A Closer Look
ASUS’s Maximus X Hero is an ATX form factor board that follows the more recent black and gunmetal grey color scheme. 3 RGB lighting zones are the Rear I/O, the M.2 slot with heatsink just under the CPU and the Chipset heatsink area.
The rear of the board is solid black with a subtle ROG themed pattern over the top.
The rear I/O consists of the usual ROG Clear CMOS and BIOS flashback buttons, DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4b, dual USB 2.0 ports, quad USB 3.0 ports, Intel Gigabit LAN, two USB 3.1 ports, Optical Audio output and 8 channel audio.
The top of the rear I/O cover lights up with an RGB ‘Maximus X’ logo and accent line.
The top half of the board is dominated by the Rear I/O cover that blends into the 10-phase VRM heatsinks in one fluid transition. 4 DDR4 DIMM slots sit just to the right of the CPU socket centered on the board. An M.2 Heatsink with ‘Republic of Gamers’ on it sits just under the CPU socket.
The lower half of the board has three PCIe x1 slots that are all open to the rear to be able to install larger cards but the topmost port is partially blocked by the M.2 cover. The rest of the ports are two PCIe x16 that are reinforced and a single PCIe x16 slot that is normal. A 2nd Turbo M.2 port sits just under the chipset heatsink.
The bottom of the board is quite busy; towards the rear are the front panel audio header, a digital addressable RGB header, and a large, lighted power button. Next is a reset button, safe boot and retry buttons and a slow mode switch. An LN2 jumper sits just above the slow mode switch. A TPM header, USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 headers, a 4-pin fan header, an RGB connection, and your front panel I/O connections round out the lower edge.
Going up the front edge, you start out with liquid cooling related connections for a flow meter and two temperature probe connections for monitoring in and out temps. Two 4-pin fan connections and six SATA ports are next, followed by another 4-pin fan plug. Front panel USB 3.1 is handled with a new reversible connector, and last is the 24-pin main power connection.
The top right corner has ASUS’s MemOK button for getting ornery ram kits to boot up, next to the 2 digit POST code display. Another RGB header sits next in line, followed by a trio of 4-pin fan headers. Last in line is the 8-pin CPU power connection.
And we’ll move on after one last shot of the board in all of its default RGB rainbow glory.