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Asus Maximus VIII Hero (Z170) Motherboard Review

M.2 connector

We use Plextor‘s M6e 256GB M.2 SSD to test the speed of a motherboard’s M.2 connector. We reviewed the 512GB Plextor M6e (and its PCIe x2 adapter card) HERE. Unfortunately we do not have access to a PCIe 3.0-based SSD to fully test the M.2 connector’s performance limits.

Z170-M_2

Unsurprisingly, the 32Gbps-capable M.2 connector has no problem providing enough bandwidth for our Plextor M6e to operate without a speed restriction.

SATA

For SATA 6Gb/s testing we use a Kingston HyperX 3K (SandForce SF-2281) SSD.

Z170-sata ASM1061-sata

SATA 6Gbps performance from the chipset-fed ports is without issues. ASMedia-based connectors show significantly lower speeds, so these should be reserved for slower mechanical storage.

USB 3.0

We tested USB 3.0 performance using the Kingston HyperX 3K SSD connected to a SATA 6Gb/s to USB 3.0 adapter powered by an ASMedia ASM1053 controller.

USB 3

Z170-USB-3

Asus’ continued support for its USB 3.1 Boost software allows the vendor’s motherboards to score convincing victories when using Windows 7 thanks to the software’s UASP driver. In Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, the difference between the USB 3.0 speeds of Asus motherboards and those from competitors will be far less significant.

Audio

We use RightMark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) to analyse the performance of the motherboard’s onboard audio solution. A sampling mode of 24-bit, 192 kHz was tested.

audio

RMAA reports the audio system on Asus’ Maximus VIII Hero as having ‘Very Good’ general performance.

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