Hardware – Continued


Networking on the Crosshair VIII Hero and specifically this Wi-Fi model is via Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 AX200 2.5Gbps controller, the Intel I211-AT controller and Realtek 2.5G Ethernet. Add to which all the controllers can be teamed via GameFirst V software.


On the audio front we have seen better of course, (SupremeFX USB DAC on the Rampage V remains unchallenged even today) but what has been implemented here is more than enough for gaming, video and even some professional audio work. SupremeFX 8 is built around the familiar Realtek S1220 codec with a 113dB SNR line-in and 120dB SNR line-out that allows users to stream and record with minimal noise. The codec also features a headphone amplifier that provides 2.1Vrms output, a drive capability up to 600-Ohms, and the ability to perform impedance sensing. The Crosshair VIII Hero’s front panel output is driven by the SABRE 9023, with the ESS Hyperstream™ further boosting the motherboards’ s audio capabilities. To close it off we have the familiar Nichicon capacitors as well for suppressing noise and ripple.

The rest of the board is pretty familiar, you get dual M.2 M Key sockets each wired to an x4 PCIe 4.0 link. The one is from the X570 southbridge while the other comes directly from the CPU. This is at present the largest benefit to PCIe 4.0 we can appreciate as we already have drives that saturate the maximum transfer or data rate offered by the current PCIe 3.0 x4 link.

Aesthetically, I find the Crosshair VIII Hero appealing. I truly do believe it is the best looking of the Crosshair series as it seems a more premium product than before. The RGB lighting is minimal or rather I would have expected more, but this makes for an elegant board that has or can have just the right amount of LED lighting.


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