A Closer Look
Unlike the ROG Maximus XI Extreme that we checked out recently, the Maximus XI hero stays within the standard ATX footprint but still offers four memory sockets, twin armored PCIe x16 slots for GPU’s and dual M.2 sockets with integrated heatsinks.
The rear of the board is pretty clean with nothing really to see.
As with most ROG boards, rear I/O is quite extensive. The typical ROG Clear CMOS and USB BIOS Flashback buttons are here, two USB 2.0 ports, one labeled for the BIOS flashback feature, a split PS/2 port for keyboards and/or mice, and Intel Gigabit Ethernet. Display from the iGPU is handled with a Display Port and an HDMI port. Two USB 3.1 gen 1 ports in blue and four USB 3.1 gen 2 ports are in red along with the Type-C connection. Intel Wifi is here with a 2x2 config supporting MU-MIMO plus standard SupremeFX powered gold audio ports and optical output.
Along the top, we have Intel’s LGA 1151 socket front and center with a nice ROG socket cap, four DDR4 DIMM slots to the front/right and a 10-phase VRM surrounding the top and left sides of the socket. An M.2 socket hides under the heatsink just under the socket and a 4-pin fan header sits next to it.
The bottom half of the board is covered partially by the SupremeFX Audio covering and the Chipset heatsink that blends into the second M.2 slot heatsink. Two PCIe x16 slots are armored and can operate at x16/x0 or x8/x8 from the CPU. the lower x16 slot is x4 electrical from the PCH as well as the three open-ended PCIe x1 slots.
Connections on the board are extensive so let’s start in the lower left corner and go around. We get the typical front panel audio header, two RGB headers, a TPM header, a MemOK switch, a Retry Button and the connection to the External Fan controller board (not included).
Going forward we have a USB 3.1 gen 1 header, the new NODE connection, two USB 2.0 headers with a temp probe header above them, a 4-pin fan header, and front panel I/O including a dedicated speaker header. Going up the front we have a water flow meter connection as well as two more temp probe headers for your loop and two more 4-pin fan headers.
You get six SATA ports, another fan header, a USB 3.1 Type-C header, and main 24-pin power connection.
Above the main power connection, you get a power and reset button, plus the Q-code display. Along the top, you have two more RGB headers, three 4-pin fan headers and CPU power inputs comprised of an 8-pin EPS connection and aux 4-pin.
Power is delivered to the CPU by a 10-phase VRM with a large heatsink that is partially tucked under the rear-I/O cover.
Both M.2 slots have heatsinks with pre-applied thermal pads. The bottom slot supports up to 22110 sized drives.
The chipset heatsink glows with Aura-Sync enabled RGB.
…as does the decorative part of the rear I/O cover.