• Socket: LGA 1151
  • Form factor: ATX
  • Chipset: Intel Z390
  • RAM Slots: 4
  • Memory: 4400(O.C)/4266(O.C.)/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
  • Ports: 1x PS/2, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, 1x Gigabit LAN, 1x Intel Wireless-AC 9560, 1x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C, 3x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A, 1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A, 2x USB 2.0, 5x Audio port, 1x Optical (SPDIF), 1x PCIe 3.0 x16, 4x SATA 6Gb/s, 2x M.2
  • Pros:
  • Convenient switches
  • More OC headroom
  • Cons:
  • None

Overclocker’s Hero

We’ve seen some of its mainstream models but the best motherboards from ASUS are always ROG-branded. This time around, ASUS sent us one of its top model for the Intel Z390 chipset – the ROG Maximus XI Hero.

The ROG Maximus XI Hero is a top-tier ATX motherboard intended for overclockers and was designed for that purpose. It sports an all-black design for the PCB and component shrouds, giving it a clean appearance. ASUS also decided not to overload the motherboard with too much RGB, though you can still find some within the back I/O and Southbridge’s shrouds. On the topic of shrouds, there’s also one over the audio components for the purpose of shielding those parts from EMI originating from other PC components when the system is up and running.
Being a premium model, it also comes with a few extra goodies in the box. This includes a coupon for buying custom cables from Cablemod, the WiFi antenna for the back I/O, and a 2-way SLI bridge.

The power and reset switch is very useful for overclockers

The power and reset switch is very useful for overclockers

In terms of component layout, this motherboard has the typical ATX layout with some extras as well. Case in point, the extra 12V power connector for better CPU overclocking mileage and two PCIe slots with brackets reinforced by metal – great for relieving the pressure from heavy graphics cards on the slot. Besides those, this motherboard also has two M.2 slots (one full-length) that come with a heatsink over it.

In addition, the Maximus XI Hero can support plenty of cooling, with two CPU fan headers, two water pump headers, and three more headers for chassis fans. For those who really like RGB lights, there are also two RGB headers and two Aura Sync compatible addressable headers so you can add your own RGB LED strips.

For back I/O, you’ll find the ports to screw in the WiFi antennas in for Wireless AC connectivity and a USB Type-C port for use with devices like VR headsets. There’s also a Clear CMOS button, useful for resetting the BIOS setting if you have problems booting the system after unstable overclock settings.

Extra power for the CPU means more overclocking potential

Extra power for the CPU means more overclocking potential

One feature that overclockers will definitely appreciate here is the inclusion of a power switch for the motherboard, which makes it easy for people to test it on an open bench setup. Moreover, the VRMs are covered by heatsinks to help with cooling them, which provides for greater stability for overclocking. The small LED display for POST codes is also handy for troubleshooting if you run into problems with it.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Plenty of features that helps make the system more stable even with overclocks, definitely a top option to consider if you’re into that.

(to be published in issue February 2019)