ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme The Ultimate AM3 Board
Category : 890FX
Published by Christian Ney on 26.01.11
With the Crosshair IV Extreme ASUS presents its flagship motherboard regarding AMD's 890FX chipset. It awaits overclockers and enthusiasts with lots of features and the additional onboard HydraLogix chip by Lucid, that we fully tested with latest Hydra Engine drivers and up to three graphic cards, seems to be a promising addition.


ASUS' latest high-end AMD board belongs to their Republic of Gamers series. Based on AMDs current high-end chipset the 890FX, it also features the HydraLogix chip from Lucid that allows you not only to use different graphics cards from the same manufacturer. This chip even makes a setup with one NVIDIA and one AMD card possible. Furthermore it features almost all recent technological innovations such as CrossFire, High Definition Audio 7.1, SATA3/USB3 and of course all ASUS ROG gadgets.

Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion / Layout / I/O / Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Specifications




CPU Support AMD AM3 Phenom II
AMD AM3 Athlon II
AMD Sempron 100 Series
Chipset NortBridge: AMD 890FX
SouthBridge: AMD SB850
Additional Chip Lucid HydraLogix Engine
Memory Support Dual Channel DDR3, 4 x DIMM, Max. 16 GB DDR3, 2133(OC)/2000(OC)/1600/1333/1066 Non-ECC,Un-buffered
Multi-GPU ATI CrossFireX
Lucid Hydra CrossLinx 3
Slots 5 x PCI Express Gen 2,0 x16
(16x, 16x)(16x, 16x, 16x)(16x, 16x, 8x, 8x)
2 x PCI 2.2
Audio Realtek ALC829 8 Channel High Definition
Storage 6 x SATA3 (SATA 6Gb/s) SB850 Chipset
2 x SATA2 (SATA 3Gb/s) JMicron 363 Controller
1 x eSATA2 (SATA 3Gb/s)
RAID 0,1,5,10
LAN Intel Gigabit LAN
Back panel I/O
  • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
  • 1 x RJ45 LAN
  • 6 x Audio jack (Audio 7.1)
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF Out
  • 1 x IEEE 1394a
  • 1 x Clear_CMOS
  • 2 x eSATA2
  • 2 x USB 3.0/2.0
  • 6 x USB 2.0/1.1
  • 1 x USB Rog Connect
  • 1 x RC Bluetooth
  • 1 x ROG Connect On/Off
Internal Connectors
  • 1 x 24-pin ATX
  • 1 x 8 pin ATX 12v
  • 2 x 4-pin Molex
  • 1 x 4-pin CPU_FAN
  • 1 x 4-pin PWR_FAN
  • 3 x 4-pin SYS_FAN
  • 3 x 4-pin OPT_FAN
  • 1 x Power button
  • 1 x Reset button
  • 1 x BIOS Switch
  • 1 x GO Button
  • 1 x CPU Unlocker Button
  • 1 x 4-pin Speaker
  • 1 x LED front panel connector
  • 1 x Audio front panel connector
  • 1 x S/PDIF Out
  • 6 x SATA3
  • 2 x SATA2
  • 3 x USB2
  • 1 x IEEE 1394a
  • 1 x OC Station Connector
  • 1 x RC Bluetooth Connector
  • 3 x Thermal Connector
BIOS
  • 2 x AMI BIOS with 16MB SPI Flash ROM
  • Plug&Play / ACPI2.0a / DMI2.0 / WfM2.0 / SM BIOS 2.4
  • Hardware Monitor(voltages, temperatures)
  • Mutli Boot / F11
  • Options to deactivate peripherals
  • Lot of OverClocking options
  • All Voltage adjustments possible
  • All frequency adjustment possible
  • ASUS EZ Flash 2
  • ASUS OC Profile
Form Factor ATX 305 x 269mm
Bundle
  • I/O Shield
  • Installation Guide
  • User Guide
  • CD (Drivers / ASUS ROG Software)
  • 6 x SATA3 cable
  • 2 x SATA2 cable
  • 1 x ROG ConnectCable
  • 2 x Probelt cable
  • 1 x Crossfire Bridge
  • 3 x Thermal sensor cable
  • 1 x Cable Ties Pack
  • 2 x ASUS Connectors(for the front-panel)
  • 1 x ROG Theme Label
  • 12 x ROG Cable Label
  • 1 x RC Bluetooth Card




