ROG CROSSHAIR VIII DARK HERO

Upgraded power delivery, passive chipset cooling, and stealthy aesthetics allow the Crosshair VIII Dark Hero to strike from the shadows and form a menacing duo with AMD Zen 3.

SPEC OVERVIEW

Performance

Extreme Power & Performance
  1. PROCOOL II POWER CONNECTOR
  2. 14+2 POWER STAGE​
  3. MULTI-GPU SLI®/ CFX SUPPORT​*
    • 2 x PCIe 4.0 x16 Safeslots (x16, x8/x8) [CPU]
    • 1 x PCIe 4.0 x16 slot (x4)
    • 1 x PCIe 4.0 x1 slot
  1. AMD AM4 Socket
    for AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series/ 4000 G-Series/ 3000 Series/ 3000 G-Series/ 2000 Series/ 2000 G-Series desktop processors
  2. DDR4, 4 X DIMM
    • OptiMem III
    • Dual channel
  3. 2 x M.2 Socket 3 Type M*
    • 2242~2280 (PCIe 4.0 x 4 + SATA)
    • 2242~22110 (PCIe 4.0 x 4 + SATA)
* The specifications depend on different CPU types. The listed specifications are based on AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series and 3000 Series Desktop Processors.
Cooling

Comprehensive Cooling
  1. VRM HEATSINK DESIGN
  2. DUAL M.2 HEATSINKS
  3. MULTIPLE 4-PIN PWM FAN HEADERS
  4. PASSIVE CHIPSET HEATSINK DESIGN
  1. ROG WATER-COOLING ZONE
    • W_FLOW tachometer
    • W_IN/OUT T-sensor
Gaming Immersion

Total Gaming Immersion
  1. I/O & ARMOR ZONE AURA LIGHTING
  2. SupremeFX S1220 CODEC
    ESS® ES9023P High Definition DAC
    120 dB SNR stereo playback output
    113 dB SNR recording input
    Gold-plated Audio Jacks

    SONIC STUDIO III
    Sonic Studio Virtual Mixer
    SONIC RADAR III
    DTS® SOUND UNBOUND
  1. 2 X 4-PIN AURA RGB HEADERS​
  2. 2 X 3-PIN ADDRESSABLE GEN 2 RGB HEADERS​
  3. PCH ZONE AURA LIGHTING
Connectivity

Full Connectivity
  1. BIOS FlashBack™ button
  2. CLEAR CMOS button
  3. Intel® Wi-Fi 6 AX200
  4. 8 x USB 3.2 Gen 2*
    • 7 x Type-A
    • 1 x USB Type-C®
    4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
    • 4 x Type-A
  1. 2.5G Ethernet
    Intel® I211-AT Gb LAN
    ROG GameFirst VI
    ASUS LANGuard
  2. OPTICAL S/PDIF OUT
  3. 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
    Front Panel Connector
  4. 8 x SATA 6 Gb/s
  5. ASUS NODE Connector
* The specifications depend on different CPU types. The listed specifications are based on AMD Ryzen™ 5000 Series and 3000 Series Desktop Processors.
DIY Friendly
  1. ROG PATENTED PRE-MOUNTED I/O SHIELD
  2. ESD GUARDS
    Provides greater electrostatic protection than the industry standard. ESD Guards cover the USB, audio and LAN ports.
  3. TRUEVOLT USB
    Supplies stable 5-volt power delivery to all USB ports, with minimal power fluctuations to minimize data loss.
  4. 2 x SAFESLOT
    Provides stronger PCIe device retention and greater shearing resistance.
  5. Q-Code
    LED panel shows a 2-digit code to reflect system status.
  1. 4 x Q-DIMM
    One sided clips for super-simple, super-secure handling of memory modules.
  2. FLEXKEY
    At its default, the FlexKey functions as a system reset button, but it can also be easily set to quickly turn Aura lighting on or off, activate Safe Boot or enter the BIOS.
  3. Q-CONNECTOR
    Simple adapter that helps arrange front-panel cables in an orderly manner.
    Q-CONNECTOR
PERFORMANCE

ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero boasts an optimized power design layout and all the cooling headers you need to handle the prodigious power of the latest AMD Ryzen processors.
Power solution

Teamed Power Architecture

Modern CPU architectures up the ante for motherboard power design by transitioning from deep power-saving modes to full load almost instantaneously. Our latest VRM architecture rises to the challenge by utilizing teamed power stages to rapidly swing current, while maintaining exemplary thermal performance.
A brief history

We became the first manufacturer to implement phase-doublers when we shipped our A8N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard, back in 2005. The board's VRM was lauded for elegantly overcoming the power handling capabilities of components that were available at the time and also reducing voltage ripple. Those benefits led to phase-doublers becoming universally accepted in the industry, and they are still used for similar purposes today.

Teamed Power Stage Design

Conventional Phase-doubled Design
A shift in CPU demands

However, today's CPUs now pack more cores than their predecessors, and the latest instruction sets allow them to crunch computationally dense workloads at an incredible pace. In addition, they consume less power at idle and can transition between load states much more quickly. These improvements necessitate a re-evaluation of power-design priorities because phase-doublers add a propagation delay that hampers transient response.

While doublers help extend the number of effective phases, they do so at the cost of a processing delay.

Teamed Power Stage Design

Conventional Phase-doubled Design
Bucking the trend

Fortunately, the latest integrated power components can handle higher currents than the devices of yesteryear, making it possible to implement a simple circuit topology that isn't hamstrung by the processing lag of phase-doublers. That's why ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero utilizes teamed power stages to deliver higher burst current per phase, while maintaining the thermal performance of phase-doubled designs.

The teamed architecture allows two power stages to work in tandem to provide more power to the CPU.

Teamed Power Stage Design

Conventional Phase-doubled Design
Thermal performance

Each VRM component serves a specific purpose. PWM controllers and phase-doublers control the circuit, and the power stages do the heavy lifting from an electrical and thermal standpoint. That's why ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero utilizes 16 power stages. The power stage sits at the top of Infineon's lineup and features a low RDSON to reduce switching and conduction losses, helping to improve overall thermal headroom.

The MOSFETs within the power stages generate the most heat as they are responsible for voltage conversion and delivery to the CPU from the 12 V EPS connector.

Teamed Power Stage Design

Conventional Phase-doubled Design
High Quality Components


Dual 8-pin ProCool II power connector

Two ProCool connectors ensure a snug and reliable connection to the EPS 12 V power lines.


14+2 power stage

The VRM has 14+2 power stages, each rated to handle 90 amps.


MicroFine alloy chokes

Each Power stage is accompanied by a high-permeability alloy-core choke rated to handle 45 amps.


10K Japanese-made black metallic capacitors

Input and output filtering is provided by solid-polymer capacitors rated to last thousands of hours at high operating temperatures.
Memory

ASUS OptiMem III

Infused with proprietary memory trace layout tweaks that improve signal integrity and mitigate noise, Optimem III allows memory kits to run at lower latencies, reduced voltages, and operate at higher frequencies. Stack the Dark Hero with your favorite modules and maximize Zen 3 processors throughput for applications that demand massive bandwidth, or balance infinity fabric and memory performance for a diverse range of workloads.
G.Skill Memory 4 x 32 GB CL18 @3600 MHz

OptiMem III
CL 16

No OptiMem III CL 18

Lower the data is better
Test Configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 9 5950X | ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero

High Frequency


Max Capacity without Compromise

COOLING

Maintaining system stability is paramount under high load, so Crosshair VIII Dark Hero employs passive chipset cooling with large VRM and chipset heatsinks that strike the right balance between surface area and mass. Featuring premium components and multiple fan headers, Crosshair VIII Dark Hero is fully armed to provide the best foundation for gaming systems.
Heatsinks

Cooling Heatsinks
  1. VRM heatsink
    The two VRM heatsinks are placed above the MOSFETs and chokes, and are connected by a heat-pipe to further increase surface area for heat dissipation.
  2. M.2 heatsink
    Two dedicated heatsinks keep the dual M.2 SSDs at the optimum operating temperature for consistent performance and reliability.
  1. High-conductivity thermal pad
    A high-quality thermal pad improves overall heat transfer from the system by bridging the heat generated by the power stages to the heatsink.
  2. Passive chipset heatsink
    A dedicated chipset heatsink draws heat away to maintain optimum operating temperatures.
Headers

Cooler by design

ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero features the most comprehensive cooling options ever.


