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ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII HERO (Wi-Fi) Z490 Motherboard Review

How Much Does it Cost?

The ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII HERO (Wi-Fi) Z490 Motherboard is available now. However stock at some retailers is a bit low *shakes fist at COVID-19*. You’ll find it for around £429 here in the UK and about $500 in the US. It’s certainly one of the more expensive options out there, but again, it does come with a lot of premium features too.

Overview

It’s obvious that this motherboard is a bit more than your typical gaming board. For most gamers, it’s likely overkill, however it’s bound to appeal to the extreme gaming and enthusiast PC building community. It’s offering a lot of features, and the price is big, but it’s still more “affordable” than their flagship EXTREME motherboard too, so a bit of a sweet spot between the high-end boards and the flagship.

Build Quality & Design

Well, it’s about as good as you could ask for really. ASUS has used plenty of premium materials throughout. Actually, just in raw material cost, the retail price starts to make sense fairly quickly. There’s a stunning piano black finish blended with mirrored LED panels to give it a stunning contrast. Everything is armoured, everything is cooled, everything is extra robust. It manages to look almost utilitarian due to its focus on cooling performance, but it’s still very beautiful too.

Performance

All of the performance this motherboard has to offer lies in its overclocking abilities. It has just about one of the best VRM cooling configurations you could ask for. There’s a lot of heavy metal deployed here, with thick heat pipes and massive chunky fins to dissipate the heat. Power is fed from a 8+4 PIN EPS configuration, through a massive 14+2 Power Stage delivering 60A each. All of it is very oversized and robust, ensuring you can push bit voltages and loads into the CPU 24/7.

Added Value

Massive amounts of connectivity are king with the high-end Z490 boards, and this one is no exception. There’s a plethora of USB options, including Type C. Plus, you can even expand with the Thunderbolt header for massive transfer speeds. You’ll benefit from both Marvel 5G and Intel 1G LAN, as well as the fantastic WiFi 6 hardware. There’s also some of the best audio hardware here too, with ROG SupremeFX 7.1 surround sound, a built in ESS DAC and RC4580 OP AMP.

Should I Buy One?

It may be a little more than some are willing to pay, but it’s a huge upgrade on their Z390 model. Bigger VRM, bigger power delivery, bigger cooling, loads of connectivity, and great audio. It’s not cheap, but you do get what you pay for.

ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XII HERO (Wi-Fi) Z490 Motherboard Review

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Peter Donnell

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