM4 upgrade kits for older coolers. ASUS has also included special mounting holes on this board that are compatible with current AM3 coolers.
Surrounding the CPU socket you have your power delivery components. ASUS makes use of a 12-phase all-digital power design with Texas Instruments NexFET MOSFETs, MicroFine alloy chokes, Digi+ PWM controller, and 10K black metallic capacitors. These power delivery components are cooled off by two heatsinks which are connected with a heatpipe. At the top left of the board you’ll find an 8-pin + 4-pin CPU power connectors.
Moving over to the right side of the board first you have four DDR4 DIMM slots which support DDR4 memory up to 3200 MHz (O.C.). At the top corner of the board you’ll find three 4-pin fan headers, these are your CPU fan, CPU optional fan, and your AIO / Waterpump headers. Then you have one of the two RGB headers and the Q-Code or Debug display. Moving down the board you have a 24-pin ATX power connector, voltage checkpoints, a USB 3.1 front panel header, and a 4-pin fan header.
As you go down the board you’ll come to your storage connections, which are eight SATA 6GB/s ports. These support RAID 0, 1, and 10 modes.
Along the bottom of the board you’ll find the rest of your headers, buttons, etc. First ASUS has built some pretty cool water-cooling things into this board. Right below the SATA connectors you’ll find the ROG water cooling zone, which has a flow-rate header, and dual water temperature headers that feed into the Fan Xpert 4 utility. Moving right to left on the bottom of the board you have your front panel headers, the second RGB header, a 4 pin fan header, USB 3.0 header, ROG-EXT header, TPM header, Slow Mode switch, LN2 mode jumper, Retry button, Safe boot button, reset button, power button, another 4-pin fan header, and your front panel audio header.
Towards the bottom of the board you’ll also find the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 M.2 slot. This slot supports M.2 solid state drives up to 110 mm.
When it comes to expansion slots on the board you have two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, a single PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot, and three PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots. This gives you support for 2-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire. For those wondering when you have a single card installed it will run at x16 speeds, when you have two installed they will run at x8 speeds, and if you happen to populate all three the top two cards will run at x8, while the bottom will run at x4 speeds. Above the expansion slots you’ll find a 4-pin fan header, giving you a total of 7 fan headers on this board.
The far end of the board is mostly covered by the black armor, but that is where you’ll find the audio components on this board. This board makes use of the SupremeFX S1220 codec, which is ASUS’s highest grade onboard audio solution. It features an ESS 9023P DAC, RC4580 buffer chip, a high-precision clock-generator, a de-pop circuit, Nichicon Muse audio-grade capacitors, ground-layer isolation, and EMI shielding over the key components.
Finally on to the rear I/O we have a Clear CMOS button, BIOS flashback button, an M.2 (E-key) for an optional WiFi connector, four USB 3.0 port, four USB 2.0 ports, four more USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet (Intel I211-AT), two USB 3.1 ports (Type-A / Type-C), and your audio connections, which are gold-plated.