ASUS ROG Z170 Maximus VIII Hero Review
Published: 5th August 2015 | Source: ASUS | Price: £172 @ OCUK |
Generally bundled software isn't something we would normally pay much attention too (other than the lighting below) but the Asus boards come with a DVD bursting at the seams with it. The AI Suite isn't a new thing but, now in its 3rd iteration, we have actually really started to like it. Of course we still don't think you should be using it to overclock your system, but there is a whole wealth of other features in there and the fan control in particular is awesome.
Aside from the usual suspects there are other cool things like RAM disk software that will dynamically adjust its size depending on the system requirements, ASUS HomeCloud so you can easily reach all of your important files with your mobile or even another PC when you are at work or out and about #secretfappersunite. Sure we prefer Avast to Kaspersky, but having an Anti-Virus is always a good idea, if only to stop Windows bleeting on about your lack of one.
Customisable RGB lighting seems to be taking hold of motherboards at the moment and Asus have now joined the party too. There are lights underneath the chipset heatsink and the ROG logo (I still say southbridge in my head). In the idiot proof software you can choose exactly what colour you want your ROG logo and heatsink underglow to be and it does a good job of rendering them accurately.
Along with colour changes you can also set it to pulse or strobe, change colour along with CPU temps so you can tell how hot it is running at a glance through your case window - handy for those of you that have not found HWmonitor yet - and you can even adjust the brightness although we found ourselves wanting to turn ours up more than we actually could not wanting to turn it down. The only minor down side is the audio light trails are a static red colour, if those red LED's ruin your blue or green theme though you'll be happy to know they can easily be disabled in the BIOS.
The capability to change the lighting, as well as turn it off if you so choose, along with the very subtle use of red on the Hero, really means this is a ROG motherboard for the masses, freeing you from the oppressive "any colour so long as it's red" yoke.