ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Hero (LGA 1151) Motherboard Review

Introduction


The Z170 chipset and Skylake CPU’s have been around for just over a week now and we have seen pretty much everything that each manufacturer has to offer. We now know that the huge connectivity options presented by the Z170 chipset that some manufacturers have included not one, but two, sometimes even three M.2 slots and multiple USB 3.0 ports. Along with those, you also have USB 3.1 Type A and Type C as standard on the vast majority of the Z170 series boards.

Today on the test bench, we take our first look at an ASUS Republic of Gamers (RoG) motherboard in the form of the Maximus VIII Hero (M8H). If you’ve heard anything about the RoG range, you’ll know that it is the go-to motherboard range if you want the highest performance, best quality components, more accessories than you could ever use and some of the best looks available.

Specifications

The M8H follows a similar process to the RoG ranges of old with huge amount of features, but things have changed slightly, ASUS has decided to almost ditch the red colour scheme; I’ll let that sink in. So instead of the red theme, ASUS has gone for a simply stunning grey with subtle red detailing. I think this is a step in the right direction because of every manufacturer jumping on the red scheme recently.

Manufacturers nowadays need to find innovative ways to stand out from the crowd, ASUS is no exception and has crammed a huge array of features into this motherboard.

RoG Key Features

  • Extreme Engine Digi+
  • OC Zone
  • RoG RAMDisk
  • RoG RAMCache
  • RoG Overwolf
  • KeyBot II
  • UEFI BIOS

Key Features

  • Dual Intelligent Processors 5
  • ASUS Exclusive Features
    • AI Suite 3
    • USB 3.1 Boost
    • AI Charger+
    • Push Notice
    • Disk Unlocker
    • Pc Cleaner
    • HyStream
    • Media Streamer
    • Mobo Connect
  • EZ DIY
    • USB BIOS Flashback
    • Crashfree BIOS 3
    • EZ Flash 3
    • Mem OK!
  • Q-Design
    • Q-Code
    • Q-Sheild
    • Q-Connector
    • Q-LED
    • Q-Slot
    • Q-DIMM

Packaging

The M8H is a key asset to the RoG series, the box itself is almost a direct replica of older RoG boxes with the changes to the features along the bottom and the name.

The back of the box has a small diagram of the board and the key features in detail.

Inside the box is a huge amount of accessories, including driver disk, install manual, door hanger, cable labels, case sticker and fan stickers.

Along with those are 6x SATA 6 Gb/s cables, 2 way SLI bridge, I/O shield, M.2 riser and screw, front panel connector riser and CPU locator.

ASUS Z170 ROG Lineup Pictured

We’ve already seen what MSI, Gigabyte, ASRock and BIOSTAR plan to do with Intel’s upcoming Z170 platform. Today, we’re bringing you the launch lineup for the ROG series from ASUS. Short for Republic of Gamers, ROG has been the main gaming focused lineup from ASUS and offers their own gaming focused theme and features. These boards mark the 8th iteration of the ROG series.

From the looks of it, we have the complete launch ROG lineup with the usual suspects. We have the mATX Gene, the more budget friendly ATX Ranger, the mainstream Hero and the aptly named E-ATX Extreme. As with the Haswell launch, we can expect the ATX Formula and mITX Impact to come a bit after the Skylake launch.

Despite sticking to the familiar black and red motif, the colours are much more subtle this time around, taking a more stealthy look. The red parts act more like a highlight rather than being a main colour on the boards. ASUS also looks to have chosen a more grey colour for the metallic parts of the board, eschewing the older black.

The VRM heatsinks on the Hero and Extreme are also much more substantial than before, consuming the back I/O port as well.Given the hefty VRM sections and their beefy heatsinks, the new ROG boards should do well in the overclocking department as the FIVR is removed with Skylake.

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information 

Guitar Hero Live New Guitar Revealed

It has been a few years since Guitar Hero had a new version released; Guitar Hero Live sets to bring back what everyone loved about the original series with a new twist.

So we know about the game, but what about the iconic controller? With each leap in the franchise, they introduced a new guitar design. Starting off with the original almost Ukelele size design, very basic functions. Then we moved onto the more iconic Gibson Les Paul look-a-like, a little larger than the original and a nicer fit. We then saw a move onto the World Tour Guitar, simplified design but with the addition of the slider bar to get those combo’s with ease.

