Asus Maximus 8 Hero Supported CPUs
Expansion slots and M.2 connectors
The Asus ROG Maximus X Hero motherboard has three PCI Express x16 slots, three PCI Express 3.0 × 1 slots and two M.2 slots for installing video cards, expansion cards and drives.
The first (if you count from the processor socket) slot with a PCI Express x16 form factor (PCIE_X16 / X8_1) is implemented on the basis of PCIe 3.0 processor lines and is a PCI Express 3.0 × 16 slot. This is a switchable slot that can operate at x16 / x8 speeds. For port switching, multiplexers-demultiplexers of PCIe 3.0 ASMedia ASM1480 lines are responsible.
The second slot with the form factor PCI Express x16 (PCIE_X8_2) is also implemented on the basis of PCIe 3.0 processor lines, but always operates at x8 speed. That is, this is a PCI Express 3.0 × 8 slot, but in the PCI Express x16 form factor.
The third slot with the PCI Express x16 form factor (PCIE_X4) is based on the PCIe 3.0 chipset lines and is a PCI Express 3.0 × 4 slot, but in the PCI Express x16 form factor.
The operating mode of the PCIE_X4 slot based on PCIe 3.0 chipset lines is in no way connected with the operation of the other slots implemented on the basis of PCIe 3.0 processor lines.
The operating modes of the PCIE_X16 / X8_1 / PCIE_X8_2 slots, that is, slots based on 16 PCIe 3.0 processor lanes, can be as follows: x16 /., x8 / x8.
The board supports Nvidia SLI and AMD CrossFireX technologies and allows installation of two Nvidia video cards (symmetric mode x8 / x8), as well as two, three (in mode x8 / x8 / x4) AMD video cards.
PCI Express 3.0 × 1 slots implemented via Intel Z370 chipset.
In addition to PCI Express slots, the board has two M.2 slots, which are designed for SSDs with the size 2242/2260/2280. One connector (M2_1) supports PCIe 3.0 × 4 and SATA drives, and the other connector (M2_2) only supports PCIe 3.0 × 4 drives.
How it works
As a reminder, apart from supporting different processor families, the Intel Z370 chipset is no different from the Intel Z270 chipset. The Intel Z370 chipset has 30 high-speed input / output (HSIO) ports, which can be PCIe 3.0, USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb / s ports. Some of the ports are strictly fixed, but there are HSIO ports that can be configured as USB 3.0 or PCIe 3.0, SATA or PCIe 3.0. over, there can be no more than 10 USB 3.0 ports, no more than 6 SATA ports and no more than 24 PCIe 3.0 ports.
Now let’s see how all this is implemented in the variant of the Asus ROG Maximus X Hero board.
The chipset on the board implements: PCI Express 3.0 × 4 slot, three PCI Express 3.0 × 1 slots, two M.2 slots, a network controller and two ASMedia ASM3142 controller. All of this together requires 20 PCIe 3.0 ports. In addition, six more SATA ports and six USB 3.0 ports are involved, and this is another 12 HSIO ports. That is, a total of 32 HSIO ports are obtained. And we have not yet taken into account that one M.2 connector can work in SATA mode. It is clear that you cannot do without separating ports and connectors.
The M.2_1 connector is shared by the SATA line with the SATA port # 1, that is, if the M.2 connector is used in SATA mode, then the SATA port will not be available. Conversely, if SATA port is used, then the M.2 connector is only available in PCIe 3.0 × 4 mode.
The M.2_2 connector is shared with SATA and SATA ports as follows. The chipset’s two HSIO ports can be configured as either two SATA ports (SATA # 5, SATA # 6), or as two PCIe 3.0 ports. If these ports are configured as two PCIe 3.0 ports, then in conjunction with two more PCIe 3.0 chipset ports we get four PCIe 3.0 ports, which are used for the M.2_2 slot in PCIe mode. If the ports SATA and SATA are used (that is, two HSIO ports of the chipset are configured as two SATA ports), then the M.2_2 connector is available only in PCIe 3.0 × 2 mode. The operating mode of the M.2_2 connector is set in the BIOS settings.
In addition, the PCI Express 3.0 × 4 slot is shared with one of the PCI Express 3.0 × 1 slots, which means that there are only four PCIe 3.0 lanes for these two slots. PCI Express 3.0 × 4 slot operation mode is set in UEFI BIOS settings.
Taking into account these divisions, the Asus ROG Maximus X Hero board uses 29 high-speed ports of the chipset. These are 17 PCIe 3.0 ports, 4 SATA ports and 6 USB 3.0 ports. Two more chipset HSIO ports can be configured as either two SATA ports or two PCIe 3.0 ports.
The block diagram of the Asus ROG Maximus X Hero board is shown in the figure.
There are many additional features on the Asus ROG Maximus X Hero board. To begin with, there is an indicator of POST codes, which is complemented by Q LEDs (CPU, DRAM, VGA), allowing you to quickly diagnose problems at the stage of system boot.
There are also power on, reset buttons and specific Safe Boot and Retry Buttons. Pressing the Safe Boot button forces the system to reboot with an exit to the UEFI BIOS. The Retry Button is needed in case of system overclocking. It allows you to reboot the system in the event that the reboot button does not work. Most importantly, it does not change the UEFI BIOS settings.
There is also a MemOK button, traditional for Asus boards!
For extreme CPU overclocking, LN2 and Slow Mode switch can come in handy.
On the rear panel of the connectors there are buttons for resetting BIOS settings (Clear CMOS) and for flashing the BIOS without having to turn on the computer. All you need to update the BIOS is to insert a flash drive with the new firmware version into the dedicated USB 2.0 port and press the corresponding button while the computer is off.
The next feature of the Asus ROG Maximus X Hero board is the implementation of RGB lighting.
The Maximus X lettering on the cover of the connector panel is illuminated.
