ASUS Z87 Maximus VI Hero Motherboard Review
As the newest board in ASUSí ever-expanding ROG lineup, the Maximus VI Hero is built to redefine value in the ROG series. This may seem like an innocuous enough goal but before this point, Republic of Gamers products were normally associated with high prices and with good reason. ASUS basically throws everything they have into these boards in an effort to make them the best around even if that means throwing cost into the wind.
Looking at the Hero from a high level standpoint, its target demographic is enthusiasts who want the ROG design ethos alongside performance and air cooled overclocking superiority without breaking the bank. Priced at close to $200 cheaper than the flagship enthusiast ROG board, the Maximus VI Extreme, the Hero is intended to bring ROG innovation that gamers crave without some of the extreme overclocking features which they may never use.
The Hero is packed full of features that we typically look for to maximize our gaming experience. The SupremeFX 8-Channel HD audio brings an amazing audio experience and Sonic Radar is an audio positioning engine which helps to locate opponents in games from sounds like gunshots or footsteps.
One more gaming-related feature the Hero brings is Gamefirst II. This helps the online gaming experience by ensuring pings and latency are kept low through constant packet inspection and management.
A few other features that donít only effect the gaming experience, but the overall PC standpoint are ASUS' excellent CPU Level Up, 4-Way Optimization, USB Charger+, USB 3.0 Boost, AISuite III, and the Extreme Engine DIGI+ III VRM. Additionally, as with many other ASUS Z87 boards, the Hero has Fan Xpert II which brings a new level of control and optimization for system fans and even the UEFI BIOS has over 15 new features over previous gen boards.
We also canít forget to mention the functionality brought to the table by Intel's new Lynx Point Z87 chipset . Items like six native USB 3.0 ports, six native SATA 6G ports, full support for PCI-E 3.0 including 16 PCI-E lanes, Rapid Start Technology, Smart Connect, and new instruction sets have all been carried forward en masse onto the Maximus VI Hero.
The Maximus VI Hero comes with the ASUS standard 3 year parts and labour warranty and is available now at most retailers. More importantly, at just $220 it is hundreds less than competing products from Gigabyte, MSI, ASRock and others. Does that mean ASUS has cut too much or are we really about to see a renaissance in overclocker-friendly yet abundantly affordable motherboards? We're about to find out.
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