The new controller resembles the World Tour controller the most, but with a more authentic design and look. With a wood colour neck and more concealed buttons, this reminds me more so of the Rock Band controller.

 

Along with a more authentic look, the developers have also ported what seems like some of the game mechanics onto mobile devices. It’s unclear if this will be a mobile game version that interlinks to the main game, or just a mobile controller.

Do you like the new looks of the new design? What do you think of the removal of the slide bar? Let us know in the comments.

Social Media Users Can Find Almost Anyone, including the ‘Anonymous M25 Hero’

Social media users have great power when it comes to spreading news and they’ve done so once again by making sure that the anonymous M25 hero got to know how much his help was appreciated.

Gemma Elsey-Kail’s car had broken down on Friday on the M25 at the worst possible place – one without a hard shoulder. The woman was quite panicky as she tried to save herself and her baby from possible dangers of incoming vehicles.

That was when the anonymous Argos van driver pulled in behind her and blocked her and her car from other drivers, allowing her to get to safety. When the police arrived on the scene to secure the area, the driver continued his own tour. With everything that was going on, the woman totally forgot to thank the man properly and get his name – so she reached out over Facebook.

“I broke down on the M25 today in an area with no hard shoulder. I rushed to get my baby and 4-year-old onto the verge while cars and trucks were swerving all around us,” she wrote. “An Argos delivery driver pulled behind us using his visible lorry as a way of preventing anyone going into our car… I didn’t get his number in all the panic so hopefully this can somehow reach him. He was our hero today.”

The post was shared almost 20 thousand times and liked more than 130 thousand times. It also had plenty of praise for the Argos driver in the comments. The post also reached the Argo who managed to track down the driver to let him know about the massive social engagement over his actions.

The humble driver declined any interviews and didn’t want any further attention for his goodwill, while wishing to stay anonymous. Just one of those guys that restores a little bit of faith in humanity.

Thanks to BBC for providing us with this information

First Pictures of Asus Z97 ROG Maximus VII Appear Online

Z97 based hardware is pretty much upon us and now we have found our first look at the brand new Republic of Gamers (ROG) Maximus VII motherboard series from ASUS that we can expect to see on the market this year. There will be three models in the new series, starting with the Maximus VII Hero, then the Maximus VII Ranger and further down the micro-ATX Maximus VII Gene. So far only signs of the mid-to-high-end models, so expect them to be pretty darn expensive overall, but perhaps Asus plan to follow in the near future with their more high end models such as the Formula and Extreme editions.

The Ranger is expected to clock in at around $150, the Hero at around $200, but we expect any future Formula and Extreme editions will be about on par with current offerings, so expect those prices to reach from $250 – $300.

The Ranger comes with 2 x PCI-E 3.0 x 16 slots direct to the CPU (x8/x8 with two cards installed), with a third on wired to the Z97 PCH at 4x. It features an 8-phase CPU VRM, 6 x SATA 6 Gb/s ports, M.2 slot, SupremeFX audio and gigabit Ethernet. The Hero has a bigger CPU VRM, 8 x SATA 6 Gb/s ports and M.2 slot, with a little bit better improve connectivity on the back. Finally we have the Gene, which has a similar VRM to the Hero, but with 2 x PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots and the addition of a PCI-E x1, M.2 slot, 8 x SATA 6 Gb/s ports and a 902.11ac  WLAN card.

All the boards come with the usual ROG bells and whistles, so expect new features such as Gamerfirst III packet prioritization, LANGuard, SonicRadar II sound enhancement, KeyBot macros, TrueVolt USB power stabilization and a whole lot more.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

 

Alan Turing, Famous WWII Code Breaker Is To Be Given A Pardon

If you have watched any films or read any books on the history of computers then you have probably heard of the Enigma machine, a machine designed to cipher messages before they are sent out. If you know this much, then you may also know about Alan Turing and how he was able to break the code. Now The Independent has reported last Saturday about how a bill may come into play that would give Alan Turing a Pardon.

