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Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero Review: Premium Hardware, Premium Price

Four M.2 sockets, premium audio and VRMs for $499

Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Asus)

Firmware

Asus’s BIOS for Z590 looks the same as found on previous-generation Z490-based motherboards. Asus uses a red background with white writing on these ROG boards -- a theme we’re all familiar with. Asus starts off in “EZ” mode where it presents some high-level information along with a couple of adjustable options such as enabling XMP and Boot priority. Advanced Mode has a slew of BIOS options, many of which most users will not touch. Asus organized the BIOS well and many of the common functions are easily accessible without drilling deep into the pages. Overall, Asus offers a user-friendly BIOS with enough options to keep the most-advanced user busy.

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Software

On the software side, Asus includes a couple of applications designed for varying functions. This includes RGB lighting control, system monitoring and overclocking, audio and more. Below we’ve captured a few screenshots of Ai Suite, the Armory Crate and Aura Creator.

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Test System

As of March 2021, we’ve updated our test system to Windows 10 64-bit OS (20H2) with all threat mitigations applied. On the hardware front, we’ve switched to all PCIe 4.0 components. We upgraded our video card to an Asus RTX 3070 TUF Gaming and the storage device to a 2TB Phison PS5-18-E18 M.2. Along with the hardware changes, we’ve also updated the games to F1 2020 and Far Cry: New Dawn. We use the latest non-beta motherboard BIOS available to the public unless otherwise noted (typically during new platform launches). The hardware used is as follows: 

CPUIntel i9-11900K
MemoryGSkill Trident Z Neo 2x8GB DDR4 3600 (F4-3600C16Q-32GTZN)
GSkill Trident Z Royale 2x8GB DDR4 4000 (F4-4000C18Q-32GTRS)
GPUAsus TUF Gaming RTX 3070
CPU CoolerCorsair H150i
PSUCorsair AX1200i
SoftwareWindows 10 64-bit 20H2
Graphics DriverNVIDIA Driver 461.40
SoundIntegrated HD audio
NetworkIntegrated Networking (GbE or 2.5 GbE)

Benchmark Settings 

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 10Version 2.1.2508 64
Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation, MS Office
3DMarkVersion 2.17.7137 64
Firestrike Extreme and Time Spy Default Presets
Cinebench R20Version RBBENCHMARK271150
Open GL Benchmark - Single and Multi-threaded
Application Tests and Settings
LAME MP3Version SSE2_2019
Mixed 271MB WAV to mp3: Command: -b 160 --nores (160Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion: 1.2.2
Sintel Open Movie Project: 4.19GB 4K mkv to x264 (light AVX) and x265 (heavy AVX)
Corona 1.4Version 1.4
Custom benchmark
7-ZipVersion 19.00
Integrated benchmark
Game Tests and Settings
F1 2020Ultra Preset - 1920 x 1080, TAA, 16xAF (Australia, Clear, Dry)
Far Cry: New DawnUltra Preset - 1920 x 1080

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  • Warren Browning
    I just made a build on this platform. I'm using an i 11700, with a BeQuiet Dark rock pro 4, 2 Samsung 980 pro 1TB m.2 ssd drives in the PCIe 4 slots, 128 GB Corsair 3600 memory.

    The system is quite stable and fast. I only had two issues with the build. I had to format the second m.2 ssd drive in the PCIe 3 slot before windows would recognize it in the second PCIe 4 slot.

    The second issue was with the bios flashing.
    Reboot kept hanging at F7 before clearing the cmos. After clearing the cmos, everything booted and worked well.

    I just received my video card. I still have to install it. I'll see if it gives any problems. The onboard video controller works very well without a separate video card. The video output is very clean.

    I would recommend this board for an Intel build in this price range.
    Reply
  • jonathan1683
    I have this board too I didnt have any issues with the bios update, but it took forever and seems to do a bunch of updates in the bios one by one which I have never seen before and it took a long time. This board was very heavy and is definitely the nicest motherboard I have ever seen. My fps went from like 30 to 100 on the CPU/ram upgrade same gpu in cyberpunk on a i9-11900k from a i7-4790k I am very happy with the build.
    Reply
  • Malfaur
    Warren Browning said:
    I just made a build on this platform. I'm using an i 11700, with a BeQuiet Dark rock pro 4, 2 Samsung 980 pro 1TB m.2 ssd drives in the PCIe 4 slots, 128 GB Corsair 3600 memory.

    The system is quite stable and fast. I only had two issues with the build. I had to format the second m.2 ssd drive in the PCIe 3 slot before windows would recognize it in the second PCIe 4 slot.

    The second issue was with the bios flashing.
    Reboot kept hanging at F7 before clearing the cmos. After clearing the cmos, everything booted and worked well.

    I just received my video card. I still have to install it. I'll see if it gives any problems. The onboard video controller works very well without a separate video card. The video output is very clean.

    I would recommend this board for an Intel build in this price range.
    I am buying this MB , but I plan to use 32gb Corsair 3600 memory. I'm told by someone that works for Asus that I'm better off using higher memory at 4000 and higher and only 16gb. I would like your option about this since you have a build with this board and have used Corsair Memory. I'm trying to keep it an all white build but if I do end up going for the higher memory it is expensive and only comes in 16gb in white, if I want more than 16gb it will kill the bank. So do you think the memory that I have now 32gb Corsair 3600 will be sufficient, I'm a casual gamer so no real overclocking for me.
    Reply
  • QRTnielsen
    Admin said:
    The Maximus XIII Hero sports a heavy-duty VRMs, four M.2 sockets, dual 2.5 GbE ports, plus Wi-Fi 6E and Thunderbolt 4 ports. At $499.99, the price may be out of reach for some. But for those who can afford the outlay, this is a great board for your new Z590 PC.

