Asus ROG Maximus X Hero Motherboard Review

When we speak of a PC’s components, ASUS is definitely one of the names that come to mind. The company has been providing excellent and quality components for years and still continues to do so with even better and more highly notable products. ASUS was founded in the year 1989 in Taiwan and ever since, the company has seen an astounding growth and variety in its line. Also, when it comes to ASUS, the very first name that is associated with the company is ROG or the Republic of Gamers which is a branch that was introduced in the year 2006.

ROG is a brand that primarily focuses on mainstream enthusiasts and gamers with a variety of products that range from graphics cards and motherboards to peripherals. Today, ROG has become the premium and mainstream brand from ASUS and their motherboards have continuously been the primary attraction for these enthusiasts and gamers. The brand’s Formula lineup is considered as one of their best products in the market and the ASUS ROG – Maximus-X Hero motherboard is categorized under their premium brand gaming peripherals; thing is, the Maximus-X Hero motherboard is the very first board to be part of the lineup from ROG.

If you are someone who wants to enjoy the additional extras of testing & overclocking tools, intense RGB lighting, as well as other ROG features, then utilizing ASUS’ ROG Maximus-X Hero is the best option for you. It is slightly more expensive compared to its predecessor but the Maximus-X Hero does include a few additions that will surely justify its price. Now, let’s us take a look at the specifications, features, and other different aspects that the ROG – Maximus-X Hero has for us, but let’s start off with learning what’s inside the box of the ASUS ROG – Maximus-X Hero motherboard.

Asus ROG Maximus X Hero Motherboard Review – Whats in the Box?

Just like most of the ASUS Republic of Gamers motherboards, the Maximus-X Hero motherboard is packed in a durable black and red box. The board’s model is written in a lustrous ROG font that changes in color every time you move it around; additionally, the Republic of Gamers logo also securely holds the top-right corner of the box. When it comes to the rear portion of the box, it is all black with a photo of the Maximus-X Hero set at the center.

A couple of vital features are listed along the top portion, as well as a few basic specifications which can be found surrounding the board; the edges of the package all feature this, and it also has a black and red background and the color-changing model.

Inside the Maximus-X Hero box, you’ll see a couple of ROG sticker sheets, as well as the ROG Membership Card and Passport. Beneath this, you’ll find a tray made of cardboard with a clear cover; this will hold the board in one place using the PCIe and ram slots. Under the board tray, you’ll find all the other included goods within the package.

Once you open the rest of the pockets located in the lower tray, you’ll find a driver disk, a manual, an ROG coaster, a couple of cable labels, and also a few SATA cables. Other accessories included are the 3D and M.2 printing-mounting hardware, a CPU installation tool, some RGB extension cables, a Q-connector, as well as a 20% CableMod coupon to get yourself a good set of sleeved-extensions. You can even get a full substitute set of specific customised cables for your modular power supply.

The Product

Asus ROG Maximus X Hero Motherboard Review – Another Winner in the Series

The Maximus-X Hero motherboard is an ATX form-factor board that is somewhat based on the recent gunmetal grey and black color scheme. Three RGB lighting zones can be located near the Rear I / O, the chipset heatsink spot, and the M.2 slot and heatsink just beneath the CPU. The motherboard’s rear features a solid black color with just a subtle ROG-themed pattern that is utilized at the top.

The rear I / O is made up of the regular ROG Clear BIOS and CMOS flashback buttons, HDMI 1.4b, Display-Port 1.2, dual USB 2.0 ports, Intel Gigabit LAN, quad-USB 3.0 ports, an optical audio output, two USB 3.1 ports, and an 8-channel audio. The top portion of the rear I / O cover brightens up with an RGB Maximus-X Hero logo and the accent line as well. The top half of the motherboard is influenced by the rear I / O cover that easily blends with the 10-phase VRM heatsink in a single fluid and smooth transition.

The four DDR4 DIMM slots can be found next to the CPU socket that is placed right at the center of the board; also, an M.2 heatsink with an ROG sign on it is fixed beneath the CPU socket. As for the lower half portion of the motherboard, it features three PCIe x1 slots that are open for the rear for you to readily install bigger cards; just remember that the highest port in the area is somewhat blocked by the M.2’s cover. All the other ports are the two reinforced PCIe x16 and the 2nd Turbo M.2 which can be seen beneath the chipset heatsink.

