There is something refreshing about reviewing ASUS’s ROG Maximus motherboards, ASUS gets it and just does it right. Starting off with looks this board is very eye-catching. The all black PCB with black accents and all of the heatsinks go really well together. I really like how ASUS chose certain sections of the board to be glossy, it just makes the overall design of the board flow well. The RGB lighting on the ROG logo and HERO logo on the board are not over the top either. If you compare this board to the Z390 version (ROG Maximus XI Hero) it is like night and day design-wise.
Another big change from the previous version is the VRM and VRM cooling. You now have a 14+2 power phase design that uses 60A power stages. The VRM cooling now goes around 3 sides of the CPU socket and all 3 of the heatsinks are connected by a heatpipe. This definitely helps out with the power-hungry Intel 10th generation chips.
When it comes to a Z490 motherboard you have the typical features you would expect, but of course ASUS gives you even more! Instead of the typical 2.5G LAN, you get 5G LAN. That is awesome for people who can take advantage of it. You are also going to get three M.2 slots, where most Z490 boards only have 2. If you have a lot of USB devices you are going to love this board as you have 10 USB ports on the rear I/O. It was a little disappointing to not see USB 3.2 gen 2×2 on this board like we saw on the MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi. A few other things you’ll find on this board that you won’t find on others are things like the waterflow headers and Flex Key button.
I also want to point out that ASUS’s BIOS is one of the best out there, especially when it comes to fine-tuning your system. We assume if you are buying this board you plan on overclocking and the options that ASUS gives you in the BIOS are very extensive.
As I mentioned in the introduction of this review the ROG Maximus XII Hero brings with it a lot of value. Right now this board is selling for $399 at our favorite online retailer, which is $350 less than ROG Maximus XII Extreme board. But when it comes down to it you are getting a board that has features that most flagship boards have for far less. Overall ThinkComputers give the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero motherboard a 9 out of 10 score and our Good Value Award!
– Sleek design
– 14+2 power phase design with 60A power stages
– Awesome VRM cooling
– Power and Flex Key buttons
– 5G LAN
– 10 USB ports on the rear I/O
– M.2 heatsinks on all three M.2 slots
– Great BIOS
– No USB 3.2 gen 2×2