ASUS Maximus IX Hero Preview
The Republic of Gamers range from ASUS has long been a byword for enthusiast level, high end, hardware. In the past couple of generations though this valued brand has been applied to motherboards that are more at the lower level than it has been previously. Whether this was watering down the ROG brand, or merely opening it up to a wider audience, is a matter of personal taste. However, as the Strix brand has also gained a firm foothold in the marketplace ASUS have taken the Z270 release as an opportunity to return the ROG brand to its roots, and the first of these that we’re going to take a look at is the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero.
Yes, the Maximus range has reached 9 different chipsets.
As befits a Maximus named model the Z270 Maximus IX Hero is jam-packed with enough hardware to keep even the most demanding user sated, including a few features which we think are firsts. The main introduction of the Z270 has to be USB 3.1 coming as a default option, and the majority of USB ports moving up from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0. Given how pretty much everything we use these days has a USB connector on it, then the more the merrier definitely applies and with the Hero you’re definitely getting more. USB 3.1 of both A and C types. Four USB 3.0 at the rear. Four USB 2.0 at the rear and – for the first time that we can recall – a front panel USB 3.1 header. We can’t even think of a case that has front panel USB 3.1 yet, so you can be reassured that the Maximus IX will be futureproofed for a while yet.
Beyond the USB we have all the boxes ticked you’d expect – Intel I219-V LAN, Dual M.2 sockets, ASUS AURA technology (this time with RGB headers top and bottom of the board), ASUS MemOK! and Q-LED as well as something which now appears standard on Z270 motherboards, a dedicated water pump header. Although in the case of the Maximus IX Hero we have a water pump both at the bottom right corner as well as the more usual top mounted placement. Wrapping things up ASUS Have improved their SupremeFX Audio with a S1220 CODEC, ES9023P DAC and better signal to noise ratio to ensure that the burgeoning streaming market is well catered for.