As for the bottom portion of the motherboard, you’ll see that it’s a bit busy compared to the previous; towards the rear portion, you will see the digital addressable RGB header, a front-panel audio header, as well as a large lit-up power button. The next would be the reset button, retry buttons, safe boot, and the slow-mode switch; you will also find an LN-2 jumper that is sitting just on top of the slow-mode switch. Right on the lower edge of the product, you’ll see the front panel I / O connections, two USB 2.0 headers, an RGB connection, a four-pin pan header, USB 3.0, and a TPM header.

For the front edge of the product, you’ll see most of the liquid-cooling-related connections for the flowmeter, as well as two temperature probe connections that are necessary for controlling in and out temps. The next would be the six SATA ports and the four-pin fan connections which are followed by a four-pin fan plug. As for the front-panel USB 3.1, this is handled using a new reversible connector and lastly is the twenty-four-pin primary power connection. The top right portion features the company’s Mem OK button for acquiring ram kits to boot; this is next to the two-digit POST-code display. We also saw another RGB header next, followed by three four-pan fan headers; the last one in line would be the eight-pin CPU power connection.

Coffee-Lake

In 2017 at Computex, Intel reported about the Skylake X and Kaby Lake X processors, quickly followed by announcements about Coffee Lake. These are 8th Generation six-core processors that are mainly based on the LGA-1151 socket. These feature a TDP of either the 95 or the 65W; and also, there will be two six-core models that feature the HT (12 MB L3’s), and two without the HT (the 9 MB L3). The four core models will not receive the hyper-threading.

The latest Coffee Lake series of processors feature design components that are seen on the Kaby Lake and Skylake construction, these are common in the socket-1151 portions but are scaled higher to six-cores. The series of processors are fabricated at 14nm and Intel states that the IPC has been further improved; this means that the amount of instructions per clock-cycle has also been further developed. With the brand new processors, you’ll also get to see two other Turbo modes that are dubbed the 3.0 and 2.0; but to keep things simple, the Turbo mode 3.0, a thread will clock much higher but you’re utilizing more than just a single thread. The Turbo mode 2 will reach a lower frequency on all other threads and cores.

Product Features

The Power of Intel

The Intel Z-370 chipset backs the 8th Generation Intel Core processor while also providing better performance by using serial PTP links; this also allows you to have increased stability and bandwidth. The motherboard also supports the 8th Generation Intel Core processors included in the LGA-1151 package, as well as integrated graphics, PCI Express controllers, and memory to readily support a variety of onboard graphics output. These include dedicated chipsets, 16-PCI Express 3.0 / 2.0 lanes, and dual-channel DDR-4 memory for excellent performance.

Aura Lighting Controls

ASUS Aura provides you with full RGB lighting management with numerous functional presents specifically for built-in RGB LEDs; this is also good for strips linked to the present RGB headers; additionally, all of these can be easily synced with a continuously growing portfolio of ASUS hardware that is Aura-capable. The ROG – Maximus-X Hero features a pair of onboard 50-50 RGB headers, as well as an addressable header that can be linked to any compatible fans, lighting strips, PC cases, and coolers.

Onboard M.2 Heatsinks

The motherboard is integrated with an angular and stylish M.2 heatsink that will keep the SSD cool; it works by effectively using up the heat away from the M.2’s spot. The Maximus X also minimizes all possibilities of performance-sapping throttling from occurring especially when the drives start becoming warmer than necessary. The heatsink features an angular design which adds more appeal to any build, while its T-Sensor recognizes temperature in the most important areas of the M.2 for quick monitoring.

Supreme FX & Sonic Studio III Gaming Audio

The excellent Supreme FX of ROG’s audio technology has improved further to deliver outstanding 113 dB signal of noise ratio on its line-in connectivity. The Sonic Audio backs HRTF-based virtual sounds for VR headsets to project an immersive and aural surrounding that will surely get you hooked further into the action. The interface of Sonic Studio is also intuitive, plus it also offers a wide variety of EQ options which allow you to customize acoustics to suit your tastes and preferences.

Allows 3-Dimensional Printing

When motherboards from the Kaby Lake series were released, ASUS introduced the 3D Printable Accessory; this design has been integrated into the major releases and just like with every motherboard that has been based on the Coffee Lake processor, the Maximus-X Hero also features this. By utilizing the 3D Printable Accessories, you can now do various customizations in build and appearances.

