Asus Crosshair IV Extreme Review: Lucid HydraLogix Inside

By on November 30, 2010, 5:08 AM
A few months ago, we reviewed a handful of budget AM3 motherboards and were surprised at the quality offered by sub-$100 products. Since AMD owns the entry-level CPU market, it only makes sense that there are plenty of affordable motherboards, but with the Phenom II X6 range gaining popularity, users are once again looking to invest big in the AM3 platform.

The Asus Crosshair IV Extreme is set to sell for $300, easily making it the most expensive AM3 product around and costing considerably more than the already opulent Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD7. With most high-end AM3 motherboards priced below $200, you have to wonder what is so special about Asus' offering.


Without beating around the bush, what separates the Crosshair IV Extreme apart from the pack is Asus' CrossLinx 3 technology. This allows users to mix and match multiple graphics cards from both AMD and Nvidia, including models of different GPU generations. CrossLinx 3 uses the Lucid HydraLogix engine, which bridges various graphics cards to enable their simultaneous usage.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 12

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Soo... I won't be buying one of these in a hurry!

Arris Arris said:

But look at all the pretty lined up capacitors! *swoon*

Seriously though, some nice features but the Hydralogix seems a bit beta at the moment from what's been said in this review. And it's aimed at a very specialist segment of the market. I can understand it if it can be put into cheaper motherboards and allow people to get a performance gain from pairing two older generation cards, or sticking an older card in with their newer one when buying a different companies solution to get a performance boost. But can't really see the appeal of buying one of these and buying one AMD and one Nvidia card to put in it. Surely it will never offer a performance boost in comparison to running Crossfired or SLI'd setups.

Guest said:

The layout looks incredible! Too bad the technology is obviously not ready for prime time.

Guest said:

Yup. Invest 300 bucks in a dead platform. Amd can't keep adding cores forever. And with sandy bridge will hold the high end like the core series does now.

I hope amd starts doing something soon.

Leeky Leeky said:

The layout looks incredible!

It definitely got my attention, it appears to be the "cleanest" motherboard design I've ever seen - everything seems to have an order and layout to it, and I love how all the components are grouped together.

For that, and its overclocking features alone I'd consider it, but the deciding factor has to be the viability of the Hydra setup. If its ready in 6 months time for the big stage I'll definitely be having one of these.

fpsgamerJR62 said:

The weak link in this Hydralogix thing is that AMD and Nvidia will never support their hardware. They'll always be playing catch-up with each game and driver release. Nvidia should just go back to selling Nforce chips to AMD so that gamers who are using AMD CPUs can have SLI on their boards in addition to Crossfire and not to have to shift to an Intel platform.

princeton princeton said:

fpsgamerJR62 said:

The weak link in this Hydralogix thing is that AMD and Nvidia will never support their hardware. They'll always be playing catch-up with each game and driver release. Nvidia should just go back to selling Nforce chips to AMD so that gamers who are using AMD CPUs can have SLI on their boards in addition to Crossfire and not to have to shift to an Intel platform.

Wasn't AMD the ones who said no Nforce chips? Same with Intel. Intel mobos support sli natively in most cases.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ok, I admit, it does look sexy.

DokkRokken said:

Lucid must have one of the best marketing teams on Earth. I cannot imagine how they manage to continue selling their chips, when performance is so markedly poor compared to SLI and Crossfire.

Coming from an AMD owner, this board is simply way too much money for the platform, especially given that a few already excellent 890FX boards can be had for half the price. You'd have to really love AMD to justify this board over an Intel X58, especially when you're likely also factoring in an expensive hexa-core Phenom II.

Plus, AMD users like myself who run nVidia cards can also use the SLI Hack, as that has become far smoother to operate lately, and offers results that easily better Lucid's, and no Hydra, nForce chip or extra cash is required.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

especially when you're likely also factoring in an expensive hexa-core Phenom II.

expensive Phenom II hexa? they are quite the opposite, Unless you just meant that they will be pairing it with an upper end AMD CPU....in that case...my bad

I agree though with the sentiment though, who is going to buy this for 300.00 (about $75.00 of it is for lucid) and crossfire/SLI different makes and older cards? this is an enthusiast board and and folks who but this are not going to piece meal together their graphic solutions. the only advantage i can see is maybe the ability to crossfire say the 5000 series with the 6000 series. I was looking forward to this board as a possible upgrade to my Crosshair IV Formula , but see not one good reason to do so.

Guest said:

Considering this MB is the most expensive AM3 solution I would have expected the testing to include similar AM3 offerings with the 890FX chipset from Gigabyte, MSI, and others using the same CPU/RAM. Is it really worth buying? Would the Gigabyte MB with the 890FX chipset or other similar MBs perform as good or better and cost less?

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Guest said:

Considering this MB is the most expensive AM3 solution I would have expected the testing to include similar AM3 offerings with the 890FX chipset from Gigabyte, MSI, and others using the same CPU/RAM. Is it really worth buying? Would the Gigabyte MB with the 890FX chipset or other similar MBs perform as good or better and cost less?

Are you asking if all 890FX boards perform equal? Then the short answer would be yes they do. We have done a number of motherboard roundups over the years and we always find that the performance between boards using the same chip to be much the same. Where they differ is in overclocking performance, features and price.

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