Back in 2006 ASUS brought out the ROG Crosshair AMD motherboard and it was an instant winner(and it also kickstarted the ROG brand), fast forward to 2021(minus all the pandemics) and ASUS has done it again. Meet the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero, a proud grandkid of the original ROG Crosshair motherboard.
The Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero features the best of what you can expect from the X570 chipset and more. As the name suggests the Asus Crosshair VIII Dark Hero comes in an all-black(not the rugby team) colour scheme, with hints of RGB on the Chipset heat spreader and on the I/O shield shroud. It does also feature Gen 2 ARGB headers and if your system still has Gene 1(aka 12V) it can help you out there as well.
On the power side of things, Asus went with their new Dual 8-Pin ProCool II connectors that give you better stability on your 12v lines on the board, Add in the fact that the VRM’s is a 14+2 power stage that is rated at 90A compared to the 60A that the lower tier models have. What this means for you is that you can overclock your CPU and RAM with lots of headroom to spare! This is what made the original Crosshair so good is that you could really go full out when you want to do overclocking.
The Dark Hero also features a dedicated start and rest on the board for your overclocking needs. What I liked also about the Crosshair VIII Dark Hero is that they did away with the small fan on the X570 chipset and went all passive cooling on the unit! This also helps with the all-black look that the Dark Hero has going for it.
What I also liked about the board is that it has enough PWM 4-pin headers on the board and on top of that placed in strategic locations so that it is easier to route your fans to them. This for me can always be a bit of a problem, there might be enough headers but they so far away from the fan cables that you have to add extension cables! Luckily the Crosshair has got that right and it was a dream to use the board with Cooler Masters H500 ARGB case that I used for my testing. Speaking of ARGB or in this case headers, the Crosshair VIII Dark Hero features 4 in total that I could use to connect to the H500 ARGB case.
On the network side of thing, the Asus Crosshair VIII Dark Hero features WiFi 6 and two Lan ports, whereas the LAN gets split up into one 2.5Gbps connector(thanks to a Realtek Chipset) and a standard 1Gbps connector thanks to Intels Latest I211-AT chipset. Hopefully, you do have a router that can support the WiFi 6 and 2.5Gbps connections as this will make sure you can use dedicated connections for your games and applications. I was blown away that the Crosshair even features Bluetooth 5.1! So if you have any wireless mouses/headsets/controllers you should in theory be able to use them with this board(and if you have the latest Windows 10 build).
Now personally I am a guy that likes storage(Bit of a data hoarder…..sorry) and again the Crosshair does not disappoint in this department. Featuring 8 SATA ports and 2 M.2 sockets. The one M.2 does only run in PCIe 3.0 and SATA mode. But this should not be a big problem as the other one can do PCIe 4.0. Compared to your TUF line where you would lose 2 of the SATA ports when you connect both M.2 slots, this does not seem to be the case with the Crosshair.
On the USB side, the Crosshair VIII Dark Hero has a lot of ports. The back panel alone features 12 USB ports, 4 of them are USB 3.2 gen 1 ports the rest on the back panel is gen 2(one of the gen 2’s is a USB Type-C). On the internal side of the motherboard, you have Type-C gen 2 connectors for your front panel and if you have devices that still need USB 2.0 you can use the included cable to run it out the back of your case.
Overall I am really pleased with the Asus Crosshair VIII Dark Hero motherboard from Asus. It has all the features that you would ever need, from overclocking to hooking up your custom water cooling system to the motherboard and a massive amount of storage! I would recommend the Asus Crosshair VIII Dark Hero to any gamer upgrading to an AMD system. What might put off some gamer from selecting this board is that it can be expensive coming in at about R11000, however, if you look at what you are getting it is a worthwhile investment.
Available from: Wootware : R10999.00(Normal price R12999.00) Raru : R11902.00