Maximus VI Hero Overview
The Maximus VI Hero is an ATX motherboard. It has the same color scheme that we have seen from the Republic of Gamers line for quite some time. You have a pure black PCB with red and black accents, which of course looks great.
We will start at the CPU socket, which is the new LGA1150 socket from Intel. Luckily it uses the same mounting holes as LGA1155 so you will not have to buy a brand new CPU cooler for Haswell processors. Surrounding the CPU socket are the power delivery components. The Maximus VI Hero uses a 8-phase VRM design that makes use of BlackWing Chokes, NexFet MOSFET’s and 10K black metallic capacitors. This is an all digital design. For details on Extreme DIGI+ III check out the slide of the previous page. The power delivery components are cooled by two large heatsinks connected by a heat pipe.
Moving up to the top edge of the board you have an 8pin CPU power connector and two 4pin fan connectors. The first one is the CPU optional fan if you happen to have a CPU cooler with two fans. The other one is the main CPU fan connector. You will notice a little tab on the end. This is actually a detection latch that will determine if you have a 3pin or 4pin fan connected. This way you can use ASUS’s software to control this fan no matter if its 3pin or 4pin. Previously you were only able to do this with 4pin fans. Moving on to the DIMM slots they are color-coded to denote the channel and on the bottom they do not have locking latches. This is to make swapping out your memory much easier if you have larger video cards installed. The Maximus VI Hero supports up to 32 GB of DDR3-2800 (O.C.) memory. At the top corner of the board is the debug LED, power and reset buttons and MemOK button. There is a 4pin fan header, your 24pin ATX power connector and the internal USB 3.0 connector.
With the new Z87 chipset you now have six total SATA 6GB/s ports, which support RAID 0,1,5, and 10, so no wondering where you need to plug in your faster solid state drives. Along with the six SATA 6GB/s ports provided by the Z87 chipset ASUS has also included two more SATA 6GB/s ports that are controlled by the ASMedia ASM1061 chip, which does not support RAID. While ASUS did not change the color to denote the different controller the last two ports or the ones labeled “SATA6G_E12” are the ASMedia controlled ports. The PCH itself is covered by a very large heatsink that has the Republic of Gamers logo on it.
Along the bottom of the board you are going to find many different headers and connections. Moving right to left you have your front panel case connections, a 4pin fan connector, the DirectKey button, ClearCMOS jumper, TG header, USB 2.0 header, ROG_EXT header, TPM header, SPDIF out header and HD audio header. A few things to note here, the larger half of the ROG extension header can be used as a USB 2.0 header and the DirectKey button is an easy way to get into your BIOS. So if you are loaded into Windows and hit that button it will shutdown your machine and upon the next boot up it will load you directly into the BIOS.
The SupremeFX sound chip is actually right on the motherboard itself. To cut down on interference ASUS has implemented “Red Line”, which literally cuts the PCB into two parts. You can see the cutout in the photo below. The chip itself also has an EMI protection cover. The SupremeFX features 8-channel HD audio that is equal in power, clarity and range to dedicated sound cards. For more information on the SupremeFX chip be sure to check out our features page.
As far as expansion slots go you have two PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, one PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (4x electrical), and three PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots. Only when you have a single graphics card installed will the PCI Express 3.0 slots work at x16 speed. If you have two cards installed they will work at x8 speeds. There is also another 4pin fan connector located above the expansion slots. This gives you a total of four 4pin fan connectors not including the CPU fan connector. Finally we have the rear panel. Moving from left to right we have a PS/2 keyboard / mouse port, two USB 2.0 ports, BIOS flashback button, two more USB 2.0 ports, optical out, HDMI out, four USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet (Intel) and your audio connections.