Review: Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero Motherboard

Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero

I recently built myself a new rig for work and at the heart of this new build is an Asus Republic Of Gamers Crosshair VI Hero motherboard. I went for the Crosshair VI because of Asus’ regular BIOS updates for the new Ryzen Platform and the ROG series of boards overclocking pedigree. After owning and using the ROG Crosshair board for 2 1/2 weeks, the following are my thoughts and views on the Crosshair VI Hero.

Physically, the Crosshair VI Hero is; in my opinion, the best looking AM4 motherboard on the market today with it’s black, silver and gray color scheme and RGB lighting on the VRM heatsink and chipset, making the Crosshair VI a motherboard for just about any build. I also like the I/O panel cover and backplate, which creates a very clean and polished look, aesthetics are not everything, but it doesn’t hurt.

Connectivity is second to none with eight USB 3.0, 4 USB 2.0 and both Type A and Type C USB 3.1, gigabit Ethernet and 5.1 audio outputs plus digital optical out on the back panel. Internal connections include USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 headers, eight SATA III 6GBPS connectors, six total 4-pin fan headers, CPU, CPU_OPT, AIO_PUMP, CHA_FAN1, CHA_FAN2 and CHA_FAN3, plus W-PUMP header for custom loops. The final connector is a M.2 socket for M.2 Solid State Drives, which remains unutilized in my rig.

I paired a Ryzen 1800X with the Crosshair VI Hero and overclocking was a breeze, the Crosshair UEFI has an easy overclock setting for 4GHZ on all cores, however, I changed the voltage to 1.35v, auto setting was getting up there towards 1.5v, which is way too high, AMD recommends no more than 1.45v and I manually set my Corsair Dominator Platinum 3000Mhz RAM to 2667Mhz. As of BIOS v1201, I am unable to up the RAM speed to 2966MHZ, it refuses to POST at 2966Mhz, but works absolutely fine at 2667Mhz.

I ran Prime95 for 8 hours and it remained stable running 4GHZ @ 1.35v and temperature never exceeded 68°C in Ryzen Master. The BIOS temperature reported 85°C, however, we know that AMD elected to create a +20°C offset, meaning the BIOS is reporting a 20°C higher temperature than the actual temperature, which is very annoying as my AIO fans ramp up to 2000rpm due to the temperature offset.

Back to internal connectivity, there are some annoyances, such as only a single USB 2.0 header. I have to choose between connecting my front panel USB 2.0 or Corsair Link cable from my H110i, I elected to use the header for the front panel. The second annoyance is the positioning of the USB 3.0 header at the bottom of the board. Given the nature of internal USB 3.0 cables, it comes straight out and interferes with the SSD mount in my NZXT H440. I am disappointed that Asus did not include a right side 90° connector.

The Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero supports Crossfire through the motherboard, no Crossfire/SLI bridge required on the latest AMD GPU’s. I installed an Asus ROG RX580 OC Edition in the top PCI-E slot running at 16x. If two GPU’s are used, the top PCI-E slot is slowed to 8x, that’s 8x on both PCI-E slot 1 and 2.

A little convenience that many motherboard makers omit is a front panel block. This simple block allows you to connect your front panel connectors to the block outside of the case and then install the front panel block to the motherboard. This is a massive timesaver, I always struggle to connect the front panel connectors one by one, trying to read the tiny print on the board, more manufacturers should do this.

So overall, I really like the Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero motherboard, it looks good, has RGB lighting, almost all the connectivity you could ever need, as long as you only need a single USB 2.0 header. The Crosshair UEFI makes overclocking super easy with presets built in, and more options than you know what to do with, unless you are an overclocking genius, which I am not in any way, shape or form.

1401 BIOS UPDATE (5/22): Before the weekend, I flashed the 1401 (AGESA 1006 RC4) BIOS for the Crosshair VI Hero and it’s better, but I still have issues with my 2 x 16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum RAM. I can now run at 2800mhz stable, but 2933mhz refuses to pass post from a cold start. The +20°C temperature offset has been, well offset back to what it should be. However, I am currently running at stock Ryzen 1800X speeds due to temperature/thermal shutdown issues when running SETI@Home unless I run my case/radiator fans balls to the wall, so I have sacrificed the OC for the sake of noise.

