Final Thoughts & Conclusion
The Asus Maximus VIII Hero is a strong Overclocker and we love strong Overclockers. The UEFI BIOS was very similar to previews generation chipssets so OCing was pretty easy once we caught on to upping the CPU core voltage, the VCCIO and the System Agent it seemed like the Sky(lake) was the limit and we hit 4.8GHz easily and it was entirely benchable but we backed down to 4.7GHz for OC benching for lower CPU temperatures. The Maximus VIII Hero was able to handle 4.8GHz and overclocked our set of Kingston HyperX 2666 to 2912MHz.and bench at 4.8GHz with Memory running 2912MHz so we are looking at a strong overclocker here.
We know that the Asus Maximus VIII Hero is a solid OCer but it also excels at Audio and Asus did a great job using Fine Gold Nichicon capacitors and SupremeFX Audio using a standard Realtec Codec. The relay setup and De-Popping circuitry are a joy for the ears and as long as you are using a good set of speakers you’ll get good service from audio and as a multimedia rig.
The Back I?O ports were a little skimpy on USB for us but we like a board with tons of High Speed USB ports, we can see two USB 2.0 ports for keyboard and Mouse but beyond that leave the USB 2.0 as internal headers and sprout USB 3.0 on hte back Panel. The addition of USB 3.1 is a treat we will enjoy as we explore the expanded bandwidth it can provide.
Once we got into the UEFI BIOS we saw why Asus put all 6 fan headers as 4 Pin PWM. The Fan control section of BIOS is a cooling geniuses playground and infinitely adjustable.
We didn’t mind the new sleek color scheme but after years of ROG enthusiasm miss the bold red and black but that small disappointment was forgotten when we saw the RGB controls and lighting Asus put on the Hero. Without any extra lighting the RGB was enough to accent the test bed and draw attention through windowed chassis.
Being a new chipset (Z170) voltage read points for the CPU would have been a nice addition as many serious OCers like to read voltages directly not by software but this is a middle of the ROG stack board so possibly on higher end ROG boards we’ll see some fledgling voltage measure points.
The Asus Maximus VIII Hero is a solid performer even at this early stage of BIOS development and that’s a good indication that the Hero will only get better as time passes and the BIOS matures. COnsidering it was the First SkyLake to appear on the test bench merely hours after the Intel I7 6700K hit the door Asus did a bang up job on providing a bench ready Z170 board. That says a lot of Asus by providing a fully functional chicken and egg board that provided solid overclocking and an overall enjoyable computing platform.