In addition, there are three LEDs under the heatsink of the chipset that illuminate the ROG logo on the heatsink itself. There are three more LEDs that are located under the heatsink, which mounts onto an SSD that plugs into one of the M.2 slots.
The backlight is configured traditionally using the Asus Aura Sync utility, which allows you to select the backlight color and various effects.
In addition to the backlighting of the board itself, it is possible to connect LED strips. Thus, the board has two four-pin connectors (12V / G / R / B) for connecting LED strips with 12V power supply of the 5050 RGB LED type and one three-pin (5V / D / G) connector for connecting a WS2812B digital strip with individually addressable LEDs.
Additional features include a five-pin connector for the FAN Extension board, which allows you to connect additional fans and thermal sensors.
And the last thing worth mentioning is the presence of special mounting holes for attaching modding elements made on a 3D printer to the board.
To connect to the network, the Asus ROG Maximus X Hero board provides a gigabit network interface based on an Intel I219-V physical layer controller (used in combination with a chipset MAC-level controller).
The cooling system of the Asus ROG Maximus X Hero board consists of three radiators. Two heatsinks are located on two adjacent sides of the processor socket and are designed to remove heat from the MOSFETs of the processor voltage regulator. Another heatsink is installed on the chipset. There is also a heatsink that fits onto an SSD that plugs into one of the M.2 slots.
In addition, to create an efficient heat dissipation system, the board has eight four-pin fan connectors. Two connectors are for the processor cooler, three more for additional case fans. Two connectors are designed to connect the SVO pump, and another connector supports fans with a current of up to 3 A (36 W).
In addition, as already noted, there is also a connector for the Fan Extension board, as well as a connector for a thermal sensor.
There are three more separate connectors specially for CBO. This is a three-pin W_Flow connector for connecting a liquid flow rate sensor and W_In and W_Out connectors for connecting sensors for determining the liquid temperature at the inlet and outlet of the water supply.
To connect storage devices or optical drives, the board provides six SATA 6 Gb / s ports, which are based on the controller integrated into the Intel Z370 chipset. These ports support the ability to create RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 10.
Configuration and features of the board
A summary table of the characteristics of the Asus ROG Maximus X Hero board is given below, and further in the text we will consider all its features and functionalities.
Completion and packaging
Asus ROG Maximus X Hero board comes in a small box.
The delivery set is very modest. It includes a user manual, a DVD with drivers and utilities, cable stickers and a set of Asus ROG stickers, four SATA cables (all connectors with latches, two cables have an angled connector on one side), an SLI bridge for two video cards, a cable for connecting an RGB tape, a cable for connecting an addressable RGB tape, a holder for installing an additional 40 × 40 or 50 × 50 mm fan on the board (the fan itself is not included in the kit), a plastic frame for securely installing the processor into the connector on the board, as well as a stand for a mug with beer with the Asus ROG logo.
A dummy for the rear panel of the board is not needed in this case, since the connector panel on the board is already made with a dummy.
The Asus ROG Maximus X Hero board is made in the ATX form factor (305 × 244 mm), nine holes are provided for mounting it into the case.
Packaging and equipment
The box, made of thick cardboard, in which the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero is supplied, opens upwards, and not from the side, as is most often the case. Such packaging is more convenient, and reliability does not suffer in any way. Opening the box reveals an additional plastic cover that protects and secures the board.
As for the design, everything is standard here for ROG products: a red-black color scheme, a minimum of information on the front side and a maximum on the back.
A familiar sticker with barcodes and serial numbers is glued to the end of the box.
The board package includes four SATA cables with latches, two external illumination cables, a rigid 2-way SLI bridge, a plastic frame for installing the processor into the socket, a Q-Connector adapter, and various screws.
In addition to the above, the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero kit includes a manual, a DVD with drivers and utilities, a cup stand, ROG sticker sets and a 20% discount coupon when purchasing cables on the CableMod website.
Design and features
Externally, ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero looks the same as other ASUS motherboards of this series, and of the differences we note additionally perforated radiators on the chipset and the power circuit.
The latter fit well into the overall design of the board, and the largest is also covered with a plastic casing, which gives the impression of solidity of these parts, although the color differences cannot be overlooked.
Let’s add that the board is made in the most common ATX form factor and measures 305 × 244 mm.
The rear panel is not overloaded with ports, although everything you need is there. In total, here we see eight USB ports, including three USB 2.0, four USB 3.1 Gen1 and two USB 3.1 Gen2, USB BIOS Flashback and Clear CMOS buttons, two video outputs, an RJ-45 network outlet and six audio jacks.
Without the casing and all the radiators, ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero looks, in my opinion, even more interesting than with them. All elements on the PCB are arranged according to the classic scheme for motherboards with Intel chipsets, there are practically no empty areas, as well as there are no excessively overloaded ones.
We will give their schematic location on the front side of the PCB from the instruction manual.
The processor socket of the LGA1151 design is absolutely standard here, not counting the holes for the thermal sensor in its central zone.
Of course, the board supports all 8th Gen Intel Core (Coffee Lake) processors in this design, and a full list can be found on the support page.
Of the ten phases of the power supply system, eight are allocated to the processor, and each of them uses Infineon NexFET BSG0812ND 50-amp mosfets.
The Digi VRM ASP1400BT controller is responsible for power management of the processor.
ASUS Pro Clock (external base clock) and TPU (Turbo Processing Unit) chips help novice overclockers to automatically overclock the processor and ensure that all components work in sync during overclocking.
With the power connectors on the board, everything is standard: 24- and 8-pin, soldered in the usual places.
The four RAM slots on the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero have retainers on only one side and are painted in pairs in different colors. They do not have a metallized shell. Note that if only two modules are used, then they must be placed first of all in the second and fourth slots (gray and marked with asterisks in the signatures).
