ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme
The ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme packs some amazing features, and in terms of usability and stability, the board is rock solid. It ran like a champ through all type of stress tests, and overclocking resulted in some of the highest numbers we’ve achieved to date. And if you’re a bit hesitant to tweak much in the BIOS, then just dial in a higher bus, set your RAM speed, and let the Auto settings take care of the rest; you’ll be pleased with the quick and easy results.
The C4E looks sleek and stylish, and is probably one of the best looking AM3 boards we’ve ever come across. Frankly, it really doesn’t leave much to be desired. It has taken the title of the most premium and badass board for AM3, which is a slight problem. It is for just that – AM3. Why is this a problem, you ask? AMD’s upcoming Bulldozer architecture is going to be solely on socket AM3+ in the consumer segment. Socket AM3+ will support current-generation AM3 chips, and will feature support for Bulldozer. So there’s a good chance this awesome board won’t work with the CPUs that are coming down the pipe early next year. It’s a shame ASUS didn’t launch this board sooner.
So depending on your upgrade schedule, this can be either a dealbreaker or totally irrelevant. Of course, any current AM3 board will not support Bulldozer, so we can’t really fault the C4E in particular. But it is something to consider, depending on your situation and upgrade hopes.
Once we take the price into account, things change. This board is $300. That’s about double the cost of some pretty good mainstream AM3 boards. If you’re an extreme overclocking and benching addict, then we’d say this board is definitely worth the $50 premium over the Gigabyte 890FXA-UD7 we recently tested; the ASUS board spanks the Gigabyte hands down. It isn’t just an aesthetic change and a couple features here that differentiate the two; it’s the Lucid Hydra chip, the ProbeIt contacts/headers, temperature sensor headers, ROG connect, Bluetooth, overclocking results…the list goes on. The ASUS board is absolutely packed with features.
The folks to whom this board will likely appeal most will be extreme overclockers. The amount of features on this thing is fantastic. This board lives up to its name, for certain. It is extreme. If you don’t overclock much and can’t imagine yourself using more than one or two video cards, then this Crosshair IV Extreme is overkill unless you want it just for bragging rights. But ASUS has made a total beast of a board here. If you’re an enthusiast, the price doesn’t feel too ridiculous, to be honest. Considering what you get, the value does really seem reasonable IF you can push this board. This may very well be the best AM3 motherboard we’ve ever seen.
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme