ASUS this past week rolled out their flagship socket AM4 motherboard for small form factor builds, the ROG Crosshair VIII Impact. This board is based on the AMD X570 chipset and supports the latest 3rd generation Ryzen processors. Typically ROG “Impact” boards are mini-ITX, but the ROG Crosshair VIII Impact is slightly longer than the mini-ITX specification, but does retain its mount-hole layout. The whole idea of this that most ITX gaming cases are made with room for two expansion slots, so they’ve extended the PCB down to that point, the gives them more PCB real-estate for components. With official dimensions of 203 mm x 170 mm this board technically qualifies as mini-DTX, but ASUS believes it should fit in most ITX cases that have two expansion slots.
This board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors and makes use of an 8-phase VRM. The board features ASUS’s SO-DIMM.2 slot, which is physically a SO-DIMM slots that has been re-wired with PCIe gen 4.0 leading up to a SO-DIMM daughterboard that holds two M.2-2280 slots that have PCI-Express 4.0 x4 and SATA 6GB/s wiring, each. The rest of the storage is made up of four SATA 6GB/s ports. Now that area below the PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slot is quite interesting. There is another proprietary slot that holds a second daughterboard which houses the SupremeFX Impact IV onboard audio solution. This audio solution makes use of the Realtek ALC1220 main CODEC, ESS Sabre ES9023P DAC, a de-pop circuit, and audio-grade capacitors. Since it is its own board it is physically isolated from the main PCB and also features EMI shielding.
The I/O cover hides the compound heatsink arrangement which is used to cool the VRM as will as chipset. Not only is there a physical heatsink, but a pair of fans for active cooling. The board will also feature a full metal backplate for extra cooling and stability. As far as networking you are going to get 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 WLAN, Bluetooth 5.0, and gigabit Ethernet. For USB there are six 10 Gbps USB 3.1 ports, one of which is type-C, and four 5 Gbps ports, two of which are located at the rear panel, four by headers. Also spotted on the rear I/O is a post code display, and buttons for reset, clear CMOS, and USB BIOS flashback. There are also power, POST retry, and failsafe boot buttons on the board itself. ASUS will be pricing the ROG Crosshair VIII Impact around $450.