ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme
In the world of motherboards, cheap is often the name of the game, especially when we taken OEMs into account. Inexpensive boards with no truly outstanding qualities are a dime a dozen, but not for no reason. After all, who will pay attention to a board that is released with only the bare minimum, and nothing more?
As enthusiasts, however, we remember companies by their outstanding parts; the things that stand out are the things we remember. Cheap CPUs aren’t interesting until they OC like mad or have simply insane performance. The Phenom II X2 isn’t especially noteworthy without an unlocking feature like ACC or a secondary unlocking option. The Core i7 980X is a far cry from what we normally see as flagship. We’re used to seeing a processor with an upward unlocked multiplier with a higher clock speed for the same thermal envelope. With motherboards, we usually see a few minor changes between lower tier and higher tier boards.
The layout may change, the BIOS may be more robust, faster RAM is supported, but rarely do we see something that can surprise us. We originally saw the Crosshair IV Extreme at Computex, back in March. Soon thereafter, we met its little brothers, the Crosshair IV Formula, a powerful board for overclocking. The chief difference between them is that the Extreme sports the Lucid Hydra chip, a special addition that allows for the bridging of AMD and Nvidia GPUs. Previously, we’ve only seen it on MSI boards, but now, it’s part of the ROG.
We’ve seen several flagship AM3 motherboards, so can the Crosshair IV Extreme live up to its billing, especially against some stiff competition from the likes of MSI and Gigabyte? Let’s find out.
"ASUS, a technology-oriented company blessed with one of the world’s top R&D teams, is well known for high-quality and innovative technology. As a leading company in the new digital era, ASUS offers a complete product portfolio to compete in the new millennium. The philosophy of ASUS product development is to do the fundamentals well first before moving forward. Started with computer components such as motherboards, graphic cards, and optical storage devices, ASUS now has now over 16 product lines, including desktop barebone systems, servers, notebooks, handhelds, network devices, broadband communications, LCD monitors, TVs, wireless applications, and CPT (chassis, power supply and thermal) products."