ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero Reviewccokeman -
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ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero Conclusion:
As the mid range standard bearer for ASUS' ROG line, the Maximus VIII Hero does not disappoint in the least. It does just about everything well. Starting with the performance delivered out of the box, the board delivers top marks in most of the tests thanks to the back end work that ASUS' R&D team put in getting the auto algorithms and settings right. Booting up with four DDR4 2800MHz DIMMs populating all of the Q-Dimm sockets just worked as if it was nothing. Failed overclocks that lock up the board in the boot cycle at worst require a power cycle of the PSU to bring the board back on line after a failed boot. Something that now is an expectation for all boards due to how well ASUS manages boot failure and recovery.
The ASUS ROG series boards are targeted directly at the user base that wants not only a solid platform, but all the extras that go along with it. ASUS offers a phenomenal set of add-in software that meets the needs of gamers and provides added value to the equation. Things like KeyBot, RAMDisk, RAMCache, GameFirst III, and a sound solution that uses professional audio components to deliver high end discrete audio card sound quality without the user having to add in another part. The audio rocks.
By using improved components in the Extreme Engine Digi+ all digital power control systems, you get more granular controls that help drive overclocking margins higher without having to overvolt the CPU and DRAM. While my Core i7 6700K is not the best sample out there, it will still pull a very decent prime stable 4.7 to 4.8GHz clock speed at will. It will go higher when you limit the cache ring ratio to less than 42, but even so it takes some voltage to make it happen. Overclocking options run the gamut from using the EZ Tuning Wizard to ASUS' 5-Way optimization tool in ASUS' AI Suite III utility to just manually tuning the settings in ASUS' stellar UEFI BIOS. If you cannot overclock with this board then it just cannot be done. It's as easy to do as using a point and shoot camera.
Overclocking is just one of the board's strengths. When you crack open ASUS' AI Suite III utility a world of functionality opens up. ASUS includes tools in this suite that can improve power usage, tune the CPU and DRAM, and manage all the attached fans to maximize both the noise and cooling potential of the system via Fan Xpert III. You can bump up USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 data throughput with ASUS USB 3.1 Boost. RAMDisk and RAMCache allow you to take advantage of unused DRAM capacity to improve disk operation with RAMCache, or create a RAMDisk to improve access times to your data or game files and manage the amount of RAM used dynamically. The list of features just goes on for days.
Priced at roughly $230, the Maximus VIII Hero is going to give the user access to a solidly built motherboard based on the Z170 chipset that includes an impressive feature set. All in a board that won't wreck your bank account.
- Feature set
- UEFI BIOS
- Software package
- Sound package