The ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is a quintessential strand of the Republic of Gamers DNA, replete with high-octane components to satisfy users who seek an introduction to the enthusiast-grade Maximus line. Its arsenal of cooling, power delivery and connectivity stands ready to handle whatever the latest 12th Gen Intel® Core™ processors throw at it. And with its new animated Polymo lighting display on the I/O cover that dazzles with vibrant RGB logos and patterns, the ROG Maximus Z690 Hero has the looks to match its leverage.
Intelligent software solutions help ensure that your system performs at its best. The latest ASUS AI-powered enhancements span four pillars of performance, including overclocking, cooling, networking and onboard audio, making advanced tweaks and optimization accessible to new recruits and savvy PC DIY veterans alike.
Tuning is now faster and smarter than ever before. ASUS AI Overclocking profiles the CPU and cooling to predict the optimal configuration and push each system to its limits.
Balance the thermals and acoustics of any build with a single click. A proprietary ASUS algorithm reduces unnecessary system noise by monitoring CPU temperatures and dynamically adjusting fans to optimal speeds.
GameFirst VI optimizes networking performance by allocating bandwidth in real time based on application usage scenarios and corresponding learning algorithms.
With tailored power delivery and support for the latest high-performance memory, ROG Maximus Z690 Hero easily handles the demands of Intel Alder Lake-S processors. It features an intelligent VRM design that’s rated for 90 amps, plus carefully selected components and memory layout optimizations to cater to enthusiasts looking to create a battle-ready rig with balanced performance.
Teamed power architecture
Today's CPU architectures place incredible demands on motherboard power design by transitioning from deep power-saving modes, going from lower-power mode to full load in an instant. The latest ROG VRM architecture rises to the challenge by utilizing teamed power stages to rapidly swing current, while maintaining exemplary thermal performance.
A brief history
ASUS became the first manufacturer to implement phase-doublers with the A8N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard, back in 2005. The board's VRM was lauded for elegantly overcoming the power handling capabilities of components that were available at the time while also reducing voltage ripple. Those benefits led to phase-doublers becoming universally accepted in the industry, and they are still used for similar purposes today.
A shift in CPU demand
While doublers help extend the number of effective phases, they do so at the cost of a processing delay.
However, today’s CPUs now pack more cores than their predecessors, and the latest instruction sets allow them to crunch computationally dense workloads at an incredible pace. In addition, they consume less power at idle and can transition between load states much more quickly. These improvements necessitate a re-evaluation of power-design priorities because phase-doublers add a propagation delay that hampers transient response.
Bucking the trend
The teamed architecture allows two power stages to work in tandem to provide more power to the CPU.
Fortunately, the latest integrated power components can handle higher currents than the devices of yesteryear, making it possible to implement a simple circuit topology that isn't hamstrung by the processing lag of phase-doublers. That's why ROG Maximus Z690 Hero utilizes teamed power stages to deliver higher burst current per phase, while maintaining the thermal performance of phase-doubled designs.
The MOSFETs within the power stages generate the most heat as they are responsible for voltage conversion and delivery to the CPU from the 12-volt EPS connector.
Each VRM component serves a specific purpose. PWM controllers and phase-doublers control the circuit, and the power stages do the heavy lifting from an electrical and thermal standpoint. That's why ROG Maximus Z690 Hero utilizes 16 power stages. The power stage sits at the top of Infineon's lineup and features a low RDSON to reduce switching and conduction losses, helping to improve overall thermal headroom.
- 8+8 pins ProCool II power connectors - Two ProCool connectors ensure a snug and reliable connection to the EPS 12V power lines.
- 20+1 power stages - The VRM features 20+1 power stages, each rated to handle 90 amps.
- MicroFine alloy chokes - Each power stage is accompanied by a high-permeability alloy-core choke rated to handle 45 amps.
- 10K black metallic capacitors - Input and output filtering is provided by solid-polymer capacitors rated to last thousands of hours at high operating temperatures.
Comprehensive memory tuning options are the cornerstone of ROG motherboards. For DDR5, the Maximus Z690 lineup breaks performance limits by providing a stacked suite of overclocking parameters for not only high-speed kits, but even entry-level memory modules that have a locked power management IC (PMIC).
- A dedicated circuit on the motherboard safely circumvents DDR5 memory PMIC restrictions, allowing you to step past the default 1.1-volt limit and push frequency and timings to the max.