Five Way Optimization

A single click will take care of all the difficult tuning that you experience; the Five Way Optimization feature from ASUS will surely turn your PC into a smart device. It will dynamically optimize the important elements of your system, offering cooling and clocking profiles that are specific and adequate for your rig.

Product Specifications

CPU

  • Intel® Socket 1151 for 8th Generation Core™ Processors
  • Supports Intel® 14 nm CPU
  • Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
  • The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.
  • Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list

Chipset

  • Intel® Z370

Memory

  • 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 4133(O.C.)/4000(O.C.)/3866(O.C.)/3733(O.C.)/3600(O.C.)/3466(O.C.)/3400(O.C.)/3333(O.C.)/3300(O.C.)/3200(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666/2400/2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
  • Dual Channel Memory Architecture
  • Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
  • Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.
  • Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).

Graphic

  • Integrated Graphics Processor
  • Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DisplayPort 1.2 ports
    • Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz
    • Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz
  • Maximum shared memory of 1024 MB

Multi-GPU Support

  • Supports NVIDIA® 2-Way SLI™ Technology
  • Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology

Expansion Slots

  • Intel® Z370 Chipset
  • 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4 mode) *1
  • 3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1

Storage

  • Intel® Z370 Chipset :
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)*2
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)*3
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s)
  • Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
  • Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology*4
  • Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready

LAN

  • Intel® I219V
  • Anti-surge LANGuard
  • ROG GameFirst IV

Audio

  • ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220
    • Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
    • Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
    • High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input
    • SupremeFX Shielding Technology
    • ESS® ES9023P
    • Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback *5
  • Audio Feature :
    • Gold-plated jacks
    • Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
    • Sonic Radar III
    • Sonic Studio III

USB Ports

  • ASMedia® USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller : 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector port(s)
  • ASMedia® USB 3.1 Gen 2 controller : 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port(s) (2 at back panel, , Type-A + USB Type-CTM)
  • Intel® Z370 Chipset : 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s) (4 at back panel, +blue, 2 at mid-board)
  • Intel® Z370 Chipset : 6 x USB 2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, +black, 4 at mid-board)

ROG Exclusive Features

  • ROG RAMCache II
  • ROG CPU-Z
  • ROG CloneDrive
  • Pre-mounted I/O Shield
  • MemOK! Button
  • Slow Mode
  • Overwolf
  • GameFirst IV
  • Extreme Engine Digi+ :
    • MicroFine Alloy Chokes
    • NexFET™ Power Block MOSFET
    • 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
  • Mem TweakIt
  • ROG Extreme OC kit :
    • ReTry button
    • Safe Boot button
    • Start button
    • Reset button
    • LN2 Mode
  • KeyBot II
    • One-click Overclocking
    • M.P.
    • DirectKey
    • ClrCMOS
    • Power On
  • UEFI BIOS features :
    • C. Profile
    • Tweakers’ Paradise
    • ROG SSD Secure Erase
  • ROG RAMDisk
  • Extreme Tweaker
  • USB BIOS Flashback
  • Overclocking Protection :
    • ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)

Special Features

  • ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5 :
    • 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Expert 4, and Turbo App
  • AURA :
    • Aura Lighting Control
    • Aura RGB Strip Headers
    • Aura Lighting Effects Synchronization with compatible ASUS ROG devices
    • Aura Addressable Strip Header(s)
  • ASUS Exclusive Features :
    • AI Suite 3
    • Disk Unlocker
  • ASUS EZ DIY :
    • ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
    • ASUS EZ Flash 3
  • CPU Installation Tool
    • Three-step simplicity and safety
  • ASUS Q-Design :
    • ASUS Q-Code
    • ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
    • ASUS Q-Slot
    • ASUS Q-DIMM
    • ASUS Q-Connector
  • Gaming Aesthetics :
    • 3D printing friendly
    • AURA-RGB Lighting

Back I/O Ports

  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A + USB Type-CTM
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (blue)
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
  • 1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
  • 5 x Gold-plated audio jacks

