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ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) Gaming Motherboard (Intel 8th 9th Gen) ATX DDR4 DP HDMI M.2 USB 3.1 Gen2 802.11ac Wi-Fi
|Price:||+ $31.27 Delivery|
- Designed for 9th 8th Generation Intel Core processors maximize connectivity, speed with Dual M.2, USB 3.1 Gen 2, onboard 802.11AC Wi-Fi and ASUS optimum II for better DRAM overclocking stability
- Revamped 5-way Optimization overclocks Intelligently based on smart prediction and thermal telemetry while FanXpert 4 delivers dynamic system cooling
- Aura Sync RGB lighting with addressable headers features a nearly endless spectrum of colors with the ability to synchronize effects across an ever-expanding ecosystem of AURA Sync enabled products
- Pre-mounted I/O shield ensures streamlined installation and represents ROG's attention to detail and quality
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From the manufacturer
Republic of Gamers (ROG) is an ASUS sub-brand dedicated to creating one of the world’s best gaming hardware and software. Formed in 2006, ROG offers a complete line of innovative products known for performance and quality.
Load up with more cores for more performance with the ROG Maximus XI Hero Wi-Fi, ready for 9th generation Intel Core processors. The revamped ASUS 5-Way Optimization overclocks intelligently based on smart prediction and thermal telemetry while FanXpert 4 delivers dynamic system cooling. Aura Sync with addressable headers features full RGB customization.
- Designed for 9th and 8th generation Intel Core processors with dual M.2, USB 3.1 Gen 2, onboard 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- Revamped 5-Way Optimization overclocks intelligently based on smart prediction and thermal telemetry
- Aura Sync RGB lighting with addressable headers features a nearly endless spectrum of colors with the ability to synchronize effects
- Pre-mounted I/O shield ensures streamlined installation and represents ROG’s attention to detail and quality
We've loaded the ROG Maximus XI Hero with simple, flexible tools that let you tweak almost every system aspect. Enjoy intelligent automated tuning with 5-Way Optimization technology, or dive deep into the revered ROG UEFI BIOS to take full manual control. Hero also makes short work of fine-tuning everything from audio to storage, so it's easy to get every part of your system up to speed.
Our OptiMem II tech carefully maps memory signal pathways across different PCB layers to reduce vias and also adds shielding zones that significantly reduce crosstalk. And to further enhance overclocking headroom for fully stacked memory configurations, we've employed a highly customized T-Topology layout that delivers time-aligned signaling.
Built for overclocking
By default, all of Coffee Lake's major bus frequencies are derived from the same reference clock, limiting the control and flexibility needed to harness the full overclocking potential of the platform. The ROG Maximus XI Hero features a dedicated onboard clock generator that supplies dynamic reference clocks to the CPU cores and major subdomains, giving you the freedom to coax every MHz of headroom from the system.
Cooler by design
The ROG Maximus XI Hero features the most comprehensive cooling controls ever, configurable via Fan Xpert 4 or the UEFI BIOS. Each header can be set to monitor and react to three user-configurable thermal sensors, for workload based cooling. All easily managed by Fan Xpert 4 or UEFI.
Personalized for you
With Aura Sync to unleash synchronized effects that extend from motherboard to a vast ecosystem of compatible components, the ROG Maximus XI Hero is primed for endless personalization.
Utilizing the S1220 codec, SupremeFX is the integrated-audio solution that's engineered to provide a flat frequency response for a neutral, detailed sound signature. And to ensure that pristine signature is perfectly preserved, the front-panel output is driven with dual op amps, delivering sonics with the scale and authority to create virtual worlds via your gaming headset.
