The ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Hero motherboard is the latest in the ROG “Republic of Gamers” series line up. We are still pleased with the same color scheme which hasn’t changed since its launch during its X58 chipset days. Some may think this color scheme is a little outdated, but we still appreciate it! This is because the black and red aesthetics still play a big role in the ROG themed series. We hope to continue to see ASUS grow strong in this division, but it would be interesting to see some new design aspects from its well matured ROG series.
When it comes to the software package, ASUS has always included an abundant variety. The extensive software package that was available with the motherboard gives users something to appreciate, and Asus continues to impress in this sector with each new motherboard release. It’s like getting all the bells and whistles without paying that premium price tag. Some may think that all this is bloatware, but we find many of the applications to be rather useful especially with all the exclusive ASUS developed interfaces.
With this ASUS Maximus VII Hero series board, this time around we did see quite a few software improvements as well, and this was especially appreciated since this board offered quite a bit of unique features like the, ROG Front Base Panel Interface, Fan Xpert III, Memtweak, RAMDisk, KeyBot and the Supreme Audio just to name a few. All of these were designed to enhance your experience while gaming, playing media, or just your normal every day use. ASUS gives you total control over your system via their easy to use software.
For performance, this motherboard performed as we expected. Because this board was developed on an ATX format, the layout hasn’t changed much with the exception of the M.2 PCIe Gen 2 x2 slot as an addition to the layout. Set-up was as simple as it should be, which is a great sign. With the 4770K, we found that our 2133MHz memory was able to run at the advertised speeds with little to no work with a simple XMP profile enabling and we were set. In the OC sector, using the AI Suite Auto OC or Digi Optimizing, we were able to hit speeds of 4.2GHz with little to no work, and we were able to manually overclock to 4.6GHz with little work. While overclocking can vary, it was nice to see that ASUS continues its reputation for stable overclocks.
As far as performance is concerned, when we look at our benchmark comparisons with the Z87 and other Z97 series boards, we didn’t find a whole lot of benefit changing from your current Z87 chipset motherboard. That is, unless you plan on taking advantage of the M.2 SATA port, or plan to upgrade to the newer Intel processors that are due to release sometime next year. M.2 SATA still hasn’t matured in its development and finding a drive that can use the M.2 SATA port is limited; however, we can foresee the future use of M.2 SATA being popular with its greater bandwidth and speeds.
The board overclocked quite nicely as we mentioned. While the overclocking will varies from chip to chip, the motherboard does play a big role in its overclocking stability. We didn’t have any stability issues with the ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Hero motherboard up to 4.6GHz. With higher overclocks, heat became our enemy in this sector as we moved the voltage up. Still, with the 4770K Processor, we find that performance was rock solid.
We can find the ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Hero ROG Motherboard for $229.99 on newegg.com. While the pricing may seen on the high side, we feel that it’s priced right due to the abundance of improvements included with this ROG motherboard. With that said, we offer the ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Hero ROG Series Motherboard the PureOverclock Editors Choice Award.