All 64 gigabytes of DDR4 on the board can be recruited with modules with frequencies from 2133 to 4133 MHz, and their operation at the highest frequency is not formally guaranteed, even if your modules are included in the official list and support XMP (Extreme Memory Profile).
Two-channel power supply system is regulated by Digi ASP1103 controller.
Next we see the MemOK button! and a Q-code indicator, and just below one of the mounting holes for attaching 3D-printed accessories to the board. Another hole of the same type is located at the SATA ports.
ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero has six PCI Express slots, three of them in x16 design. At the same time, two of these slots have a metallized SafeSlot shell, already familiar to you from tests of previous ASUS motherboards.
You can install two NVIDIA video cards in them and combine them in SLI mode or two video cards in AMD CrossFireX mode according to the x8 / x8 scheme. ASM1480 multiplexers are responsible for the distribution of PCI-E lines on the board.
The Intel Z370 chipset contacts its heatsink through a thermal pad, so after removing the heatsink, the crystal does not require cleaning.
ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero has six SATA III ports, implemented by the capabilities of the chipset.
Supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10, Intel Rapid Storage Technologies, Intel Smart Response, NCQ, AHCI, and Hot Plug. The board also has two M.2 ports with a bandwidth of up to 32 Gbps. M.2_1 supports SATA and PCI Express drives in lengths from 42 to 80 mm, while M.2_2 only supports PCI Express drives of the same length.
The upper M2 is cooled by a small radiator plate with a thermal pad, but for the lower one such a radiator is not provided at all. We add that if you use both M.2 ports, then three of the six SATA ports will be inoperative.
ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero has a standard set of USB ports. Twelve of them are implemented by the Intel Z370 chipset. this is six USB 2.0 and the same number of USB 3.1 Gen1. Three more USB 3.1 Gen2 ports with a bandwidth of up to 10 Gb / s are implemented by two ASMedia ASM3142 controllers, and one of these ports is soldered directly on the PCB and is designed to output a high-speed interface to the front panel of the system unit.
ASUS does not change the choice of network controller for its boards. this is again a gigabit Intel WGI219-V with ASUS LANGuard’s proprietary protection system, which increases the network resistance to static electricity by 1.9 times and to voltage surges by 2.5 times.
ROG GameFirst IV network traffic prioritization technology is also supported, thanks to which you can prioritize the use of the Internet channel for different applications. Also, with the help of this software, it is possible to combine up to four separate computer networks into a common channel in order to maximize the overall bandwidth and reduce latency during data transmission.
The sound on the board is implemented by the eight-channel SupremeFX HD codec, which is based on the Realtek ALC S1220A chip, which is additionally shielded from electromagnetic interference by a metal cap.
Hardware improvements are implemented by premium Japanese Nichicon audio capacitors, ESS ES9023P DAC, dual built-in headphone amplifier, left and right channel separation across different PCB layers, as well as isolation of the entire audio zone from other elements on the board with a non-conductive strip.
This allowed the developers to achieve a signal-to-noise ratio at the audio line output of 120 dB, and at the line input. 113 dB. Like other ASUS ROG boards, the software supports Sonic Studio III (virtual spatial sound) and Sonic Radar III (visualization of sound sources in PC games).
Super I / O controller represented by Nuvoton NCT6793D chip.
ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero can simultaneously control up to eight fans using a PWM channel or by changing the voltage. The connectors are scattered across the PCB quite competently. you can connect both processor and case fans, as well as pumps for liquid cooling systems. For the latter, the board provides as many as three special connectors, two of which can supply power to the device up to 36 W each. In addition to them, the board has connectors W_IN, W_OUT and W_FLOW, to which you can connect sensors of liquid cooling systems that monitor the fluid flow rate.
In addition, the PCB has a connector for connecting an external fan controller. Fan Extension Card (it is not included in the package).
At the bottom edge of the PCB board there are two connectors for connecting external lighting cables, power, reset, safe boot, SLOW_MODE and LN2 switch. Well, all the usual ports, as well as a connector for the front panel of the case.
ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero LED illumination is implemented in the zones of the chipset, the first M.2 port and the casing of the I / O ports. There are nine modes for it, as well as the ability to connect LED strips and synchronize with the backlight of other devices.
The controller of the same name is responsible for adjusting the backlight.
There is only one BIOS chip on the board, 128-bit, but BIOS recovery or updating can be performed from any media via the USB BIOS Flashback port and a button on the rear panel of the board.
We again do not find heat pipes in the board cooling system. Apparently, the developers believe that simple aluminum radiators with thermal pads are quite enough. However, during operation and overclocking, the heatsinks on the VRM circuits were indeed barely warm even without forced airflow.
Nevertheless, ASUS has provided the ability to install an additional fan with dimensions of 40 × 40 or 50 × 50 mm to blow a large VRM radiator. It can be fixed in the area of the eight-pin power connector on a special metal holder supplied with the board.
ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero motherboard: one for three
Among the eleven motherboards manufactured by ASUS based on the Intel Z370 system logic set, seven belong to the elite ROG (Republic of Gamers) series. Three of this magnificent seven are in the STRIX subgroup, and they are, whatever one may say, somewhat simpler than the “purebred” ROG Maximus X four, which includes models Apex, Code, Formula and Hero. In turn, only overclocking Apex stands apart from this quartet, and the remaining trinity differs in the most minimal degree. Therefore, in our opinion, with today’s review and testing of one of them, we can kill three birds with one stone. So, we meet ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero!
|ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero|
|Supported processors||Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron Processors |
performed by LGA1151 of the eighth generation of the Core microarchitecture;
Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
|Memory subsystem||4 × DIMM DDR4 unbuffered memory up to 64GB; |
two-channel memory mode;
support modules with frequency 4133 (O.C.) / 4000 (O.C.) / 3866 (O.C.) / 3800 (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;
Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) support
|Expansion card slots||2 PCI Express slots x16 3.0, operating modes x16 or x8 / x8; |
1 PCI Express x16 3.0 x4 slot;
3 PCI Express 3.0 / 2.0 x1 slots
|Video scalability||NVIDIA 2-way SLI Technology; |
AMD 2-way / 3-way CrossFireX Technology
|Storage interfaces||Intel Z370 Chipset: |
– 6 × SATA 3, throughput up to 6 Gb / s;
– Supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10, Intel Rapid Storage, Intel Smart Connect Technology and Intel Smart Response, NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug;
– 2 × M.2, each throughput up to 32 Gb / s (M.2_1 supports SATA and PCI Express drives with a length of 42 to 80 mm, M.2_2 only supports PCI Express drives of the same length);
– Supports Intel Optane Memory Technology
|Gigabit network controller Intel Gigabit LAN I219V (10/100/1000 Mbps); |
Supports ASUS anti-surge LANGuard and ROG GameFirst IV technologies
|Wireless network interface||–|
|Audio subsystem||SupremeFX 8CH HD Codec (Realtek ALC S1220A): |
– the signal-to-noise ratio at the line audio output is 120 dB, and at the line input. 113 dB;
– DAC ESS ES9023P;
– Japanese premium Nichicon audio capacitors;
– dual built-in headphone amplifier;
– isolation of the audio zone on the PCB board;
– left and right audio channels are located in different layers of the PCB;
– Support for determining the type of connected device, multi-streaming playback, reassigning the front audio panel connectors;
– support for Sonic Studio III and Sonic Radar III technologies
|USB interface||Intel Z370 Chipset: |
– 6 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (4. on the rear panel, 2 are connected to the connector on the board);
– 6 USB 2.0 ports (2. on the rear panel, 4 are connected to the connectors on the board).
Two ASMedia ASM3142 controllers:
– 3 USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (1 Type-A and 1 Type-C on the rear panel, 1 port header on the board for the front panel of the case)
|Rear panel connectors and buttons||USB BIOS Flashback button; |
Clear CMOS button;
DisplayPort video output;
HDMI video output;
2 USB 2.0 ports;
4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports
2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-A Type-C) ports and an RJ-45 LAN socket;
optical S / P-DIF-output;
5 audio jacks (Center / Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Side Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)
|Internal connectors on the system board||24-pin EATX power connector; |
8-pin ATX 12V power connector;
6 SATA 3;
5 4-pin headers for case / processor fans with PWM support;
2 4-pin connectors AIO_PUMP and W_PUMP for LSS pumps with PWM support;
High AMP fan connector;
2 Aura RGB Strip;
Aura Addressable Strip;
USB 3.1 Gen 1 connector for connecting two ports;
USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel;
2 USB 2.0 connectors for connecting four ports;
connector for a thermal sensor;
Safe Boot button;
Slow Mode switch;
jumper LN2 Mode;
3 3D Mount ports;
connectors W_IN, W_OUT and W_FLOW;
group of connectors for the front panel
|BIOS||128 Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual interface and graphical shell; |
ACPI 6.0 compliant;
PnP 1.0a support;
support for SM BIOS 3.0;
DMI 3.0 support;
support for WfM 2.0;
Supports ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, F3 Shortcut and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect)
|I / O controller||Nuvoton NCT6793D|
|Proprietary functions, technologies and 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 Xpert 4, and Turbo Core App;
– 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 EZ Flash 3;
– ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3;
– ASUS Q-Code;
– ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED);
– ASUS Q-Slot;
– ASUS Q-DIMM;
– ASUS Q-Connector;
– 3D printing friendly;
– AURA-RGB Lighting
|Form factor, dimensions (mm)||ATX, 305 × 244|
|Operating system support||Windows 10 x64|
|Manufacturer’s warranty, years||3|
|Minimum retail price, rub.||18,900|
Overclocking and stability
The stability, overclocking potential and performance of the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero motherboard were tested in a closed system case at a room temperature of about 24 degrees Celsius. The configuration consisted of the following components:
- motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero (Intel Z370, LGA1151, BIOS 0802 dated 11/17/2017);
- processor: Intel Core i7-8700K 3.7-4.7 GHz (Coffee Lake, 14 nm, U0, 6 × 256 KB L2, 12 MB L3, TDP 95 W);
- CPU cooling system: Noctua NH-D15 (two 140mm Noctua NF-A15 fans at 860-1540 rpm);
- thermal interface: ARCTIC MX-4;
- video card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 950 WF2 OC 2 GB 1102-1279 / 6612 MHz;
- RAM: DDR4 2 × 8 GB GeIL Evo X GEX416GB3000C15ADC (XMP 3000 MHz, 15-17-17-35_2T, 1.35 V);
- system disk: Intel SSD 730 480 GB (SATA III, BIOS vL2010400);
- disk for programs and games: Western Digital VelociRaptor 300 GB (SATA II, 10,000 rpm, 16 MB, NCQ);
- archive disk: Samsung Ecogreen F4 HD204UI 2 TB (SATA II, 5400 rpm, 32 MB, NCQ);
- sound card: Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD;
- case: Thermaltake Core X71 [five be quiet! Silent Wings 2 (BL063) at 900 rpm];
- control and monitoring panel: Zalman ZM-MFC3;
- PSU: Corsair AX1500i Digital ATX (1.5 kW, 80 Plus Titanium), 140mm fan.
In today’s test, we have a new processor again. Now this is an engineering sample of Intel Core i7-8700K with QNMK marking.
Testing was conducted under Microsoft Windows 10 Pro operating system version 1703 (16299.19) with the following drivers installed:
- motherboard chipset Intel Chipset Drivers. 10.1.17464.8052 WHQL from 12.12.2017;
- Intel Management Engine Interface (MEI). 220.127.116.118 WHQL from 08.12.2017;
- video card drivers. GeForce 388.43 WHQL from 11/30/2017.
We checked the stability of the system during overclocking with the stress utility Prime95 version 29.3 in Small FFTs mode and other resource-intensive benchmarks, and monitoring was carried out using HWiNFO64 version 5.61-3297 and newer.
First of all, using the AIDA64 Extreme utility, we present the characteristics of the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero board.
The first test of the system assembled on the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero motherboard was carried out with automatic BIOS settings, not counting the disabling of unnecessary controllers and the activation of XMP. Here is the result.
As you can see, the processor temperatures did not exceed 70 degrees Celsius, and the core voltage, according to monitoring data, varied from 0.688 to 1.184 V. The result for automatic settings is excellent, but we still tried to adjust the BIOS manually to further reduce temperatures and power consumption when load. To do this, we fixed the processor frequency at 4700 MHz by changing the multiplier, set LLC to the 5th level and gradually reduced the voltage until signs of instability began to appear. As a result, we settled on a voltage of 1.195 V.
It is noteworthy that with such settings we were not able to win back a single degree Celsius in temperature when compared with the automatic mode. over, the core temperatures in the load were even slightly higher. however, this is not surprising, because in automatic mode the board was able to achieve voltages lower than we managed.
For the first time in our motherboard tests, the automatic BIOS settings for the processor and RAM were better than manual ones. Let’s hope that this was also influenced by our constant criticism of automatic settings in reviews on 3DNews, which was not only related to ASUS motherboards. Let’s start overclocking.
Despite the fact that we are using a new processor, when we overclocked it on the ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero board, we got old results. Successfully breaking the 4900 MHz mark at 1.290 V, we settled on 5000 MHz at 1.350 V and LLC 5.
The system was stable not only in Prime95, but core temperatures were already very close to critical.
Perhaps, after changing the thermal interface under the processor heat spreader and air cooling to a decent liquid one, it would be possible to squeeze out another 100-200 MHz at the maximum frequency, especially since the temperatures of the board itself remained at values that were very far from the critical limits.
As for the overclocking of RAM on the new ASUS board, from our GeIL Evo X GEX416GB3000C15ADC kit, whose nominal frequency is 3000 MHz, we achieved stable 3200 MHz with the main timings of 15-17-17-35 CR2. This is a standard overclocking result for such a memory, and at 3333 MHz it didn’t start even with overestimated delays. Additionally, we managed to correct two minor, but noticeably influencing the results of timing tests: tRFC was lowered from 600 to 450, and tREFI, on the contrary, was increased to a maximum of 65534.
In terms of performance, the new ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero will be compared with the previously tested Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 7, on which we then achieved not only the same processor frequency during overclocking, but also exactly the same results in overclocking the RAM. Interestingly, the cost of these products is almost the same, so in fact today we have a comparison of two competing motherboards with the same overclocking. Let’s see what happened.
In memory operations, ASUS ROG Maximus X has better performance, but in the same AIDA benchmark, Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 leads in L1 and L2 processor cache speeds, losing out on L3 at the same time. The victory in both archivers remains with ASUS, but in the HWBOT rendering and audio file conversion tests it is a little faster than Gigabyte. Blender and Corona, which follow, each gave one victory to both boards, and in Cinebench and 3DMark, ROG Maximus X leads, and in the last test its advantage is especially noticeable.
UEFI BIOS Features
We tested ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero on the latest BIOS version available at the time of writing this article 0802 dated November 17, 2017. Note that the BIOS snapshots given in this subsection of the article show the settings at which the maximum overclocking of our processor and RAM was reached.
The basic BIOS EZ Mode is already well known to our regular readers. it allows only basic system settings.
To open access to the whole variety of settings, you must switch to Advanced Mode using the F7 key. Immediately we get to the main section Main, which is mainly informational, and only the interface language allows you to select.
This is followed by the main section Extreme Tweaker, which grouped the vast majority of parameters related to overclocking the processor or RAM. Here, at the top, in real time, the current frequency of the processor, memory and cache is shown.
In the same section, the main voltages, DRAM and BCLK frequencies are regulated.
The possibilities for adjusting the main voltages are shown in the following table.
|Voltage||Minimum value, V||Maximum value, V||Step|
|CPU System Agent||0.700||2,200||0.0125|
over, these are precisely the main voltages, since a lot of secondary voltages are also available for adjustment in the BIOS, which the owners of this motherboard model can study on their own.
The setting of RAM timings is as wide here as on older ASUS motherboards with Intel X299 chipset.
The External Digi Power Control subsection contains the settings for the voltage stabilization on the processor core, which are opened by the processor Load-line Calibration with seven stabilization levels.
You can find even deeper settings for the processor power saving modes.
The Tweaker’s Paradise subsection provides access to fine-tuning BCLK and DRAM.
Above we mentioned the possibility of adjusting the secondary voltages, and here, for example, how they look in the BIOS of this board.
All 12 subsections that are included in the main Advanced section, you could already see in our previous articles about ASUS ROG series boards, so today we will leave them without comment.
In the Monitor section, you can not only monitor temperatures, voltages and fan speeds, but also configure each of them using two methods.
The possibility of more flexible fan settings is provided by the built-in Q-fan control utility, which still lacks points on the curve for smoother speed adjustment (for example, ASRock has 5 control points available, but here only three).
Well known to regular readers or owners of ASUS ROG boards and the BIOS Boot section with system boot parameters.
The set of utilities built into the BIOS has not changed either, where you can extremely simply update the firmware, perform safe and reliable cleaning of drives, create or load system overclocking profiles, as well as get information about the SPD memory and the installed video card.
The BIOS microcode that was tested on several dozen motherboards of previous generations did not cause us any questions or inconveniences. Everything works quickly and easily, and when you exit the BIOS, an additional window appears with all the changes made.
