ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Impact Review
The ASUS X570 range certainly has a model to suit all demands and desires. So far we've looked at the Strix-E, the TUF Gaming and the Prime. If you want one of the Republic of Gamers brand motherboards in your system we've looked at the Hero and the Formula. Both full size takes upon the breed.
Today we're looking at a model which rejoices in the size description of Mini-DTX. Usually we see ITX motherboards which have a single PCI Express slot, or mATX ones which are a little larger with a pair of PCI Express slots. This Mini-DTX is the same size as the mATX but still only has a single PCI Express slot. Somewhat confusing, but perfect if you do what most people do and only run a single GPU. It allows the designers to provide you more useful features instead of filling up the space with a slot most people don't utilise.
ASUS themselves have a clear explanation, so let's turn this over to them.
[The Crosshair VIII] Impact's unusual Mini-DTX form factor is a deliberate choice. Many Mini-ITX cases ship with enough space for a dual-slot graphics card, meaning there's typically unused space below the bottom PCIe® slot – space that could be utilized to mount more components or enable additional features. Being marginally taller than mini-ITX allows Impact to exploit this unused space, allowing ROG engineers to squeeze in features while still fitting a large proportion of mini-ITX PC cases.
If that sounds like the kind of thing that you've been wishing for, then get comfortable and let's discover how the Crosshair VIII Impact performs in our rigorous testing.
As you would expect from anything ASUS feels confident enough to apply their ROG branding upon, the Crosshair VIII Impact follows on from the feats we've seen from the Formula and Hero. There are the usual X570 features such as USB 3.2 Gen2 both front and rear, PCI Express 4.0 support which benefits both GPU and M.2 drives by doubling the bandwidth of PCI Express 3.0 from 32 GB/s to 64 GB/s, as well as having some ASUS specific features like the SupremeFX audio, AURA lighting and their addressable headers.
Whenever you shrink the size of the PCB there will always be limitations in the amount of fan headers available. Despite this the Impact has plenty of monitoring points in all the key areas as well as headers which support both types of fan and a pump header for those of you who prefer your cooling to be liquid. Let's take a closer look at it in the flesh.