|ROG Maximus XI Code||ROG Maximus XI Formula||ROG Maximus XI Hero (WI-FI)||ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming||TUF Z390-Pro Gaming||Prime Z390-A|
|CPU||Intel Socket 1151 for Intel Core 9000 series, 8th Generation Core i7/ i5/ i3, Pentium and Celeron processors||Intel Socket 1151 for Intel Core 9000 series, 8th Generation Core i7/ i5/ i3, Pentium and Celeron processors||Intel Socket 1151 for Intel Core 9000 series, 8th Generation Core i7/ i5/ i3, Pentium and Celeron processors||Intel Socket 1151 for 8th Generation Core Pentium/Celeron Processors|
|Chipset||Intel Z390 Chipset||Intel Z390 Chipset||Intel Z390 Chipset||Intel Z390 Chipset||Intel Z390 Chipset||Intel Z390 Chipset|
|Memory||4 / 64 GB DDR4 4133+ MHz(O.C.)||4 / 64 GB DDR4 4400+ MHz(O.C.)||4 / 64 GB DDR4 4400+ MHz(O.C.)||4 / 64 GB DDR4 4266+ MHz (O.C.)||4 / 64 GB DDR4 4133+ MHz(O.C.)||4 / 64 GB DDR4 4266+ MHz (O.C.)|
|PCIe X16 Slots||2 @ x16 or x8/x8 or x8/x4+x4 "1 max @ x4"||2 @ x16 or x8/x8 or x8/x4+x4 "1 max @ x4"||2 @ x16 or x8/x8 or x8/x4+x4 "1 max @ x4"||2 @ x16 or x8/x8 or x8/x4+x4 "1 max @ x4"||2 @ x16 or x8/x8 or x8/x4+x4 "1 max @ x2"||2 @ x16 or x8/x8 or x8/x4+x4 "1 max @ x4"|
|Audio||SupremeFX S1220A||SupremeFX S1220A||SupremeFX S1220A||SupremeFX S1220A||Realtek S1200A 8-channel high definition audio||Realtek ALC S1220A featuring Crystal Sound 3|
|32Gb/s M.2||1 x M.2 2242-22110(PCIE3.0 x 4 + SATA) "1 x M.2 2242-2280 (PCIe 3.0 x 4)"||1 x M.2 2242-22110(PCIE3.0 x 4 + SATA) "1 x M.2 2242-2280 (PCIe 3.0 x 4)"||1 x M.2 2242-2280 (SATA + PCIe 3.0 x 4) "1 x M.2 2242-22110 (PCIe 3.0 x 4)"||1 x M.2 2242-22110(PCIe3.0 x 4 + SATA) "1 x M.2 2242-2280 (PCIe 3.0 x 4)"||1 x M.2 2242-22110(PCIe3.0 x 4 + SATA) "1 x M.2 2242-2280 (PCIe 3.0 x 4)"||1 x M.2 2242-22110(PCIe3.0 x 4 + SATA) "1 x M.2 2242-2280 (PCIe 3.0 x 4)"|
|Wireless||2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac||2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac||2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac||2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac||Intel I219V||Intel I219V|
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Prime - lowest level, probably best to use only for 6 core chips. 4-phase VRM I believe.
TUF - second tier, improved components and reliability over prime.
Strix - third tier, gaming features.
Maximus - highest end components, WiFi, M.2 heatsinks. Most overclocker friendly.
Under the Maximus level you have several more denominations. Hero is the general all-purpose board. Higher level boards cater to custom water cooling and liquid nitro - extreme overclocking. Such features the average user would never need/use.
Here's the build - everything hand-picked high-end/best-value except for the memory, which I got for free:
ASUS Z390 Maximus Hero Wi-Fi
Intel 8700k (9700k when in stock)
MSI Geforce 1080ti Gaming X
Crucial Ballistix Sport 16 GB DDR4 3000
Samsung 500gb 970 Evo M.2 NVME
Corsair MP510 500gb M.2 NVME
Corsair H110i with Corsair ML 140 Pro fan kit
EVGA Supernova G2 Gold 750W
Corsair 275R Case w/ Corsair 120ML Pro x3 fan exhaust kit
The Hero has every feature the average enthusiast custom builder would need. I wont reiterate the specs since they are well detailed in the advert. The board is heavy due to the considerable heatsinks on the chipset, M.2 and VRMs. I can't test these but in the reviews they do an outstanding job of keeping these critical components cool under overclocking and stress conditions. The packaging is adequate - big red box. Everything laid out inside appropriately and all the wing dings you would potentially need. ASUS always throws in their proprietary header for case connectors, which is always useful. The only thing I would have liked to have seen is a vertical GPU mounting adapter cable. For enthusiast builders this would be a nice addition since most cases support this nowadays. The aesthetics are really slick - all black which permits your own custom RGB/LED shenanigans. I could write a whole article on the BIOS alone. Suffice it to say that ASUS leads the UEFI pack. Heck, they invented the UEFI BIOS. Auto overclocking features are slick, but you're not here to let AI overclock for you - get a little dirty. Win10 install off of UEFI USB 3.0 stick was simple. I dont have a 9700K yet to put in there so I used my old 8700k just to test things out. Easy overclock to 5.0 Ghz. Sound system seems excellent. Definitely an improvement over my old base Realtec solution in the last build and can definitely be appreciated through my Audioengine speaker system. I haven't tested out the Wi-Fi since I don't want the added latency for gaming.