Multiple temperature sources

Each header can be set to monitor and react to three user-configurable thermal sensors for workload-based cooling. All settings can be easily managed by Fan Xpert 4 or UEFI.


4-pin PWM/DC fan

Every onboard header supports auto-detection of PWM or DC fans.


AIO pump

A dedicated PWM/DC header for self-contained water-cooling setups.
ROG Water-Cooling Zone

Dual water-temperature headers and a flow-rate header feed information straight into the AI Suite utility, allowing you to track coolant temperatures and the flow rate of the entire loop.


Water pump+

A dedicated header can supply over 3 amps to high-performance PWM or DC water pumps.


Water in/out

A dedicated header enables monitoring of temperatures at the input/output points of any component.


Water flow

A dedicated header enables constant monitoring of flow rate throughout the entire loop.
OPTIMIZATION

ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero is packed with intuitive and flexible tools to allow customization across all system parameters to deliver the performance you want.
5-way optimization

Performance Level Up

The dashboard-style control panel of AI Suite 3 lets you fine-tune almost every aspect of your ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero system with ease. Get the best balance between performance, cooling, stability, and efficiency via one simple and intuitive interface.
TPU

CPU-performance boost

The TurboV Processing Unit (TPU) is an intelligent onboard micro-controller that provides an array of system-tuning features, including the ability to fine-tune voltages, monitor system stats and adjust overclocking parameters.
EPU

All-around energy efficiency

With the Energy Processing Unit (EPU) you'll enjoy system-wide power savings. The EPU automatically optimizes power consumption and maximizes savings with Away mode — a smart setting that creates an extreme energy-saving scenario by shutting down unused I/O controllers.
Fan Xpert 4

Flexible cooling controls for air or liquid

Enjoy comprehensive control over fans, water pumps and all-in-one (AIO) coolers, via either Fan Expert 4 or our UEFI. Whether you're cooling with air or water, Auto-Tuning mode intelligently configures all parameters with a single click. There's also an Extreme Quiet mode, which reduces all fan speeds to below the default minimum — keeping your system whisper-quiet when performing light tasks.
Digital power controls

Precise digital power control

The Digi+ voltage-regulator module (VRM) delivers real-time control over voltage droop, switching frequency and power-efficiency settings, allowing you to fine-tune CPU voltage regulation for ultimate stability and performance.
Turbo App

Turbo App

This intuitive tool allows you to define CPU overclocking, apply fan profiles, prioritize network data and optimize audio settings at app level ― so your system is perfectly optimized for whatever you're doing.
BIOS

UEFI BIOS

The renowned ROG UEFI (BIOS) provides everything you need to configure, tweak, and tune your rig. It offers intelligently simplified options for newcomers to PC DIY, as well as comprehensive features for seasoned veterans.
Advanced Mode

When you're ready for a deeper dive, delve into the UEFI's Advanced mode and take complete control. Advanced mode enables full control over every aspect of the motherboard, and a built-in search function helps you quickly find the setting you need.
My Favorites
Quickly find tuning options and add preferred tools to the list.

EZ Flash 3
Flash the latest BIOS via the internet from within the BIOS.

S.M.A.R.T.
Check your storage device Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) logs to gauge reliability and identify potential failures.

GPU POST
Automatically detect selected ASUS graphics cards to view detailed information.

Secure Erase
Restore your SSDs and NVMe storage to factory settings.

Last Modified Log
Track the last change and save preferred profiles to a USB drive.

SATA Port Renaming
Rename SATA ports for easy identification.

ASUS User Profile
Port configuration settings between different BIOS versions or share them with friends.

