ASUS ROG Z170 Maximus VIII Hero Review
Published: 5th August 2015 | Source: ASUS | Price: £172 @ OCUK |
First thing that struck us with this generation of the Maximus boards is the lack of red. Red has always been the ROG colour of choice but it has lost its appeal of late being used by other manufacturers on everything to the point that it's almost passe. Asus have gone very light on the red this time around and in our eyes the boards are totally better for it. The gunmetal grey looks have a much more grown up look to them, and where the red detailing is very slight it also means that you could use this board in pretty much any themed system. The red accents around the top of the board above the mosfets we think could easily be modded to any colour with a quick splash of paint or some vinyl because things should never get too hot that it affects it.
Placing the M.2 socket just behind the regular SATA connectors is something that we've been asking for. It frees up the space below the CPU socket for more esoteric cooling solutions, but also allows you to switch the M.2 stick without needing to take out your GPU. A much more sensible solution all around.
There's plenty to look at around the CPU socket area with all those chokes and caps feeding the CPU with its power but from this angle it also gives us a good look at the rear I/O cover. Yes it is only plastic but that does mean its also perfect for a weekend project should you fancy customising. Even in stock form it gives the board a masculine and almost Formula like feel.
As always with ASUS they go the extra mile with their Supreme FX Audio. Combining shielding with a break-out board and high-quality components to guarantee crackle free performance.
SATA Express is still on the board even though there doesn't appear to be anything available on the market to actually use the connection. The good thing is you can at least still use these for normal SATA drives too. Round on the read I/O there is a USB 3.1 Type C and a Type A connector - red one - a couple of normal USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 plus the always handy when you need it PS2 mouse and keyboard connector.