BIOS

For the Z690 chipset, ASUS has kept the GUI the same as previous iterations of its ROG and Intel-based motherboards. It uses a red and black background at the top, with a dark grey main panel with white text and a red highlighting when mousing or selecting over a specific option. ASUS includes two modes in the BIOS, the EZ Mode for a basic overview of information and installed hardware, and the Advanced section, which opens up all of the board's customizable options, including overclocking and chipset related options.

The most prominent section within the Advanced area of the firmware is the Extreme Tweaker area. In this section, users can overclock the Performance (P) cores, the Efficiency (E) cores, the memory, and the integrated graphics. There are extensive options for all three main areas for users to overclock, including an extensive array of customizable memory latencies for fine-tuning. In addition to this, the ROG Maximus series also has a wider variety of voltage control options for CPU, memory, System Agent, and SoC than ASUS's cheaper boards.

ASUS even includes a hardware monitor, a fan tuning section within the BIOS, and easy quick links to various sections of firmware along the top. This includes ASUS AURA for customizing the integrated RGB LED lighting, ASUS's AI OC guide, Resizeable BAR, and integrated MemTest86 software for diagnosing memory issues.

Overall, the ASUS ROG firmware is intuitive, stylish, and most importantly, easy to navigate and has lots of customizable options. As we typically see with premium motherboards such as ASUS's ROG Maximus series, there are usually more overclocking options and finer control over voltages for those enthusiasts that like to push the limits. Users looking for a plug and play or those looking to tweak will find plenty of functionality within the ROG Maximus Z690 Hero firmware.

Software

Most ASUS's software bundle revolves around two main applications, the ROG Armory Crate and the Ai Suite 3 software. Upon setting up a system for the first time, ROG Armory Crate allows users to install critical updates such as networking and chipset drivers directly from a pool of designated memory on the board to get things up and running.

Not only does the Armory Crate allow users to keep drivers and software up-to-date, but it has a range of functions, including ASUS AURA Sync, fan speed control, as well as one-click access to ASUS's AI automatic overclocking.

The AI Suite 3 software has a more in-depth variety of settings that allow users to customize power delivery profiles and apply power efficiency states and software overclocking. With the new technology on Intel's Alder Lake, when used in conjunction with Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU), users can also apply Intel's one-click overclocking function. We prefer their more aggressive profiling regarding ASUS as the firmware has a look-up table with certain variables for more performance. However, this will generate more heat and power consumption.

Overall, ASUS's software tools provide many avenues to customize things such as RGB LED lighting, make auditory adjustments via Sonic Studio and the Realtek Audio applications, and control fan speeds. It's a more well-rounded selection of software with fewer apps but more functionality.

ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero Overview Board Features, Test Bed and Setup
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  • shabby - Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - link

    Lol at the price, who buys these things? Reply
  • Duwelon - Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - link

    It's getting a lot harder to justify these insane board prices, overclocking is almost a dead art anyway except as a nostalgic hobby to reminisce the days when you could get a ~25-50% boost with a decent board. Today it's more like 2-5% after spending $200-$500 above the basic model. Reply
  • Tom Sunday - Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - link

    One thing for sure: “It's getting a lot harder.” I love the idea in buying one of those Z690 HERO’s when the time or my ship finally arrives. Even a used Z490 generation HERO would be welcomed if the dollars were available. Now working 2-jobs and a midnight-shift at Walmart driving a forklift! My daily lunchbox meal increased by about 50% and now $7.54 per gallon of gasoline puts me way under and elevating my credit card debt to the worst ever. All to tie me over to the next paycheck! Before all of this inflation mess started I regularly came to visit the major tech-channels to mostly dream about all the newly proffered hardware. About the absolute "must haves” and synthetic benchmarks. It appears that my dreams are now over and perhaps a nightmare is settling-in for the man on the street like me! I cannot help thinking that there must be many more people like me in the same boat facing a new reality! Overclocking indeed is almost a dead. But my reminiscing today is now clearly centered on overclocking my finances everything else has to wait in line! Reply
  • poohbear - Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - link

    It's gonna be an ugly 2 years, but by 2024/25 we should be out of this mess. Reply
  • Just a reviewer - Friday, August 12, 2022 - link

    As long as Democrats don’t run our country we will be out of this mess. Reply
  • mode_13h - Thursday, June 23, 2022 - link

    If you can relocate, there should still be some better-paying opportunities elsewhere in your state or the country. Overall, the job market is still pretty tight, but I know the real estate situation makes relocation hard.

    If relocation isn't an option, then look at other career paths and figure out a plan to get yourself on a different track. Easier said than done, I know. Take care & good luck.
    Reply
  • Just a reviewer - Friday, August 12, 2022 - link

    Sounds like you live in California where gas and food is extremely expensive. I would move out of California ASAP. In the mid west food and gas is much cheaper. Yes it still still expensive due to bidens policys but at least it will be less expensive than California. Reply
  • Just a reviewer - Friday, August 12, 2022 - link

    Also good point over clocking doesn’t gain much performance. Reply
  • meacupla - Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - link

    People who want thunderbolt ports. Reply
  • NaterGator - Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - link

    "Insert audio caps details." Yes, please. ;) Reply

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