Unlike previous motherboards we've looked at carrying Lucid's chip, Asus's Crosshair IV Extreme offers a wide range of options when it comes to setting up the graphics in dual, triple or quad modes.

A word of caution when setting up cards with large third-party coolers to use the Hydra chip, though: we fitted a card into the second PCIe slot and adding a card into the fourth slot proved a problem. There was little airflow around it, which forced us to use the fifth slot. Unfortunately, this runs at x8 speed unlike the other four, which run at full x16 speed.

Cinebench R11.5
Ranking 5.90

Cinebench R10
(seconds to complete multithreaded task) 51.01

X264v2
Pass 1 (avr) 84.945fps
Pass 2 (avr) 30.203fps

X264v3
Pass 1 (avr) 75.342fps
Pass 2 (avr) 32.495fps

Games Performance
FarCry2 
(1680 x 1024 small ranch benchmark 4xFSAA, Ultra in-game settings, in average fps)

HD5830 68.05
HD5830 Crossfire 88.86
GTX460 73.64
GTX460 SLI (Hydra) 60.27
GTX460+HD5830 59.56

(1920 x 1200 small ranch benchmark 4xFSAA, Ultra in-game settings, in average fps)

HD5830 59.88
HD5830 Crossfire 76.58
GTX460 63.15
GTX460 SLI (Hydra) 54.39
GTX460+HD5830 55.98

Just Cause 2
(1280 x 1024 4xFSAA, 8x AscF Dark Tower map, in average fps)

HD5830 47.87
HD5830 Crossfire 59.56
GTX460 55.47
GTX460 SLI (Hydra) 55.25
GTX460+HD5830 55.29

(1920 x 1200 4xFSAA, 8x AscF Dark Tower map, in average fps)

HD5830 40.21
HD5830 Crossfire 51.56
GTX460 41.33
GTX460 SLI (Hydra) 41.30
GTX460+HD5830 41.66

DiRT2
(1280 x 1024 4x FSAA, Ultra settings, in average fps)

HD5830 89.59
HD5830 Crossfire 89.30
GTX460 92.14
GTX460 SLI (Hydra) 94.67
GTX460+HD5830 95.21

(1920 x 1200 4x FSAA, Ultra settings, in average fps)

HD5830 84.08
HD5830 Crossfire 88.79
GTX460 90.36
GTX460 SLI (Hydra) 91.03
GTX460+HD5830 91.62

Power (system power measured at wall, peak running Everest burn-in test for five mins)
Idle 132W
Peak 209W