Unique features - what sets this aside from top tier boards from Asrock, MSI, Gigabyte, EVGA?
- ASUS is the UEFI king. Havent worked with the others lately but they have always been a bit wonky.
- integrated I/O shield...THANK YOU FINALLY
- Outstanding VRM cooling
- Improved audio
- Pricey, although if you're planning to overclock much, this is the one. Otherwise go with Strix-E.
- Instruction manual - why are these always so bad??? Not much improvement over 20 years.
- Makes a piss-poor Frisbee
- Cheaped out on the VRM and VRM controller; VRMs run hotter than comparable boards in online reviews. Does not seem to affect overclocking or average use. May be an issue for extreme overclocking.
- M.2 screws - see below **
IMPORTANT PRE-BUILD TIPS!!!
Pro Tip #1: Before this board goes anywhere near your case, place it on a flat surface and "attempt" to remove the M.2 screws holding the covers/heatsinks down. Some numb-nut decided it would be a good idea to weld these screws in place with thread-lock. Why!?! Threadlock is used only in applications subject to strong vibration and a likelihood the screws will work out accidentally. This is an NVME people! No vibration. Anyway there are already reports of people stripping out the screw heads and having to RMA the board.
Pro Tip #2: If you get the inevitable A2 error code, remove your video card, switch to integrated and re-boot. After you POST successfully then you can reinstall your vid. This happened to me with initial startup and after a BIOS update. Does not like video cards in there on first POST after new BIOS.
Pro Tip #3: Make sure to remove power limits in UEFI if you plan to overclock. Mine would not get over 5000 without current limit throttling until that happened, as Maximus boards set a 95W limit to keep within Intel spec. Any overclock will easily pull 140W+. Intel Extreme Tuning Utility was critical for me to get past that barrier.
Final thoughts: The M.2 thing was a headache and I am still dealing with CS to try to replace a single bloody screw...no success so far. ASUS has had me for life just because of the superior UEFI, and this one does not disappoint. My last board P8Z68-V/Gen 3 from 2011 has been running my overclocked 2500k @ 4.9 24/7 for 8 years! With the rate of CPU speed advancement these days (nonexistent), if I can get a board that will last for 8 years overclocked balls-out like that, I'll pay extra for that quality. It looks and runs awesome and I will likely never have to worry about breakdowns. The VRM situation was a concern to me, but ultimately did not impact performance. The marketing is somewhat deceptive - just call it 4-phase. OC differential is likely negligible, but be aware that other boards (i.e. Gigabyte Aorus) have much more robust VRMs if you have to have that last 50Mhz OC. I think the superior sound and UEFI outweigh that concern.
Update 11/9/18: 9700k is in and purring along at 5.2 all-cores with 1.375 vid. 5300 stable on 2 cores same voltage.
Sil Quality rated at 78% and cooler rated at a 180. Memory OC going quite well. More OC results posted as available.
Update 11/20: Well I hate to do this but I am docking a star due to the m.2 issue. Spent 2 weeks fighting with CS on getting a single replacement screw. Eventually I escalated it to the desk of the head of customer support (Barbara Kushner) and the CEO. They promised me a replacement screw and a few days later I got a regular standoff screw in the mail. Utter fail. ASUS CS gets a 0/10 - all the way to the executive team. If CS factors into your purchase you'd be better off with another brand.
The ASUS Maximus XI Hero has an 1151 CPU socket and is built with the Z390 chipset. It supports multiple GPUs for SLI/Crossfire video operation. It has 6 GB/s SATA ports and USB 3.1 (gen 1 and gen 2). The motherboard has a socket for a TPM module for Windows BitLocker.
Back Input/Output (I/O) Ports on back of Motherboard: HDMI port; Display Port; LAN (RJ45); two USB 3.1 gen 1; three USB 3.1 gen 2; one USB 3.1 type C; two USB 2.0; Optical S/PDIF out; audio jacks; Clear CMOS button; Wi-Fi antenna connections.
Check the ASUS product page for this motherboard: you can find the "User Manual," documentation, explanations, and the latest device drivers. The ASUS forums may also be of help to you.
This is the third computer I have built with an ASUS motherboard. The ASUS Maximus XI product line comes (or will come someday?) in several versions: Hero, Code, Formula, and Extreme. I bought the Hero because it was the only one available. I would have preferred a Formula; but, alas, no one had them in-stock. (I have an older version of the Formula in another computer; it is a great board.) So far, the Hero seems to meet all of my needs.
