ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Hero Motherboard Review
Peter Donnell / 3 weeks ago
A Closer Look
ASUS has long made many of the best-looking motherboards on the market, and it’s pretty clear that their latest HERO motherboard maintains that legacy. It actually does look a lot like the old Z690 Hero too, with the VRM heatsink in particular following a similar design, but with some slight changes in the overall shape and size of the heatsinks on the lower half of the board.
Interestingly, the Z690 board also used the same or, at least, extremely similar, 20+1 Power Stages that were rated at 90A. Not to say they haven’t improved things, but with a configuration like this, there isn’t much room for improvement, as this will absolutely crank the best performance out of the latest flagship CPUs regardless.
There are two ProCool II connectors for the CPU PSU header, these are thicker pins, more robust soldering, and a metal jacket around the connectors too, for better power and thermal management.
Of course, you get the latest DDR5 memory support, with reinforced DIMM slots. Those using this on an open bench will be happy to see on-board power controls too, as well as their programmable Flex Key; handy for overclocking profiles and getting right into the BIOS!
On the bottom half, there’s a lot more armour protecting the board, your M.2 drives, and of course, adding a lot of mass to deliver impressive cooling performance to the chipset and drive bays too.
There are three M.2 drive mounts, all equipped with those screwless locking mechanisms too, which is great. There are two PCIe 5.0 x16 slots too, which no doubt has a big impact on the price of this board, but they’re well spaced out too, so thicker GPUs shouldn’t be an issue. The top one comes with that quick-release lever, and both of them are heavily armoured too. There’s also a Gen4 x8 slot at the bottom.
Around the back, there’s a significant amount of metal. The motherboard would have been heavy without this, but now it’s super heavy, so make sure you’re putting this into a sturdy PC case! The metal provides a massive amount of surface area to dissipate heat. However, it also provides a more robust mounting point for the large heatsinks on the front. Rather than bolting them to the PCB, they bolt through into the metal, sandwiching the PCB, which is much better for the hardware in general.
As you can see, there are even thermal pads on the back of the VRM for this too.
The rear I/O is pretty comprehensive too, offering up three USB Type-C ports, with Thunderbolt 4 support. There are 4 x USB 3.2 ports, as well as five USB 10 Gbps ports.