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ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero Review - Armchair Empire

ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero Review

  • 8/10
    Overclocking - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Compatibility - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Performance - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Stability - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Expansion - 7/10
8.0/10

Our Rating

We Recommend the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero For

Not everyone wants the best and most expensive product. Some of us are interested in an affordable and yet powerful middle ground solution. The Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero is just that – a compromise on the price, costing  less than the MSI Xpower Titanium without sacrificing on the performance.

Need a strong, reliable partner for your Ryzen setup that does not burn a hole through your pockets? The ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero is designed just for you.

ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero AMD Ryzen AM4 DDR4 M.2 USB 3.1 ATX X370 Motherboard with AURA Sync RGB Lighting
  • Powered by AMD Ryzen AM4 and 7th generation Athlon processors to maximize connectivity and speed with NVMe M.2, front panel USB 3.1 and gigabit LAN
  • 5-Way Optimization featuring auto-tuning and FanXpert 4 provides automatic overclocking profiles for maximum OC performance while AIO and water-cooling headers deliver dynamic system cooling
  • Two patent-pending Safe Slots feature an injection molding process that integrates metal framing for a stronger, firmly anchored PCIe slot built for heavyweight GPUs

Introduction

Some call the ROG Crosshair VI Hero a cheaper alternative to the X370 XPOWER motherboard from MSI. We believe that the MSI XPOWER motherboard is priced exorbitantly high for what it offers. In contrast, the Asus motherboard isn’t just well priced but also a heavy hitter too. Besides, we are always confident recommending Asus products thanks to their better quality checks and tests.

The ROG X370 motherboard can take up to 64GB of DDR4 memory rated at a maximum of 3200MHz (OC), it can handle three video cards in Crossfire setup and has a single M.2 slot for rapid storage. The ATX form factor comfortably accommodates all elements with sufficient space for heatsinks and even some amount of RGB lighting.

For overclocking enthusiasts and serious AMD buyers, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero is a much cheaper alternative among all X370 chipsets without sacrificing on quality elements and components.

Specifications

Designed for enthusiasts and gamers alike, the ROG Crosshair VI Hero combines aesthetics with performance. Experience the Dynamic AURA Sync RGB lighting all over the motherboard and decide from 16.8 million color options plus several illumination settings. You can sync it with any other RGB peripheral and fan setup for the ultimate gamer build.

As always, Asus offers 5-way optimization with an auto-tuning feature that automatically detects the most stable overclocked profile for your entire build. Using FanXpert 4, you can control more than just the CPU and chassis fans. You can control every single fan you connect to your frame including the ones for AIO liquid coolers. Please note, however, that there is only a single USB 2.0 header on the motherboard, hence the options to connect multiple fans for individual controls is limited. The best you can do is split power from the single header.

Overclocking this motherboard is easy using the One-Click Cooling and Overclocking optimization feature. With newer Bios updates, the 5-way optimization mechanism should get better. Considering how well it works with current generation Intel processors, it is only a matter of time before Asus figures out the best way to overclock a Ryzen processor and Memory setup intuitively.

This AM4 board packs in a lot of rear connection ports. Since, Ryzen does not currently come with iGPU, providing display ports is kind of silly. Asus has removed display ports and replaced the back panel with a lot more USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. The end result is a whopping 8 x USB 3.0 plus 4 x USB 2.0 header module that also features dedicated buttons to clear the CMOS and flash BIOS. You also get the standard GIGABIT LAN, a USB 3.1 Type A and USB 3.1 Type C port, though we aren’t that swayed by the inclusion of these ports. The audio module has a 5.1 setup with an SPDIF port.

PCIe slots are all designed to handle the rigors of gaming and heavy graphics cards. They feature QDIMM, QSLOT and SafeSlot technologies. As for audio, Asus has gone with SupremeFX audio that delivers amazing clarity and signal-to-noise ratio.