Honestly, I did not want to build a new computer. Assembling a computer from parts is more expensive than buying a ready-built machine; but I keep building my own computers simply because computer manufacturers are not building machines with the features or with the quality that I want. Luckily, building a computer is very easy these days (in 2018). For tools, all you need is one Philips-head screwdriver and scissors (or a pocket knife) to open packages.
I built my new computer with the ASUS Maximus XI Hero motherboard in a Corsair 330R case with an Intel i7 8700K (overclocking) processor, 16 GB of Corsair DDR4 memory, and a Corsair AX860 power supply. Connecting cards, components, and cables to the ASUS Formula motherboard can be very, very easy, if you have selected an appropriate case (which I did not). The motherboard is extremely well-labeled and the “User Guide” has excellent illustrations (and is available from ASUS as a download).
Speaking of cases: DO NOT use the Corsair 330R or similar case for a gaming computer. The case is too small. The “Specifications” for the case on the Corsair website specifically list the Corsair H100i CPU cooler as being compatible with this case, but it is NOT. With the H100i installed there was insufficient clearances between the cooler and: (1) the CPU power cables; (2) the rear exhaust fan; (3) the top optical drive bay; and (4) the CPU_FAN connectors. Make sure you get a case that provides sufficient room so parts are easy to install and so they will not interfere with each other.
Before starting, learn about how to avoid static charge while you are handling the motherboard, CPU, RAM, video card(s), and any component with electronics. I use an anti-static wristband, but I have also been known to simply ground myself prior to handling components. Always handle electronics by the edges only.
Placing the CPU in the motherboard’s 1151 socket is very easy; but you should watch some YouTube videos if you have never done it before. Cable connections are obvious and easy to make. Connections include: 24-pin power supply cable; 8-pin and 4-pin CPU power supply cables; front-panel audio cable; front panel SATA 3.1 cable; front-panel switches and lights cables; CPU cooler (H100i) power cable; SATA data cables for 1 SSD and DVD. I like the included "Q-Connector," which made it much easier to connect the front-panel cables to the motherboard; however, I wish the Q-Connector locked in place.
WARNING: It is possible to install the CPU power incorrectly. In the past, this seemed to be impossible due to “keying” of the motherboard and power cable connectors. However, it may be possible to install the power connections backwards; so carefully verify the orientation of connectors.
Instruction manuals for all your computer's parts and pieces are available online and many helpful souls have posted "How-To" videos on YouTube.
I strongly suggest that you download the pdf version of the “User Guide." Reading the pdf “User Guide” on another computer allows you to make the text and illustrations as big as need (instead of trying to read the relatively tiny “User Guide.” If you do not feel like reading it, then look at the great illustrations of all the parts, pieces, connectors, indications, and controls (in this case, a picture is indeed worth a thousand words). At least look at Section 1.1.2. I had the “User Guide” up on another computer as I built this one.
You really should read the section of the “User Guide” addressing motherboard installation. I am sure that a lot of the complaints and problems people speak about resulted from their own failure to follow the "User Guide." I also wonder if some problems might be due to failure to load the correct drivers for the chip set, LAN, audio, video, etc. And definitely read the section of the “User Guide” on avoiding damaging electronics with static electricity!
The ASUS Maximus XI Hero motherboard is designed for gamers (it is, after all, part of the ASUS "Republic of Gamers" line of products). If you are not building a computer for gaming or for other demanding applications, then you should probably select a cheaper motherboard. If you are only going to check your mail, surf the web, and use Microsoft Office programs, then this motherboard is overkill: you would be much better off buying an inexpensive, ready-built laptop or Surface Pro. I have a Surface Pro connected to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse via a KVM switch and it can do practically everything, except run some demanding work software or games.
The on-board graphics (HDMI and Display Port) and on-board audio are outstanding. Of course, the intended customer of this motherboard will undoubtedly want to install a high-end video card (maybe even two high-end video cards in SLI/CrossFire). I installed the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW 2 video card. The Hero’s on-board audio is great.
This motherboard supports both 8th and 9th generation Intel CPUs. I installed an Intel i7-8700K (8th gen) CPU. The "K" means it can be overclocked. It would be pointless to buy this motherboard without also getting an unlocked, over-clocking CPU. I wanted to install an Intel i7-9700K (9th gen) CPU, but I could not find one in-stock.