Software

ASUS Update Allows us to check and update the latest available BIOS directly from ASUS website.
ASUS FAN Xpert FAN Xpert allows you to adjust both the CPU and chassis fan speeds according to different ambient temperatures and your PC's system loading. The various fan profiles affer flexible controls of fan speed to achieve a quiet and cool system environment.
ASUS MyLogo Allow you to change the POST Logo at system startup with any pic you want.
ASUS Probe II Probe II is a utility that monitors frequencies, voltages, temperatures and fan speeds. You can also start recording monitoring of your computer at system startup.
ASUS TurboV EVO Allows you to overclock the bus frequency, CPU voltage, IMC voltage and DRAM Bus voltage in Windows and takes effect in realtime without exiting and rebooting the OS.





Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Presentaion / Layout / I/O / Bundle

Presentation

The Crosshair IV Extreme comes with the very typical ROG colors which are black and red. In this case the PCB comes in black as well as northbridge, southbridge and capacitor cooling blocks. Red are the PCI-Express x16 slots, two DIMM slots as well as four SATA ports. It seems like everything that symbolizes speed has been kept in red. Everything together ends up in a very nice and homogenous design which you might already expect from a ROG-series motherboard.


Layout

For once we find "only" one huge heatsink covering the current converters as well as the northbridge. At a first glance the design might not look very effective but the sheer size and mass will prove differently in our further tests. On the following picture you can see the four DDR3 Slots that come arranged in pairs and quite close to the CPU socket. The board supports Dual-Channel and the memory will be plugged into the DIMM-Slots alternated to provide free space between them. This might help the memory temperature especially when one plans to overclock it. Definitely a plus point for the layout is the fact that the first two PCI-e (for CrossFire, because the PCI-e #2 is only used for CrossLinx) slots are quite far from each other. This is very useful for a CrossFire setup where the two cards can become really hot when they're right next to eachother. Furthermore there is also one legacy PCI slot which can be use for additional expansion cards.


Reset, power and the core unlocker button are very well placed, right next to the DIMM slots. You can access them in almost every situation. Furthermore one can also find five switches that allow you to enable/disbale PCIe x16 slots and seven points to measure voltages. There also is a GO button which allows you to load previously saved settings.

I/O

The rear panel is very well equipped. It has got a PS/2 for the keyboard, six USB2, two USB3, one ethernet port, a CLR_CMOS button, a IEEE 1394a port, an eSATA port and a full audio panel. In addition, we have a the ROG connector and a switch button to enable/disable ROG Connect.


ASUS equipped the Crosshair IV Extreme with a total of six SATA3 and two SATA2 connectors but unfortunately there are no internal USB3.0 ports for a front panel. But never the less there are three internal USB2.0 connectors. There is the front panel audio connector, an IEEE 1394a connector and two molex connectors to provide additional power to PCIe slots can also be found on this PCB. The last picture shows you the two BIOS chips ASUS has put onto this board and the button that allows you to switch between them.

   
 

At this point one can see the eight different 4-pin fan connectors which have been located all over the board. As a consequence there is always a fan header when you should ever need one.

   
   

Bundle

The Crosshair IV Extreme's delivery comes with a lot of accessories. You find a manual, the I/O shield, six SATA3 cable, two SATA2 cable, the Bluetooth RC card, the ASUS ROG DVD (drivers, software and 3DMark Vantage), a 3DMark Vantage Advanced serial, the ROG Connect cable, two ASUS connectors, two Probe-lt cables, a pack of twelve cable ties, stickers for SATA the cables, a crossfire bridge, three thermal probes and finally a ROG theme sticker.



Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

BIOS

The following settings are used in the whole test except in the overclocking section.

   

   

   

   

   

   

   


The BIOS is faultless, we can see that the Crosshair IV Extremes BIOS has been designed for overclockers and enthusiats. We like :



Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Test Setup

Hardware

Motherboards
  • ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme
  • ECS A890GXM-A2
  • ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4)
  • DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5
Processor Cooling System
Thermal compound
AMD Phenom II 1090T BE
Noctua NH-D14
Artic Silver Ceramique
Memory 4 GB Mushkin Redline PC3-12800 6-8-6-24
1600 Mhz 8-8-8-24 (Default)
1333 Mhz 8-8-8-24 (SuperPi)
1333 Mhz 7-7-7-21 (SuperPi)
Graphic card



Driver
nVidia GTX 285
2x nVidia GTX 275
nVidia GTX 295
Radeon HD 6850


FW 197.45
Hard Disk Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500 Go
Power supply Corsair HX850 (850 Watt)
Case Sunbeam Ultra-Tech Station Acrylic Case


Benchmarks:


Crysis (Benchmark CPU and GPU)

Quality Low
Resolution 800x600
AntiAliasing No AA
Demo Loop 3
Time of Delay 9
DX9 Enable

Street Fighter IV

Display FPS Disable
AntiAliasing Without
Resolution 800x600
Refresh Rate 60 Hz
V-Sync Disable
Frame Rate Variable
Aspect Correction Auto
Brightness 50
Parallel Rendering Enable
Texture Filter Disable
Model Quality Low
Background Quality Low
Soft Shadows Disable
Self Shadows Disable
Motion Blur Disable
Particles Low
Extra Touch[/en [en]Disable

Resident Evil 5

Resolution 800 x 600
Display Mode Full Screen
Refresh Rate 60 Hz
V-Sync Disable
Frame Rate Variable
AntiAliasing Without
Motion Blur Disable
Shadow Detail Low
Texture Detail Low
Overall Quality Low


Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Futuremark

3DMark06

3DMark 06 is getting older these days. Therefore if you are using really powerful graphic cards you will hit CPU limitation which means that the graphic card isn't the bottleneck in the system. This is also the reason why in recent high-end desktop systems 3DMark 06 scales nicely with the CPU and the graphic card has much less influence on the scores.

Total

3DMark 06 Total Marks Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 17'471 101.83 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 17'156 100.00 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 17'054 99.40 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 16'866 98.31 %
  Higher is better


CPU

3DMark 06 CPU Marks Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 5'803 101.93 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 5'693 100.81 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 5'663 100.00 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 5'647 99.71 %
  Higher is better



3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage is able to squeeze nearly everything out of a recent system. Therefore the feature liste is also pretty long: DirectX10, FP16-HDR, motion blur, parallax occlusion mapping, GPU-physics simulation and different shader effects are being used to even make recent high-end systems struggle.

Total

3DMark Vantage Total   Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 12'960 100.31 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 12'920 100.00 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 12'884 99.72 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 12'792 99.01 %
  Higher is better


CPU

3DMark Vantage CPU Marks Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 16'747 103.21 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 16'390 101.01 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 16'286 100.37 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 16'226 100.00 %
  Higher is better



Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

SiSoft Sandra 1

SiSoft Sandra is a theoretical multi purpose benchmark suite which is able to show differences in CPU architectures. We split the tests with SiSoft Sandra into two parts. Therefore on this page you'll find Arithmetic-, Multimedia- and Cryptography-benchmarks.