Our Review

We admit, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero is far from perfect. In fact, none of the AM4 motherboards we have reviewed thus far struck us as flawless. Though AMD has been beating the Ryzen drum for quite a while now, motherboard manufacturers haven’t taken it seriously enough, and when finally Ryzen arrived, they were taken aback by the sheer brilliance. Naturally, AM4 motherboards aren’t yet fully tested or primed. AMD too is to blame for this situation as they could have been more forthcoming with their specifications and design sheets for manufacturers to prepare ahead of time.

Nevertheless, ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero does a splendid job of handling Ryzen processors and current generation technologies, as well as one, can. Yes, with future BIOS updates, the motherboard will do a far better job, but even in its present state, it performs on par with the MSI Xpower Titanium without a lot of the additional features.

First and foremost, when you buy the Asus X370 Crosshair VI Hero motherboard, remember to check the BIOS version. It should be at least 0902 version or newer. If not, the very first thing you should do is update the BIOS. Older versions are unstable and can brick your motherboard if you overclock your processor.

Thankfully, Asus is dedicated to updating its products based on customer feedback, and a new BIOS update keeps arriving every month. Some minor tweaks are available on a weekly basis. It is nice to see Asus continuously working on making the Crosshair VI Hero a standout product.

The motherboard overclocks well once you get the right BIOS setup and with an 1800X Ryzen chip, you really can stretch the possibilities. Please note that AM4 chipsets are not compatible with currently available cooler mounting brackets. Corsair will ship you the AM4 mounting brackets for free if you ask them. We managed a steady 4.1 GHz without the need to up the voltage, and that is truly impressive.

The NVMe drive on this motherboard runs at 3.0×4 mode. This is faster than any other configuration you may have used in the past. If you can afford an NVMe drive, get it for your VI Hero motherboard! Likewise, DDR4 support up to 64GB is welcome though the current BIOS does not allow the memory to run at 3000MHz or higher. We believe this will eventually work out once Asus pumps newer BIOS updates.

Though the back panel has loads of USB ports, we were disappointed that none were reserved for internal headers. There is just one internal header USB 2.0 that you have to decide between an AIO cooler, chassis fans or entirely something else. Also, if you use the M.2 NVMe then refrain from loading SATA Port 1 and 2. These seem to clash with each other causing unwarranted reboots without a BSOD.

The PCIe slots can handle triple Crossfire configuration though, the slots are all picky. If you have a lot of PCIe cards, you may want to experiment with the perfect layout as some older cards may not work with one or the other slot. This seems to be a problem with the stability of the motherboard as the slots clash with the M.2 port.

One final complaint is the Bios interface on this motherboard. It is nothing like UEFI and can be seriously confusing for newcomers. We were flabbergasted with all the options and features. Maybe a more detailed BIOS guide from Asus could make things easier for customers.

Pros

  • Everything you will ever need for the next five years is already present on this motherboard.
  • Plenty of USB 3.0 slots and USB 2.0 slots with next generation USB 3.1 Type A and Type C slots.
  • Excellent audio quality and the ability to stream audio selectively to the speakers and headphone jacks.
  • Proper build quality and excellent RGB lighting.

Cons

  • Could use a better BIOS layout or at least a detailed BIOS guide.
  • Not yet entirely stable, this motherboard is still a good three months away from receiving a stable BIOS update.
  • Just one USB 2.0 internal header for fan control.
  • 2 slot currently hampers the SATA 1 and 2 slots plus the PCIe slots.

Conclusion

The ASUS ROG Crosshair VI, Hero X370 motherboard, isn’t a perfect motherboard. However, for the money you pay, Asus ensures your experience keeps getting better every day. With regular BIOS updates, constant interaction with its customers, Asus is trying to make a product that will be the best among all AM4 motherboards. We have no doubt that once Asus perfects its BIOS, this will be the best motherboard money can buy if you have a Ryzen setup. For now, though, it is an excellent motherboard that costs much less than the leader, MSI XPower Titanium.