Asus just announced what is likely to be the flagship of its fleet of Ryzen-ready motherboards. The Republic of Gamers Crosshair VI Extreme takes the "everything and the kitchen sink" approach that we frequently see on high-end motherboards and applies it to an EATX Socket AM4 platter powered by the X370 chipset. Aside from an integrated waterblock, we struggle to imagine a motherboard feature that this model misses.
All of the most obvious hallmarks of a high-end motherboard are present on the Crosshair VI Extreme, starting with its size. The extra width of EATX allows Asus to pack on a pair of M.2 sockets—one of which is concealed by a heatsink. The board also boasts three PCIe x16 slots, four DDR4 DIMM slots, and 12 fan headers. There's also a specialized header for monitoring a waterblock's temperature, flow rate, and leak detection sensors.
Obviously, this is a board built for overclocking, and Asus claims that the board's "intelligent auto-tuner" can take into consideration the hardware installed in the board as well as the cooling connected to it. Folks who want to do their own tweaking will appreciate the onboard power and reset buttons, as well as an easy-to-access CMOS clear switch and diagnostic LED readout. There's even a Molex auxiliary power connector in the lower left corner of the board for extra stability under extreme overclocking.
Two of the PCIe x16 slots are reinforced to protect them from rough handling, and they're spaced extra wide to make room for massive GPU coolers. Asus tapped Intel NICs for the board's network connections, and the board sports both Gigabit Ethernet and 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Like on Asus' other high-end boards, Realtek's top-tier S1220 chip is mated to an ESS Sabre DAC to power the "SupremeFX" onboard audio suite.
Builders who choose the ROG Crosshair VI Extreme can hook up eight SATA devices to the board, and plug in to USB 3.1 Type-A or Type-C on the back panel. There's also an internal header for front panel USB 3.1, as well as an older-style USB 3.0 front-panel header. With these headers in play, the board can provide ten USB 3.0 ports and four USB 3.1 ports.
As Asus' top-tier AM4 board, the Crosshair VI Extreme naturally comes with top-tier pricing, too. Asus says the board will go for $349 when it launches early next month.
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