AMD Ryzen 2700 CPU Review – The Zen+ Refresh and 400-Series Platform Featuring ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate and ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero
ASUS ROG Crosshair VII HERO WIFI Motherboard - Close Up
The ASUS ROG Crosshair VII HERO WiFi is styled in black and silver. If you are wondering where all the red color scheme that came with previous ROG boards went, well the RGB LEDs are there to handle that as they are set to red by default. The motherboard comes with the standard ATX form factor so compatibility won't be an issue on a wide range of PCs. Overall, it's a nicely designed and very interesting motherboard aiming the high-end spectrum.
The ASUS ROG Crosshair VII HERO Wi-Fi is designed for the high-end and enthusiast user. The board packs a better overall design scheme that allows for faster connectivity, memory support and storage options compared to X370 motherboards. The PCB is of matte black color and is built with the highest quality components.
The board uses the AM4 socket to support AMD CPUs and APUs. The socket is compatible with both AMD Ryzen processors and APUs. There's no chance of error while installing a CPU since the socket is keyed, has a 1331 pin layout and won't support any other chips aside from the ones mentioned by AMD and AIB partners.
Next to the socket are four DDR4 DIMM slots which can support up to 64 GB (dual channel) memory. These slots are rated to support DDR4 DIMMs with frequencies all the way up to 3466 MHz (OC+).
The motherboard packs a 12 phase Extreme Engine DIGI+ power supply which powers the socket. The PCB is outfitted with a longer lifespan, durable black solid state capacitors that have an endurance rating of over 10,000 hours. The powerful VRM design allows overclockers to get the most from this motherboard. ASUS is also using MicroFine Alloy Chokes and NexFET Power Block MOSFETs in addition to various ROG-exclusive features that are useful to overclockers which include:
- Clear CMOS button
- ROG RAMCache II
- ROG CPU-Z
- MemOK! Button
- Slow Mode
- ReTry Button
- Safe Boot Button
- Start Button
- Reset Button
- LN2 Mode
- GameFirst IV
- Extreme Engine Digi+ :
- MicroFine Alloy Chokes
- NexFET™ Power Block MOSFET
- 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
- Mem TweakIt
- UEFI BIOS features :
- Tweakers' Paradise
- ROG SSD Secure Erase
- Graphic Card Information Preview
- ROG RAMDisk
- Extreme Tweaker
- USB BIOS Flashback
The VRMs are covered by two sets of heatsinks which are made of aluminum and are good enough for extended periods of overclocking stress.
Being a premium motherboard, it can be noted that the heatsink design incorporates full copper heat pipes which is a must on this high-end motherboard for stable operation on the VRM front.
The top I/O cover has the Crosshair VII logo which is a nice touch to the AMD setup. The shield covers the entire I/O panel and looks great on this motherboard. There's also an addition of ASUS AURA Sync RGB on the I/O panel which emits strong lights during operation.
The ASUS ROG Crosshair VII HERO cover on the I/O panel looks very futuristic. There’s no cooling mechanism involved with the cover as it’s just for visuals and mostly hollow from the inside, but it does add to the overall looks of the product and that’s its main purpose here.
The CPU is supplied with power through an 8 + 4 power connector. This will feed the CPU with up to 225W of power. Most AMD CPUs will be shipping with TDPs of up to 105W but that changes when users overclock since that changes the power limit based on applied voltages and clock speeds.
Expansion slots include three PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16/x16/x4 electrical), two PCI Express 3.0 x1 and two Ultra M.2 slots. The board can support 3-way multi-GPU (CrossFireX / SLI). The M.2 slots are rated to support NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 SSD.
ASUS's ROG Crosshair VII HERO WIFI adopts the latest 2 X Safeslot design which provides stronger PCIe device retention and greater shearing resistance. The slots are built with more solder points on the PCB for better performance and preventing any signal interference with graphics cards. This allows your graphics cards to be fed with better quality signals and to be safely and securely installed in the PCIe slots.
There are two Ultra M.2 slots on the motherboard that operate through PCI Express 3.0 x4 link at speeds of 32 GB/s. Both slots are ideally placed. One of them is located at the top of the first PCIe 3.0 x16 slot while the other is situated under the second PCH with ample room for up to 110mm M.2 drive/memory support.
The topmost M.2 slot is covered by a full coverage M.2 heatsink which has grey and silver accents. The heatsink itself is useful as M.2 SSDs are now widely used within PCs and extra cooling can deliver better stability. The Republic of Gamers logo can be seen printed on top of it.
The X470 PCH is housed beneath a bulky heatsink with the ASUS ROG eye logo embedded on it. Just like the design of the motherboard, the PCH heatsink is designed to look futuristic and uses ASUS AURA Sync RGB LEDs to make it look even better.
Storage options include six SATA III ports rated to operate at 6 Gb/s. These can support a total of 8 different storage devices at the same time and support RAID 0, 1, 10.
ASUS is using the ALC 1220 audio codec audio system on this motherboard that has its own audio PCB isolated from the rest of the board. This is part of the SupremeFX 8-channel system which includes a combination of hardware and software audio solutions such as the use of ESS ES9023P, SupremeFX Shielding Technology, High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input, Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs and supports Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking.
The motherboard has an onboard USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports which can be used to connect the front panel. There's also a single USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel header which can allow for up to two USB 3.1 Gen two ports. A list of connectors available internally on the motherboard include:
2 x Aura Addressable Strip Header(s)
2 x RGB Header(s)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCI-E 3.0 x 4 mode)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCI-E 3.0 x 4 mode)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s)
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x AIO_PUMP connector
1 x H_AMP fan connector
1 x W_PUMP+ connector
1 x 8-pin EATX 12 V Power connector
1 x 4-pin EATX 12 V_1 Power connector(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector
1 x Slow Mode switch(es)
1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x LN2 Mode switch(es)
1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
1 x Safe Boot button
1 x ReTry button
1 x Slow Mode jumper(s)
1 x System panel connector
1 x W_IN header
1 x W_OUT header
1 x W_FLOW header
1 x Start button
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector
1 x Speaker connector
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s)
1 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 2.0 port(s)
The I/O on the motherboard includes a PS/2 combo port, 1 LAN (RJ-45) port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 optical SPDIF out port, 1 Clear CMOS button, 1 USB BIOS Flashback button, 1 ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.1), a 8 channel HD audio jack, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A port, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port and 8 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports which Truevolt USB feature that supplies a steady 5V to all USB ports, minimizing power fluctuations. The motherboard also comes with a pre-installed I/O shield which looks great and very useful to PC builders.