ASUS Crosshair VI Hero AM4 Motherboard Review
If the X370 chipset has proven that AMD have really leapt into current times with motherboards that support all the latest technologies, then the Crosshair VI Hero does what most ROG motherboards do and build upon that solid foundation with an array of additional features to bring a greater quality of life to the end user.
In a roundabout way the Crosshair VI Hero is a return to form for the Republic of Gamers arm of ASUS. We'll explain. Before Intel brought massive consistency to their chipsets and CPUs you could rely on ROG to be the motherboard of choice if you wanted to maximise your overclocking potential. They were very much the weapon for the serious tweaker. Then Sandy Bridge appeared and every motherboard under the sun was capable of taking your CPU close to its limits. With the Ryzen CPUs being at the beginning of their lifespan the Crosshair VI Hero has stepped in to the old ROG spot of being the motherboard for anyone seeking to get their hands dirty in the BIOS to extract the maximum from their memory and CPU combination. So, as we say, it's a return to where they used to be. A motherboard for the dedicated.
The results of this time spent tweaking and testing are rewarding. We thought that the ASUS Prime did well with the memory speeds until we looked at the Gigabyte Gaming 5, and even those results are put in the shade by the capabilities of the Crosshair VI Hero. In fact there is so much memory bandwidth available that we have seen scores close to those we achieved on the Intel X99 motherboards. Anyone who has followed AMDs progress in recent years will know that memory bandwidth was always their Achilles Heel so to achieve such high scores on the Crosshair show the potential of the Zen architecture as a whole and the ASUS ROG range in particular.
Overclocking is, of course, the headline grabbing element of the Crosshair VI Hero, but don't think that the stock performance has been sacrificed on the altar of absolute overclocks. We know that many/most people just build their systems and use them, with no thought of extracting the free performance that overclocking brings. For these people the Crosshair VI Hero is equally attractive, often being at the top of the stock results in our graph and in 3D Mark even managing to best the overclocked Gigabyte Gaming 5. So although you'd be somewhat missing the point of the Hero to not overclock it, should you choose not to and just want it for the aesthetics or the huge amount of connectivity options, then you're not compromising yourself.
With fantastic looks, outstanding overclocking performance and all the latest bells and whistles that we've come to expect from a high end motherboard plus endless amounts of things to tweak, tune and mess about with the ASUS Crosshair VI Hero is thoroughly deserving of our OC3D Enthusiast Award.