Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Writing this review, I'm already conflicted on which X570 motherboard is the best. I say that because I have waiting in the wings, the X570 Dark from EVGA, and as it finishes testing, it's looking to be a pretty solid platform in its own right. The Crosshair Extreme has a legacy. It's been the AMD go-to platform for years, and ASUS shows us why with an all-out motherboard that brings everything to the table with tons of connectivity and a downright nasty power setup for those wanting to push the limits of overclocking.
Like the Dark Hero, the Extreme is built on the X570S chipset; the internet will tell you its X570 built on a more refined process to be cooler and use less power; I have a message in with my contact at AMD to find out for sure, we should know before I write up the EVGA article later this week.At the top of the list, the Extreme is compatible with all Ryzen CPUs back to the 2000 series. It supports 128GB of DDR4 memory with varying speed ratings depending on what generation your CPU is. For Ryzen 5000, we have support from 2133MHz to 5000MHz.
Down the line, we have two Thunderbolt 4 ports that support DP 1.4 and Thunderbolt video out. Additionally, there are five m.2 slots and six SATA ports, and for networking, we have both Intel i225 2.5Gbe and Marvell 10Gbe. Wi-Fi 6e is added via the AX211 chipset from Intel, and this also includes Bluetooth 5.2.
Audio is SupremeFX 7.1 with the ALC4082 chipset; this also includes the SABRE9018 DAC.
The ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme carries an MSRP of $799.99 with a three-year warranty.
Packaging, Accessories, and Overview
Packaging and Accessories
Packaging includes the familiar ROG theme with included logos for CPU and chipset support.
On the back, we have full board specifications down below with features listed to the right.
Included in the package, we have SATA and RGB cables. The top row gives us Wi-Fi Antenna, Dimm.2, and the fan controller.
ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme Overview
The Extreme has a similar aesthetic as the Dark Hero. Heatsinks are all dark aluminum with a bit of mirrored aluminum for styling.
The rear of the board is dressed up with a full backplate.
Around the board, we start with RGB and USB headers.
Further down, we find fan headers and front panel connections.
Around the corner, we run into the SATA ports sitting alongside USB 3.2 Gen 1, Gen 2, and Gen 2x2 front panel headers.
To the top of the board, we have a six-pin power along with the 24pin, and to the right, the power and reset buttons.
Across the top of the board, we run into voltage measuring points and fan headers.
We finish up with both eight-pin power.
Rear I/O is loaded with BIOS flashback and Clear CMOS on the left; this flows into DP and WiFI connections, followed by a second DP input and eight USB 3.2 ports in red. The RJ45 jacks offer 2.5Gbe on the bottom and 10Gbe top, with dual Thunderbolt 4 ports moving us to the 3.5mm audio jacks.
PCB and Circuit Analysis
The Extreme uses a 20-phase design; you can see them surrounding the socket. To the left, we find the Thunderbolt IC along with the Marvell 10Gbe controller.
A closer look shows us the Texas Instrument stages; all 20 of them are 90A.
UEFI, Software and Test System
Setup is the default EFI design from ASUS with the ROG theme installed. This is a well-laid-out solution with the main section to show system specs, Ai Tweaker for overclocking CPU and Memory. Advanced will push you through onboard device configuration such as audio, LAN, and thunderbolt if your board supports it.
The monitor section offers temperatures and fans control options, while the tools menu gives you the ability to flash BIOS, secure erase your SSDs, or set up profiles.
Armoury Crate supports the Crosshair Extreme with monitoring, fan control, and RGB configuration.
Additional abilities include driver support.
Motherboard Testing Supporters
Sabrent supports our storage testing with the Rocket 4 Plus.
Thermaltake has come onboard with their Toughram XG for all Z590 reviews.
TweakTown AMD Motherboard Test System
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
- GPU: ASUS TUF RTX 3080 10GB
- RAM: Thermaltake Toughram XG 2x8G DDR4 4000 (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM1000X (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 (buy from Amazon)
CrystalDiskMark and CDI
The Crosshair Extreme is our first board to be tested with Windows 11. We run the latest beta build in testing to minimize the chance of bugs. It's also our first to go through our new testing regiment that includes starts with storage.
We begin with SATA performance testing with our WD Blue 1TB. This drive gave us 552 MB/s reads and 473 MB/s write on the Extreme.
Next, we move to NVMe testing with our SN850. This drive offered 7032 MB/s reads and 4978 MB/s write.
The Thunderbolt ports were tested with the SN750 in an enclosure. This gave us a peak of 2785 MB/s read, and 1093 MB/s write.
Gen2x2 was tested with our WD P50, results coming in at 1594 MB/s read and 1581 MB/s write.
Last, we have USB 3.2 Gen 2. This reached 1030 MB/s read and 946 MB/ write.
Our last metric is how well the integrated heat sinks cool the SN850 during testing. In the middle of testing, we refreshed CDI to see a temp of 36c on our drive.
System Performance Benchmarks
AIDA64,Cinebench and WPrime
We start AIDA64 with a memory performance bench. With our Toughram running at 3600MHz and a synced fabric, we see 49K read 28K write and 44K copy. Latency runs at 67.7ns.
AES shows 145373 in testing.
SHA3 came in at 3709 MB/s.
R23 gave us a single-core result of 1557 for the Extreme and nT score of 14830.
Our WPrime times are 4.5 seconds for 32M and 91 seconds for 1024M.
PCMark 10, Crossmark, Final Thoughts
PCMark 10 and Crossmark
Running our Extreme through PCMark, we end with an overall score of 5600. 10255 for essentials, 9246 for productivity, and 5028 for content creation.
Crossmark gives us an overall score of 1643. This is broken down with 1643 to productivity, 1671 for creativity, and 1560 for a response.
Having been in the market for over two years, AMD's X570 chipset is aging rapidly. However, ASUS is looking to breathe life into the platform by offering one of the most complete packages we have seen to date.
At the top, this board has nearly every connectivity option possible, including Thunderbolt 4 and USB 3.2 Gen2x2. Additionally, we have 10Gbe, Wi-Fi 6e, and 2.5Gbe for a complete network stack, and storage capability is out of this world with five m.2 slots and 6 SATA ports.
EFI and software are about as complete as they come; most of us know the ROG BIOS, and the Extreme doesn't disappoint with a full suite of tools for configuring your hardware and overclocking along with built-in secure erase for NVMe. Armoury Crate has grown and become a fantastic solution for monitoring and controlling RGB within Windows.
Pricing may sting for some; at $799 MSRP, this board certainly isn't cheap but does offer one of the most complete platforms for enthusiasts running AMD's Ryzen CPU.
What We Like
Design: Board design, layout and components all great.
Connectivity: Stacked connectivity.
Compatibility: Huge CPU support back to Ryzen 2000.
What Could Be Better
Price: $799 is about as high as it gets for X570.
The Bottom Line
While it will certainly put a dent in your wallet, the ROG Crosshair VIII Extreme is easily the best available X570 motherboard on the market.