For the first time since ages ago, finally we are able to see a real battle over performance and value in the CPU market. With the Ryzen desktop processors, AMD managed to shake up Intel’s product positioning significantly, taking back some portions of CPU market share pie from Santa Clara-based chipmaker.
The Ryzen CPUs have been available for quite a while now, accompanied by a huge amount of AM4 motherboard options from various motherboard vendors in the industry. One of the AM4 motherboards that made its first appearance during Ryzen launching was the ROG Crosshair VI Hero, which also turns out to be the sixth iteration of the Crosshair series of motherboard for AMD platform.
Few months later, ASUS has announced an addition to the AMD ROG family, the ROG Crosshair VI Extreme (C6E) that immediately replaces the Hero as the flagship X370 motherboard for the AM4 platform. ASUS mentioned that the motherboard is designed for gamers and power users who are looking to maximize AMD Ryzen performance. There are several differences between the two Crosshair VI boards, but the most notable are that the Extreme comes with a Wi-Fi module (first Hero variant did not come with a Wi-Fi card but just a slot). The Extreme also features higher quality power delivery components for better overclocking performance, has a an RGB backplate, pre-mounted I/O shield, dual M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slots, angled ATX 24-pin Procool power connector, and requires 8+4 pins for CPU power.
The ROG Crosshair VI Extreme has all the features that you might require for a high-end PC build. These include the dual NVMe M.2 slots, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C ports, onboard 2×2 802.11ac WIFI with MU-MIMO support, Intel Gigabit LAN with LANGuard and GameFirst IV supports, 5-Way Optimization, SafeSlots, SupremeFX S1220 audio solution with Sonic Studio III technology, and of course AURA Sync RGB lighting system to bling up your rig.
In today’s review, I will be testing the ROG Crosshair VI Extreme motherboard in combination with the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU running at stock CPU frequency and overclocked condition. To make it more fun, we also tested it with the Bitspower monoblock and checked out how much the improvement can it deliver in terms of thermal performance. Would the Ryzen system be a good alternative to the offering from Intel? Read on to find out.
Suggested Retail Price: $349.99 USD
Being the flagship X370 in the AMD ROG family, the ROG Crosshair VI Extreme (C6E) is undeniably a beast of a motherboard. Built based on AMD’s X370 chipset and AM4 socket, the board is fully compatible with the Ryzen, 7th Gen A-series and Athlon desktop processors. It sports four memory slots that support up to 64GB of memory capacity with the maximum RAM frequency allowed up to DDR4-3200 MHz under overclocked condition in Dual-channel configuration. With 7th Gen A-series and Athlon CPUs, the board can only offer up to DDR4-2400 MHz in Dual-channel mode.
In terms of expansion slots, the C6E comes equipped with two full-sized PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, one PCIe 2.0 x16 slot (max at x4 mode), and three PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. The full-length PCIe slots support up to 2-Way NVIDIA’s SLI and 3-Way AMD’s CrossFireX technologies (single card at x16, dual cards at x8/x8, triple cards at x8/x4x/x4). Bear in mind that 3-Way SLI is not supported simply because NVIDIA’s card requires a minimum PCIe x8 lane for SLI. Furthermore, there is no PLX bridge chip to expand the PCIe lanes.
ASUS make sure that users will not be running out of storage space. Eight SATA 6Gb/s ports are provided, all of them are wired directly to the AMD X370 chipset without any third-party controller. We also have a pair of NVMe M.2 sockets, each capable of delivering blazing-fast 32Gb/s of data transfer via full PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth.
For interrupted gaming sessions, you get best-in-class Intel Gigabit Ethernet that features LANGuard and GameFirst IV technologies. Wireless connectivity comes in the form of 2×2 dual-band 2.4/5GHz 802.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi + Bluetooth v4.2 module, which is capable of transferring data up to 867Mb/s. The SupremeFX audio solution is now powered by Realtek’s most-advanced S1220 CODEC for crystal-clear sound quality.
USB options are plentiful. You get two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, each comes in the form of Type-A and Type-C ports at the rear I/O panel alongside one USB 3.1 Gen 2 header at the front for certain PC chassis that offer USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports. You also receive a total of ten USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) ports and five USB 2.0 ports.