Surely you are wondering why we have bypassed the answer to the question, declared in the annotation to the article, why is ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero on the new Intel Z370 better than its predecessor ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero on Intel Z270? This was not done because we forgot, and we honestly tried to find some technical advantages of the new board over the old one, but in fact they simply do not exist. Of course, we remember the nominal support for processors with the Coffee Lake core, which is not available for motherboards with the Intel Z270 chipset, but it is already known that this is just an artificial barrier created by Intel itself, and not some real restrictions on processor power systems. In other words, the Maximus X Hero and Maximus IX Hero boards are copies of each other, not counting the decorative elements and lighting. And in this light, one cannot but emphasize the not very pleasant fact of the difference in cost between them (the previous model is now 4 thousand cheaper).
However, this is the only negative point in today’s ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero benchmark, and as it turns out, it proved overwhelming for the motherboard manufacturers. As for the rest, we have no doubts about the competitiveness of the new board. it is very good. It has all modern interfaces, a huge power reserve for the processor power supply system, support for extreme overclocking modes and multiprocessor graphics technologies, the ability to work with high-frequency memory and very wide possibilities for adjusting it, high-quality sound, USB 3.1 Gen2 for the front panel of the case, backlighting with the ability to expand and synchronize, polished BIOS. Yes, in general, it has everything, and it works perfectly. Plus this is the first board that was able to automatically adjust voltages better than we did manually.
On the new generation of motherboards, the BIOS graphical shell has undergone minor changes. In terms of functionality, they have not changed. It is still comfortable and easy to work. All menus are intuitive and overclocking is very easy, especially considering the presence of special presets.
Now the Favorites menu will automatically include items that have undergone frequent changes. There are many presets in the memory timings settings, arranged according to chip manufacturers, as well as the installed configuration of memory modules.
It turns out that it loses its properties due to the fact that it freezes and crystallizes at strongly negative temperatures. As for air or water cooling, it is better, on the contrary, to use liquid metal.
How to scalp? Now even a few special devices have appeared in order to move the lid, but I used a vice in the old fashioned way. On one side, where the backing rests against the jaw of the vise, I wound up with ordinary electrical tape so as not to damage the backing too much. On previous generations of processors, I did the shift from top to bottom or bottom to top, and now from left to right or right to left.
The substrate is very thin, so you need to act carefully. The efforts are very large and therefore you can be frightened, as if it does not break. In a clamped grip under tension, it is seen how even in a small area it bends. The faint of heart use a blade, but this can cause the top layer on the substrate to break and the processor stops working. In practice, I saw how, after such a procedure, the processor lost a memory channel.
At first I used this motherboard with an uncalculated processor. Even in the normal mode, the automation of the board is reinsured and overestimates the voltage on the cores.
Because of this, even in the normal mode, the core temperatures in the load are quite high. It should be added to this that I do not have the best sample of the Intel Core i7 6700K model, and its vid is higher than 1.3 V.
We must pay tribute to the engineers of ASUS, since their motherboards, when automatically overclocking processors, operate with the nominal vid value of the processor and, based on this, set the voltage at which everything will work 100% stably.
They are reinsured by overstating the voltage, but everything works and nothing prevents you from setting it manually with a lower value.
Without scalping, the processor overclocks very weakly and all because of the same high temperatures. In addition, you have to carefully select the voltage so that throttling does not start in the load. Otherwise, the result of such overclocking will be meaningless because the performance will increase insignificantly or will not change at all.
After such modest results, I decided to remove the cover from the processor and replace the thermal interface with “liquid metal”. The operation was successful and I put the cover back on the sealant. A day passed and when it was already frozen, I began to test the processor.
The result was good, but I noticed that there is a very large difference in temperature between the cores in the load.
Review and testing of the motherboard ASUS Maximus VIII Hero (page 4)
Specifications. BIOS capabilities. advertising
Since the metal is really liquid, it always strives to drain, especially since the processor on the motherboard in the case is often located vertically. This point should also be taken into account when scalping the processor and replacing the thermal interface.
There is a very interesting feature on the board called Lighting Control. We have already seen that on the heatsink of the chipset there is a window with the ROG logo, through which the LEDs shine through. By default, they glow red. However, after installing special software, the colors can be changed and even set special effects.
The utility is called the Lighting Control. Here you can select not only the color, but also set the intensity of the glow. However, it is better to see once than hear several times, so I suggest watching the video.
The ASUS Maximus VIII Hero motherboard was tested with the following configuration:
- Processor: Intel Core i7 6700K (4000 MHz);
- Cooler: Noctua NH-D15;
- Thermal interface: Gelid GC-Extreme;
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VIII Hero, BIOS version 1001;
- Memory: 2 x 4GB DDR4 3000, G.Skill;
- Video card: ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Ti 6 GB (1114/1203/7012 MHz (core / boost / memory));
- SSD storage: Samsung 840 PRO 512 GB;
- Information panel: Zalman ZM-MFC3;
- Power supply unit: SEASONIC SS-1000XP (1000 W);
- Case: Corsair Graphite 600T.
At first I did not attach any importance to this and continued the tests further. Here I first came out on 4800 MHz and passed all tests.
The big difference in temperature persisted and I realized that something had gone wrong. The next day, I disassembled the processor again and saw that the thermal interface just stacked on one side.
Then there was a long procedure for cleansing and repeated application of the “liquid metal”. As a result, the picture repeated itself, and I already decided to use thermal paste. However, not only did the results deteriorate, but after some time a large difference in temperatures between the cores appeared again.
As a result, I switched to “liquid metal” again, but unfortunately the success was fixed on another motherboard from ASUS.
Board testing and overclocking
The board is very well suited for overclocking, and it is quite easy to do here. However, for best results, even with extreme cooling, it is best to scalp the processor first and replace the substance under the cover.
If you plan to cool the processor using liquid nitrogen, then it is better to use thermal grease and just one that does not freeze or change its properties at very low temperatures.
