ASUS Unveils ROG Crosshair DARK HERO & ROG STRIX B550-XE Motherboards For AMD Ryzen 5000 “Zen 3” CPUs


ASUS has unveiled two new motherboards designed to support AMD's next-generation Zen 3 based Ryzen 5000 CPUs, the ROG Crosshair VII DARK Hero, and the ROG STRIX B550-XE. Both motherboards are based on existing X570 & B550 chipsets but come with a range of new tech which will push the Ryzen platform to the next level.

ASUS Upgrades It's ROG AM4 Motherboards For Next-Gen AMD Ryzen 5000 "Zen 3" CPUs, Include ROG Crosshair VIII DARK HERO & ROG STRIX B550-XE

The ASUS ROG motherboards which are launched today are specifically designed for the next-gen Ryzen 5000 CPUs but can also support AMD's 2nd & 3rd Gen processors. Both models are updated variants of existing ones with superior power designs and much better cooling capabilities while providing users with extra I/O.

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ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII DARK HERO Motherboard

Starting with the top model, the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII DARK Hero adopts a high-end 14+2 phase design which is made up of titanium power stages that are rated for 90A. The CPU is supplied juice through an 8+4 pin connector configuration and two large aluminum blocks cover the VRMs which are interconnected by a chunky heatpipe. The AM4 socket sites in the center with four DDR4 DIMM slots at the right side of the motherboard which will be able to support some really high-speed ram speeds.

ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII DARK HERO Motherboard Features:

  • AMD AM4 socket: Ready for 2nd, 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors with Radeon™ Graphics Processors and up to two M.2 drives, USB 3.2 Gen2, and AMD StoreMI to maximize connectivity and speed.
  • Comprehensive thermal design: Passive chipset heatsink, M.2 aluminum heatsink, and ROG Cooling Zone.
  • Robust power delivery: Designed power solution 14+2 TI power stages rated for 90A, ProCool II power connectors, microfine alloy chokes, and 10K Japanese-made black metallic capacitors
  • High-performance networking: On-board Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with MU-MIMO support, 2.5 Gbps Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet, both with ASUS LANGuard protection, and support for GameFirst VI software.
  • 5-Way Optimization: Automated system-wide tuning, providing overclocking and cooling profiles that are tailor-made for your rig.
  • DIY Friendly Design: Pre-mounted I/O shield, ASUS SafeSlot, BIOS FlashBack, and premium components for maximum endurance.
  • Unmatched personalization: ASUS-exclusive Aura Sync RGB lighting, including RGB headers and addressable Gen 2 RGB headers
  • Industry-leading ROG audio: ROG SupremeFX S1220 is combined with the venerable ESS ES9023P to deliver high-fidelity audio to headsets and exotic cans.

For expansion, the motherboard features three PCIe 4.0 x16 slots (x16/x8/x4 electrical) and a single PCIe 4.0 x1 slot. There are also at least two M.2 slots on the motherboard which are Gen 4.0 ready. Storage includes 8 SATA III ports and front panel USB comes in the form of a two USB 2.0, a single USB 3.0, and also a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 connector.

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The overall look and feel of the motherboard are absolutely fantastic with a matte and metallic black color theme. The rear I/O panel comes with a pre-installed heatsink and has an RGB lit ROG logo which illuminates and can be configured through ASUS's AURA Sync RGB software. The same is true for the ROG eye logo over the PCH. The PCH is also the most surprising aspect of the board as ASUS has completely removed the active cooling solution from its updated model which is a big plus for those who didn't update due to the unnecessary cooling fans featured on several X570 boards.

As for the I/O, the ROG Crosshair VIII DARK Hero features WiFi capabilities with 12 USB ports out of which at least 8 are Gen 3.2 and four are Gen 3.1. There's dual LAN switches for 1Gbe and 2.5Gbe networking and a 7.1 channel HD audio jack. It wouldn't be a Crosshair motherboard without the Q-Flash and reset switches on the rear panel either.

ASUS ROG STRIX B550-XE Gaming WiFi Motherboard

The ASUS ROG STRIX B550-XE Gaming WiFi comes with a 14+2 phase power design too & powered by an 8+4 pin connector configuration. The board doesn't use 90A power stages like the Crosshair model but it should be around 50-60A per power stage for this motherboard. The VRMs come with huge aluminum heatsinks which are interconnected via a heat pipe solution. There are once again four DDR4 DIMM slots to support high-frequency memory out of the box.

ASUS ROG STRIX B550-XE Motherboard Features:

  • AM4 socket: Ready for 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors
  • Best gaming connectivity: PCIe 4.0-ready, six M.2 slots (four on the bundled ASUS Hyper M.2 x16 Gen 4 Card), USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C plus HDMI 2.1, and DisplayPort 1.2 output
  • Robust power solution: 14+2 power stages with ProCool power connector, high-quality alloy chokes, and durable capacitors
  • Comprehensive cooling: Actively cooled VRM heatsinks with L-shaped Heatpipe and integrated aluminum I/O cover, plus dedicated M.2 heatsinks
  • Superfast networking: Onboard WiFi 6 (802.11ax) and Intel 2.5 Gb Ethernet with ASUS LANGuard
  • Intuitive software: Easy-to-use UEFI BIOS and ASUS AI Networking make it easy to configure gaming builds
  • DIY-friendly design: Includes pre-mounted I/O shield, BIOS FlashBack, Q-Code and FlexKey
  • Unmatched personalization: ASUS-exclusive Aura Sync RGB lighting, including Aura RGB headers and addressable Gen 2 RGB headers
  • Industry-leading Gaming Audio: Audio USB Type-C, AI Noise-Canceling Microphone, SupremeFX S1220A codec, DTS Sound Unbound, and Sonic Studio III for immersive audio

Expansion slots include triple PCIe 4.0 x16 (x8/x8/x4 electrical), two PCIe 4.0 x1 slots and dual M.2 slots. Storage options include 6 SATA III ports while there's a large number of I/O ports on the B550 ROG STRIX XE. Unlike the Crosshair VIII revision, the updated ROG STRIX variant still relies on active cooling in the form of a VRM cooling fan. There's no PCH active cooling solution installed on the board.

There's no word on the pricing or availability of either model but it is likely that ASUS plans to introduce them around the same time as the launch of the AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors.