ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero LGA1151 DDR4 DP ATX Motherboard Review
The Asus ROG Maximus IX Hero indicates the movement of ROG Maximus to the expensive realm and the ROG Strix taking up the middle segment. The ROG Maximus IX Hero provides a set of incredibly unique features like Realtek ALC1220-based audio in the form of ROG SupremeFX S1220. This offers dynamic range and lower noise levels as compared to the Z170 board. The U.2 ports have been replaced by the M.2 ports which are the interface that will speed up the SSD. There is no change in the number of SATA ports, and it is the same as before and provides 6 Gbps speed. SATA ports help allow connection of CD/DVD ROM’s, hard drives, etc. The motherboard also provides for 3-D Printing compatibility.
The lighting isn’t very prominent, and there is just the symbol of “Maximus IX” on the I/O shroud which is located above a large heatsink that hides part of the 10 phase power delivery. An illuminated ROG symbol is also present on the PCH heatsink. A new feature with the Hero is the Aura Sync that allows you to customise lighting effects with all Asus compatible devices, for instance, graphic cards and keyboards. You can control each section of lighting independently. The rear provides a variety of ports including USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 (Gen 2), USB Type A and Type C. There is an Intel-powered LAN which allows the computer to connect to a network using a wired connection. The motherboard provides the usual audio outputs and BIOS Flashback buttons.
The Asus ROG Maximus IX Hero is designed to match the 7th generation of Intel core processors to maximise connectivity with Intel Octane Memory compatibility. The 2×2 MIMO AC wifi (Max speed 867 kbps) is very handy to use and provides great stability. It has an intuitive and rather easy BIOS. XMP is disabled by default which may cause slow overclocking, but this problem can easily be solved by turning XMP on. The ASUS ROG software allows you to control the LED colours and patterns, easily tweak fan speed, automatically overclock, adjust sound, and more. The motherboard supports a full blown water cooling system that helps cool the temperature.
It provides the MemOK button that temporarily limits memory speed to allow booting and numerous buttons on the lower side that help while opening various platforms with ease.
The Asus Maximus IX Hero has an incredible number of fan headers, and two of the eight PWM-capable headers are labelled “High Amp” for pumps and extremely large fans. A five pin header connects to Asus’ Accessory Fan Extension which can be used to add another four fans. The Maximus IX Hero features a total of three x16-length PCIe 3.0 slots but can only support two graphic cards properly. The reason for not using a graphics card in the bottom slot is that the USB 3.0 is the only USB 3.0 front-panel header found beneath it. The cables that connect to these aren’t flexible. Alternatively, the bottom slot proves to be an appropriate place to put a PCIe SSD.
Even though this motherboard is a tad bit costly, it is a much better deal than several premium motherboards available in the market.