Physically, the ROG Crosshair VI Extreme measures 30.5 cm in length and 26.9 cm in width, which conforms to the Extended ATX (EATX) form factor standard.
For more than a decade, Republic of Gamers has delivered exemplary design and performance to thrill the world’s best players and PC enthusiasts. Our journey is a road without end. Now, it’s time for competitors to be warned and for gamers and enthusiasts to push the limits — the packed and pumped ROG Crosshair VI Extreme is ready to defeat all challengers!
PERFECTED COOLING FOR UNLEASHING PERFORMANCE
PCH M.2 HEATSINK
ROG Crosshair VI Extreme is equipped with an M.2 heatsink integrated into the PCH heatsink. With its huge cooling surface, the M.2 heatsink perfectly chills an inserted M.2 SSD — providing maximum performance and reliability.
Featuring a stylish angular design replete with an awesome glowing ROG eye logo, the M.2 heatsink adds a beautiful touch to the build, while the T-sensor detects temperatures in the vital M.2 area for instant monitoring.
FULLY DOMINATE YOUR WATER-COOLING SYSTEM
FULLY DOMINATE YOUR WATER-COOLING SYSTEM
WATER COOLING ZONE
ROG’s innovative Water Cooling Zone lets you monitor your cooling system like never before. The dual water-temperature headers and flow-rate header of the ROG Water Cooling Zone feeds information straight into ROG’s intuitive Fan Xpert 4 utility ─ so you can stay on top of the heat and stay cool in every game!
READY FOR ANY AM4 OR AM3 COOLER
ROG Crosshair VI Extreme has special mounting holes that are compatible with any AM4 or AM3 cooler/LN2 pot. Upgrade to a new AM4 cooler, or extend the life of your existing AM3 kit — the choice is yours!
BEST GAMING LIGHTING
AURA LIGHTING CONTROL
Customize your own favorite LED effects with intuitive, ASUS-exclusive lighting-control software. Aura RGB technology makes it possible to cast a stunning multicolor glow across your entire build, via the ROG Crosshair VI Extreme’s brilliant built-in RGB LEDs or attached RGB strips via the two onboard 4-pin headers ─ all lights will perform in perfect synchronization! Fire up Aura and enjoy the creative freedom of nine different lighting schemes!
RGB LIGHTING PERFECTED
ROG Crosshair VI Extreme includes a dedicated addressable RGB header* that connects to compatible lighting strips, fans, coolers, and compatible PC cases — all to create a new world of illumination possibilities. Aura software offers an array of effects for addressable gear, and the Aura SDK takes things to the next level — allowing developers to control each LED individually, unleashing infinite lighting possibilities!
*Addressable RGB header supports strips with a maximum power rating of 3A (5V). For maximum brightness, strips should contain no more than 120 LEDs.
INFINITE LIGHTING POSSIBILITIES
Aura SDK* is an evolving developer toolkit that ASUS has made available in order to advance the capabilities and benefits of our Aura illumination technology. Aura SDK enables enthusiasts and developers by providing a platform for discussing, exploring and exploiting the vast eco-system of ASUS Aura Sync-capable gear. Developers can share ideas for customizing the display of various system stats and alerts via RGB illumination, and also explore ways to brilliantly portray in-game action with real-time synchronized lighting.
OUTSHINE THE COMPETITION
ASUS Aura Sync technology makes ROG Crosshair VI Extreme the control hub for your illumination ambitions — so it’s easy to synchronize incredible lighting effects between compatible components, including RGB LED strips, graphics cards, keyboards and even mice! Change all LEDs in unison or employ dynamic modes to flow illumination effects smoothly across all synchronized devices.
EXQUISITE AUDIO, INSIDE AND OUT
NEW SUPREMEFX CODEC
ROG SupremeFX audio technology has levelled up with ROG Crosshair VI Extreme, delivering an exceptional 113dB signal-to-noise ratio on the line-in connection for best-ever recording quality — and 120dB on line-out for crystal-clear sound. We’ve also added a low-dropout regulator for cleaner power delivery to the SupremeFX S1220 codec, plus Texas Instruments® RC4580 and OPA1688 op-amps for high gain with low distortion. It all adds up to audio that envelops you as never before!
