Asus Crosshair IV Extreme review

  • £250

Can this excellent flagship Republic of Gamers board revive hardcore interest in HydraLogix technology?

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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

Tags

Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset Model890FX
Multi GPU SupportedCrossFireX
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots5
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket AM3 PGA-941
Brand NameAsus
Form FactorExtended ATX
Processor SupportedAthlon II X4, Athlon II X3, Athlon II X2, Phenom II X6, Phenom II X4, Phenom II X3, Phenom II X2, Phenom II, Athlon II, Sempron
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory16 GB
Green CompliantYes
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots1
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of SATA Interfaces10
HyperTransport Speed2600 MHz
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots6
eSATAYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports9
Number of USB 3.0 Ports9
Total Number of FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports3
Total Number of Onboard FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots5
Processor TechnologyHyperTransport Technology, Cool'n'Quiet Technology
Width304.8 mm
Depth243.8 mm
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelCrosshair IV Extreme
Product NameCrosshair IV Extreme Desktop Motherboard
Controller TypeSerial ATA/600, Serial ATA/300
Manufacturer Part NumberCROSSHAIR IV EXTREME
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing Information

The Republic of Gamers consists only the best of the best. We offer the best hardware engineering, the fastest performance, the most innovating ideas, and we welcome the best gamers to join in. In the Republic of Gamers, mercy rules are only for the weak, and bragging rights means everything. We believe in making statements and we excel in competitions. If your character matches our trait, then join the elite club, make your presence felt, in the Republic of Gamers.