Arithmetic Benchmark

Dhrystone GIPS Percent
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 76.17 100.00 %
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 74.56 97.88 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 74.49 97.79 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 70.58 92.66 %
  Higher is better


Whetstone GFLOPS Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 75.86 135.97 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 55.79 100.00 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 55.56 99.59 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 55.35 99.57 %
  Higher is better


Multimedia

Integer MPixels/sec Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 83.39 100.23 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 83.2 100.00 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 83.20 100.00 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 82.86 99.59 %
  Higher is better


floating point MPixels/sec Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 135.86 100.22 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 135.56 100.00 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 135.38 99.87 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 135.34 99.84 %
  Higher is better


Crytography

AES 256 Mo/s Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 977 100.31 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 974 100.41 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 971 100.10 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 970 100.00 %
  Higher is better


SHA 256 Mo/s Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 881 100.23 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 879 100.92 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 878 100.80 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 871 100.00 %
  Higher is better


Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

SiSoft Sandra 2

At this point we deliver the values regarding Memory Bandwidth, Memory Latency as well as Memory and Cache Access.

Memory bandwidth

Integer Go/s Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 14.24 144.71 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 13 132.11 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 12.7 129.06 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 9.84 100.00 %
  Higher is better


floating point Go/s Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 14.24 144.71 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 13 132.11 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 12.75 129.57 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 9.84 100.00 %
  Higher is better


Memory latency

Memory latency ns Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 70.4 92.39 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 76.2 100.00 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 81.0 106.57 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 85.9 88.71 %
  Lower is better


Memory and cache access

Memory and cache access Go/s Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 84.48 104.17 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 83.87 103.41 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 81.10 100.00 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 81.14 100.05 %
  Higher is better


Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Super Pi 1M / 32M, wPrime

Meanwhile Super Pi even in its latest version has become pretty old. Never the less it is able to show scaling to the clock speed nicely. Following we will also run Super Pi with different memory frequencies as well as different latencies. This shows the influence of the memory subsystem.

1* : DDR3 1600Mhz, 8-8-8-24 / DDR2 1066Mhz, 5-5-5-15
2* : DDR3 1333Mhz, 8-8-8-24 / DDR2 800Mhz, 5-5-5-15
3* : DDR3 1333Mhz, 7-7-7-21 / DDR2 800Mhz, 4-4-4-12

Super Pi 1M

SuperPi Mod 1.5 XS 1M 1* / 2* / 3* Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 21.341s / 21.419s / 21.466s 99.08 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2) 21.606s / 21.621s / 21.591s 100.00 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 21.590s / 21.699s / 21.637s 100.16 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 21.653s / 21.700s / 21.653s 102.34 %
  lower is better


wPrime 32M

wPrime is based on a multithreaded algorithm to calculate the square root to up to 32 billion digits. Therefore it is possible to put 100 percent load on every core or thread and to see differences between architectures.

WPrime v1.55 32M 1* / 2* / 3* Percent
ECS A890GXM-A2 8.143s / 8.190s / 8.190s 96.54 %
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 8.345s / 8.035s / 8.362s 98.32 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2) 8.237s / 8.580s / 8.362s 100.00 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 8.656s / 8.221s / 8.858s 102.28 %
  lower is better



Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Games

Crysis DX9 800 x 600, low details

Crysis is still one of the games which has very high system requirements. Therefore developer Crytek implemented Direct3D-10-API, High-Dynamic-Range-Rendering, Parallax Occlusion Mapping, Soft Shadows, Motion Blur, Depth of Field as well as Soft Particles. We test Crysis by using DirectX9 to show CPU-sacaling especially which low resolutions. If we look at the high resolutions we are able to spot that the CPUs influence compared to the graphic card becomes much less important.

Crysis DX9 800 x 600, low details GPU / CPU Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 118.78fps / 167.72fps 103.15 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 117.05fps / 160.01fps 100.00 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 111.22fps / 150.51fps 94.54 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 113.25fps / 140.68fps 92.31 %
  Higher is better



Resident Evil 800 x 600, low details

Resident Evil uses nearly every modern rendering technology: HDR, Hemisphere Lighting, Soft Shadows, Soft Particles, Field- und Motion-Blur oder auch Alpha to Coverage and static Ambient Occlusion. Furthermore Resident Evil 5 has been optimized for multicore architectures and already comes DirectX11 ready. By using the DirectX9 as well as the DirectX10 benchmark we can again show you CPU-scaling with low resolutions and the compared to the CPU overproportional influence of the graphics card at high resolutions.

