The Maximus line of boards is considered as ASUS ROG’s flagship solutions. And today, we’re discussing their latest offering here in our ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard review.
The ROG Maximus XIII Hero is packed with ROG’s best features, like AI-powered improvements for overclocking, networking, cooling, and audio.
Generally, this motherboard is tailored to offer top-notch and quality performance with support for up to 5,333MHz DDR4. It’s also designed to back 14+2 digital phase design while having a ton of connectivity/storage. Basically, all these offerings can satisfy a lot of tech enthusiasts around.
So if you’re considering this motherboard from ASUS, continue reading our ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard review.
Our review will start with the board’s packaging and what’s inside the box. The motherboard came in your standard ROG Maximus package, so you’re sure that it’s safe and protected.
In front, you’ll find the usual ROG logo, product’s name, and a list of the primary features of the board. The rear displays additional information about the motherboard, which you can look at before installing it to your build.
Inside the box, you’ll find the motherboard along with several accessories that will help get you started immediately. These include the support DVD, a user’s manual, Q-connector, graphics card holder, and a Wi-Fi moving antenna.
There’s also a screw package for M.2 sockets, four SATA cables, plus aRGB and RGB extension cables.
This time, our ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard review will discuss the design, style, and functions of the motherboard.
ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero Motherboard Review – Design and Functionality
For the design and build of the ROG Maximus XIII Hero, let’s first look at the top of the board.
The top half gives you a better view of the huge shrouds/heatsinks that conceals most of the board’s critical sections. Two reinforced 8-pin EPS connectors are wedged between the heatpipe-linked VRM heatsinks. This is required to direct power to the CPU.
The socket area and gunmetal-coloured capacitors’ right portion features four DRAM slots. These can support up to 128GB of RAM.
Right at the top of the DRAM slots, you’ll find the first three 4-pin pump/fan headers. There are a total of eight headers on the board.
Still to its right, the 2-character QCode debug LED is present. Below are four QLEDs (Boot, CPU, VGA, and DRAM) that light up when booting. If there’s any issue regarding POST, the specific LED stays lit and generally notifies where the issue is.
To get more details, you can simply utilise the QCode display.
On the right edge, the first two of the four RGB headers are present. This spot features two ARGB 3-pin headers as well. Across the bottom edge is where you’ll find the two other headers.
Below it is a huge “start” button for powering the PC and a multi-function FlexKey button that’s a bit smaller. This reboots your system by default, yet you can easily set it up as a quick access feature. Doing so will activate the Safe Boot or switch the Aura Lightning on/off.
The 24-pin ATX power connector is set down the right edge, while the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 type-C front panel header is below it.
The company went for a 14-phase teamed VRM setup for their ROG Maximus XIII Hero. The Renesas ISL-69269 controller (7+2+1) receives power, where the channel feeds two phases. Do note that there are no doubler inlines here.
Let’s move to the 14 Texas Instrument NexFet 90-A Smart Power stage. It lets the CPU utilise up to 1260-A, one of the highest values we have seen.
The Hero may not be the most powerful solution under this price point. However, it won’t have any problems with ambient/extreme overclocking.
Looking at the board’s bottom-half portion, we will focus on the audio section on its left. Beneath the plastic shroud, ASUS opted for the premium Realtek ALC-4082 codec and the Japanese Chemicon audio capacitors.
In addition, the ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard ports the ESS Sabre 9018Q2C DAC/Amp. This is needed to properly drive your headphones.
PCIe Slots and M.2 Sockets
The centre of the board has the M.2 sockets and PCIe slots. On the PCIe front, the board features three full PCIe slots and a single x1 sized slot.
The two PCIe slots on the top are wired to the CPU. They’re also present to support the PCIe 4.0 when utilising an 11th gen Intel processor. The top two slots support the Nvidia 2-way SLI while running at x16|x0, x8|x8, or x8|x4.
The full-length bottom slot is fed from the chipset, running at PCIe 3.0 x4. The bottom slot runs on the PCIe 3.0 x2 mode by default, disabling the SATA ports 3/4.
The ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard comes with four M.2 sockets combined with the PCIe slots. The sockets at the top are wired PCIe 4.0 x4. Here, ASUS did this by allocating bandwidth with the PCIe slots that are CPU-fed.
The sockets only support PCIe modules. However, the top slot can handle 110mm modules, while the second can handle up to 80mm.
The Third M.2 Socket
This portion, which is linked to the chipset, is running at the PCIe 3.0 x4 mode. It supports up to 80mm modules, while the bottom can handle up to 110mm PCIe 3.0 x4. In addition, it can also support M.2 devices that are SATA-based.
Looking at the right of the PCIe spot is the chipset heatsink. It’s got the ROG symbol lit with RGB LEDs coming from underneath.
You’ll see another fan header on the right edge, as well as six SATA ports. There are also two USB 3.2 1st gen front panel headers.
Across the bottom of the board are several buttons and headers. These include additional USB ports, fan headers, and a lot more. If you’re someone who’s into monitoring customised water loops, there are headers for water flow and temperatures too.
With that, you can readily keep watch of your cooling system, whether it’s by water or air.
Rear IO Panel
The ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard sports a pre-installed rear IO panel that has a sleek black background. It’s accompanied by white writings for all the buttons and ports.
All in all, there are 10 USB ports. These include six USB 3.2 2nd generation type-A, two USB 2.0 ports, and two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports. All of these are present to provide extremely fast USB storage.
At the top of the type-C ports, you’ll see two 2.5 GbE ports. Next to them are the Wi-Fi 6E antenna sockets. An HDMI port can handle video output when utilising built-in graphics.
For its audio stack, it’s a full 5-plug analogue and an SPDIF output. Lastly, set here is the BIOS flashback button along with the Clear CMOS button.
Next up in our ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard review are the key features of the board.
Key Features of the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero Motherboard
Smart software solutions ensure that your system delivers optimum performance. The newest ASUS AI-powered enhancements offer improved performance in overclocking, networking, cooling, and onboard audio. Plus, these make advanced tweaking and optimisation accessible for new and seasoned PC builders.
The architectures of today’s CPU place a high demand on motherboard power design. From utilising deep power-saving modes, power designs now instantly go from low-power to full load. The latest ROG VRM architecture uses teamed power stages to rapidly swing current while maintaining unparalleled thermal performance.
Optimem enables memory kits to run at reduced voltages, higher frequencies, and lower latencies. It uses proprietary memory trace layout adjustments to mitigate noise and improve signal integrity.
The ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard is one of the easiest motherboards to use for DIY PC building today. It comes with a pre-mounted I/O shield, QCode, BIOS Flashback, FlexKey, and SafeSlot. Additionally, the graphics card holder eliminates sag using its magnetic base and adjustable slider.
Intel Wi-Fi 6E
The onboard Wi-Fi 6E technology maximises the new radium spectrum in 6GHz. With that, the motherboard provides bandwidth equivalent to thrice the 5GHz band and up to seven 160MHz bands. These features result in ultrafast, wireless networking speed and enhanced capacity and performance in dense wireless environments.
Additional USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 Lane
The newest USB standard opens another USB 3.2 Gen 2 lane, which you can find at the front panel. These connectors provide data transfer throughput of up to 20 Gbps.
ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero offers four onboard M.2 slots. Two of these offer PCIe 4.0 support for the latest high-speed SSDs and GPUs
SupremeFX ALC4082 and the Integrated DAC
For audio, the ROG Maximus XIII Hero is equipped with the ESS Sabre 9018Q2C. It integrates the DAC amplifier to be capable of providing -115 dB total harmonic distortion. With that, you can enjoy playback that conveys all the subtlety and nuances of the audio track.
Plus, the 121 dB dynamic range or DNR provides an extremely low noise-floor to further improve dynamics and punch.
With Aura Sync, you can synchronise all your ROG components’ lights and effects through a single interface. If you’re using the ROG Maximus XIII Hero with other ROG components and peripherals, you can set complementary aesthetics.
The board also has one RGB header and three 2nd generation aRGB headers for you to customise. ROG’s ecosystem is highly extensive, so you’ll enjoy having more ROG products when expanding your system.