Q-Fan control
Configure the fan's operating speed manually or use pre-configured fan profiles to quickly select Standard, Silent, Turbo or Full Speed modes. By default, system fans will automatically switch to full speed if the temperature reaches 75 °C.
EZ Mode

Designed to simplify setup, EZ mode presents vital settings and stats on a single page. With guided wizards, drag-and-drop functionality, and one-click application of important settings, your rig will be up and running in no time.
Intuitive graphical fan controls
Fine-tune individual fans simply by dragging a curve with the mouse.

SATA information
View SATA port details for easy device recognition.

Fast and easy clock adjustment
Use the mouse to quickly change time and date settings.

Aura On/Off mode (Stealth)
Easily enable or disable Aura RGB lighting or every onboard LED, for a more subdued aesthetic.
Differential Sensing

Accurate Voltage Monitoring

Conventional motherboards use single-ended sensing tapped from a location that isn't ideal, leading to a large disparity between the actual voltage fed to the CPU and the value reported to software. ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero features a differential-sensing circuit and delicate IC that simplify overclocking and tuning by allowing you to track voltages more accurately.
CONNECTIVITY

ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero offers advanced connectivity, including Wi-Fi 6 (AX200) and dual Ethernet with Intel® 1 Gb and Realtek 2.5 Gb Ethernet port to eliminate bottlenecks so you can enjoy exceptionally smooth online and LAN play. Additionally, the M.2 supports AMD StoreMI technology to maximize the speed of your SSD for faster load times, and SupremeFX on-board audio provides superb sound, while saving a PCIe slot.
Networking
Wi-Fi 6 (AX200)

Onboard Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) supports ultrafast wireless-networking speeds, improved capacity and better performance in dense Wi-Fi environments, providing exceptional online gaming experiences.*

Pair your motherboard with ASUS Wi-Fi 6 routers to fully experience the networking potential of Wi-Fi 6.



REALTEK 2.5G LAN

2.5G on-board Ethernet kicks your LAN connection up a notch with an up to 2.5X bandwidth improvement. Using your existing LAN cable, you can take advantage this networking upgrade to experience smoother, lag-free gaming, immediately stream high-resolution videos and enjoy faster file transfers.

Intel® 1 Gbps Ethernet

ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero features the latest Intel® Ethernet (I211-AT) ensuring data exchanges with your network and the outside world are fast and smooth. Intel LAN reduces CPU overhead and increases TCP and UDP throughput, keeping more processing power.
* Actual speed varies, depending on networking conditions.
Storage
UNTHROTTLED TRANSFER SPEED

Dual PCIe 4.0 M.2 Slot support up to 22110 and provide NVMe SSD RAID support for an incredible performance boost. Create a RAID configuration with up to two PCIe 4.0 storage devices to enjoy the fastest data-transfer speeds on the AMD Ryzen™ 5000 and 3000 Series desktop processors.


AMD STOREMI

AMD StoreMI technology is a software utility that accelerates any drive for better system responsiveness with reduced startup and software load times. It combines SSD performance with the affordability and capacity of an HDD by automatically moving frequently accessed data to dedicated SSD storage.

Bandwidth [MB/s]
PCIe 4.0 x 4
  8066

PCIe 3.0 x 4
  4032
* The actual transmission speed will be lower than the theoretical maximum speed.
Audio

SupremeFX

ROG SupremeFX audio technology delivers an exceptional 113 dB signal-to-noise ratio on the line-in connection to provide best-ever recording quality. There's also a low-dropout regulator for cleaner power delivery to the SupremeFX S1220 codec, an ESS® ES9023P digital-to-analog converter for superior front-panel output, and a Texas Instruments® RC4580 op amp for high gain with low distortion — all to produce unmatched audio quality.
Audio Line Shielding

Blocks electromagnetic interference from the motherboard or add-ons to provide cleaner audio.
ESS® ES9023P

The ESS® ES9023P digital-to-analog converter creates a perfect balance for top-tier audio clarity capable of 112 dB DNR /-94 dB THD+N for superior front-panel output.
S1220 codec

10 DAC channels provide simultaneous 7.1-channel playback, independent 2.0-channel, multiple-stream stereo to front-panel outputs.
Switching MOSFETS

Unique design allows the codec's impedance-sensing function to be ported with either the front or rear headphone outputs.
Nichicon® CAPS

Fine-quality Japanese-made components that produce a warmer, natural sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity.
PERSONALIZE 

In addition to extraordinary performance, ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero provides extensive styling and customization options to let you build a system that truly stands apart.
Aura Sync

Grow your gaming world

Gear up with ROG components, from graphics and monitors to mice and keyboards. And up your game with complementary aesthetics, control and compatibility. The ROG ecosystem is more extensive than any competing brand, so enjoy greater choice as your system expands.