    Asus ROG Maximus XIII Hero Review: Premium Hardware, Premium Price : Read more
    Hi, thanks for a good review!
    I am considering buying this board, but when I am looking for a proper case, I could not find any that would support all the nice usb board connectors.
    Have anyone found a good solution?
    Kurt
    Reply
  • KaraStefan
    Asus was excellent manufacturer. But I see quality is going down. I had also really bad feeling when I updated BIOS. It took long time without knowing if it is OK. Motherboard from build year before worked somehow better and it was more than two times cheaper. Next thing I’ve noticed is high chipset temperature 75-83C. I don’t know if it is normal. Chipset heat sink is covered by plastic cover I don’t understand either. Do you know something about it? Should I use some additional cooling?
    Reply
  • QRTnielsen
    KaraStefan said:
    Asus was excellent manufacturer. But I see quality is going down. I had also really bad feeling when I updated BIOS. It took long time without knowing if it is OK. Motherboard from build year before worked somehow better and it was more than two times cheaper. Next thing I’ve noticed is high chipset temperature 75-83C. I don’t know if it is normal. Chipset heat sink is covered by plastic cover I don’t understand either. Do you know something about it? Should I use some additional cooling?

    You are right about a steady deteriorating of Asus products. I bought this board, mainly because its big bunch of fast usb connections AND M.2 running 4x4. I therefore got the Intel core i7-11700K and a Samsung 980 pro, but Samsung Magician report that it is running PCIe Gen. 3 x 4. it furthermore uses a microsoft standard driver for M.2, which I can't uninstall and get the correct Samsung driver installed. No help to find from Asus support.:mad:
    I haven't been able to check the chipset temperature, but don't like the plastic covering that is no good for cooling.
    Reply
  • seanwebster
    QRTnielsen said:
    You are right about a steady deteriorating of Asus products. I bought this board, mainly because its big bunch of fast usb connections AND M.2 running 4x4. I therefore got the Intel core i7-11700K and a Samsung 980 pro, but Samsung Magician report that it is running PCIe Gen. 3 x 4. it furthermore uses a microsoft standard driver for M.2, which I can't uninstall and get the correct Samsung driver installed. No help to find from Asus support.:mad:
    I haven't been able to check the chipset temperature, but don't like the plastic covering that is no good for cooling.
    Samsung’s NVMe Driver does not officially support the 980 Pro. That’s why it won’t install. It’s not by fault of Asus, rather Samsung.

    If you really want to install the driver, you can but you need to install it with an older Samsung NVMe installed first or extract the driver inf. and then force the driver on the 980 Pro in device manager. Again, as of Samsung’s NVMe driver 3.3 the 980 Pro is not supported.

    For your link speed issue, try plopping the SSD into another slot and then throwing it back into the primary/top M.2 again, or clearing CMOS to force it to reset the link. I’ve had this happen on multiple brands, motherboards, and chipsets.
    Reply
  • QRTnielsen
    seanwebster said:
    Samsung’s NVMe Driver does not officially support the 980 Pro. That’s why it won’t install. It’s not by fault of Asus, rather Samsung.

    If you really want to install the driver, you can but you need to install it with an older Samsung NVMe installed first or extract the driver inf. and then force the driver on the 980 Pro in device manager. Again, as of Samsung’s NVMe driver 3.3 the 980 Pro is not supported.

    For your link speed issue, try plopping the SSD into another slot and then throwing it back into the primary/top M.2 again, or clearing CMOS to force it to reset the link. I’ve had this happen on multiple brands, motherboards, and chipsets.
    Thank you for your help:giggle:
    I must admit that I didn't researched Samsung before buying, but I did found the 980 Pro on Asus list of other devices (it is still there).
    I do get very high scores in CrystalDiskMark : Read/write = 12534.917 MB/s /14092.976 MB/s. Probably because my use of Asus RamCache III, so I think I just stay with that, unless you suggest a better alternative?? Or maybe Samsung come up with a new driver that would solve the problem. I am not a gamer, but do need high speed when I make complicated economical analysis.
    Reply
  • QRTnielsen
    I found a thorough description about the Samsung 980 Pro and the lack of a proper Samsung driver:
    https://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?123288-Unable-to-install-Samsung-NVMe-drivers-on-SAMSUNG-980-PRO-1TB-SSD-Win10
    Reply
  • seanwebster
    QRTnielsen said:
    Thank you for your help:giggle:
    I must admit that I didn't researched Samsung before buying, but I did found the 980 Pro on Asus list of other devices (it is still there).
    I do get very high scores in CrystalDiskMark : Read/write = 12534.917 MB/s /14092.976 MB/s. Probably because my use of Asus RamCache III, so I think I just stay with that, unless you suggest a better alternative?? Or maybe Samsung come up with a new driver that would solve the problem. I am not a gamer, but do need high speed when I make complicated economical analysis.
    I personally dislike RAM caches. Never had much benefit from running them personally. Those scores you see with the RAM caching enabled mean little to nothing in real world consumer use cases.

    Link speed issue won’t get fixed via a driver. It’s a motherboard detection / set issue. You have to change the slot the drive is connected to, restart, and switch back or try clearing CMOS to fix it as I mentioned previously.
    Reply