Recently, Asus has sent us their new ROG MAXIMUS XII HERO WIFI motherboard based on the new Intel Z490 chipset. According to Intel, there are a few benefits that differentiate Z390 from Z490. Unfortunately, the old LGA 1151 CPUs will not be compatible with the new Z490, because of the new platform shift to LGA 1200 for the new Comet Lake-S CPUs. So what surprise will ASUS bring this time? Let’s open the box and enjoy the new features!

Package appearance
The whole package design of MAXIMUS XII HERO WIFI is nearly the same as their previous version MAXIMUS XI HERO WIFI
Package Front

Package Back

Package Side

Opening the box

The ROG Sticker, Manual book and instruction guide

The Driver CD and ROG metal sticker

The ROG greeting card

The accessories box – including SATA cable packs, RGB extension cable, MOSFET cooling fan pack, M.2 screw packs, WIFI and Bluetooth antenna and a new ROG band

Product Analysis
The main body of the HERO WIFI motherboard

The front and back look

The side I/O

The bottom I/O

The top I/O, includes RGB headers (12v 4pin & 5v 3pin addressable) and 8+6 pin CPU powe

The rear I/O :
1 x Marvell® AQtion AQC111C 5Gb Ethernet
1 x Intel® I219-V 1Gb Ethernet
1 x HDMI
4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2
4 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
1 x USB BIOS FlashBack™ Button(s)
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi Module
5 x Gold-plated audio jacks

This motherboard includes 3 M.2 SSD slots (M.2_1 and M.2_3 supports SATA & PCIe 3.0 x 4)

The SATA M.2 SSD won’t work on M.2_2 slot, it only supports PCIe 3.0 x 4

The M.2 SSD heat sinks

The 24-pin power and USB Gen2 Type E socket, and POWER button, FLEX Key (Reset), Debug Code indicator and RGB sockets

The CPU VRM and PCH heat sinks

The rear I/O cover and PCH cover with RGB lights

The look after we removed all heatsink and covers

The Memory slots – supports up to 128G DDR4 4700+(OC). The slot does not come with armour

In terms of PCIe slots, the 1st and 2nd armour protected slots are PCIe 3.0 x16(single x16 or dual x8) and they are directly from the CPU. The 3rd PCIe 3.0 x16 (x4 mode when three cards) and the rest 3 of PCIe 3.0 x1 are controlled by the chipset

The processor power supply adopts the design of 14-phase CPU core power supply + 2-phase integrated graphics power supply

The MOSFET TDA21462 from Infineon
According to the product sheet from Infineon, this MOSFET has a 60A of its single maximum current, and it’s also used in the ROG Matrix RTX 2080 Ti

The Wifi 6 and Bluetooth card – Intel AX201NGW

The northbridge chipset

The ASUS SupremeFX supported sound card is ALC1220 from Realtek, it also uses the famous golden capacitors from Nichicon

The ASUS DIGI+ EPU Chipset – ASP1405I customised from the Infineon IR35201

The Marvell AQtion AQC111C 5G LAN Chipset

The BIOS flashback controller chip

The Onboard TPU chip

The Onboard I/O controller chip Nuvoton NCT6798D

The Asmedia ASM1442K chip is the next-generation high-speed TMDS level shift ICs for HDMI & DVI video application

The ASUS AURA 50QA0 RGB controller chip

The ASUS Pro Clock II R77775PY timing controller chip

The new LGA 1200 slot of Intel’s 10th gen Core desktop processor

The foolproof designed gaps are moved to the downside compared to the 1151 socket

As a mid-range in the ROG Maximus family, the ROG Maximus XII HERO features several changes both from the aesthetics and the internal designs. More armour protection is added compared to the previous Maximus XI Hero and the RGB elements are slightly increased. Due to the 10th gen CPU eating more power, the on-board power supply has been strengthened thoroughly.

For enthusiastic gamers, the ROG Maximus series motherboards have always been their first choice. The Maximus XII Hero still easily handles the 240W i9-10900k, the powerful power supply support not only brings stable performance but also will effectively relieve the pressure caused by overclocking, thereby further increasing the FPS in-game.

At the same time, ROG Maximus XII HERO has two new technologies: AI smart heat dissipation and AI smart network. AI smart heat dissipation can automatically manage and control the fans connected to the motherboard and adjust the settings according to the current system load and temperature conditions to ensure efficient and stable operation. As the name implies, the AI Intelligent Network uses GameFirst VI game low-latency features to automatically optimise the game network environment, thereby bringing a smooth, non-stop gaming experience.

At AU$829, it is not a very competitive price, as the ROG Z490-E is only $599, it also has the same CPU power supply plus an additional onboard Display Port 1.4, and a 2.5Gb LAN port is absolutely sufficient for gamers. If you haven’t got a firm belief in ROG and pursuit of absolute high-end products, the ROG Maximus series has no advantage in terms of cost to performance ratio.