INTUITIVE AUDIO-TUNING SUITE
SONIC STUDIO III
Sonic Studio III now supports HRTF-based (head-related transfer function*) virtual surround for VR headsets, casting an immersive aural landscape that draws you deeper into the action. The Sonic Studio GUI also offers a range of EQ options, allowing you to tailor acoustics to suit personal preferences or the characteristics of your headset.
*A head-related transfer function is an audio algorithm derived from sound data recorded through a dummy head. Test tones are played from a spherical grid around the dummy head to obtain subtle changes in sounds that arrive from different directions. The results are combined into an algorithm that allows Sonic Studio’s virtual surround to process sound true to life.
**Please note HRTF function is available only in version 3.6 and later.
AUDIO EFFECTS STATION
ROG’s Sonic Studio III audio effects station has been updated with an all-new routing feature to port streams to different outputs as well as app-level preferences for instant audio profiles and improved noise filtering for conversations with total clarity!
Apply customized audio settings to different applications, so everything you do is perfectly tuned to the way you want to listen.
Automatically detects and eliminates unwanted background noises, ensuring that communications are loud and clear.
SCAN AND DETECT TO DOMINATE!
SONIC RADAR III
Sonic Radar III is all new – with an evolved audio engine that processes sounds more accurately than ever, ensuring you’re always aware of what’s going on around you. A new on-screen arrow has also been added to help you pinpoint the enemy position instantly!
BEST GAMING CONNECTIVITY
UNLEASH 32GBPS SSD SPEEDS
ROG Crosshair VI Extreme offers dual PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slots that provide NVMe SSD RAID support for an incredible performance boost. Create a RAID configuration with up to two PCIe 3.0 storage devices via the dual M.2 slots to enjoy the fastest data-transfer speeds on the AMD® Ryzen™ processors platform!
USB 3.1 GEN2 TYPE A+C
ULTIMATE-SPEED 10GB/S WITH ONBOARD USB 3.1 GEN2
BEST GAMING NETWORKING
MORE THROUGHPUT AND LESS PROCESSING EQUALS FASTER ONLINE PLAY
ROG Crosshair VI Extreme features the very latest Intel I211-AT Ethernet controller for faster, smoother gaming. Intel’s LAN has the serious double advantage of reducing CPU overhead and offering exceptionally high TCP and UDP throughput, so there’s more power for your game and your gameplay.
PUMPED-UP THROUGHPUT, BEST SURGE PROTECTION
LANGuard means safer, more reliable connections for your battles! Advanced signal-coupling technology and premium surface-mounting processes join forces to protect your ROG Crosshair VI Extreme connection, plus electrostatically guarded and surge-protected components (ESD Guards) provide 1.9X-greater tolerance to static electricity and 2.5X-greater protection against surges — up to 15kV!
2X2 802.11AC WI-FI WITH MU-MIMO
ROG Crosshair VI Extreme has next-level 802.11ac Wi-Fi with 2×2 dual-band 2.4/5GHz antennas for up to 867Mbps* transfer speeds, and the very latest Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology** to ensure that every connected user experiences the best wireless and online speeds!
TEAM UP TO BANISH LAG
GameFirst IV optimizes network traffic for faster, lag-free online gaming — and now we’ve added Multi-Gate Teaming to team up to four networks for maximum bandwidth and ultrasmooth gameplay. You’ll also enjoy all-new Intelligent mode, which automatically compiles a database by parsing new app data to ensure that every game is optimized for the best performance.
BEST GAMING PERFORMANCE
OC DESIGN (BASE-CLOCK GENERATOR)
ASUS PRO CLOCK TECHNOLOGY
A dedicated base-clock generator designed for Ryzen® processors allows overclocked base-clock frequencies up to or beyond 150MHz*. This custom solution works in tandem with the ASUS TurboV Processing Unit (TPU) to enhance voltage and base-clock overclocking control — providing an exciting new way to boost performance to extreme heights.