Internal I/O Ports

  • 1 x Aura Addressable Strip Header(s)
  • 2 x Aura RGB Strip Headers
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s)
  • 2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
  • 1 x TPM connector(s)
  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 3 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (3 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x AIO_PUMP connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x H_AMP fan connector
  • 1 x W_PUMP+ connector (1 x 4 -pin)
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
  • 1 x MemOK! button(s)
  • 1 x Slow Mode switch(es)
  • 1 x Reset button(s)
  • 1 x LN2 Mode jumper(s)
  • 1 x Safe Boot button
  • 1 x ReTry button
  • 1 x System panel connector
  • 3 x 3D Mount screw port(s)
  • 1 x EXT_Fan header
  • 1 x W_IN header
  • 1 x W_OUT header
  • 1 x W_FLOW header
  • 1 x Thermal sensor connector
  • 1 x Start button
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector

Accessories

  • User’s manual
  • 4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
  • 1 x M.2 Screw Package
  • 1 x CPU installation tool
  • 1 x Supporting DVD
  • 1 x MOS fan bracket kit
  • 1 x SLI HB BRIDGE(2-WAY-M)
  • 1 x ROG big sticker
  • 1 x Q-Connector
  • 1 x Extension Cable for RGB strips (80 cm)
  • 1 x Extension cable for Addressable LED
  • 1 x 3D printing mount package
  • 1 x ROG coaster(s)

BIOS

  • 1 x 128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI3.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 3.0, ACPI 6.0, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, F3 Shortcut functions and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information.

Operating System

  • Windows® 10 64-bit

Form Factor

  • ATX Form Factor
  • 12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

How it Performs

When we tried the product out for gaming, both the motherboard and our CPU had no issues when it comes to keeping frame rates higher than 60-FPS in full HD resolution and WQHD.  The ASUS ROG – Maximus-X Hero motherboard’s performance was highly notable from the beginning until the end; and compared to all the other motherboards that we’ve tested, we’re definitely pacing the Maximus-X Hero on the first spot.

When we tried out overclocking, things got even better with the ASUS ROG – Maximus-X Hero motherboard: the company’s built-in system for overclocking just got more effective and impressive and this specific generation was able to manage our manual and standard attempts as far as the peak-clock speed was concerned; later, the product overclocked our ram aggressively and did it excellently with how it works with CPU’s.

The performance of the ASUS ROG – Maximus-X Hero motherboard was highly impressive, plus it is also packed with a lot of features and quality VRM’s which make it even better. It not only performs great but it also looks really sleek and cool too; so all in all, we’re going to give a thumbs-up when it comes to the Maximus-X Hero motherboard’s performance.

Software

The Asus Aura – RGB Software

ASUS decided to bundle and pack Aura to allow you to control and manage the present RGB LED lights, and also the additional parts that can be included to the Maximus-X Hero motherboard. The company has been continuously working with a couple of popular hardware vendors to certify and ensure that all of their products can function adequately and smoothly with Aura.

There are a couple of options for configuration that are available to suit your tastes and needs, with its default featuring an alternating gradient of the spectrum. Of course, you can also easily change the style and color of lighting that can be set up and these include the saturation and brightness. Additionally, you will also find the areas that the color and style can be configured to; there are also additional options present than we can really provide you with here, but despite this, you shouldn’t have any issues or concerns when it comes to setting up your system to work just how you want it to.

Firmware: The UEFI-BIOS

Just like with other motherboard producers, you will acquire the latest UEFI BIOS. It is an Extensive Firmware Interface that follows the architecture of the UEFI, providing you with a user-friendly interface that is better than the classic keyboard-only BIOS controls. This will enable a more convenient and flexible mouse input at a BIOS level.

Conclusion

If you are an ROG type of person, then it will be extremely difficult to ignore and not like ASUS’ new ROG – Maximus-X Hero. The company made sure to keep things a bit dim and they didn’t opt to go extreme with a ton of Ethernet options and M2 ports. Honestly, two M2 slots are quite enough so we’re actually good with this. Also, the Maximus-X Hero motherboard also has a nice-looking exterior: the board works great with just the right number of RGB LED lights; and when this is activated, it becomes a totally different board with more aesthetic charm. Generally, the LED makes the product even more appealing and also, the RGB’s are completely configurable based on your liking.

As for the price range, the Maximus-X Hero offers great and useful features so you won’t definitely go wrong with this. Overall, we highly recommend the ASUS ROG – Maximus-X Hero motherboard and also give it a double thumbs-up.

Where to Buy

If you want to get your hands on the ROG – Maximus-X Hero motherboard, you can do so for around $429AUD. For more information please visit the official Asus page.

Design
Features
Performance
Usability
Value
4.9
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