4 thoughts on “Review: Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero Motherboard

  • Raknox commented on June 8, 2017 at 16:47

    I have the same board, running Windows 10 x64.

    The on-board USB2 header does support two USB plugs. I’m not sure why folks think otherwise, except that this header may do double-duty with some RGB LED scheme. It’s driving two front-panel USB2 ports fine for me.

    Also, the 20 degC offset is a pain but you can set a ‘Manual’ profile on your fans and account for it.

    As for OC, the extra power / heat may not actually be worth it because you lose both the boost and the XFR capabilities of the 1800X. So unless your apps can really use 8 cores at 4GHz all the time, you can run much cooler and get nearly the same performance leaving it stock. In fact that’s why I chose the X version instead of overclocking a cheaper chip.

    And a question: have you used any PCIe cards in the chipset-driven slots (not the two designed for graphics boards)? If so, any problems getting them recognized? I and others have trouble if two such cards are technically similar; in my case two USB3 cards with the same controller chip – the BIOS will only acknowledge one.

  • A single 10-1 connector will power two physical USB 2.0 ports, but there is only one physical header on the Crosshair VI Hero board, so if you have a second device that uses a USB 2.0 header (such as the H110i), you’re out of luck without an internal USB hub.

    I have a custom fan curve set up in the BIOS (I tried Fan Xpert 4 in the AI suite with the same result), but the max that I can set in Q-Fan is 75°C before the fans spin up to 100%, so the +20°C offset is a serious pain as if my CPU is running at 100% usage for a few minutes, it sounds like a tornado inside my case despite actual temps (read from Ryzen Master) being sub 70°C.

    You may well be right about very little noticeable speed increases by overclocking to 4Ghz, however, I paid the premium for the flagship Asus X370 board to overclock, if I wanted to run stock speeds, I could have saved $100+ and bought a B350 board.

    And finally, I have not added additional PCI-E cards outside of the GPU in the top 16x PCI-E slot.

  • Raknox commented on June 9, 2017 at 10:41

    Thanks for explaining the USB2 header issue. FYI, the free HWInfo utility helped a lot in my fan setup. It shows both CPUctl and CPUdie temps, and fan speeds. CPUctl (used by the BIOS for control) is just offset 20C above CPUdie (the one that matters). I set my fans to be about half-speed until CPUctl went above 60C-65C; then they go to full speed. That seems crude but my CPU can run all day at 40-45C actual, and I don’t care about noise when the system is when really loaded. The BIOS ‘smoothing’ helped a lot, letting me set an 8-15 sec delay on all the fans. I see no risk in this given the large thermal mass of my CPU cooler. The result is a fairly quiet system that doesn’t cycle unnecessarily. I got the CH6 mobo because, though I won’t be overclocking, it’s power circuits are designed for that and should last a very long time running stock. The DRAM circuits too will be beefier and so perhaps more reliable overall (with 64GB). And I wanted all those USB3 ports. With those and other features it was easily worth the extra $$ to me even without OC.

  • I designed my entire system around [near] silence, so having fans spin up to 2000rpm when the actual temperatures are running in the high 50°C’s due to the offset is very annoying. Fan Xpert 2 allowed for temperatures upto 100°C before ramping up to 100%, which would have allowed for the offset to be neutralized, Fan Xpert 4 only allows for a max temperature of 75°C.

    Anyway, given the vast amount of power of the 1800X, it’s rare that all 8 cores / 16 threads are loaded up at 100% even when doing complex photo and video editing work. Like you, I have done the same, set a flat fan curve with fan smoothing, albeit 10% lower than your setup until 75°C CPUctl. I guess I am just moaning as my setup keeps the CPU cool enough for the most part, but if you had one of the AMD air coolers, the 75°C CPUctl limit would be hit regularly.

    On higher quality motherboards, yes, the C6H will have higher quality components, however, I have been building with Asus motherboards for over 20 years and never had one fail, even when using the cheapest of the cheap like the M5A97 LE R2.0 in my now five-year-old FX8350 system. This current system is the most expensive system I have ever built, all previous systems were built on a very tight budget, a ROG motherboard was never on the radar for me until this year.

Have Something To Say About This Post? Please Comment Below!