Resident Evil DX9 800 x 600, low details Average Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 134.0 fps 102.37 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 130.9 fps 107.29 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 124.3 fps 101.88 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 122.0 fps 100.00 %
  Higher is better



Street Fighter 4 800 x 600, low details

Street Fighter 4 comes with an extra benchmark version which makes testing you system childrens play. At low resolutions the system requirements are pretty low and we can see CPU-scaling in the results. At high resolution the graphic card becomes more important and the CPUs clock speed has less influence on the fps.

Street Fighter 4 800 x 600, low details Average Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 566.52 fps 103.98 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) 544.85 fps 100.00 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 516.37 fps 94.77 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 503.59 fps 92.47 %
  Higher is better



Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Software ASUS ROG

The following softwares has been installed from the disc supplied in the box and it has not been updated.




TurboV EVO

This piece of software allows you to overclock the bus frequency, adjust CPU voltage as well as IMC voltage and DRAM bus voltage in Windows. The changes will take effect in real time. You don't need to reboot your system.


 

We used TurboV also for our overclocking tests and it was very easy to handle. We think almost everybody with a some knowledge about overclocking should be able to achieve decent results.
 

FAN Xpert

FAN Xpert allows you to adjust both the CPU and chassis fan speeds according to different ambient temperatures and your PC's system load. The various fan profiles offer flexible controls regarding fan speeds to achieve a quiet and cool system environment.





Probe II

Probe II is a utility that monitors frequencies, voltages, temperatures and fan speeds. You can also start recording monitoring of your computer at system startup.



It allows you to monitor voltages/temperatures of motherboards components as well as fan speeds. It is possible to set a threshold for each components. For exemple, when we had three graphics cards up and running simultaneously there was also a fan we put on top of the three cards. Unfortunately the 6850s heatpipe was blocking a fan blade and Probe II showed, that this fan is not working properly.



Sensor Recorder



The Sensor Recorder allows you to save/record all the different component statuses (voltages/temperatures and also fan speed) every five seconds (fastest mode) in a folder and for a period defined in advance. The results are graphics with the x-axys referring to the time.



ASUS Update

Allows us to check and update the latest available BIOS directly from ASUS website.




System Informations



Like CPU-Z this tool provides you with information about motherboard, CPU and memory.



Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Temperatures

The following temperatures are maximum values while running 3DMark Vantage Performance.


Motherboard A B C D E
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Stock 24°C 30.9°C 29.9°C 35.8°C 36°C
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme OC 24°C 35.7°C 34.9°C 41.5°C 41°C
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 Stock 24°C 44.2°C 40.7°C 40.7°C 37°C
ECS A890GXM-A2 Stock 24°C 49.3°C 36.6°C 40.6°C 40°C
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) Stock 24°C 52°C N/A 39.4°C 40.1°C
ECS A890GXM-A2 OC 24°C 61°C 40.8°C 43.1°C 43°C
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) OC 24°C 65°C N/A 43.1°C 43°C
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 OC 24°C 63°C 50°C 44.9°C 45°C
  lower is better

The following temperatures were recorded by FurMark after three minutes of stability test. Both fans of the graphics cards have been set to 70 percent of their maximum rotation speed.


Motherboard GTX 275 on slot 1 GTX 275 on slot 2
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 88°C 87°C
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 87°C 88°C
ECS A890GXM-A2 88°C 88°C
  lower is better

The slot 1 is the one just below the socket. We can see that both cards has same temperatures, which is very good.



Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Overclocking

Bus frequency overclocking

For the following tests we started with the memory set to 1066 MHz with 8-8-8-24 timings at 1.65 Volt. To determine wether the system was stable or not we were using the CPU test of Futuremarks 3DMark 06. To enter the different setting we use both the BIOS as well as TurboV EVO from ASUS.