This is where the Gelid GC-Extreme has proven itself well. Why is “liquid metal” not used in this situation?
Considering the gaming positioning of the motherboard, the package is appropriate. Three SATA 6 Gb / s cables, a flexible SLI bridge, proprietary Q-connector adapters and an overlay for the rear panel are packed in a small red box with the board.
The box also contains a fairly voluminous user manual, a CD with drivers and software, a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door handle, a set of twelve stickers to indicate the cables used, and a corporate emblem with the ROG logo for the case. You can stick it on your computer case or decorate your stand.
Review of the motherboard ASUS Maximus VII Hero: the hero of any game
ASUS ‘ROG (Republic of Games) series motherboards are designed primarily for gamers. They make it possible to create not only truly powerful gaming systems, but also beautiful stands that will look great. The board, which will be discussed in this review, is based on Intel Z97 system logic.
ASUS ROG (Republic of Games) series motherboards are designed primarily for gamers. They make it possible to create not only truly powerful gaming systems, but also beautiful stands that will look great. The board, which will be discussed in this review, is based on Intel Z97 system logic.
Design and features
Like all motherboards in the ROG series, the new product is made in corporate, aggressive black and red colors. Matte black textolite of the motherboard is in perfect harmony with the same black nickel-plated cooling radiators and bright red inserts. These inserts highlight, in particular, the chip and components of the new version of the sound subsystem. SupremeFX 2014.
In addition, some of the slots for RAM modules and several PCI Express slots are highlighted in red here.
Board form factor. ATX, dimensions. 305 x 244 mm.
Nickel-plated radiators are designed to cool the chipset and power subsystem. most of the capacitors, transistors and chokes are located next to them.
There is also a processor socket with a metal cover and a plastic cap, which must be removed after installing the processor.
The motherboard supports all types of CPU socket fans, up to water cooling systems.
Contact groups for connecting coolers and an 8-pin connector for powering the processor are installed directly above the socket.
To the right of the processor socket are four RAM slots. The latches are located only at the top. this provides more convenient access to the modules, if after installing all the components there is practically no free space left.
The board supports the installation of DDR3 brackets with a nominal frequency of 1600/1333 MHz. The maximum amount of RAM is 32 GB. Dual-channel mode is supported. for this you need to install bars in slots of the same color.
When overclocking, the maximum supported memory frequency is 3200 MHz.
Next to the slots you can see a debugger, power and reset buttons for using the board as a stand, and several system buttons. One of them is responsible for the proprietary MemOK technology, which fixes problems with RAM compatibility, and the second is responsible for the KeyBot technology for setting additional hot keys on any USB keyboard.
Under the keys there is a main connector for connecting a power supply and a connector for outputting USB 3.0 connectors.
There are also USB 2.0 connectors. two are installed on the rear panel, and there are three contact groups for outputting five additional sockets, including a port for connecting the ROG Extension module.
The chipset is hidden under a passive cooling radiator with a corporate logo and the name of the line.
Nearby is a melange of eight SATA 6 Gb / s ports. Six ports are powered by an Intel Z97 controller.
Attached hard drives can be organized into RAID arrays. Levels 0, 1, 5, and 10 are supported. Two connectors are operated by an ASMedia ASM1061 controller.
One of the features of the motherboard is the M.2 connector. Supports SSDs 22mm wide and 60mm long or 80mm long respectively.
Expansion slots are PCI Express 3.0 x16 capable of operating in x16 and x8 modes, PCI Express 3.0 x16 operating in x8 mode, three PCIe 2.0 x 1 slots and a PCI Express 2.0 x 16 slot operating in x4 mode.
When using an M.2 slot, PCI Express 2.0 x 1 slots are automatically disabled. And when the card is connected to the PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot, M.2 will stop working. When used in a multi-GPU configuration with NVIDIA® SLI ™ or AMD CrossFireX ™ technology, the main slots will operate at x8 / x8 / x4.
The entire board contains four connectors for connecting general-purpose fans, and at the bottom there are contacts for connecting the system panel, temperature sensors and an audio system.
In addition, there are two keys here. for switching the audio profiles of Sonic SoundStage and resetting BIOS settings. A large number of small service LEDs on the board notify the user that the system is booting correctly. ASUS Maximus VII Hero gets a proprietary 2014 ROG SupremeFX audio codec that supports 8-channel audio (7.1 systems).
The rear panel contains PS / 2 ports, two USB 2.0 sockets, four USB 3.0, HDMI, DVI, VGA for displaying images with an integrated video card, a gigabit network port, optical audio output and six audio ports.
There is also a USB BIOS Flashback button, with which you can quickly update the BIOS.
ASUS Maximus VII Hero implements the network port using an Intel controller. this provides excellent bandwidth and high-quality connection with minimal load on the central processor.
USB slots, network connector and audio ports are protected from static electricity by additional circuits with TVS diodes and protective capacitors.
