Apr 13, 2018 Written by: Geoff_Gasior

ROG announces new X470 motherboards for next-gen Ryzen processors

Articles: Motherboards
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The Republic of Gamers is as OG as PC gaming hardware gets, tracing its origins to 2006 with the original Crosshair motherboard. We also go way back with AMD, whose dual-core Athlon 64 processors fit into that first board’s AM2 socket. So we were thrilled when Ryzen revitalized gaming rigs and enthusiast desktops with multithreaded horsepower and accessible overclocking. Now AMD is poised to ascend again, this time on two fronts. Pinnacle Ridge processors enhance Ryzen’s appeal for hardcore machines with discrete graphics, while Raven Ridge chips bring Radeon GPUs capable of smooth 1080p gaming and 4K HDR video. These CPUs come with an updated X470 chipset, which we’ve used to create an all-new line of matching ROG motherboards.

Our X470 series spans four boards tailored for different builds. The record-setting ROG Crosshair VII Hero and its Wi-Fi twin lead the lineup with a stealthy design for serious overclockers and savvy enthusiasts. Its Strix X470-F Gaming sibling makes ROG enhancements more affordable, while the Strix X470-I Gaming shrinks everything down to Mini-ITX proportions for small-form-factor systems.

rog-group

Despite their differences, these boards share core features honed over more than a decade of building ROG motherboards for gamers and enthusiasts. Between powerful tuning, intelligent cooling, extensive personalization, and enhanced audio, the new wave of ROG Ryzen motherboards maximize your PC’s potential for gaming and more.

Tune your rig the way you want

AMD’s Ryzen revival promises faster performance than the previous generation, and the abundance of models with unlocked multipliers gives you the freedom to push beyond stock speeds. With the right modules, memory can be overclocked up to DDR4-3466 and beyond. Kits up to DDR4-3200 are supported with integrated graphics configurations, where faster RAM has a more direct impact on gaming frame rates.

crosshair-memory1

Even with the luxury of unlocked multipliers, CPU overclocking is limited by cooling and the individual characteristics of each chip. With a single click, our 5-Way Optimization utility accounts for both by automatically tuning your fans and testing the limits of your CPU. Its integrated intelligence finds the maximum speed your system can sustain without sacrificing stability, and configurable options allow experts to fine-tune the process to suit their needs.

Auto-tuning is backed by extensive manual tweaking options that, in experienced hands, can wring every last drop of performance from a build. We’ve added a new search shortcut to the UEFI that lets you quickly find and modify specific settings without flipping through pages of menus. Once your setup is dialed in, you can export the profile to share with others, and keep a copy to reload after firmware updates wipe the slate clean. The integrated EZ Flash 3 tool simplifies firmware flashing by automatically downloading and applying the latest update entirely within the UEFI.

Cooler by design

Capable cooling is critical to both reaching and preserving peak performance, especially with Ryzen’s increasingly aggressive XFR clock-scaling algorithm opening the taps when thermal headroom allows, but you can’t just crank all the fans and call it a day. To minimize the accompanying acoustic footprint, airflow should be applied judiciously, only where and when it’s needed.

ROG’s X470 lineup lays the foundation with a collection of cooling headers for liquid and air. At least one header on each board is configured for AIO water coolers, so you can plug in and go without additional steps. Connecting fans is dead easy; all the onboard headers automatically adjust for three-pin DC and four-pin PWM hardware, and the built-in calibration routine runs through each fan’s full RPM range to precisely map its behavior before you adjust the response curve. As you step up to higher-end models, headers are added for the high-amperage pumps and liquid sensors used in lust-worthy loops.

Most system fans respond to changes in the CPU, motherboard, or chassis temperature. You typically have to pick one, which makes it more difficult for the cooling to react appropriately to a diverse range of workloads, particularly gaming and accelerated tasks that heat up the GPU more than other components. But the Fan Xpert 4 engine on all ROG X470 boards lets individual fans respond to the hottest in a group of sensors that includes external thermal probes and the GPU diode on select ASUS and ROG graphics cards.