DDR4 OVERCLOCKING STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
DDR4 OC 3200MHZ+
With support for DDR4 memory you’re able to drive memory frequencies to 3200MHz — or beyond! ASUS-exclusive T-Topology circuit design provides superb memory-overclocking potential, minimizing coupling noise and signal reflection to unleash the full power of DDR4. With innovative equidistant memory channels, the ROG design delivers the most balanced control and incredibly powerful overclocking capability. And that’s not all: ROG works with almost every DDR4 memory vendor, ensuring the best compatibility.
ONE-CLICK OVERCLOCKING AND COOLING, DONE!
ASUS 5-Way Optimization technology sorts all the complex settings with a click — for instant, highly controllable performance boosts! Exclusive ROG technology dynamically optimizes essential aspects of your system, based on real-time use — so you get superb CPU performance, everyday energy savings, ultrastable digital power, cool and quiet fans, and networking settings that are tailored for your apps. In short, 5-Way Optimization ensures that your PC is perfect for gaming, entertainment, and productivity!
- Games run swiftly and smoothly with high performance, prioritized bandwidth.
- Fans stay whisper-quiet for everyday computing, and ensure extreme cooling efficiency when gaming.
- Stutter is eliminated for smooth-running apps, even under heavy loading.
- Energy waste is reduced so you’ll save money and the earth.
INSTANT CPU PERFORMANCE BOOST
Crank up your PC instantly with the ASUS AI Suite 3 utility! The TurboV Processing Unit offers precise voltage control and advanced monitoring of the CPU and the graphics card. It also allows you to adjust CPU frequencies and ratios to optimize performance, as well as maximize the potential of your graphics card.
ALL-ROUND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
With the Energy Processing Unit (EPU) you’ll enjoy real-time, system-wide power savings. EPU automatically detects and adjusts power consumption according to your rig’s needs, so you save money without compromising on thrills. EPU will also reduce CPU wattage to a set level and deliver even more savings with Away mode, creating an extreme energy-saving scenario that shuts down unused I/O controllers and reduces the power consumption of the graphics card. That means full power for your gameplay and then total energy efficiency when you step away!
COOLER BY DESIGN
Play quieter and cooler with advanced fan and water-pump controls. With onboard thermal sensors and hardware-level 4-pin/3-pin PWM/DC mode detection, Fan Xpert 4 makes sure every fan achieves the best balance of cooling performance and low noise ─ so you enjoy all the performance you demand with none of the racket!
PRECISE DIGITAL POWER CONTROL
To go faster than fast you need ultra-accurate power control — so ROG Crosshair VI Extreme motherboard is kitted out with ASUS Digi+ Power Control, for maxed-out overclocking potential, enhanced system stability, and superb power efficiency. Digi+ Power Control is the industry’s leading digital power controller and it’s fully compliant with Intel’s IMVP8 specifications, for smoother, safer power.
GAME FASTER, RANK HIGHER
ASUS Turbo App is the intuitive tuning panel that boosts everything in order to help you secure victory in your favorite titles! Overclock your CPU and prioritize game data across your network. History is written by the victors, so don’t go to war without Turbo App.
MEDIA-ACCLAIMED UEFI BIOS
The smoothest, slickest mouse-controlled graphical BIOS has been improved to make it even more gorgeous. Whether you’re a PC novice or a seasoned overclocker, the EZ and Advanced modes help you find your way, quickly and easily.
EZ Tuning Wizard
OC and RAID. Select your hardware and apply different scenarios to tune system performance, or streamline your RAID configuration for faster data retrieval and backups.
Intuitive graphical fan control
Fine-tune individual fans simply by dragging a curve with the mouse.
View SATA port details for easy device recognition.
Fast Clock Adjustment
Use mouse controls to change the time and date.
Quickly find tuning options and add preferred tools to the list.
EZ Flash 3
Flash the latest BIOS via the internet from within the BIOS.
Check up your storages devices’ Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology logs to gauge reliability and to identify potential failures.
Automatically detect selected ASUS graphics cards to view detailed information.
Restore your SSDs to factory-fresh condition.