- Ordinarily, a restricted PMIC that has been unlocked requires the system to be fully power-cycled each time memory voltage is adjusted. ROG motherboards leverage onboard hardware and firmware to cleverly work around this irksome limitation, enabling voltage adjustments to be applied through the same soft system-reset process employed for previous generations of DDR memory.
New to memory overclocking? We've got you covered.
ASUS Enhanced Memory Profile (AEMP) is an exclusive firmware feature for PMIC-restricted memory modules. AEMP automatically detects the memory chips on your kit and then presents optimized frequency, timing and voltage profiles that you can effortlessly apply to unleash performance.
Top-level PC performance demands exceptional cooling. The ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is armed with robust VRM and chipset heatsinks that provide the perfect balance of mass and surface area for heat dissipation. Load up with an AIO or custom cooling loop paired with your choice of fans to keep thermals under complete control.
Cooler by Design
- VRM and aluminum I/O heatsink - A VRM heatsink on the MOSFETs and chokes is connected to the aluminum I/O cover via an embedded heatpipe to increase mass and surface area for dissipation.
- M.2 heatsinks - Three dedicated heatsinks keep up to three M.2 drives in the optimum operating temperature range for consistent performance and reliability.
- L-shaped heatpipe - An L-shaped heatpipe allows for rapid and even heat transfer from the VRM.
- High-conductivity thermal pad - A high-quality thermal pad improves overall heat transfer from the system by bridging the heat generated by the power stages to the heatsink.
- M.2 backplates - Dual M.2 slots feature backplate blocks that ensure high-performance drives deliver peak performance, even when airflow is restricted.
- Chipset heatsink - A dedicated chipset heatsink draws heat away to maintain optimum operating temperatures.
ROG Maximus Z690 Hero features the most comprehensive cooling options ever.
- Multiple temperature sources - Each header can be set to monitor and react to three user-configurable thermal sensors for workload-based cooling, and all settings can be easily managed by Fan Xpert 4 or UEFI.
- 4-pin PWM/DC fan headers and ASUS HYDRANODE - Every onboard header auto-detects any PWM or DC fan, with three chassis fan headers offering ASUS HYDRANODE support.
- AIO pump - A dedicated PWM/DC header for self-contained water-cooling setups.
ROG Water-Cooling Zone
Dual water-temperature headers and a flow-rate header feed information straight into the AI Suite utility, allowing you to track coolant temperatures and the flow rate of the entire loop.
- Water pump+ - A dedicated header can supply over 3 amps to a high-performance PWM or DC water pumps.
- Water in/out - A dedicated header enables monitoring of temperatures at the input/output points of any component.
- Water flow - A dedicated header enables constant monitoring of flow rate throughout the entire loop.
The latest connectivity solutions ? WiFi 6E, PCIe® 5.0 and two Thunderbolt™ 4 USB Type-C® ports ? empower supersmooth networking and blisteringly fast file transfers. And for enthusiasts looking for high-fidelity audio, the SupremeFX ALC4082 codec takes gaming immersion to a whole new level while also saving a PCIe slot.
Intel WiFi 6E (Gig+)
Onboard WiFi 6E technology takes advantage of the newly available radio spectrum in the 6 GHz band, providing up to three times the bandwidth of the 5 GHz band and up to seven 160 MHz bands to deliver ultrafast wireless networking speeds along with improved capacity and better performance in dense wireless environments.
- WiFi 6E antenna - The antenna has two built-in transmitters and receivers to enable faster transmission speeds, and it supports the 2.4, 5 and 6 GHz bands.
- Adjustable design - Four-way positioning enables better signal reception.
- Magnetic base - A powerful magnetic base secures the antenna on the top or side of the PC case.
*WiFi 6E availability and features are dependent on regulatory limitations and co-existence with 5 GHz WiFi. To learn more about the ASUS WiFi 6 ecosystem, please visit: asus.com/content/WiFi6/#WIFI-6E.
Intel 2.5 Gb Ethernet
Onboard Intel® 2.5 Gb Ethernet gives your wired connection a boost, with speeds that are 2.5 times faster than standard Ethernet connections for speedy file transfers, smooth lag-free gaming and high-res video streaming.
USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Type-C® Front-Panel Connector with Quick Charge 4+
USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 adds an additional lane that can boost Type-C data transfers with speeds of up to 20 Gbps. The port also features Quick Charge 4+ technology that can quickly charge devices up to 60 W with a PCIe power supply cable plugged into the nearby 6-pin connector.
Two Onboard Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C® Ports
Each port delivers up to 40 Gbps of bidirectional bandwidth for the latest high-speed devices and drives. Thunderbolt 4 also supports up to two external 4K displays and extends PCIe bandwidth to up to 32 Gbps.
