When we were first briefed on the Maximus VI Hero ASUS explained it was the product that would be many user’s first Republic of Gamers motherboard and I believe it really will be. When we talk about Republic of Gamers motherboards we are talking about the cream of the crop, top of the line motherboards with the highest quality components along with tons of added features both gamers and enthusiasts would enjoy. Usually these motherboards have extremely high price tags that keep them out of the hands of most users. The Maximus VI Hero changes that by offering a very reasonable price tag of $229.99. At that price you sure are getting a lot for your money.
Many people might think this is the “cheap” Republic of Gamers board, but this has all of the quality you will find on the other Republic of Gamers boards offered by ASUS. The Maximus VI Hero makes use of 8-phase Extreme DIGI+ III VRM design that makes use of 60A rated BlackWing Chokes, NexFet MOSFET’s and 10K black metallic capacitors. These components provide much improved efficiency, voltage regulation and a longer lifespan. ASUS has always been on-point when it comes to their power delivery designs.
Of course this is a board that is targeted at gamers and there are sure a lot of gaming features. First off the board supports both SLI and CrossFireX setups and these could be quad-SLI or CrossFireX if you were using a dual-GPU card. ASUS’s SupremeFX audio solution not only will give you gaming quality audio you would expect from a discrete sound card but it also is completely free from EMI interference by the protection cover and the “Red Line” that literally cuts the PCB into two parts. A new addition to the SupremeFX solution is the Sonic Radar that uses in game sound to create a graphical representation of where the sound is actually coming from. Many gamers will definitely appreciate that! ASUS’s GameFirst II software is included as well and it allows you to take full control of your network connection giving priority to your games and other applications. No one wants lag when playing a game!
Talking about the software ASUS is now on their version three of their very popular AI Suite software and out of all the motherboard companion software it is the best out there. It actually has very useful tools like Fan Xpert and the ability to tune and view all of your system stats right in the BIOS. ASUS has also included their RamDisk software that allows you to turn part of your RAM into a hard drive. This will allow you to store game files on the memory rather than than your hard drive for much improved speeds. RamDisk software can cost anywhere from $30-90 and you are getting it for free. Kaspersky Antivirus and Daemon tools are also included with the motherboard free of charge.
ASUS has always done a great job with their UEFI BIOS and they have made many improvements to the BIOS that users will definitely appreciate and use. The the EZ Mode screen you can now select your XMP profile, so you don’t have to go into the advance menu to change it. Also on the EZ mode you can setup your fans. The advanced menu of the BIOS is nicely laid out and everything is very easy to find. ASUS has added a favorites page where you can add any option in the BIOS to. So if there are a few different options you use most you can add them to this page for easy access. Many times when I am overclocking I take notes, but overtime those notes get lost. ASUS has notes built into the BIOS now so you can quickly write down your notes and they will be there always. Another added feature is when you go to save your settings it actually will show you a list of everything you are changing. This is good incase you accidently change something. ASUS also has some great tools in the BIOS like EZ Flash 2 and SSD Secure Erase.
ASUS makes overclocking easy even if you are a beginner. You can use the AI Suite III software to overclock the system right within Windows. If you are brave enough to go into the BIOS there is the CPU Level Up which has predefined overclocks based on your processor. Finally you can overclock manually in the BIOS, which all the setting are extremely easy to find an change. I was able to achieve an overclock of 4.7 GHz on my i7-4770K with ease. Because of the fact that the i7-4770K runs hot we could not go any higher without the risking damaging the chip.
At the end of the day ASUS has brought the quality and many of the features of the high-end Republic of Gamers boards into a more affordable option. There really is nothing I can say about the motherboard given its price tag of $229. Overall ThinkComputers gives the ASUS Maximus VI Hero Z87 Motherboard a 10 out of 10 score and our Editor’s Choice Award!
– Quality materials
– Easy to use BIOS
– Software (AI Suite III, RamDisk, GameFirst II, etc)
– Affordable Price
– Easy overclocking
– None that I found