ASUS ROG Maximus X HERO Motherboard - Close Up

Over the past few years, ASUS has dropped the red and black color theme on their motherboards and went with RGB Lighting to allow users to customize the boards as per their will. The stock RGB lights are indeed set to red but users can customize them through the AURA Sync software. Aside from that, the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero comes in an all black color while the heatsinks feature a chrome silver and brushed aluminum frame. The motherboard comes in the standard ATX form- factor and costs north of $250 US.

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The board uses the LGA 1151 socket to support Intel Core processors. The socket is compatible with Intel's 8th generation core family only at the moment. The socket has a protective cover on top of it that points out the exclusivity with Coffee Lake CPUs and refrains users from running a older 6th or 7th generation CPU as it could damage the socket.

Next to the socket are four DDR4 DIMM slots which can support up to 64 GB dual channel memory. These slots are rated to support XMP profiles up to 4133 MHz (OC Plus). Each slot is labeled, making it easier to install DIMMs in the proper orientation.

The ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero packs a 10 phase Extreme Engine Digi+ design. Features such as MicroFine Alloy Chokes, NextFET Power Block MOSFET, 10K Black Metallic Capcitors are found on the board along with software support such as One-Click overclocking, X.M.P 2.0, Direct Key, Clr CMOS and Power On that make overclocking a breeze on this high end ROG board.

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The VRMs are cooled off by a pair of heatsinks that do their job well considering their size and over all bulkiness. The metallic block underneath the heatsink makes direct contact with the VRMs and heat is dissipated by the air flow within the chassis, provided by various fans including the CPU fan cooler.

The one thing to note though is while being a $250 US+ offering, ASUS hasn't implemented a heat pipe design on this board which is a let down but during testing, I found that the VRMs were not being pushed that hard and the heatsinks developed by ASUS did a fine job to handle the load.

The CPU is supplied power through a single 8-pin power connector. This will feed the CPU with up to 150W of power. Most Intel CPUs will be shipping with TDPs under 100W but that changes when users overclock, since that changes the power limit based on applied voltages and clock speed.

Expansion slots include three PCI Express 3.0 x16 (single mode x16, dual mode x8/x8, triple mode x8/x8/x4), three PCI Express 3.0 x1 and two M.2 slots. The board can support three-way multi-GPU (CrossFireX / SLI). The M.2 slots are rated to support NVMe PCIe gen3 x4 (one can switch between PCIe and SATA mode) and Intel Optane series memory.

ASUS is using a metallic cover on the sides of the expansion slots which provides protection to some extent. It adds more retention and shearing resistance by reinforcing the slots with metal plates. Aside from adding more protection, they do look really sweet.

ASUS has also implemented the M.2 heatsink technology on this board which comes in the form of a nice heatsink located right below the CPU slot. This heatsink comes with a brushed metal finish and is engraved with the Republic of Gamers Logo. M.2 devices with lengths up to 80mm can be supported by the M.2 heatsink.

The PCH is cooled off by a large metallic heatsink which runs next to the SATA ports. The PCH heat sink has embedded RGB LEDs and provide a good light show for those that are interested in RGBs trend. You can also turn off the LEDs entirely through ASUS's AURA Sync software if you are not a fan of such LEDs.

Storage options include six SATA III ports rated to operate at 6 GB/s. These can support eight different storage devices at once.

For Audio, ASUS is running the SupremeFX 8-Channel HD audio (Codec S1220) which falls under their ROG brand. This features technologies such as ESS ES9023P DAC, SupremeFX Shielding tech, 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input, high quality Nichicon caps, switching MOSFETs and gold plated audio jacks.

The entire motherboard is compliant with the ASUS AURA Sync RGB technology and there are multiple lighting points where the RGB can be addressed using their software.

The motherboard has a range of interesting features too which are not common on various other boards. There's support for 3D Printing mount, MemOK!, Q-Code, several RGB headers, a range of sensors for fan and AIO coolers, Intel Ethernet (I219-V) and a DIY friendly design which makes this a great board for PC modders. There's also a USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel header internally on the motherboard which makes fast data access all the more convenient. Following is the list of all the internal I/O ports on the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero:

  • 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

Finally, we have the I/O panel which includes a Display Port, HDMI Port, a single LAN (RJ45) port which is run by the Intel Ethernet chip (I219-V), 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-A + Type-C) ports, 4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 Optical S/PDIF out port, 1 Clear CMOS button, 1 USB BIOS Flash back button and a 8 channel gold plated audio jack.

In case you missed it, yes this motherboard comes with a pre-mounted I/O shield which means you will never get into the mess of not installing the rear panel I/O shield after setting up your PC.

ASUS ROG Maximus X HERO Motherboard Photo Gallery:

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