When you purchase the ROG Maximus XIII Hero, you can take advantage of the bundled 1-year subscription for AIDA64 Extreme. This utility software provides comprehensive data about your hardware, software, and benchmarks to measure your system’s performance. It can also send information on your component’s status.
AIDA64 Extreme detects and prevents hardware issues via its monitoring and diagnostics feature. Plus, you can use it for tracking vital system sensors in real-time.
Additionally, the motherboard comes with an intuitive UEFI BIOS dashboard with pre-installed MemTest86. The latter runs tests to identify memory issues in a single click. It stores reports in the BIOS archives for future reference.
Next on our ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard review, we’ll proceed to talk about the product’s specifications.
The ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard supports the Intel 10th generation or later processors. Its power for the CPU is a 16-phase design, while the memory has a 2-phase design.
It utilises an Intel Z590 chipset, and its built-in graphics are dependent on your installed CPU. When it comes to its structure, the ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard sports an ATX form factor. Plus, it measures 12.0 x 9.6” (30.5 x 24.4cm)
To know how well the motherboard performed, we let it go through some tests. Of course, we’re sharing the results in our ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard review.
Hands-on with the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero Motherboard
Before looking into the ROG Maximus XIII Hero’s performance, let’s check out the UEFI BIOS and AI Suite.
This board’s BIOS is excellent, and we think that a lot of users will love the simple hotkey present. It’s basically for switching the RGB LED lights on/off on the front page.
For the AI Suite 3, it’s mainly a hardware-monitoring and in-OS overclocking tool. AI Suite also works as a hub for a couple of other programs like PC cleaners, Fan Xpert4, EPU, and EZ Update.
When it comes to the Armoury Crate, it’s a software tool made to give centralised control on ROG-supported gaming products. From one intuitive interface, the software puts command on all your Aura gear at the tips of your fingers. This is all thanks to the new Aura Creator suite.
It offers setting controls for an increasing number of ROG products. These make it easier to tune and customise the feel and look of your system.
In addition, the Armoury Crate offers a dedicated product registration plus ROG news feeds. These will aid you to stay in touch and connect with the gaming community of ROG.
This is a software utility that turns milliseconds to microseconds, boosting gaming load times. It’s entirely compatible with the newest NVM Express storage options and utilises distinct intelligent technology to cache any storage devices. With that, all your favourite applications and games launch at heightened speeds.
Now, our ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard review will discuss the power consumption and performance of the board.
For memory overclocking, it was undeniably top-tier. It reached a stable 4,000MHz which was great. For CPU overclocking, we got to reach 5.2GHz on all the cores of our processor.
Generally, the ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard was able to withstand all of our tests without any problems. And to put it simply, it was one of the best.
It’s also good to note that we reset the BIOS to default at some point in our test. Then, we enabled the XMP profile for the RAM.
Doing so gave us close results to what most regular users would get when they simply plug and play. It’s probably the fairest and best way to see the results.
With that in mind, this motherboard is a beast that can be easily tweaked to give you optimised and enhanced performance. As for the cooling design for the chipset and VRM configurations, these were great overall.
ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero Motherboard Review Summary
We’re now ending our ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero motherboard review with our conclusion and our final thoughts.
The ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero is an impressive Z590 motherboard that comes with premium audio and superior power delivery. It also has all the latest generation sockets, ports, and headers you’d need for your system today.
While this motherboard comes with a wide range of features, some may not be essential for every user. However, it works excellently and does its job well. Plus, it has RGB LEDs that are fully customisable, which is perfect for those who want a stylish PC build.
For any ROG product, there’s a premium to pay. But with its excellent performance during our tests, the ROG Maximus XIII Hero is definitely worth paying for.
ASUS is also known for regularly updating its BIOS until every tiny bug is eliminated. With that, you can be sure that you won’t have issues to deal with when using this motherboard.
Overall, the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero is a well-rounded motherboard. It offers almost everything you’d look for in a Z590 motherboard when paired with an 11th generation Intel processor. And it comes with user-friendly applications to further improve your system.
If you want to purchase the ROG Maximus XIII Hero, check out ASUS’ store locator to find shops near you.