ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Review


ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview


A great demonstration of how popular the ASUS ROG range has become is how many different models there are to choose from. Once upon a time you had the Extreme for people with tons of liquid assets, and the Formula for the rest of us. Now there is the Extreme, the Formula, today's review model the Hero, but also the Strix E. That's before we've got into the smaller form factors like the Gene and Strix ITX. What it boils down to is that if you are determined to get a ROG motherboard, ASUS have made sure that almost every pocket has a model that suits your budget. Now maybe it's diluting the brand a little, but maybe it isn't. We do feel ASUS need to be careful that we don't end up with a situation where all their mainstream models have the ROG logo on them. It should be special.

The one thing we are becoming concerned about is the price of the Hero. The early Hero models were all about being a literal entry level model and the price reflected that, but they were so good that an awful lot of people who could've splashed out on a higher ROG offering didn't as the extras weren't worth it. The Z390 Maximus XI Hero seems to be priced with this in mind, and it's no longer the insanely good value that the older Hero models were. It's still great, just not a no brainer. Obviously that's business for you.

In all of our time with the Z390 chipset we've banged the drum of how consistent they are, and the Hero is no exception. They all overclock very well whether you want to just use an automatic boost mode, only overclock a few cores for your gaming exploits, or push the whole CPU to the very limits for hardcore video or 3D rendering tasks. Across our whole varied range of benchmarks there is very little to choose between any of the latest additions to the Intel canon. Even at stock you have to use a magnifying glass to spot any particular differences in results. It's also worth taking a moment to mention that when we say stock we do literally mean that. Open box. Build system. Bench. Some people don't fully understand what the word stock means and assume we're tweaking certain elements. We don't touch the UEFI at all unless we need to just to change the boot device until we get onto our overclocked testing. Stock is what you, the average user, can expect if they just want to build a system and get on with using it without going into the BIOS at all. Ahem.

The Maximus XI Hero has a very specific audience. Those of you who wont settle for anything but the premium - looks great in my forum signature - models will stick to the Extreme. Those who want to save as much money as possible on their motherboard to spend it elsewhere will plump for a vanilla Z390 motherboard, particularly given how consistent the performance is across the range. However, if you want to get great value for your purchase whilst still having a few premium features to play with, then the Maximus XI Hero should definitely find its way onto your shortlist. Obviously it's not a budget motherboard per se, but rather a great choice for those who want to maximise their return on every penny invested.

It looks good, has very nice RGB lighting, overclocks well, has plenty of connectivity options for all your needs, whilst still being at the lower end of the ROG price range, even if that low end is creeping upwards. For all those reasons we think the Maximus XI Hero will find its way into an awful lot of systems and rightly so, deserving our OC3D Gamers Choice Award.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Review  

Discuss the ASUS Z390 Maximus XI Hero on the OC3D Forums.

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Most Recent Comments

26-10-2018, 16:01:07

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, 18:22:03

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, 20:59:12

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, 07:15:30

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, 23:25:23

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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