Alan Turing was a hero and a great man, something that is not mentioned in the history books is that Turing was homosexual, and in 1952 he was convicted of ‘gross indecency’. Over 50 years later a bill may be placed which would quash his conviction, and clearing his name. Less than 150 years ago, Turing would have likely been put to death for this conviction. Turing would have had to go to prison for this conviction, instead he was given female hormones. The hormones work as a “chemical castration”, Turing committed suicide two years later.

If it hadn’t been for Alan Turing, World War II likely would have lasted at least an additional 2 years, and preventing possible hundreds of thousands of lives, as well as starvation throughout Britain. The government has stated that it would not do anything to stop the legislation in parliament. If the bill passes, it would overturn the criminal offense.

Is there really a point to all of this, overturning convictions from over half a century ago? Personally I do not feel that any criminal conviction should follow anyone around for their entire life, but maybe this is a case of too little too late.

Image courtesy of matematiksider.

Asus Unveil Their Z87 Lineup – Including Never Seen Before Models

With Haswell on a close horizon and Intel still holding the fort under close guard with regards to their 4th Generation chips, we’ve been seeing the lid slowly lift from each of the motherboard vendors on what their new boards will have to offer. Asus is next in line to show off some of their new boards from their Series , TUF (The Ultimate Force) and ROG (Republic of Gamers) lines and at each level they are offering up the best they can in terms of performance, user experiences, stability and upgrade paths.

Jackie Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Worldwide Sales commented “ASUS possesses the best research and development expertise, and as always we are confident that we offer our customers the finest quality with these new motherboards. We’re including a variety of media-praised exclusive features with each model, and are proud to announce that we have the most comprehensive Z87 motherboard launch line-up, all available simultaneously”

On the bottom end of Asus’ new line-up is a completely re-branded set of Series boards. The most notable part of this re-brand is the drop of the blue and black colour scheme that we have come to know with Asus entry level boards – the new colour scheme is based around a two tone yellow/gold, but thankfully this is not a shiny gold which would be rather displeasing to the eye. Whilst there are a number of boards in the Series range, looking at both ends of the range, Asus have covered all the grounds when it comes to compatibility – something which we have seen previously on their Z77 boards of a similar level. Between this board is a number of models that make a transition from a board for more mainstream builds, offering all the Z87 features. These include the Z87-C, Z87-PRO, Z87-PLUS and the Z87I-Delux (a mini ITX offering).

Top top end of the Series range see native PCI fully replaced with PCIe amongst other subtle changes. All the new series boards will see the integration of Dual Intelligent Processors 4 with 4-way optimisation, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 2 amongst other now offerings from Intel.

Moving up one stage and on to the TUF line of boards, this line only see some subtle changes with a full ATX board that in some respects looks very similar to the previous generation Z77 board. This is all because of the thermal armour that is laid across the PCB to keep the board as cool as possible and keep dust away from all empty slots with a series of Dust Defender plugs that fill empty ports. On the back of the PCB we see a new Fortifier metal plate that reinforces the PCB to prevent it warping whist in use and an airflow boosting valve design around the CPU power areas.

Making a fresh appearance to the TUF line-up is one of Asus’ many new boards. The Gryphon is a mATX version of the Sabertooth and like its bigger brother, it features all the same top quality components and features as well as the extended expected lifetime from its higher temperature tolerance. What is missing though is the thermal armour, however Asus will be supplying this separately and the two piece kit can be quickly mounted to the Gryphon’s PCB.

Top top of the new Z87 range is Asus’ top end ROG boards. These boards for a number of generations now have been renowned for their top end performance and overclocking abilities. New to the ROG line of boards and sitting mi-range is the HERO. This new board’s purpose is to offer mainstream the gamers the stepping stone into the ROG brand, but at a price point that is far more manageable compared to the flagship Maximus IV Extreme. As well as these two boards, Asus will also be launching an updated Maximus IV Gene and all these boards will feature Supreme FX audio as well as a new on-screen ‘Sonic-Radar’ that works as a viual overlay to any game to indicate the direction a proximity of a gun fire for example in a visual format.

The flagship Extreme board see a new overclocking tool, that unlike the previous generations OC-key is set to be far more user friendly and intuitive to use and alongside this in the Extreme box, users with find a 5.25″ drive bay adaptor to allow the OC Panel to operate as a fan control panel from the front of a case.