Motherboard CPUFreq BusFreq NBFreq HTFreq RamFreq
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Bus OC 1504 Mhz 376 Mhz 2'256 Mhz 376 Mhz 1002 Mhz
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 Bus OC 1'380 Mhz 345 Mhz 2'070 Mhz 345 Mhz 690 Mhz
ECS A890GXM-A2 Bus OC 2'480 MHz 310 MHz 1'860 MHz 620 MHz 826 MHz
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2) Bus OC 1'355 Mhz 271 Mhz 1'084 Mhz 271 Mhz 452 Mhz
ECS A890GXM-A2 Bus @ Stock 1'600 MHz 200 MHz 1'400 MHz 200 MHz 533 MHz
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2) Bus Stock 1'000 Mhz 200 Mhz 800 Mhz 200 Mhz 333 Mhz
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 Bus Stock 800 Mhz 200 Mhz 1'200 Mhz 200 Mhz 400 Mhz
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Bus Stock 800 Mhz 200 Mhz 1200 Mhz 200 Mhz 533 Mhz
  Higher is better


Regarding the bus clock we were able to reach 376 MHz stable in 3DMark06 on our ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme and with resonable voltages. 350 MHz where the max bootable from the BIOS, the last 26 Mhz were increased with TurboV EVO under windows. Even if this frequency is just amazing, it seems like our memory kit was limiting - unfortunately. As we weren't able to use a 2x DRAM ratio, the 2.66x ratio was running our 800 Mhz kit at 1'002 Mhz.


CPU Overclocking

For this test we kept the previous settings:

In this test we also used TurboV EVO as well as the BIOS to do the overclocking.


CPU Overclocking CPU Freq Percent
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme 4'362 107.70 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 4'350 107.41 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 4'275 105.55 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2) 4'050 100.00 %
  Higher is better

The highest frequency which we reached stably was 4'362 MHz which is the limit for our Phenom II x6 1090T BE. Therefore we needed to provide the CPU with 1.5 Volt. To obtain overclocking results which are as comparable as possible we set northbridge and the HT multiplyer to 10. The memory frequency we tried to keep as close to 800 MHz as possible.


Motherboard 3DMark06 3DMark06 CPU 3DMarkVantage 3DMarkVantage CPU SuperPi 1M WPrime 32M Average %
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme OC 21'006 7'580 13'757 21'556 16.256 sec 6.005 sec 125.99 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 OC 20'633 7'454 13'425 21'407 16.224 sec 6.271 sec 123.76 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 OC 20'623 7'475 13'501 21'075 16.380 sec 6.287 sec 123.31 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) OC 20'135 7'026 13'383 20'130 17.285 sec 6.784 sec 118.79 %
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Stock 17'471 5'803 12'960 16'747 21.341 8.345 100.00 %
ECS A890GXM-A2 Stock 17'054 5'647 12'884 16'286 21.653 sec 8.143 sec  98.77 %
ASUS M4A78-HTPC (DDR2-800-CL4) Stock 17'156 5'663 12'920 16'226 21.606 sec 8.237 sec 98.09 %
DFI LanParty DK 790FXB-M3H5 Stock 16'866 5'693 12'792 16'390 21.590 sec 8.656 sec 97.74 %
  more is better less is better  

   


Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Lucid HydraLogix

The Hydra 200 chip is a PCIe contoller like the NF200 from nVidia, but it has a little processor that can execute instructions. Thanks to the drivers, the chip can spread graphics tasks to the different GPUs. That's why it  is able to operate with graphics cards from different manufacturers.



