The Intel 500 series chipsets for the LGA1200 platform were introduced in mid-January this year, as were the boards on them, but the processors based on the Rocket Lake-S core were released only a week ago. Perhaps the chip maker wanted to fill the inventory of new products, or maybe the motherboard manufacturers simply did not have time to prepare the firmware for their release, which is why the release of the Core 11 generation series was also postponed for a couple of weeks. And the latter was quite the case, because while I was testing the Core i7-11700KF, three UEFI versions changed, with which performance increased, new functions were added, the ability to overclock memory to certain frequencies broke, etc., and when the board went to the next lucky ones — there was one more firmware and a few more before the release of the processors themselves! The same is true for other vendors. But it’s good that manufacturers continue to improve the microcode in their boards and solve all sorts of problems.

This review of the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard will be in addition to testing the Core i7-11700KF, which focused on the processor. The “motherboard” in question is the youngest in the Maximus line, which implies some simplifications regarding older ROG solutions. For example, there is no contact pad for measuring voltages with a multimeter, there are fewer controls, a simpler processor power converter is implemented, and the delivery package is not so rich. But on the other hand, the board is in no way inferior in terms of firmware capabilities in terms of settings and overclocking.

ASUS ROG Maximus 13 Hero

Characteristics

Model ASUS ROG Maximus 13 Hero
Official product page on the Web ROG Maximus XIII Hero
Chipset Intel Z590
Processor socket Socket 1200
Processors Core i9, Core i7, Core i5, Core i3, Pentium Gold, Celeron (Rocket Lake-S, Comet Lake-S)
Memory 4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM, 128 GB maximum:
2133–3200 — JEDEC
3200–5333 — OC
PCI slots 2 x PCI Express 4.0 x16 (x16+x0, x8+x8, x8+x4) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4) — Z590
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 — Z590
M.2 1 x PCI Express 4.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — 11th Gen CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4 (Key M, 2242/2260/2280) — Z590
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA 6Gb/s (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — Z590
Integrated video core (in the processor) Intel UHD 750/730/630/610
Video connectors HDMI 2.0
Number of connected fans 8x 4pin
PS/2 ports
The port is USB 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (2 connectors on the rear panel (USB Type-C), Intel JHL8540)
6 x 3.2 Gen 2 (6 connectors on the rear panel, Z590)
1 x 3.2 Gen 2×2 (Z590)
4 х 3.2 Gen 1 (Z590)
6 x 2.0 (2 connectors on the rear panel, Z590)
Serial ATA 6 x SATA 6Gb/s (Z590)
RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 (SATA, Z590), 0, 1 (M.2 PCI-E, Z590)
Built-in sound ROG SupremeFX 7.1:
Codec — Realtek ALC4082 (7.1, HDA)
DAC — ESS SABRE9018Q2C
S/PDIF Optical (output)
Networking 2 х Intel I225-V (2.5 Gigabit Ethernet)
Intel Wi-Fi 6E 2х2 AX210 (Wi-Fi 2.4/5/6GHz (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax), Bluetooth 5.2)
COM
LED Addressable Header (+5V) 3
LED RGB Header (+12V) 1
TPM 1x SPI (13 pin)
UEFI UEFI AMI BIOS, 256 Mb Flash ROM
Form Factor ATX
Dimensions, mm 305 x 244
Additional features Armory Crate, AURA Sync, Fan Xpert 4, ASUS HydraNode Fan, Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, BOOT LED), POST LED, Clear CMOS, Flash BIOS, Power, FlexKey (Reset) and ReTry buttons; Clear CMOS and T-Sensor contact pairs, USB BIOS Flashback, M.2 heatsinks with backplate, MemTest86, NVIDIA 2-Way SLI support
retail price 15359 hryvnias

Contents of delivery

The board comes in a large black box with red elements, made in the corporate style of the Republic of Gamers.

ASUS ROG Maximus 13 HeroASUS ROG Maximus 13 Hero

In the package, the user will find:

  • quick start guide (in English);
  • ROG device owner welcome brochure;
  • a set of stickers with various images of the ROG series, including those for cables;
  • disk with drivers and proprietary software;
  • a set of a pair of screws and stands for M.2 devices;
  • an adapter for convenient connection of ASUS Q-Connector case connectors;
  • four SATA 6Gb / s cables, two of which have an L-shaped connector on one of the ends;
  • extension cord for connecting a controlled LED strip;
  • extension cable for connecting RGB LED strip;
  • fabric keychain with ROG logo;
  • a stand for a video card and, in combination, a lever for easy removal of the card from the slot;
  • remote antenna with the possibility of fixing the position.