Stylish packaging and extensive scope of delivery
Signature black and red design
Intel Z97 Chipset
Multi GPU and integrated graphics support
Reliable board design
Proprietary SupremeFX audio chip
Static electricity protection
Excellent overclocking capabilities
ASUS Maximus VII Hero
Intel Socket LGA1150
5th / new 4th and 4th generation processors
Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron
Supports 22nm Intel CPU
Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Dual channel DDR3 memory
4 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM
Frequencies supported 1600/1333 MHz, OC to 3200 MHz, non-ECC, unbuffered
Maximum memory capacity: 32GB
Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) support
2 x PCI Express 3.0 / 2.0 x16 (PCIEX16_1 / PCIEX16_2: single x16 (PCIEX16_1); dual x8 (PCIEX16_1) / x8 (PCIEX16_2))
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (PCIEX16_3: x4 mode)
3 x PCI Express 2.0 x1
NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI Support
AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX Support
SATA / RAID support
6 x SATA 3 6.0Gb / s (red)
RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10
2 x SATA3 6.0Gb / s (red) for storage devices
1 x M.2 10Gbps
1 x Intel I218V (10/100/1000 Mb / s)
7 x USB 2.0 (4 @ rear, 4 @ board)
2 x USB 3.0 (rear)
6 x USB 3.0 (2 @ rear, 4 @ board)
Support for integrated graphics capabilities
Multi-source output via HDMI / DVI-D / RGB
Max. amount of memory 512 MB
Supports Intel InTru 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider
ROG SupremeFX 8CH High Definition Audio Codec Supports: Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
24-pin ATX power connector
8 pin 12V power connector
Rear panel connectors
Optical S / PDIF Out
6 audio inputs / outputs 3.5 mm mini-jack
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button
6 x SATA 6Gb / s
2 x SATA 6Gb / s
1 x M.2 Socket 3 10Gbps
1 x CPU Cooler (4-pin)
1 x CPU OPT Cooler (4-pin)
4 x case coolers (4-pin)
1 x Front Panel Audio (AAFP)
1 x System Panel (Q-Connector)
1 x Power Button
1 x reset button
1 x KeyBot Button
1 x SoundStage Button
1 x MemOK button!
1 x ROG Extension
1 x CMOS switch
64MB UEFI AMI ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.7, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0, Multi-language BIOS
Since 8th and 9th Generation Intel Core processors have an integrated graphics core, HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.2 video outputs are available for connecting a monitor on the back of the board.
The Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) board is made in the ATX form factor (305 × 244 mm), nine standard holes are provided for mounting it into the case.
How it works
Recall that the Z390 chipset has 30 HSIO ports, of which there can be up to 24 PCIe 3.0 ports, up to 6 SATA 6 Gb / s ports and up to 10 USB 3.0 / 3.1 ports, of which up to 6 ports can be USB 3.1. over, there can be no more than 14 USB 3.1 / 3.0 / 2.0 ports.
The chipset PCIe ports on the board are implemented: PCI Express 3.0 x4 slot, three PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots, two M.2 slots and one network controller (no PCIe 3.0 port is required for the Wi-Fi controller). All of this together requires 16 PCIe 3.0 ports. There are six SATA ports, four USB 3.0 ports, and five USB 3.1 ports on the board for a combined 15 HSIO ports. That is, there are 31 HSIO ports in total. Something must be separated from something.
In addition, the score does not add up with USB ports either. Recall that the Intel Z390 chipset supports no more than 14 USB ports, and no more than 10 USB 3.0 / 3.1 ports, of which up to 6 ports can be USB 3.1 ports. Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) has 15 USB ports (5 USB 3.1, 4 USB 3.0 and 6 USB 2.0).
Apparently, as on the Asus Prime Z390-A board, the shortage of USB ports is solved by using a USB 2.0 hub, which turns two USB 2.0 ports into four.
And about the rest of the divisions, everything is simple. The PCI Express 3.0 x4 slot is shared with two SATA ports (SATA_5 and SATA_6). That is, the PCI Express 3.0 x4 slot can work in x4 mode, but in this case the SATA_5 and SATA_6 ports will be unavailable, or the ports will be available, but in this case the PCI Express 3.0 x4 slot will work in x2 mode. This separation saves two HSIO ports.
Further, the M.2_1 connector is shared with the SATA_2 port along the SATA line. That is, if the M.2_1 connector is used in SATA mode, then the SATA_2 port will be unavailable. If the SATA_2 port is used, then the M.2_1 connector is available only in PCIe mode.
Taking into account the specified division, a total of 29 HSIO ports are required. The block diagram of the Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) board is shown in the figure.
In this review, we’ll take a look at a hot new product. the Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) motherboard based on the Intel Z390 chipset. Recall that, according to the naming rules for Asus boards, Maximus XI in the name indicates that the board belongs to the ROG gaming series and is based on the Intel Z390 chipset.
The board provides four USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports and five USB 3.1 ports to connect all kinds of peripheral devices.
All USB ports are implemented via Intel Z390 chipset. Two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and four USB 3.1 ports are routed to the rear panel of the board. These USB 3.1 ports include three Type-A connectors and one Type-C connector. To connect another four USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports, the board has two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 ports (two ports per connector). In addition, the board has a vertical type connector for connecting a front USB 3.1 (Type-C) port.
Completion and packaging
Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) board comes in a medium-sized box, decorated in a standard style for the ROG series.
Package includes four SATA cables (all connectors with latches, two cables with an angled connector on one side), user manual, DVD with software and drivers, SLI bridge for two video cards, built-in Wi-Fi module antenna, cables.adapters for connecting LED strips and, of course, various stickers in great abundance.
Configuration and features of the board
A summary table of the characteristics of the Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) board is given below, and further in the text we will consider all its features and functionality.
The cooling system of the Asus ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) board consists of several radiators. Two radiators connected by a heat pipe are located on two adjacent sides of the processor socket and are designed to remove heat from the voltage regulator elements of the processor. Another radiator is designed to cool the chipset.
In addition, there are two heatsinks for SSD-drives installed in M.2 slots.
In addition, to create an efficient heat dissipation system, the board has eight four-pin fan connectors. Two connectors are for the processor cooler, three more for additional case fans, two more for the water cooling system, and the last connector is designed for powerful fans with a current of up to 3 A (36 W).
In addition, there is a connector for a thermal sensor (not included in the kit) and a five-pin Ext_Fan connector that allows you to connect a Fan Extension card (not included in the kit either), to which you can connect additional fans and thermal sensors. The trick here is that the fans connected to the Fan Extension board are controlled through the UEFI BIOS of the motherboard.
There are four DIMM slots for installing memory modules on the board. The board supports unbuffered DDR4 (non-ECC) memory and has a maximum memory capacity of 64GB (when using 16GB modules).