Lucid HydraLogix Driver 1.7.104a
nVidia FW 260.99
ATI CCC 10.12
We were able to use SLI on this board using the SLI Patch from xdevs.com

3DMark06

3DMark 06 Total Marks Percent
GTX 285 + 2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 19'561 115.29 %
2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 19'345 114.02 %
GTX 285 + GTX 275 CrossLinx 19'339 113.98 %
HD 6850 + 2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 19'249 113.45 %
GTX 275 + GTX 285 CrossLinx 19'176 113.02 %
HD 6850 + GTX 275 CrossLinx 19'111 112.64 %
GTX 275 + HD 6850 CrossLinx 18'952 111.70 % 
2 x GTX 275 SLI 18'643 109.88 %
HD 6850 18'290 109.88 % 
GTX 285 17'317 102.69 %
GTX 275 16'966 100.00 %
  Higher is better


3DMark Vantage

3DMark Vantage GPU Marks Percent
GTX 285 + 2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 24'247 220.13 %
HD 6850 + 2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 23'448 122.09 %
GTX 285 + GTX 275 CrossLinx 19'488 176.92 %
2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 19'469 176.75 %
HD 6850 + GTX 275 CrossLinx 19'057 173.01 %
2 x GTX 275 SLI 18'902 171.60 %
GTX 275 + HD 6850 CrossLinx 17'487 158.75 % 
GTX 275 + GTX 285 CrossLinx 17'315 157.19 %
HD 6850 13'123 119.14 % 
GTX 285 12'020 109.12 %
GTX 275 11'015 100.00 %
  Higher is better


World in Conflict

World in Conflict, 1920 x 1080, high details, 8xAA 16xAF Average Percent
2 x GTX 275 SLI 53 fps 123.25 %
HD 6850 47 fps 109.30 % 
GTX 285 47 fps 109.30 %
GTX 285 + GTX 275 CrossLinx 45 fps 104.51 %
HD 6850 + GTX 275 CrossLinx 45 fps 104.51 %
HD 6850 + 2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 44 fps 102.32 %
2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 44 fps 102.32 %
GTX 285 + 2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 43 fps 100.00 %
GTX 275 + GTX 285 CrossLinx 43 fps 100.00 %
GTX 275 43 fps 100.00 %
GTX 275 + HD 6850 CrossLinx 37 fps 86.04 %
  Higher is better


Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5, DX10 1920 x 1080, high details, 8xAA Average Percent
2 x GTX 275 SLI 92.2 fps 134.01 %
GTX 285 + GTX 275 CrossLinx 88.0 fps 127.90 %
HD 6850 + 2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 87.9 fps 127.76 %
2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 87.7 fps 127.47 %
GTX 275 + GTX 285 CrossLinx 87.2 fps 126.74 %
HD 6850 86.6 fps 125.87 % 
HD 6850 + GTX 275 CrossLinx 86.3 fps 125.43 %
GTX 285 + 2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 83.0 fps 120.64 %
GTX 285 75.0 fps 109.01 %
GTX 275 + HD 6850 CrossLinx 68.9 fps 100.14 %
GTX 275 68.8 fps 100.00 %
  Higher is better


Call of Juarez

Call of Juarez, 1920 x 1080, high details, 4xSSAA Average Percent
GTX 285 + 2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 89.8 fps 270.48 %
HD 6850 + 2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 87.2 fps 262.65 %
2 x GTX 275 SLI 66.6 fps 200.60 %
GTX 275 + HD 6850 CrossLinx 64.3 fps 193.67 % 
GTX 275 + GTX 285 CrossLinx 62.0 fps 186.74 %
2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 60.1 fps 181.02 %
HD 6850 + GTX 275 CrossLinx 59.0 fps 177.71 %
GTX 285 + GTX 275 CrossLinx 58.7 fps 176.81 %
HD 6850 52.0 fps 156.62 % 
GTX 285 35.4 fps 106.62 %
GTX 275 33.2 fps 100.00 %
  Higher is better


Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2, 1920 x 1080, high details, 8xAA Average Percent
2 x GTX 275 SLI 82.91 fps 173.63 %
2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 76.79 fps 160.81 %
GTX 285 + GTX 275 CrossLinx 75.76 fps 158.66 %
GTX 275 + GTX 285 CrossLinx 74.10 fps 155.18 %
GTX 285 + 2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 72.9 fps 152.67 %
HD 6850 56.46 fps 121.86 % 
HD 6850 + GTX 275 CrossLinx 56.31 fps 117.92 %
HD 6850 + 2 x GTX 275 CrossLinx 56.15 fps 117.59 %
GTX 285 52.28 fps 109.48 %
GTX 275 47.75 fps 100.00 %
GTX 275 + HD 6850 CrossLinx 46.33 fps 103.06 % 
  Higher is better



As we can see, the SLI mode performs better than the CrossLinx N-Mode in all the games tested. On the other hand the N-Mode performs better than nvidia SLI for futuremark benchmarks. Regarding the 3x CrossLinx N-Mode it performs worse than the 2x Crosslinx for non-optimized games. In World in Conflict do you see almost no performance scaling at all.

