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ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) Z490 Motherboard Review

The Asus ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) comes with fewer accessories than we might expect to see with a motherboard that costs over £400 so it is welcome news that the hardware is top quality. In particular we are impressed by the upgrade in the VRMs as the Maximus XI Z390 model was below-par while this Maximus XII hits it out of the park.

We have seen a number of enthusiast Z490 motherboards priced around the £400 mark that come with VRMs that seem almost over-engineered for Core i9-10900K and we have to wonder what will be coming with Intel's 11th Gen that will fit the same LGA1200 socket.

Of course that is some time in the future so for the time being we are looking at performance with the ten core Core i9-10900K with PCI Express Gen 3 graphics and SSD storage. This is less thrilling than AMD Ryzen 9 3950X and PCIe Gen 4 hardware but nonetheless, a high end Intel PC delivers an impressive level of performance.

Or rather it can be impressive, depending on your workload and the settings you use. If you limit CPU power and run on Auto you will have a decent gaming experience but will suffer in intensive tasks such as video editing. Unlock the CPU power to let your CPU stretch its legs and we are confident you will be mightily impressed.

While we don't feel the need to overclock beyond 5.1GHz, the fact is the MSI MEG Z490 Ace managed 5.2GHz without difficulty so it annoys us that we couldn't get the Asus to run the same CPU at the same speed. We are confident the Asus can perform as well as the MSI (or better) but our feeling is that the complexity of the BIOS works to make life more difficult than it needs to be. You cannot simply bump up core voltage and the clock multiplier but instead have to tweak a bunch of settings, just as we showed you in our video.

This is a fairly minor complaint but anything that Asus can do to make life easier would be welcome. This is true at any time but especially true when we are dealing with a CPU platform that comes with new features such as Thermal Velocity Boost.

We are impressed by the quality of the Asus ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) hardware and would welcome any small tweaks to the BIOS that would help to seal the deal.

You can buy the Asus ROG Maximus XII Hero Wi-Fi from Overclockers UK for £429.95 HERE.

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Pros:

  • The VRMs work well and run at a low temperature.
  • Huge list of features including Micro buttons and eight fan headers.
  • Impressive performance.
  • Stylish looks and solid engineering.

Cons:

  • The price is fairly steep.
  • Access to the M.2 slots is awkward once your motherboard is installed.
  • BIOS is overly complex.

KitGuru says: Asus ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) is an impressive motherboard that matches Core i9-10900K superbly well.

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Rating: 9.0.

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