A few months ago, we reviewed a handful of inexpensive AM3 motherboards and were surprised at the quality that products under $ 100 offer. Since AMD has the entry-level market for CPUs, it only makes sense that there are many affordable motherboards. However, as the Phenom II X6 series becomes more popular, users again want to invest heavily in the AM3 platform.
The Asus Crosshair IV Extreme is expected to sell for $ 300. It is the most expensive AM3 product and costs significantly more than the already opulent Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD7. Most high-end AM3 motherboards with prices under $ 200 make you wonder what makes Asus special.
What sets the Crosshair IV Extreme apart from the crowd is Asus' CrossLinx 3 technology. This allows users to mix and match multiple AMD and Nvidia graphics cards, including models of different generations of GPUs. CrossLinx 3 uses the Lucid HydraLogix engine, which connects different graphics cards to enable them to be used simultaneously.
The HydraLogix engine achieves this by removing the numerous compatibility hurdles that allow experimenting with different graphics card configurations for maximum performance. At least that's the theory, and today we're planning to test this new technology to see how well it performs compared to a traditional CrossFireX setup.
The Crosshair IV Extreme implementation has a unique layout design with a total of five PCI Express x16 expansion slots. Two of them offer dedicated native graphics card support for a single GPU or CrossFire configuration. The other three are connected to the HydraLogix controller and support a mix of graphics cards from different manufacturers and generations.
It goes without saying that the Asus Crosshair IV Extreme supports a number of new functions such as USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbit / s, but the CrossLinx 3 technology has piqued our interest and that of everyone else. Let's not forget that this motherboard was launched in May and wasn't available for purchase until late September. With that in mind, we'll primarily focus on testing CrossLinx 3 to see how well it works. However, you can expect us to run our typical test battery as well.