A Motherboard Tested
ASUS Maximus IX (Z270) HERO motherboard
The Feature Rich ROG Solution For The Kaby Lake Generation
Join us as we check out the all new ASUS Maximus IX Hero. Though very little RGB bling is injected, this motherboard is compatible with the new generalized ASUS AURA SYNC, which is a software suite that allows for multiple choices in additional RGB gear to be driven from your one software suite. Next to that it's a fully fetched feature rich ROG motherboard of course.
So, with the 7000 series processor (Kaby Lake) released, it's time for a peek at the motherboards based on Z270. We review the motherboard with a Core i5 7600K processor, that puppy is developed on the 14 nm node. The Core i5 series processors are intended to be the more budget friendly offering from Intel, for a more mainstream consumer. For this review we look at the performance of this processor and motherboard in a wide variety of benchmarks and situations. Kaby Lake processors for the desktop platform have been released. Though you'd think it is an all new chip, it is however merely a respin seen from Skylake, meaning both series processors are Socket 1151. This also means that IF you are in the market for a new series 7000 processor, your H170 or Z170 motherboard can be compatible with Kaby Lake after a motherboard BIOS upgrade. The new series Kaby Lake processors are fairly energy efficient, still as powerful as they have been for years. If you are interested in new technologies like Intel Optane, you will however need to upgrade to a Z270 or H270 range motherboard. This new Z270 platform offers supports for Optane SSDs and offers support for slightly faster DDR4 memory.
ASUS is releasing the Maximus IX I with that familiar look, optimized for cooling and armed with a proper feature set. You will spot nice dark elements, a bit mysterious even. While this motherboard is ASYS AURA SYNC compatible, it does not offer much LED bling aside from the chipset heatsink logo and a logo on the rear IO. You are not going to find hugely expensive Creative labs audio chips or an Intel Thunderbolt controller on this motherboard. No, everything seems and feels normalized, in line with good looks and features you need. By doing so, ASUS is offering this motherboard at a pretty competitive price level, making your upgrade needs more budget friendly in that 269 Euro/USD range.
Example video showing AURA SYNC on the Maximus IX HERO. I kept the video really dark to that the LED effects show a bit better.
This motherboard does come with everything you need with four DIMM slots, two M.2 slots and full speed USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) devices. There is a lot more going on, what we like for example is that this motherboard offers a Intel Gigabit LAN connector. Lacking once again however is WIFI (which seems to be ditched by most manufacturers), which we feel is a bit of a miss. Armed with that Z270 chipset this motherboard offers three x16 slots and three 1x PCIe. Let's get started with the actual review shall we?