Asus Crosshair IV Extreme
Our comprehensive evaluation of the Crosshair IV Extreme has identified a number of the board's strengths but also a number of pitfalls.
In terms of performance, it would generally appear that we are onto a winner here. During our testing, we were able to reach a peak HTT of 350MHz and the CH4E's Lucid Hydra performance proved to be very competitive. This would have been brilliant news to us had the board have launched over two weeks ago, but alas we have also spent this month working on MSI's 870A Fuzion Power Edition.
It is unusual for us to start mentioning a motherboard that is almost £100 more affordable, but its performance almost suggests otherwise. While a maximum base HTT of ~350MHz would have been impressive to us in the past, our MSI 870A Fuzion rumbled its way to a stonking 400MHz. Of course a base HTT of 350MHz is unlikely to hold any current non black edition processor, but it really is food for thought that the range topping Crosshair IV Extreme can't match it.
Unlike MSI, Asus have implemented the highest specification Hydra module (LT24102), which offers three way and four way Multi GPU configurations. Our 3DMark Vantage benchmark showed the Crosshair IV Extreme gain a 1000 mark advantage over the MSI Fuzion. As a system orientated towards multiple graphics cards, it would most certainly appear that the Asus is the way to go.
Then there's the board's convenience features. Aside PCB mounted Power Toggle buttons, the board offers instant BIOS recovery, the ability to power, overclock or diagnose your system remotely and also determine graphics card faults with a switch panel. While you pay a lot for these conveniences, most of these are unique to the AMD platform.
One mustn't either forget that the Crosshair IV Extreme is in essence an AMD equivalent to the Rampage III Extreme. Despite offering an identical feature set, the Crosshair IV Extreme is set to cost substantially less, which goes a long way towards offering a (like for like) VFM advantage against Intel's Core i7 platform. For many however, the concept of spending upwards of £200 on a Socket AM3 motherboard is cringe worthy regardless.
The Crosshair IV Extreme was all set to blow us all away but unfortunately, the 870A Fuzion stole some of its thunder. To summarise, if you are in the market for the world's most feature rich Socket AM3 motherboard, then this is it. So long as you can find a use for all of its mod-cons you will never be disappointed. Our suggestion? If you have the money, then go for it; just prepare to budget some noise cancelling headphones to complement the purchase...
- Leading Lucid Performance
- Feature Set
- Board Layout
- Max HTT of 350 falls short of cheaper 870A Fuzion
- Active Heatsink cooler