Face the light or embrace the darkness

The extensive array of tweaking options on our motherboards is born from a desire to give you as much freedom as possible when tuning your PC, and that mindset extends to cosmetic customization. Our X470 family breaks new ground with black-on-black designs that don’t need lighting to turn heads. We realize that some people prefer to keep a lower profile, so we’ve added a UEFI switch that instantly disables RGB illumination, including connected strips. A separate stealth mode goes even further by turning off smaller diagnostic LEDs, with the Crosshair VII Hero enforcing a complete blackout across its entire PCB.

Monochromatic foundations let you add colors and effects via varying degrees of Aura Sync. Our onboard RGB lighting diffuses the harsh glare of naked LEDs to generate a softer, more even glow. For the rest of your rig, all ROG X470 motherboards can power both standard RGB strips and next-level addressable lighting devices. Addressable RGB hardware exposes control over individual LEDs, enabling advanced effects and interactions that are impossible to replicate with traditional strips.

More than just for motherboards, Aura Sync coordinates illumination across a growing ecosystem of compatible components covering every aspect of your setup, from internal parts and external peripherals to a separate Terminal control box that can light up your desk and the surrounding area. Aura software supplies a full palette of colors to match your mood, along with both cosmetic and functional effects. It’s joined by an expanding Aura SDK that opens up the lighting to developers who want to control it with their own applications, like AIDA64 and Cooler Master’s MasterPlus+.

Solid specs for gaming and more

Heavy graphics cards are a hallmark of gaming rigs, so the PCIe x16 slots connected to the CPU have reinforced metal walls and more secure anchoring to the board. This SafeSlot treatment strengthens the slot in all directions, helping to protect your investment against physical damage from rough handling during shipping, inadvertent bumps traveling to LAN parties, and clumsy graphics card installations.

Ryzen CPUs reserve four PCI Express 3.0 lanes for an NVMe SSD, and the X470 chipset adds two more for an additional drive. Although the double-barreled link has lower peak throughput than its quad-lane counterpart, maximum bandwidth is still over 3X higher than a 6Gbps SATA interface. Our X470 motherboards all have dual M.2 slots, so you can equip a primary drive for your OS and frequently used games and applications, plus a secondary one to serve as a scratch disk or house the inevitable spill-over from your Steam library. When it’s time to start over, the integrated secure erase tool can wipe both SATA and NVMe drives from right in the UEFI.

USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectivity built into the chipset pushes peak theoretical throughput to 10Gbps for external storage and next-gen devices. Our X470 boards tap into that controller for least two ports at the rear, and the ATX models also include an internal header for chassis with turbocharged USB ports up front.

Intel Gigabit Ethernet supplies reliable wired networking for serious gaming and fast file transfers. Onboard wireless is available on the Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi) and Strix X470-I Gaming, adding convenience without giving up too much speed. The dual-band 802.11ac solution spreads signals over a 2x2 antenna to improve performance, and MU-MIMO supplies an extra kick when paired with a compatible routers like the ROG Rapture.

Surround yourself with SupremeFX sound

The latest generation of SupremeFX audio brings quality sound to the entire family. All the boards have dedicated amps to boost output for headphones, and automatic impedance sensing that ensures optimal output for a wide range of cans. Since input quality is increasingly important for coordinating strategy with squadmates and streaming commentary to followers, we also upgraded the microphone input to achieve a 113-dB SNR with impressive clarity.

audio

Power users in particular pipe content through multiple devices, so our Sonic Studio III software has an intuitive management interface that lets you route sound from applications to specific outputs, like sending Fortnite to your headset, Spotify to your studio monitors, and YouTube to the speakers in the auxiliary display you use as a TV. Sonic Studio III also makes game audio more immersive by using a head-related transfer function (HRTF) to simulate surround sound over stereo headphones, and Sonic Studio Link brings that virtualization to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets. In-game sounds are mapped to a visible HUD by Sonic Radar III, which is helpful for training your ears to triangulate audible battleground cues.

Comparing the contenders

The table below compares key specifications and pricing for the ROG X470 family. Keep scrolling for a deeper look at each board, and check out the X470 motherboard guide at Edge Up for details on models from our Prime and TUF Gaming families.