ASUS ROG Maximus 13 Hero

The stand will come in handy when installing a video card with a massive cooling system. In addition, it can be used to open the latch of the first PCI-E x16 slot, since due to the heatsink above the M.2 connector, it is not possible to reach it with your finger. What can you do, the designer saw it that way.

ASUS ROG Maximus 13 Hero

The complete antenna is now thinner and more oblong than those that were before, and the angle of inclination can now be changed, unlike the old versions.

ASUS ROG Maximus 13 Hero

Functionality

Motherboards of the ROG series have long lost their signature red elements and now they are strict solutions in completely black with decorative mirror inserts.

ASUS ROG Maximus 13 HeroASUS ROG Maximus 13 Hero

Considering the orientation of the board, it has a POST indicator, Start and FlexKey buttons, and the latter can be assigned the Safe Boot function or enable/disable the Aura backlight. There, in the upper left corner, there are Q-LED indicators that signal the process of initializing the system components. Unfortunately, there is no contact pad for measuring voltages, but there is a Retry_Button button on the bottom of the board, which allows you to “revive” the PC due to incorrect settings. Unfortunately, during the testing of the processor, it didn’t help me much, the “motherboard” still went into itself and there was only one way out of the situation — Clear_CMOS. I hope this annoying flaw will be fixed in future firmware.

ASUS ROG Maximus 13 HeroASUS ROG Maximus 13 Hero

Fans of high fps will be able to combine a pair of GeForce video cards in Nvidia 2-Way SLI mode, while CrossFire support for Radeon turned out to be in the span. There are two more slots for expansion cards — PCI-E x1 and PCI-E x16@4. The latter shares four lines of high-speed interface with SATA1-SATA4 channels, so when installing a bandwidth-demanding card, it will be possible to connect SATA drives only to the last two channels.

Given the already rampant transition to NVMe SSD, four M.2 slots for a board of this level will be very useful. All of them are covered with heatsinks with pre-installed thermal pads, and, which is not unimportant, there are also metal plates that allow additional cooling of the lower part of the drives. The very first M.2, to which four PCI Express 4.0 lanes are connected, is provided exclusively for processors based on the Rocket Lake-S core. Here, the heatsink is very high and blocks access to the graphics slot latch, so you can’t do without a complete rack or a thin and long object.

Since the appetites of new processors for overclocking have increased, the developers have installed a massive VRM cooling system, made of several metal elements connected by a flat heat pipe and covering the back panel of the motherboard. A small number of fins and diagonal slots slightly increase the heat dissipation area. The chipset is provided with a small radiator-bar, covered with a decorative plastic cover, illuminated by RGB LEDs installed on the board. Conventional thermal pads are responsible for transferring heat to the cooling elements.

The lighting on the board can be synchronized through the Armory Crate application by adding a couple more RGB strips. Unlike products of previous generations, in ROG Maximus XIII Hero, the emphasis is already on address lighting, i.e. requiring +5 V for power.

ASUS ROG Maximus 13 Hero

The processor power converter is based on an eight-channel Intersil ISL69269 controller that controls seven dual phases (assemblies Texas Instruments 95410RR at 90 A) for computing cores and one dual phase (Texas Instruments 59880 at 70 A) for graphics. As a result, we have a 14 + 2 circuit, plus one more phase for generating SA voltage (Texas Instruments 59880 at 70 A) and two separate phases for IO and IO OC. This should be enough for overclocking experiments, given that there are already two EPS12V connectors, and not one plus ATX12V as it was before.

ASUS ROG Maximus 13 HeroASUS ROG Maximus 13 Hero

After tiring overclocking events, it would be nice to relax with music, watch a movie or play another masterpiece of gaming — and the built-in SupremeFX 7.1 audio subsystem, implemented on the basis of the Realtek ALC4082 codec, will help you a lot. In addition to it, an ESS SABRE9018Q2C DAC is installed, and the audio path circuits are separated from the rest of the motherboard by an insulating gap.

ASUS ROG Maximus 13 Hero

On the back panel of the motherboard there are: BIOS Flashback and Clear CMOS buttons, two USB 2.0 ports and six USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, two Thunderbolt 4 combined with USB Type-C, one HDMI connector, a pair of contacts for a Wi-Fi antenna, two RJ45 and sound connectors, including optical S/PDIF.

ASUS ROG Maximus 13 Hero

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