Conclusion - ASUS's 9th Generation ROG For Overclockers and Gamers

ASUS ROG Maximus XI HERO (Wi-Fi) Motherboard

The ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero is a surprising motherboard, excelling the previous ROG Hero design, it offers a lot but at the same time, it does cost slightly more. At $289.99 US, you will be looking at a $30 US jump in price over the Maximus X Hero but you are getting a slightly better design and feature set in return.

The ROG Maximus X Hero balances the ROG lineup in the best price and feature segment. It doesn’t break your wallet like the high-end ROG offerings but doesn’t let you miss out the features either that you would expect from a ROG motherboard. Sure, I love the high-end ROG motherboards such as the APEX, Formula, and Code but as I said, they come at a price which isn’t a worthwhile investment for the masses. The ROG Maximus XI Hero, on the other hand, is a well made and overly tuned option for them.

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The overclocking on the ROG Maximus X Hero is great as it let me push the Core i9-990K to 5.3 GHz. I used the golden sample chip that I had and wanted to test out whether I can hit the same potential I managed on other $300 US boards on the Hero. It did so well. The extra cooling with larger aluminum heatsinks and heatpipe solution delivers good VRM thermals while the 8+4 Pin connector ensures that you get the most out of the 8 core chip without running into power related bottlenecks. ASUS has been very strong with their world-class BIOS that is available on the ROG series motherboards and this board was no exception.

In terms of design, the Hero stands out as a Hero in this segment. It has a good quantity of RGB LEDs spread over while the black and grey design is looking as fantastic as ever. It comes with a very unique 3D LED showpiece on the I/O cover and doesn't overdo the RGB like many other motherboard manufacturers seem to be following.

Aside from that, there are lots of connectivity options such as onboard WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, the impressive SupremeFX audio system, and the expanded storage options which are available on the board. I think under the $300 US bracket, the ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) is one of the best board options for both 8th and 9th Gen processors, offering the perfect blend of high-performance OC and strong expandability options.

ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming Motherboard

The next motherboard, the ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming impressed me quite a bit more than the ROG Maximus XI Hero. For starters, it was bundled with a huge range of accessories which is a plus. Moving to the design, I found this motherboard to well build and designed than the Hero which is easy to understand why. It’s the top ROG STRIX series motherboard and has a price that aims around the $250 US segment ($244.99 US).

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The motherboard features solid VRM heatsinks but overclocking itself could be a hit or miss with this motherboard as I wasn’t able to reach anything above 5.3 GHz with this motherboard. The heatsinks, on the other hand, did an amazing job keeping this board running under control and stable all the time. You will definitely miss out on the heatpipe implementation but ASUS keeps a solid mounting where you can add an active fan solution (not bundled with the motherboard itself).

Coming to the design again, the PCH heatsink looks lovely with the brushed aluminum frame and the added M.2 heatsinks with thermal pads make sure that your primary NVMe storage device underneath this heatsink for best stability and performance. The I/O shield with its RGB lights was absolutely stunning as the RGB runs through the clawed out sections of the heatsink. The supremeFX audio is just as great as the Maximus XI Hero. The wireless capabilities are intact and so are the extra features that you'd expect of a ROG motherboard.

For $244.99 US, the ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming is definitely a strong product in this price segment as it offers a lot of features in a stunning design. It offers one of the best looking designs and the best overclocking performance in its class making it one of the most appealing motherboards for Z390 PC builders.

You can purchase the ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming motherboard here!

9.8
Wccftech Rating

Under the $300 US bracket, the ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) is one of the best board options for both 8th and 9th Gen processors, offering the perfect blend of high-performance OC and strong expandability options.

Pros
  • Support for Intel 8th and 9th Generation Coffee Lake CPUs
  • Up To 8 Core Processor Support
  • ASUS's Best in Class BIOS (UEFI) Support on Z390 Series
  • Excellent Overclocking Support on Unlocked Intel CPUs
  • Excellent Design Scheme With Solid Heatsink Solution
  • Excellent Build Quality With High-Quality VRM and PCB
  • 8+2+2 Phase Extreme Engine DiGi+ VRM
  • Heatpipe Implementation on the VRM Heatsinks is a plus
  • Tons of Connectivity Options
  • Tons of USB 3.1 Gen 2 and Gen 1 Ports
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560 With 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi
  • Up To 4400 MHz (OC+) DDR4 Memory Support
  • SupremeFX offers great onboard Audio
  • Dual M.2 Slots With full coverage heatsinks
  • Pre-Mounted I/O Shield
  • Full ASUS AURA Sync RGB Support (Multiple Addressable RGB Headers)
  • Lots of Software Support
Cons
  • Price is slightly higher ($289.99 US)
  • Only Two M.2 slots
  • Only 1Gbps Ethernet LAN

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