The ASUS Maximus XI Hero comes with the motherboard drivers loaded on a disc. These drivers will get your new machine up and running; however, they may not be the latest drivers. Therefore, I recommend that you download the LATEST drivers (from the ASUS webpage) to a flash drive. That way, you will have the latest drivers available, even without a LAN connection or a working DVD player. At least copy the LAN or wireless drivers; that way, you will be able to access the Internet to get the rest of the drivers.
I really like the BIOS (UEFI) interface for this motherboard; it is very easy to understand and to use. The "User Guide" contains good explanations for using the BIOS program, including the three methods to update BIOS.
The "User Manual" specifies an ATX power supply. Required power supply capacity (watts) will depend on the CPU and video card(s) that you are using. For example, many high-end video cards specify you need at least a 500 watts power supply (just for the computer with one video card). To maximize energy efficiency and to minimize noise, I believe it is best to have a power supply that will operate between 40 and 70 percent load. Therefore, I looked for a power supply that should remain under 70 percent capacity when the computer is at full load. Since my computer has only one video card, I chose the Corsair AX860 power supply. If you are going to run more than one video card, you might want to consider installing a 1200 watt power supply (something like the Corsair AX 1200).
Installing the 24-pin power cable is quite easy and obvious; but you should read the “User Guide” about connecting to the 8-pin and 4-pin CPU power connectors. At the top of the ASUS Maximus XI Hero motherboard you will find an 8-pin EATX 12 volt power connector (EATX12V_1) and a 4-pin EATX 12 volt power connector (EATX12V_2). The “User Guide” warns us to connect power to the all 8 pins of the 8-pin CPU power connector to lower the power (watts) per pin. The “User Guide” further encourages us to also connect a power cable to the 4-pin CPU power connector. Warning: In past builds you might have only connected to 4 pins (2 pin pairs) of CPU power supply. Doing so with this motherboard could damage or destroy the board. Therefore, according to ASUS, connect at least 8 pins (4 pin pairs), and possibly 12 pins (6 pin pairs), to reduce the current per pin pair, thereby reducing the risk of damage due to high current.
Before you order memory modules, you might want to download and review the "User Guide" for the ASUS Maximus V Formula motherboard. Also check out the Qualified Vendor Lists (QVL) on the ASUS website. I installed two DDR4 dual in-line memory modules (DIMMs). Up to two pairs of DIMMs (four DIMMs total) may be installed on this board in four slots (for a maximum of 64 GB). Ideally, you should buy the memory modules in "matched sets": either a matched set of two DIMMs or a matched set of four DIMMs. The "User Guide" recommends installing DIMMs from the same vendor, with the same CAS latency, and of the same version or date code (D/C). If you are interested in over-clocking memory, then you might want to research DDR4 DIMMs with higher clock ratings.
If you want "dual channel" function, only install DIMMs in pairs (two or four DIMMs, not one or three DIMMs). For example, if you want 16 GB of memory, then purchase two 8 GB DIMMs (not one 16 GB DIMM). If you are only installing two (and not four) DIMMS, you MUST install them in two specific slots (see illustration in the "System memory" section in the "User Guide,", page 1-4). Lastly, you might consider running a memory test on your newly-installed memory.
CMOS Battery was Dead on Arrival:
In the past, I have always installed a fresh (type 2032) CMOS battery before installing a new motherboard. For this build, I did not do that. Post-construction, I quickly realized that the CMOS battery was dead. Yep, ASUS shipped me a motherboard with a dead CMOS battery. No big deal: I should have installed a new one before installing the board. You see, the CMOS battery is located under the video card: It is very easy to replace before you start building and rather inconvenient afterwards. I use a long-lasting 2032 lithium battery; that should last you about 4 to 5 years.
I used the CORSAIR Hydro Series H100i v2 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler. The H100i v2 manual directs connecting the cooler as follows: plug the pump power connector into the CPU_FAN socket on the motherboard and connect the two fan power cables to the H100i instead of to the motherboard. The Maximus XI Hero manual directs connecting the pump to AIO_PUMP and connecting the two fans to CPU_FAN and CPU_OPT (instead of to the H100i). I chose to follow the H100i v2 instructions above: connecting the fans to the pump ensures the fans are controlled by pump temperature instead of motherboard temperature (a better indicator of radiator demand, in my opinion). If you connect the pump power to CPU_FAN (and the 2 fans to the pump cables), then go into BIOS and make sure that the fan profile for CPU_FAN is always at 12 vdc (maximum) at all temperatures.