ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview
Published: 8th October 2018 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
The Maximus XI Hero dispenses with the black and red packaging of the previous generation of ROG products and instead goes all in on the black look. It does strike us as a little odd given how famous the red boxes are, but who are we to judge? If you've never owned a ROG product before then you'll be pleased with the whole box opening procedure and how much you get included within the packaging. Usually the more minimalist the packaging the more impressive the product, and if this is true then the front of the Hero box certainly should contain a motherboard of surpassing excellence.
Whilst the Maximus XI Formula has adopted the full cover armour the Hero looks a lot like the Maximus XI Extreme. Like a lot of recent ASUS offerings the combined IO shield and heat sink dominate the visual aspect. The chipset heat sink and M.2 heat spreader combination look like James Bottomtooth IV from Family Guy. One of those things you can't unsee.
We'll be covering the details in more depth on the next page, but for now the Hero looks very familiar to anyone who has studied the ROG range of motherboards launched in recent times. The decision to lighten the VRM heat sink and apply the Hero logo to the bright end does somewhat detract from the darker aesthetic of the Maximus XI range, but it's by no means as loud as the red flashes of old. With three fan headers and both RGB and addressable connectors at the top end, the Maximus XI Hero should certainly be easy to cable route.
There are a lot of connection options on the Maximus XI Hero, from the RGB LED header that forms the basis of the Aura sync lighting, to USB front panel ports of all flavours, and plenty of fan and pump headers varying from 1A to 3A and 12W to 36W for all your cooling requirements.
Just because the Hero is the entry level model in the Maximus XI range doesn't mean that ASUS have crippled either it or your ability to maximise your hardware. Plenty of fan headers and a 8+4 pin ATX 12V power input are testament to that, before we get to the onboard start and reset buttons and plenty of cooling for the power phases.