  Crosshair VII Hero Strix X470-F Gaming Strix X470-I Gaming
Size ATX ATX Mini-ITX
Memory 4 x DDR4 up to 3466+ (OC) 4 x DDR4 up to 3466+ (OC) 2 x DDR4 up to 3466+ (OC)
Multi-GPU 2 x SLI, 3 x CrossFireX 2 x SLI, 3 x CrossFireX NA
PCIe 2 x16 (CPU): x16, x8/x8
1 x16 (Chipset): x4
3 x1 (Chipset)
2 x16 (CPU): x16, x8/x8
1 x16 (Chipset): x4
3 x1 (Chipset)
1 x16 (CPU): x16
Storage 1 x M.2 (NVMe x4 or SATA)
1 x M.2 2280 (NVMe x4)
6 x SATA 6Gbps
1 x M.2 (NVMe x4 or SATA)
1 x M.2 2280 (NVMe x2 or SATA)
6 x SATA 6Gbps
1 x M.2 2280 (NVMe x4 or SATA)
1 x M.2 2280 (NVMe x4)
4 x SATA 6Gbps
Networking Intel I219-V Gigabit Ethernet
2x2 802.11ac WiFi MU-MIMO (optional)
Intel I219-V Gigabit Ethernet Intel I219-V Gigabit Ethernet
2x2 802.11ac WiFi MU-MIMO
Audio SupremeFX S1220 codec
ESS Sabre ES9023P DAC
SupremeFX S1220A codec SupremeFX S1220A codec
Display NA DisplayPort 1.2
HDMI 1.4b
HDMI 2.0b
USB 3.1 Gen 2: 1 x front, 1 x Type-C, 1 x Type-A
3.1 Gen 1: 2 x front, 8 x Type-A
2.0: 3 x front, 2 x Type-A
3.1 Gen 2: 1 x front, 2 x Type-A
3.1 Gen 1: 2 x front, 1 x Type-C, 5 x Type-A
2.0: 2 x front, 2 x Type-A
3.1 Gen 2: 2 x Type-A
3.1 Gen 1: 2 x front, 4 x Type-A
2.0: 2 x front
Aura IO shield, chipset heatsink
2 x strip headers
2 x addressable headers
IO shield, chipset heatsink
2 x strip headers
1 x addressable header
Right edge, M.2 heatsink
1 x strip header
1 x addressable strip header
Cooling 2 x pump headers (AIO, pump+)
5 x fan headers
1 x high-amperage fan header
3 x thermal sensor headers (2 x liquid)
1 x flow sensor header
2 x pump headers (AIO, pump+)
4 x fan headers
1 x thermal sensor header
1 x AIO pump header
2 x fan headers
1 x thermal sensor header
Price $279.99 USD
$352.79 CAD
$299.99 USD (Wi-Fi)
$377.99 CAD (Wi-Fi)
$214.99 USD
$270.89 CAD
$184.99 USD
$233.09 CAD
Availability (USA) Newegg
Amazon
Newegg (Wi-Fi)
Amazon (Wi-Fi)
Newegg
Amazon
Newegg
Amazon
Availability (Canada) Canada Computers
Memory Express
Canada Computers (Wi-Fi)
Memory Express (Wi-Fi)
Canada Computers
Memory Express
Canada Computers
Memory Express

North American etailers are listed above. Check with your local ROG representative for pricing and availability in your region.

Put higher clocks in your sights with the ROG Crosshair VII Hero

A direct descendant of ROG’s first motherboard, the new ROG Crosshair VII Hero lives up to its lineage with our most advanced X470 platform for serious tuners. It’s also the most striking of the new models, with a seductively menacing theme that embraces ROG’s dark side, and an optional stealth mode that defies modern conventions by turning off every single onboard LED.

