During the last six months since Intel introduced its twelfth Gen Core collection of processors, we have checked out a number of Alder Lake desktop CPUs and noticed how aggressive they’re from height to backside – now not simply in efficiency however value too. To harness the ability of Alder Lake, then again, there are lots of choices with regards to Z690 motherboards, and these days we are looking at considered one of ASUS’s extra top rate fashions, the ROG Maximus Z690 Hero.
They are saying laborious instances do not create heroes, however ASUS has carried out for a few years with excellent effects. Supplied with numerous top-tier options corresponding to Thunderbolt 4, Intel’s Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, and strengthen for as much as DDR5-6400 reminiscence, it has sufficient to make it a stable selection for players and fanatics. It is time to see if the Z690 Hero possibility stacks up towards the contest and if it might probably sparkle in an excessively aggressive LGA1700 marketplace.
ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero Review
Because it stands, ASUS has a reasonably large stack of Z690 motherboards catering to more than one markets. This contains its High collection for its entry-level customers shopping to construct an inexpensive but nonetheless adept machine. By contrast, the ASUS Republic of Avid gamers (ROG) collection essentially goals players and fanatics. The ASUS ROG motherboard collection is divided into two major spaces, the ROG Strix collection for players, and the high-end ROG Maximus collection for fanatics on the lookout for the most efficient efficiency, the most efficient characteristic units, and, as we have noticed all over the years, some lovely modernized and RGB impressed aesthetics.
To stay issues extra available to customers, for Z690, ASUS has opted to make its naming schemes more uncomplicated for its Maximus collection. It could use Roman numerals to depict the style prior to now, such because the ASUS ROG Maximus X for Z370 and the Maximus XII for Z490. Changing the Roman numerals, a minimum of for now and optimistically going ahead, they have got reverted it to the chipset to make issues more uncomplicated to differentiate.
The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero and the former ROG Maximus XIII (Z590) Hero are not too dissimilar in taste, however ASUS has long past ahead and jazzed up the design somewhat for Alder Lake. This contains a big I/O Polymo rear panel quilt, pixellated with ASUS’s Air of secrecy RGB LED lighting fixtures, which provides somewhat extra of a contemporary taste to the full design. ASUS has unified the design additional down the board, with a cool-looking pixelated ROG emblem embedded into the shiny black segment of the chipset heatsink. Nearly all of the board has a matte black end which makes it appropriate with maximum colour schemes, and for customers shopping so as to add extra taste, there are 3 3-pin and one 4-pin Addressable Gen2 RGB headers.
Specializing in the center of what makes the ROG Maximus Z690 Hero tick, it has numerous options to speak about, together with a stable array of strengthen and capability. Dominating the decrease portion of the board are 3 full-length PCIe lanes, together with the highest two covered in steel armor reinforcement with strengthen for PCIe 5.0 x16 and x8/x8, and the ground full-length slot this is electronically locked right down to PCIe 4.0 x4.
For garage, the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero has many choices to capitalize on, together with strengthen for as much as 5 PCIe M.2 drives and as much as six SATA ports. There’s one PCIe 5.0 x4 and PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot pairing made to be had by way of an incorporated ROG Hyper M.2 add-in card and one built-in PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slot powered by means of the processor. ASUS additionally has an extra two PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 slots, with considered one of them supporting SATA drives, and this pairing is powered without delay by means of the chipset. The six SATA ports within the backside right-hand nook come with strengthen for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays.
Probably the most vital parts fanatics search for on motherboards is the ability supply, and the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero has a powerful and well-laid-out design. The ability supply is composed of a 21-phase design, with a Renesas RAA229131 20-channel PWM controller doing the grunt of the workload. For the CPU segment, the Z690 Hero has twenty Intersil ISL99390 90 A sensible energy phases for a complete output of as much as 1800 A, which is spectacular for a non-flagship style, whilst the SoC segment has a unmarried Intersil ISL99390 90 An influence degree dealing with the VCCGT voltage.
Retaining the ability supply cool is a big pair of cumbersome VRM heatsinks with numerous channels to direct airflow thru them. A unmarried warmth pipe interconnects those, and it covers the entire board’s energy supply, with the longest segment sitting snuggly beneath the huge ASUS Polymo-enabled rear panel quilt.
As we normally in finding on top rate fashions corresponding to this one, ASUS features a top rate built-in audio resolution consisting of a ROG SupremeFX ALC4082 HD audio codec, with an aiding ESS Sabre 9018Q2C DAC and headphone amplifier. The onboard audio is assisted by means of 5 huge Jap Nichicon gold audio capacitors and 5 smaller ones.
A tight array of connectivity choices is at the rear panel of the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero. That is spearheaded by means of two Thunderbolt 4 Kind-C ports, with an extra USB 3.2 G2 Kind-C port. Different USB choices come with six USB 3.2 G2 Kind-A and two USB 2.0 ports, whilst customers can upload extra thru entrance panel headers, with one USB 3.2 G2x2 header (one port), two USB 3.2 G1 Kind-A headers (4 ports), and two USB 2.0 headers (4 ports).
ASUS features a unmarried HDMI 2.1 video output, even if customers can use DisplayPort 1.4 during the Thunderbolt 4 Kind-C ports, whilst onboard audio is gifted by way of 5 3.5 mm audio jacks and a unmarried S/PDIF optical output powered by means of a SupremeFX ALC4082 and ESS Sabre 9018Q2C DAC pairing. For networking, ASUS contains one Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE controller and makes use of an Intel AX211 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, together with strengthen for each the most recent 6 GHz band and BT 5.2 units.
The equipment package features a various number of ROG-themed stickers and the standard suspects, together with 4 braided SATA cables, M.2 set up screws, an RGB extension cable, and an Intel AX211 Wi-Fi 6E antenna package, in addition to a entrance panel Q-connector. There may be additionally a consumer handbook and a supporting USB pressure if customers are not interested in the usage of ASUS’s integrated Armory Crate device to put in drivers.
Most likely probably the most vital inclusion throughout the equipment package is the ROG Hyper M.2 PCIe card which customers can set up into the second one full-length PCIe slot so as to add two PCIe M.2 slots. This sort of helps PCIe 5.0 x4 drives, albeit not anything but available on the market to capitalize at the further bandwidth, and one at PCIe 4.0 x4 speeds.
The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero has an MSRP of $600 and is instantly to be had at Newegg for a similar value. The Z690 Hero represents a stable number of fashions from ASUS on Z690, together with each DDR5 and DDR4 supported fashions. Relating to the contest on the higher echelon of mid-range to top rate LGA1700 fashions available on the market, there is the ASRock Z690 Taichi ($590) which has a large number of equivalent options corresponding to Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6E, and there is additionally the GIGABYTE Z690 Aorus Grasp ($470) which we in the past reviewed. It’s in the long run less expensive, nevertheless it does not come with Thunderbolt 4, however as a substitute, it contains 10 GbE, which does give it a definite receive advantages over the Z690 Hero with regards to networking capacity.
The most important query concerning the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero with its lofty $600 price ticket is understated, can it carry out as powerfully because it seems? That is what we goal to determine. We now have noticed what the Z690 Hero gives at the floor, however what concerning the insides and the supporting package deal? It is time to have a look at the BIOS and bundled device, after which we’re going to see the way it plays in quite a lot of checks. Can the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero proceed the former development in a a success collection of Hero branded ROG forums, or is $600 a scoundrel’s method of consuming your pockets? Let’s in finding out.
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