Which ASUS AM4 motherboard should I buy for Ryzen?

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The Crosshair VI Hero reincarnates ROG’s gaming roots

The PC gaming scene has been getting a lot of attention lately, but it’s not new to us. Our ROG division has been focused on delivering the best gaming products for more than a decade. We started with the original Crosshair motherboard back in 2006, and the latest revival is the Crosshair VI Hero. Behold its elegantly menacing glory:

Based on the top-of-the-line X370 chipset, the Crosshair supports two-way SLI and CrossFireX configs split between its main PCI Express x16 slots. Both have full SafeSlot reinforcement to withstand the weight of high-end cards. They’re also widely spaced to provide plenty of breathing room for air cooling. To complete the package, we include a high-bandwidth SLI bridge primed for a 3D-printed cover.

The board is designed for easy overclocking whether you’re a novice or expert. It incorporates full auto-tuning for the CPU, plus all our Fan Xpert enhancements for cooling. Liquid cooling gets some extra love thanks to headers for a flow tachometer and temperature in/out sensors. Those additions build upon a stacked foundation that includes one 3A header for dedicated pumps or finger-munching industrial fans, one 1A header for AIO water coolers, and five more for traditional CPU and system fans. The Crosshair VI Hero is equipped to drive formidable cooling configs right out of the box.

We’ve taken full advantage of Ryzen’s expanded I/O by deploying an ultra-fast M.2 slot linked directly to the CPU. You can add the latest NVMe SSDs with up to four lanes of PCI Express 3.0. Some of those drives can run warm enough to induce throttling under extreme workloads, so the slot is located in the bottom corner of the motherboard, away from hot spots around the CPU and graphics card. The placement alone improves thermals, and even better cooling is possible with our 3D-printed fan mount.

3D printing support extends to a dedicated mount for 24-pin cable covers. Aura RGB lighting adds further aesthetic customization with a backlit chipset heatsink and dual 4-pin headers for LED strips. The headers can be controlled independently, and they’re split between the top and bottom of the board for maximum flexibility.

The Crosshair’s SupremeFX audio features an ASUS-exclusive S1220 codec that improves input quality for streamers with an industry-leading 113-dB SNR for the line-in. We’ve paired the chip with a premium ESS Sabre DAC and a collection of other enhancements along the audio chain to produce output good enough to make most people forgo a discrete sound card. On top of that, our Sonic Studio III software makes it easy to map audio streams to different outputs. You can route game audio through your headset, music through your speakers, and videos through a separate TV or monitor.

 ROG Crosshair VI Hero
SizeATX
ChipsetAMD X370
Memory4 x DDR4 up to 3200 (OC)
Multi-GPUCrossFireX, 2 x SLI
ExpansionPCIe 3.0 x16 (CPU): 2 (x16/x0, x8/x8)
PCIe 2.0 x16 (Chipset): 1 (up to x4)
PCIe 2.0 x1 (Chipset): 3
Storage1 x M.2 (NVMe x4 or SATA 6Gbps)
8 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingIntel Gigabit Ethernet
M.2 slot for Wi-Fi
AudioSupremeFX S1220
USB3.1: 1 x front, 1 x Type-C, 1 x Type-A
3.0: 2 x front, 8 x Type-A
2.0: 2 x front, 4 x Type-A
AuraChipset + 2 x strip headers
Price$254.99 USD
$328.99 CAD
Availability (USA)Amazon
Newegg
Availability (Canada)Canada Computers
NCIX

Gigabit Ethernet is provided by an Intel controller backed by GameFirst software that intelligently manages packets to prevent streaming and downloads from lagging your gaming. There’s also an M.2 slot primed for mini Wi-Fi cards. That lives in the rear I/O cluster alongside handy CMOS reset and BIOS Flashback buttons. You also get enough USB ports for a collection of game controllers and VR hardware, including 10Gbps USB 3.1 ports in Type-A and reversible Type-C flavors, plus an internal header for front-panel connectivity.

A selection of ROG software adds the finishing touch: RAMCache II transforms system RAM into an ultra-fast SSD, while Sonic Radar III maps 3D game audio to a visible HUD. These extras complete a comprehensive package that sets the tone for premium Ryzen motherboards. Order yours for $254.99 USD and $328.99 CAD at the retailers listed in the table above, and find more details on the full product page.

The Prime X370-Pro is a potent professional

Perfect for power users and prosumers, along with gamers who desire a different look, the Prime X370-Pro provides a streamlined platform for full-fat Ryzen builds. We loaded it with everything you need to make the most of AM4 CPUs.

While the black-and-white styling sets a more professional tone, that doesn’t mean the board doesn’t know how to have fun. The Aura RGB lighting is a perfect example. The PCB is free of multi-colored LEDs, establishing a stealthy default. But it also has a four-pin header for light strips up to two meters long, so you can illuminate a full system if you want.

Thanks to AMD’s flagship X370 chipset, the Prime X370-Pro can harness the formidable graphics power of two-way SLI and CrossFireX setups. Both of the PCIe x16 slots tied to the CPU have full SafeSlot reinforcement and wide spacing for maximum airflow. The other slot of note is the four-lane M.2 nestled below the AM4 socket. The direct connection to the CPU lets cutting-edge NVMe SSDs bask in 32Gbps of glorious bandwidth—and hit phenomenal read and write speeds.

You can connect more SSDs and hard drives via eight SATA ports lining the edge. USB 3.1 is available in three flavors: traditional Type-A and reversible Type-C at the rear, plus an internal header for whatever you want to hook up at the front. The Prime also adds DisplayPort and HDMI outputs for 7th-generation A-series and Athlon processors with integrated Radeon graphics.

Ryzen CPUs can be overclocked with a single click using the board’s 5-Way Optimization routine or the extensive manual controls. Fan Xpert 4 provides full control over system cooling whether you’re on air, liquid, or a combination of the two. There are four fan headers onboard, plus one tuned for all-in-one liquid coolers, and another for high-amperage pumps and fans.

The onboard audio uses an S1220A codec with the same 113-dB input SNR and 120-dB output SNR found on the ROG Crosshair VI Hero. While the Prime lacks that model’s full SupremeFX package, you still get premium capacitors and automatic impedance sensing for headphones. Networking is handled by the same Intel Gigabit Ethernet NIC in the Crosshair, this time with Turbo LAN software to intelligently manage packet delivery.

 Prime X370-Pro
SizeATX
ChipsetAMD X370
Memory4 x DDR4 up to 3200 (OC)
Multi-GPUCrossFireX, 2 x SLI
ExpansionPCIe 3.0 x16 (CPU): 2 (x16/x0, x8/x8)
PCIe 2.0 x16 (Chipset): 1 (up to x4)
PCIe 2.0 x1 (Chipset): 3
Storage1 x M.2 (NVMe x4 or SATA 6Gbps)
8 x SATA 6Gbps
NetworkingIntel Gigabit Ethernet
AudioRealtek S1220A
USB3.1: 1 x front, 2 x Type-A
3.0: 2 x front, 1 x Type-C, 5 x Type-A
2.0: 4 x front
DisplayDisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4b
Aura1 x strip header
Price$169.99 USD
$218.99 CAD
Availability (USA)Amazon
Newegg
Availability (Canada)Canada Computers
NCIX

We designed the Prime X370-Pro to strike the right balance between the platform essentials you need and the premium features you want. To get the best bang for your buck without giving up anything vital, order one for $169.99 USD and 218.99 CAD from the retailers listed above. You can find more info on the official product page.

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