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With dual SafeSlots primed for SLI and CrossFireX, the Hero is designed for high-end discrete graphics. There are no display outputs for Raven Ridge’s integrated Radeon, which reduces the power consumed by that portion of the processor, so our engineers redistributed the VRMs accordingly. While the old Crosshair VI Hero allocates power phases to the CPU and SoC in an 8+4 split, its successor uses a 10+2 arrangement that shifts power to the processor cores. This rebalancing works with rearranged phase layouts north and west of the socket to lower VRM temperatures substantially compared to the previous generation. See for yourself in the thermal images below.

Sharing the load between more VRMs and spacing them out around the socket allows the Crosshair VII Hero to run noticeably cooler, with evenly distributed thermals. Heat is more localized on the last Hero, with higher temperatures for the circuitry supplying the CPU.

Improved power delivery can aid overclocking by making more juice available to the CPU cores. The Crosshair VII Hero also incorporates an external clock generator that lets you raise their base frequency without affecting the rest of the chip. Unlocked multipliers make tweaking the base clock largely unnecessary for most overclockers, but you’ll need to go there to reach the limits of your processor.

We’ve been working closely with world-renowned overclockers to push the Ryzen 7 2700X to the brink on the Crosshair VII Hero. Elmor has already set a new record for the AM4 reference clock, decimating the old mark of 151.56MHz with an incredible 240.61MHz. TheOverclocker has claimed records for peak Ryzen CPU frequency with 6GHz on not only a single core, but also all eight cores and 16 threads. Top scores have also fallen in key benchmarks for eight-core CPUs, with TheOverclocker setting the fastest time in GPU PI for CPU 1B, and Der8auer hitting the top of the Geekbench3 leaderboard.

Precise voltage is vital when you’re on the edge, so the Hero tracks important rails from the best spot on the power plane, and it uses differential sensing to ensure accurate readings from both software and the onboard ProbeIT measurement points. Most motherboards rely on single-ended sensing tapped from a location that isn’t ideal, making it more difficult to gauge exactly how much voltage is being supplied to your components.

crosshair-probeit

With eight onboard headers for fans and pumps, the Hero has the cooling credentials to match its overclocking aspirations. It’s ready for custom liquid loops thanks to a high-amperage pump header that can push up to 3A, plus additional headers for monitoring coolant temperatures and flow rate. If you somehow run out of places to connect fans, the board works with the ASUS Fan Extension card, which supports even more fans and temperature probes.

The connector bonanza applies to Aura Sync, with two headers for standard LED strips and two more for addressable RGB gear. Combined with the illuminated I/O shroud and chipset heatsink, there’s enough lighting for an entire system to step out of the shadows.

The shroud surrounds a pre-mounted I/O shield that streamlines installing the motherboard inside a chassis. Along with all the usual suspects, the rear cluster contains a plethora of USB ports that’s perfect for power users with multiple game controllers, VR trackers, and other peripherals. It also houses buttons for clearing the CMOS and activating USB BIOS Flashback, which can flash the firmware with only a power supply and USB drive connected.

SupremeFX audio completes the package; a premium ESS Sabre DAC and Texas Instruments amplifier produce pristine sound, while a dedicated MOSFET minimizes unwanted popping and helps impedance detection. You can plug headsets up to 600? into the front or rear ports, and the Crosshair VII Hero will sense the impedance and adjust the output accordingly.

With a hint of futuristic death metal and a taste for overclocking, the ROG Crosshair VII Hero comes with and without 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The standard version sells for $279.99 USD and $352.79 CAD, while the Wi-Fi edition retails for $299.99 USD and $377.99 CAD. Look for both boards at the etailers listed in the table above.

The ROG Strix X470-F Gaming lets your build blend in or stand out

Strix brings ROG features to more affordable price points without sacrificing substance or style. It embraces the blacked-out theme but adds its own flair with reflective cyber-text that echoes the patterns inscribed on other new ROG gear. If you want to stand out, the dual RGB strip headers and addressable connector make it possible to light up an entire machine without even touching the LEDs behind the I/O shroud.

strixf-board2

The Strix X470-F Gaming supports the same multi-GPU configurations as the Crosshair VII Hero. Both of the PCIe x16 slots hang directly off the CPU, enabling a dual-x8 configuration, but the M.2 slots are split between the processor and chipset. The top SSD bay hides under a heatsink and gets four lanes of bandwidth from the adjacent CPU, while the second slot takes two lanes from the chipset at the bottom of the board. The M.2 cooler lowers drive temperatures by up to 20°C, which can help prevent thermal-induced performance throttling during sustained transfers.