Last Modified Log
Track the latest changes and save preferred profiles onto a USB drive.
SATA Port Renaming
Rename SATA ports for easy identification.
PROCOOL POWER CONNECTOR
ASUS ProCool is the power connector reinvented! Compared with traditional power connectors, ProCool connectors ensure an exceptionally close and secure connection with the ROG Crosshair VI Extreme motherboard. This design is stronger and it also benefits power efficiency: The flush connection enables lower impedance and better heat dissipation, allowing cooler operating temperature. ProCool even has a neat right-angled plug, helping you to keep the wiring out of the way!
USB UEFI BIOS FLASHBACK
Refresh your BIOS in a flash, even when the system is off.
THE FINEST POWER, DIGITALLY CONTROLLED
ROG’s revered digital power controller now delivers even finer power, with Texas Instruments NexFET™ MOSFETs, MicroFine alloy chokes, Digi+ PWM controller and 10K black metallic capacitors — all to ensure that Extreme Engine Digi+ always delivers the smoothest core voltages.
BEST GAMING PROTECTION
ROG Crosshair VI Extreme features a new and exclusive backplate, levelling up the board’s aesthetic appeal and providing enhanced protection against bending.
PRE-MOUNTED I/O SHIELD
ROG’s pre-mounted I/O shield offers increased protection against electrostatic discharge of 12kV, and is pre-fitted to make it even easier to install the motherboard. As an added bonus, its sleek new design makes it look as good as it performs!
ASUS SafeSlot is the PCIe slot reinvented. Featuring a new single-step, insert-molding manufacturing process that integrates fortifying metal and additional solder points, SafeSlot provides stronger PCIe device retention and greater shearing resistance.
ROG GIVES YOU MORE
STAY IN THE GAME
A clever, unobtrusive overlay keeps you in the game and allows you to browse the Web, email, IM, stream or record while you play. The overlay is dressed in color-matched ROG skins to show you’re part of an elite pack. Grab it now from Overwolf’s app store!
IMAGE YOUR DRIVES, THE SMART WAY
ROG CLONE DRIVE
All-new ROG Clone Drive is the smart, convenient cloning solution that quickly and efficiently replicates hard drives or SSDs. Clone Drive is so smart that it can clone one drive to two target drives at the same time, or image any file from your disk at breakneck speeds.
SPEED YOUR GAME LOADS
ROG’s uniquely-intelligent technology effectively caches an entire storage device so that favorite games and apps launch at breakneck speeds, getting to work the moment it’s activated. RAMCache turns milliseconds into microseconds to boost game-load times to stratospheric levels!
Automatically caches all your storage devices at the same time for optimal use of your system‘s caching resources.
Maximus IX Apex isn’t just VR Ready — it goes way beyond! The ASUS ROG Beyond VR Ready marque means that Extreme has been tested with loads of class-leading components to ensure that your productivity, gaming and entertainment needs are tuned for maximum performance after you’ve taken off the headset. ASUS ROG Beyond VR Ready opens up a new way to configure and build your dream system with total confidence.
THE POWER OF AMD
Ready for AMD AM4-socket Ryzen, 7th Generation A-series APUs and Athlon CPUs
The ROG Crosshair VI Extreme motherboard supports AMD® Ryzen™ processors, 7th Generation A-series accelerated processing units (APUs) and Athlon™ CPUs. The high-performance Ryzen™ processor supports up to eight cores, and is based on the innovative Zen core architecture. The 7th Generation A-series APUs feature integrated AMD Radeon R-series graphics. AMD AM4-socket processors feature dual-channel DDR4 memory, native 5Gbps USB 3.0, and 16 PCI Express® 3.0/2.0 lanes for superb performance.
AMD X370 Chipset
The AMD X370 chipset delivers outstanding overclocking capabilities for the latest AMD® AM4-socket Ryzen™ processors, 7th Generation A-series APUs and Athlon™ ACPUs. It’s optimized for multiple GPU configurations, including NVDIA SLI™ and AMD CrossFireX™. It also provides two 10Gbps USB 3.1 gen2 ports and eight 6Gbps SATA ports for faster data retrieval.