ASUS Crosshair Evolution
Published: 23rd March 2017 | Source: OC3D | Price: |
Crosshair II Formula
The sequel to the Crosshair improves upon a lot of the ideas of the first one, whilst also bringing to the table some nascent concepts which would stick around into the present day. We've moved on from the nForce 590 SLI chipset to the nForce 780a SLI chipset. The Crosshair II is still based upon the AM2 socket, although here it is the full AM2+ socket, rather than the inbetween one on the Crosshair. That AM2+ socket now supports the "latest Sempron and 45nm Phenom II CPUs". Oh yes. Memory sees a significant change too. The Crosshair on the previous page supported DDR2 from 533 MHz up to a massive 800 MHz, but the Crosshair II improves upon that by supporting 1066 MHz natively. You'll be drowning in bandwidth. ASUS do recommend you install 2GB rather than the maximum of 8GB though, because Windows 32 bit doesn't recognise more than 3GB. Remember those days? It reminds us of the problem with large HDDs.
You can also see which of the technologies introduced on the original Crosshair have started to stake their claim in the hardware market. PCI slots have reduced from three to two, with the PCI Express slots have improved to version 2.0, with support for triple SLI in 1 16x, 2 16x, or 3 8x configurations. That is something which hasn't really changed in the latest motherboards, if you want more GPUs you sacrifice bandwidth. The SATA ports are now firmly ensconced and have been rewarded by moving from the horrible vertical ports to the horizontal ones we know and love. Or at least know and prefer cable managing. The ATX 24 pin power in has returned from its brief journey below the memory to its usual place alongside it, whilst the Floppy and IDE connections are still refusing to budge.
Around the back we see that USB is really dominating now, with six ports included and the PS2 peripheral connectors have gone from two to a single one. By now most of us are using USB mice, but a lot of BIOS still struggle with USB keyboards, hence the PS2 port. We see our first inclusion of integrated graphics too and the Crosshair II boasts both a VGA connector and the all-new HDMI connector. Firewire is still around though, as is the coaxial SPDIF.
Probably the big features here are that the chokes are now the square ones we love, and whilst the board is still festooned with capacitors we've dispensed with any exposed copper wiring. We also see the first attempt at some logo lighting. A little Heath Robinson we think you'll agree, but it's nice to see where things began. Onwards to the Crosshair III.