The seven headers for fans and pumps are enough for complete system cooling. Two of them are configured for liquid coolers right out of the box, including one with enough oomph to run high-amperage pumps for bigger loops. Although you don’t get the Crosshair’s capacity for monitoring coolant flow and temperatures, there is a connector for standard thermal probes. If your graphics card lacks support for GPU temperature sensing via Fan Xpert, simply attach a wired probe using the auxiliary sensor input on the board.

All the connectivity at the back is set into a pre-mounted I/O shield that gives the Strix X470-F Gaming a clean look from every angle. There aren’t as many USB ports as on the Crosshair VII Hero, but display outputs are available for Raven Ridge Radeons. All the other essentials are covered, including a reversible Type-C connector at the back and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 header for the front.

Plentiful features help the Strix X470-F Gaming strike a balance between performance and personalization without blowing your budget. Get yours for $214.99 USD or $270.89 CAD at the retailers in the table above.

Downsize without compromise on the ROG Strix X470-I Gaming

Despite diminutive Mini-ITX dimensions, the smallest member of our X470 lineup delivers the full ROG experience for gaming rigs and HTPCs with discrete or integrated graphics. That’s an impressive achievement when so much of what defines the Republic of Gamers involves adding functionality that inevitably takes up space. But we’re also known for thinking outside the box, and the Strix X470-I Gaming adds real estate with a unique M.2 Audio Combo Card that combines storage and sound above the board.

strixi-board2

Elevating the audio circuitry above the PCB minimizes lateral signal interference that can distort sound. The surface gained allows us to shield the SupremeFX codec and deploy dual op-amps with impedance sensing for headphones. Color-coded lighting is also embedded into the rear ports to create a functional RGB glow that makes it easier to connect audio jacks in dimly lit gaming dens and home theaters.

M.2 drives slot into the audio card and are covered by an SSD heatsink that’s especially important given the limited airflow of typical small-form-factor systems. The secondary M.2 slot beneath the main PCB is also handy for bite-sized builds, since it allows an additional drive to be connected without any cable clutter. Like on the Crosshair VII Hero, both M.2s can tap into four lanes of PCIe 3.0 from the CPU, but the secondary one shares bandwidth with the primary x16 slot.

Mini-ITX rigs leave less room for radiators and fans, so the Strix X470-I Gaming gets by with a trio of cooling headers, including one tuned for liquid pumps and AIOs. The board has the same Fan Xpert 4 intelligence as the rest of the ROG family and the same one-click system optimizer. It’s even loaded with Aura Sync lighting, including separate headers for standard and addressable RGB strips. The onboard illumination is more extensive than some of the full-sized boards, with separate zones for the M.2 heatsink and entire right edge of the PCB.

strixi-hdmi

Serious gamers can drop a discrete graphics card into the full-sized PCI Express x16 slot, but that’s unnecessary if you’re running integrated graphics. The board’s HDMI 2.0b is natively supported by the Radeon GPU embedded in Raven Ridge processors. The integrated GPU can drive 4K resolution up to 60Hz with HDR, which is perfect for viewing Ultra HD content on a big-screen TV. While Raven Ridge graphics aren’t powerful enough to run the latest games at that resolution, recent titles reach playable frame rates at 1080p, giving the Strix X470-I respectable performance for a PC gaming console.

The last thing you want behind your home theater is another cable, so the board integrates 802.11ac Wi-Fi for clutter-free connectivity. The dual-band solution uses a 2x2 antenna to accelerate wireless speeds and can push performance further on networks that tap into its MU-MIMO support.

Being a natural fit for Ryzen CPUs with integrated graphics makes the Strix X470-I Gaming the most versatile motherboard in our entire X470 series. It will be available soon for $209.99 USD and $264.59 CAD.

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