ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Review

Up Close Continued

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview

Up Close Continued

Although the Maximus XI Formula is the model with the built in water blocks it doesn't mean that ASUS designers have left you high and dry when it comes to monitoring your water flow. The Hero has Bitspower meter compatible points that tie into the AI Suite to let you keep a close eye on both temperature and flow of your cooling. 

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  

The primary M.2 connector has a heat spreader built in, utilising the dark theme that is a hallmark of the latest range of ROG motherboards from ASUS. You'll also note the CPU label below the 2nd PCI Express slot, showing you from where the lanes are being controlled. At the bottom edge we find the RGB LED Strip header, ASUS addressable header, and always useful MEM OK! II which lets the system boot into safe memory timings. As the Hero supports DDR4 4400 we're sure that this feature will be used a lot as everyone tests the overclocking limits of their memory modules.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  

The top M.2 port includes a brushed finish heat spreader, whilst the primary PCI Express slot has a handy CPU identifier printed onto the PCB, should you wish to know what is going on under the hood. Just above the PCI Express slot is an explanation of the functions of the M.2 drive, whilst if you cast your eyes to the right you'll see the SATA ports also have label. Whilst most things on the Hero are native to the Z390 chipset it could prove useful in more complex motherboards where certain ports are run by additional chips instead of being native.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  

With the 9th Generation of Intel CPUs supporting up to 8 cores it is no surprise that the power demands will be sterner than they were on the Z370 chipset and 8th Gen CPUs, so the Hero has a seriously well designed power section with a lot of heat sink acreage to help disperse any heat generated and provide you with consistent overclocking and performance.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  

The SupremeFX S1220 is a multi-channel audio solution which comes complete with 120dB SNR line out, 113dB SNR line in, and a headphone amplifier supporting up to 600 Ohm offerings to ensure that everything from simple gaming to streaming or media pleasures are done with the minimum of noise.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  

The introduction of chipset supported USB 3.1 Gen 2 and dual AC WiFi has meant that all of the IO sections we've previewed so far are chock full of connection options. The Maximus XI Hero is no exception, with combined PS/2 port, plentiful USB 3.1 of both Type-A and Type-C variants along with display outputs, WiFi antenna connections and the audio jacks for the SupremeFX.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  

One area we like is the way ASUS have utilised the PCB to better describe which slot is useful for what. So often it can be easy to forget which particular motherboard uses which slots to provide the fastest performance - especially if, like us, you deal with loads of them - but this is a very neat solution and ideal for those of you who consider consulting a manual to be the last vestige of the incompetent. So all the men reading this then.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview  

You can see the ASUS Node header to the left of the USB 2.0 front panel connectors, which will work in conjunction with future devices to help either control the fan on your PSU, or output the AI Suite display to a front OLED screen, or any number of things. Think of it as an addition that might prove useful if the market adopts it, rather than a deal maker or breaker.

ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Hero Preview 

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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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