Mixing NVIDIA and ATI is finally performing well, but as said before only on benchmarks and optimised games. Like other CrossLinx Mode, we recommend using the Hydra Engine for two graphics cards having the best one plugged to the monitor. Unfortunately having one ATI card and two NVIDIA card affects the performance very negatively.




Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums [pagebreak]

Conclusion

Overall   + -
The ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme is an astonishingly good looking motherboard from ASUS' ROG family. It surely belongs to the best boards out there in the market for AM3 sockets. The performance it shows is great and also overclocking is a lot of fun. Furthemore it has the HydraLogix chip onboard that allows you plug in NVIDIA and AMD cards simultaneously ranging from GF 9000 / HD 4000 series until the latest models.   - Performance
- Design
- Overclocking
- BIOS
- Bundle
 
       
Layout   + -
The motherboard design belongs to the best ASUS ROG can offer, and it the engeneers seem to have thought a lot about the actual placement of the different connectors. Furthermore The possibility to measure voltages directly on the motherboard and disbale/enable PCIe-slots are much also highly appreciated especially from an overclockers point of view. We only spotted one thing that might come in a bit annoying over time. The northbridgefan is quite noisy, fortunately we can unplug it.   - ROG Buttons
- Free space between CrossFireX and CrossLinx 2x - USB3 / SATA3
- 8 Fan connectors - 5 x PCIe
- PCIe switch
- Activity LED
- No internal USB3.0 header
- Northbridge fan disturbingly noisy
       
Performance   + -
The Crosshair IV Extreme outperforms every other motherboard we've tested so far, no matter if you're looking at 2D benchmarks or 3D benchmarks. Regarding the Lucid HydraLogix chip, the performance increase if you're using up to two cards is good. With three cards being used simultaneously the values can drop significantly.   - 3D Performance
- 2D Performance
- Lucid HydraLogix
- Lucid HydraLogix
       
Overclocking   + -
This board also offers nice overclocking features. There really are a lot of settings in the BIOS and you can therefore tune this board into every direction you want it. Also the TurboV software is very handy and makes things quite easy and comfortable. If you should be a friend of gadgets this board can also be overclocked using a smartphone or a notebook.   - 376 MHz Reference Clock - Voltages - BIOS  
       
Recommendation   + -
Generally we can recommend the ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme to extreme overclockers, PC-enthusiasts as well as gamers. If you're the kind of person looking for high-end parts then the Crosshair IV Extreme will be a very good choice.   - PC-Enthusiasts
- Overclockers
- Extreme Overclockers
- Office PC

The ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme can be bought at Digitec to a price of CHF 325.- (est. EUR 232.-).



Rating



Page 1 - ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme Page 9 - SuperPi/WPrime
Page 2 - Specifications Page 10 - Games
Page 3 - Presentaion/Layout/I/O/Bundle Page 11 - Software / Hardware ROG
Page 4 - BIOS Page 12 - Temperatures
Page 5 - Test Setup Page 13 - Overclocking
Page 6 - FutureMark Page 14 - Lucid HydraLogix
Page 7 - SiSoft Sandra 1 Page 15 - Conclusion
Page 8 - SiSoft Sandra 2  



Discuss this article in the forums

Author :Christian Ney, c.ney@ocaholic.ch Copy edited and translated : Christian Ney, c.ney@ocaholic.ch & Marc Buechel, m.buechel@ocaholic.ch