ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Review

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ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview

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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.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  
ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  
ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  
ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  

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.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  

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.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  

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.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  

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.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview 

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Most Recent Comments

26-10-2018, 12:01:07

Would be nice to know what your setting your voltage to in the bios on this board for the manual overclock, and also what is the the AI overclock pushing through the CPU on the voltage when its fully loaded ??

Its so easy to export bios setting nowadays..

Also how high are you getting your memory ?
Any chance you can try with a 16gb mobules as they are coming down in price rapidly ?Quote

26-10-2018, 14:22:03

I wanted the Extreme or the Formula, but have to admit I am sick of waiting for them to appear in the retail pipeline.

I'm trying to figure out if the Hero will be as good as the other two for me....Quote

26-10-2018, 16:59:12

Originally Posted by Jake-From-State-Farm View Post
I wanted the Extreme or the Formula, but have to admit I am sick of waiting for them to appear in the retail pipeline.

I'm trying to figure out if the Hero will be as good as the other two for me....
It's a good board. I'm really happy with mine, only quibble is the great big heatsink that makes it hard to fit thick (60mm) roof mounted rads in my case.Quote

29-10-2018, 03:15:30

You talked a lot about the price in the conclusion, but refuse to name any numbers? Even in the article's header the price is missing. May I ask why it is like that?Quote

29-10-2018, 19:25:23

Hi Tom and everyone,

I am new at this forum but wanted to share some knowledge.

When looking at your Blender and x265 benchmarks, all the Z390 Asus boards are clearly limited (power/current/otherwise) compared to the MSI Z390 ACE, when comparing the non-OC results using i9-9900K.

I know the MSI Z390 ACE (and GODLIKE) have no power/current limits (only CPU thermal limit default is limited to 100C but you can change that in the bios up to 115C).

If you want to know the power/current limits of your motherboard you can simply run the latest Intel XTU tool on your board and it will tell you if you are limited on:
Power Limit 1 (Long Power Limit),
Power Limit 2 (Short Power Limit),
Short Limit Duration:
IccMax (Max current draw allowed)
(AVX offset)

BTW x265 and Blender are both AVX loads (so AVX offset could also cause this performance difference).

In XTU you can even change those parameters on-the-fly in Windows if you want to test how it affects your benchmarks/programs.

XTU should work on any recent Intel motherboard.

I guess every brand will limit their low tier S1151 motherboards, to protect the CPU and the motherboard (like H310/B360).
Which is to be expected (nothing new).
But those lower-end boards usually don't end up at the reviewers.

So far we have only seen Asus limit their bios at least on the high-end models in reviews, like this M11 Hero (at least if you say "no" to the Asus recommended settings when entering the Asus bios)

I was just wondering what settings Asus is using for the limits.

I personally think the PL2 should be somewhere around 160W on every board, just to get rid of those ridiculuos power draws (over 200W CPU Package Power) in Prime95 v27.x or later (SmallFFTs/12K).

Any normal application (AVX or non-AVX) should run close to or within that 160W power limit and reach its all-core Turbo of 4.7GHz.
(Normal application excludes, any linpack (AVX) loads (e.g. OCCT, XTU, LinX), Prime95 v27.x or later (Small FFTs/12K), AIDA64 Stress Test (AVX), etc.)

I personally don't like the AVX offset method to limit the power draw because, it will hurt the performance of realworld applications like x264/x265/Blender.
These applications use AVX but don't have an extreme power draw (~150W on 9900K @ 4.7GHz all-core Turbo). So why penalize all AVX loads when only a few stresstests run with extreme power draw.

I have also seen boards limiting by IccMax but it's harder to predict at what point/load the cpu will be limited.

Please note that if you remove limits (power/current/thermal), you should check especially if your thermals are OK.

Especially VRM temperatures can get hot quickly (more and more boards show VRM/MOS temperatures in HWInfo64 Sensors but if your board doesn't, you should use other means to monitor).

BTW XTU can also be used to monitor which of the limits (Thermal, Power, Current or MB VR Thermal) is tripped during benchmarks/stresstests. (HWInfo64 can also monitor Thermal, Power and VR alerts but not Current limits).

If you find any limits on your Z390 motherboard and want to share them, please post your Power/Current limits in this thread
(just make sure you are running bios defaults and state the motherboard model, the bios version and the PL1/PL2/Duration/IccMax/AVX offset)
Usually the power/current limits are the same for any cpu, so ther is no need to have a 9900K.Quote

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