Board Features

The ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is a premium ATX motherboard that represents one of ASUS's most premium models based on Intel's Z690 chipset. For storage, there's the capacity to install up to five M.2 drives, including two PCIe 4.0 x4 and one PCIe 3.0 x4 integrated onto the PCB, with one PCIe 5.0 x4 and one PCIe 4.0 x4 coming via an included ROG Hyper M.2 add-on card. Other storage options include six SATA ports with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays.

As with most premium Z690 models, the ROG Maximus Z690 Hero has support for up to DDR5-6400 memory, with capacities of up to 128 GB across four available memory slots. On the lower portion of the board are two full-length PCIe 5.0 slots that can operate at x16 or x8/x8, while a half-length PCIe 4.0 x4 slot allows users to install additional devices such as networking, storage, and other controllers.

In terms of cooling support, ASUS includes a total of eight 4-pin headers, with two designated for CPU fans, one for an AIO cooler, one for a water pump, and four for chassis fans.

ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Motherboard
Warranty Period 3 Years
Product Page Link
Price $600
Size ATX
CPU Interface LGA1700
Chipset Intel Z690
Memory Slots (DDR4) Four DDR5
Supporting 128 GB
Up to DDR5-6400
Video Outputs 1 x HDMI 2.1
2 x Thunderbolt 4 (DP 1.4)
Network Connectivity 1 x Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE
Intel AX211 Wi-Fi 6E
Onboard Audio SupremeFX ALC4082
ESS Sabre ES9018Q2C
PCIe Slots for Graphics (from CPU) 2 x PCIe 5.0 x16 (x16, x8/x8)
PCIe Slots for Other (from PCH) 1 x PCIe 4.0 (x4)
Onboard SATA Six, RAID 0/1/5/10 (Z690)
Onboard M.2 1 x PCIe 5.0 x4 (ROG Hyper M.2)
1 x PCIe 4.0 x4 (ROG Hyper M.2)
1 x PCIe 4.0 x4
1 x PCIe 4.0 x4/SATA
1 x PCIe 3.0 x4
Onboard U.2 N/A
Thunderbolt 4 (40 Gbps) 2 x Type-C (Rear panel)
USB 3.2 (20 Gbps) 1 x USB Type-C (One header)
USB 3.2 (10 Gbps) 6 x USB Type-A (Rear panel)
1 x USB Type-C (Rear panel)
USB 3.1 (5 Gbps) 4 x USB Type-A (Two headers)
USB 2.0 2 x USB Type-A (Rear panel)
4 x USB Type-A (Two headers)
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin Motherboard
2 x 8-pin CPU
1 x 6-pin PCIe
Fan Headers 2 x 4-pin CPU
1 x 4-pin AIO pump
1 x 4-pin Water pump
4 x 4-pin Chassis
IO Panel 2 x Antenna Ports (Intel)
2 x Thunderbolt 4 Type-C
1 x USB 3.2 G2 Type-C
6 x USB 3.2 G2 Type-A
2 x USB 2.0 Type-A
1 x RJ45 (Intel)
1 x HDMI 2.1 Output
5 x 3.5 mm Audio jacks (Realtek)
1 x S/PDIF Optical output (Realtek)
1 x Clear CMOS button
1 x BIOS Flashback button

The Z690 Hero is using lots of the Z690 chipset's native features, including an Intel AX211 Wi-Fi 6E CNVi, a single Intel I225-V 2.5 GbE controller, as well as including dual Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports on the rear panel. There is also a front-panel USB 3.2 G2x2 Type-C header. In addition to this, there are also six USB 3.2 G2 Type-A, two USB 2.0 Type-A, and one USB 3.2 G2 Type-C port on the rear. Powering the onboard audio is a SupremeFX ALC4082 HD audio codec and ESS Sabre ESS9018Q2C DAC that controls five 3.5 mm audio jacks and one S/PDIF optical output.

Test Bed

With some of the nuances with Intel's Alder Lake processors including the new P and E-cores, our policy is to see if the system gives an automatic option to increase the power limits of the processor. If it does, we select the liquid cooling option. If it does not, we do not change the defaults.

Test Setup
Processor Intel Core i9-12900K, 125 W, $589
8P + 8E Cores, 24 Threads 3.2 GHz (5.2 GHz P-Core Turbo)
Motherboard ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero (BIOS ..)
Cooling ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360mm AIO
Power Supply Corsair HX850 80Plus Platinum 850 W
Memory Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR5-4800 CL 14-14-14-34 2T (2 x 16 GB)
Video Card MSI GTX 1080 (1178/1279 Boost)
Hard Drive Crucial MX300 1TB
Case Corsair Crystal 680X
Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64-bit: Build 21H2

We must also thank the following:

Hardware Providers for CPU and Motherboard Reviews
Sapphire RX 460 Nitro MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X OC Crucial MX200 +
MX500 SSDs
Corsair AX860i +
AX1200i PSUs
G.Skill RipjawsV,
SniperX, FlareX
Crucial Ballistix
BIOS And Software System Performance
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  • PlextorPro - Thursday, June 16, 2022 - link

    Seriously, thank you for this review and in-depth evaluation!
    With the recent increase in popularity of MINI-ITX (SFF) systems, I would like to see an in-depth! review-comparison of the ASUS ROG Strix Z690-I with other MINI-ITX main boards. I have built a system with this MINI-ITX MB and am very pleased with the performance.

    It has a custom loop for cooling both the i9 12900K and an AMD RX 6800 GPU.
  • Dr_b_ - Friday, June 17, 2022 - link

    Do people actually want all the bling on the motherboard like the plastic LED features, which imho are really not appealing, and all the metal armor? It doesn't make it go faster, and adds cost. This is a retail value $490 mobo, selling for $600. With Z790 mobos due out in a few months, unless completely desperate and flush with cash, makes no sense to buy it.
  • COtech - Sunday, June 19, 2022 - link

    Hopefully Z790 boards will come with a "downturn mindset" - function not flash. Otherwise I don't see them selling.
  • poohbear - Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - link

    These $600 mobos are $250-$300 in a year's time. Don't pay this early adopter tax.
  • mode_13h - Thursday, June 23, 2022 - link

    I was just looking at ASUS boards, the other day. I've somewhat unexpectedly found myself pondering an upgrade of my workstation to Alder Lake. I visited ASUS' site and found their product filter to be half-broken (when I select ATX form factor, why am I still being shown mini-ITX boards??) and couldn't make very much sense of their different product lines.
  • bwj - Monday, June 27, 2022 - link

    Any mobo with the i7-12700K will hit 5100MHz without any tuning whatsoever, 5200MHz if you remove all the power limits and don't touch anything else. What you get from +$200 for the i9 CPU and +$450 on the mobo is an extra 100MHz? Hardly seems like money well spent.

    The only real argument I can see for this board is it comes with the thunderbolt ports and the 2.5G ethernet, instead of requiring the $130 (and terrible) TB4 add-in card and the $75 i225v add-in card.
  • NickFisherUX - Wednesday, August 10, 2022 - link

    ASUS has always made the best boards.

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