ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Hero Alpha Review
Because the ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Hero Alpha is an updated version of the original Hero with identical performance then everything we said about that model - click here to read - holds true for this one.
However, whilst that means that our conclusion here is briefer than usual, don't confuse the succinct nature of this page with us being dismissive. Instead the benefits of the Hero Alpha are so obvious, and yet capable of being summed up so briefly, that anything we add will only delay you getting to the shop and buying one.
Performance is brilliant, as you'd expect from an ASUS Z170 motherboard. Wherever you look on the Hero Alpha you discover all your connectivity options catered for. Whether it's dual U.2 ports, USB 3.1, dedicated Water Pump headers, or the amazing SupremeFX audio, it's all here and all of it wonderful.
The absolute star of the show though is the AURA RGB light control.
We've lost count of the times we've built a system in a particular colour and then seen someone else's build and had a hankering for that colour scheme. Before the Hero Alpha it meant that you were forced to chuck all your old lighting purchases and start again, but now with the ASUS Maximus VIII Hero Alpha you can build a system and be safe is the knowledge that the neutrality of the motherboards colour scheme only enhances its ability to let you change your whole system lighting at the drop of a hat. Combine the AURA control with full RGB hardware - the upcoming revision of the ASUS GTX980Ti Strix for example - and you can be any colour you like, whenever you like, without needing to spend another penny.
It's an amazing innovation. The surprise is why it's never been attempted before. The regular Hero was worthy of our Gold Award, and the Hero Alpha is that good and then some, which means that it not only receives our OC3D Gold Award, but the AURA Control wins our OC3D Innovation award too.