Static


Breathing


Strobing


Rainbow

Color cycle


Starry night


Music effect


Smart

RGB Header

Addressable Gen 2 RGB header

The addressable Gen 2 RGB headers now feature software that can automatically tailor lighting effects to specific devices. The new headers also offer backward-compatibility with existing Aura RGB gear.
Ramcache III

RAMCache lll software utility turns milliseconds into microseconds to boost game-load times. Fully compatible with the latest NVM Express® storage options, RAMCache lll utilizes uniquely intelligent technology to effectively cache any storage device, so favorite games and apps launch at breakneck speeds.
Smart mode

Automatically cache all your storage devices to maximize your system's resources.
Real-time information

Intuitive interface displays real-time drive information, such as current read/write speeds.
Health check

Quickly check for corrupt sectors of installed memory modules.
Audio

Sonic Studio III

Sonic Studio supports HRTF-based (head-related transfer function*) virtual surround for headsets, casting an immersive aural landscape that draws you deeper into the action. The intuitive Sonic Studio interface also offers a range of EQ options and one-click presets, allowing you to tailor acoustics to suit personal preferences or the characteristics of your headset.

* A head-related transfer function is an audio algorithm derived from sound data recorded through a dummy head. Test tones are played from a spherical grid around the dummy head to obtain subtle changes in sounds that come from different directions. The results are combined into an algorithm that allows Sonic Studio's virtual surround to process sound true to life.
Sonic Studio Link

Easily apply Sonic Studio effects on all playback devices. Simply press the Sonic Studio Link button to enjoy the effect on any playback device.
App-specific profiles

Apply customized audio settings to different applications, so everything you do is perfectly tuned to the way you want to listen.
Sonic Studio virtual mixer

Combine audio output from selected apps with audio from the microphone input and stream the compiled mix.
DTS : Sound Unbound

ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero includes a pre-loaded DTS Sound Unbound app that envelops you in audio as never before, conjuring whole new levels of immersion for extraordinary gaming and entertainment experiences. By exploiting Windows Sonic spatial technology, DTS Sound Unbound delivers audio in a virtual 3D space — putting you right in the middle of the soundscape, where you can sense the location and direction of every gunshot, footstep or other sound in your virtual environment.

* DTS Sound Unbound requires in-game support. Check with developers for titles that offer support.

Stereo Sound

Surround Sound

Spatial Sound

Armoury Crate

Armoury Crate

Armoury Crate is a software utility designed to provide centralized control of supported ROG gaming products. From a single intuitive interface, Armoury Crate puts command of all your Aura gear at your fingertips with the new Aura Creator suite ready. The software also provides control of settings for a growing number of ROG products, making it easier to tune the look and feel of your system. Armoury Crate even offers dedicated product registration and ROG news feeds to help you stay in touch with the ROG gaming community.
AURA SYNC

Device Configuration

Driver & Manual Download

Gaming Highlight

Account Management

  • Specifications and features vary by model, and all images are illustrative. Please refer specification pages for full details.
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  • Specifications and features vary by model, and all images are illustrative. Please refer to specification pages for full details.
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About ASUS

ASUS aspires to deliver the incredible in everything it does. With more than 17,000 employees around the globe with a world-class R&D team of 5,500 engineers, ASUS is dedicated to the design and manufacture of products that perfectly meet the needs of today’s (and tomorrow’s) digital home and office. ASUS’ broad portfolio includes motherboards, graphics cards, displays, desktop PCs, all-in-one PCs, laptops, servers, wireless networking devices, tablets, smartphones and wearables. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, the company won 4,385 awards and earned approximately US$13.3 billion of revenue in 2016.

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