When we first saw the ASUS ROG Crosshair IV Extreme back in March, it seemed like just a beefier version of the Crosshair IV Formula with four well spaced out PCI-E x16 expansion slots, a stronger VRM, and a few more ASUS-exclusive goodies thrown in. Later in May, we learned that the Crosshair IV Extreme is different from its smaller, more popular sibling, in featuring the LucidLogix Hydra Engine chip that lets the users pair graphics cards across the lineups and GPU vendors, whichever way they want to upscale performance or add features. After quite some wait which led some of us to fear that ASUS shelved the product as Crosshair IV Formula seems to have been well received, the company surprised us by finally releasing the beast to the market.
The Crosshair IV Extreme that we see today is slightly different from the older iterations in featuring a different heatsink assembly design. It features bulkier, more groovy-looking heatsinks over the north-west cluster that houses the CPU VRM and AMD 890FX IOMMU, while the south-east cluster has a sleeker heatsink that cools the Lucid Hydra chip and the AMD SB850 southbridge. Most other features remain the same: expansion slots that include five PCI-E x16, one PCI; support for dual-channel DDR3-2000 MHz memory; a six-port SATA 6 Gb/s RAID controller, 2 SATA 3 Gb/s ports, two eSATA 3 Gb/s; connectivity that includes gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, 8-channel SupremeFX X-Fi audio, USB 3.0; and a boat-load of OC-friendly features including ROG Connect, redundant BIOS, on-board voltage-measure, PCI-E gating and OC controls, etc. It is priced around 300 EUR.