Three Onboard M.2 Slots
ROG Maximus Z690 Hero features three onboard M.2 slots, with two offering support for the latest PCIe 4.0 SSDs.
ROG Hyper M.2 Card - PCIe 5.0 Ready
If users need more M.2 storage or even faster data transfers, the bundled ROG Hyper M.2 Card features two more slots, one of which is a PCIe 5.0 and ready to perform at up to twice the speed of the accompanying PCIe 4.0 slot.
ROG SupremeFX audio technology delivers an exceptional 113 dB signal-to-noise ratio on the line-in connection to provide best-ever recording quality. There's also a low-dropout regulator for cleaner power delivery to the SupremeFX ALC4082 codec, and an ESS® 9018Q2C integrated DAC capable of reaching -115dB THD+N to provide playback that conveys all the subtlety and nuances of the audio track.
- Audio line shielding - Blocks electromagnetic interference from the motherboard or add-ons to provide cleaner audio.
- ESS® SABRE9018Q2C - The ESS® SABRE9018Q2C integrated DAC amplifier is capable of providing -115 dB total harmonic distortion (THD+N) for playback that conveys all the subtlety and nuances of the audio track. In addition, the 121 dB dynamic range (DNR) provides an extremely low noise-floor, further accentuating dynamics and punch.
- ALC 4082 codec - The ALC4082 codec uses a USB interface instead of the conventional high definition audio (HDA) interface and improves playback audio resolution from 192 to 384 kHz.
- Switching MOSFETS - Unique design allows the codec's impedance-sensing function to be ported with either the front or rear headphone outputs.
- Capacitors - Fine-quality components that produce a warmer, natural sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity.
ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is packed with intuitive and flexible tools that give builders next-level control of system performance.
Level up performance
The dashboard-style control panels of AI Suite 3 and Armoury Crate let you fine-tune almost every aspect of your ROG Maximus Z690 Hero system with ease. Get the best balance between performance, cooling, stability, and efficiency via simple and intuitive interfaces.
- TPU - The TurboV Processing Unit (TPU) is an intelligent onboard micro-controller that provides an array of system-tuning features, including the ability to fine-tune voltages, monitor system stats and adjust overclocking parameters.
- EPU - The Energy Processing Unit (EPU) automatically optimizes power consumption and maximizes savings with Away mode.
- Digital power controls - The Digi+ voltage-regulator module (VRM) delivers real-time control over voltage droop, switching frequency and power-efficiency settings, allowing you to fine-tune CPU voltage regulation for ultimate stability and performance.
- Turbo Core app - Intel processors feature per-core tuning, and the ASUS Turbo app makes use of this feature by letting you assign applications to specific processor cores, prioritizing computing power where it's needed most.
The renowned ROG UEFI (BIOS) provides everything you need to configure, tweak, and tune your rig. It offers intelligently simplified options for newcomers to PC DIY, as well as more comprehensive features for seasoned veterans.
For Added convenience, MemTest86 has been pre-installed into ROG UEFI (BIOS). Run the test to pinpoint memory issues with just one click, without the need for any USB stick or going into the OS. The memory report will also be sorted in the BIOS archives for reference.
When you’re ready for a deeper dive, delve into the UEFI’s Advanced mode and take complete control. Advanced mode enables full control over every aspect of the motherboard, and a built-in search function helps you quickly find the setting you need.
- MemTest86 - Diagnose faulty RAM and memory problems that cause crashes and corrupt data.
- My Favorites - Quickly locate tuning options and add preferred tools to your favorites list.
- EZ Flash 3 - Flash the latest BIOS via the internet from within the BIOS.
- S.M.A.R.T. - Check your storage device Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) logs to gauge reliability or to identify potential failures.
- GPU POST - Automatically detect selected ASUS graphics cards to view detailed information
- Secure Erase - Restore your SSDs and NVMe storage to factory settings.
- Last Modified Log - Track the last change and save preferred profiles to a USB drive.
- SATA Port Renaming - Rename SATA ports for easy identification.
- ASUS User Profile - Port configuration settings between different BIOS versions or share them with friends.
- Q-Fan Control - Configure the fan's operating speed manually or use pre-configured Standard, Silent, Turbo or Full Speed modes. By default, system fans will automatically switch to full speed if the temperature reaches 75° C.
Designed to simplify setup, EZ mode presents vital settings and stats on a single page. With guided wizards, drag-and-drop functionality, and one-click application of important settings, your rig will be up and running in no time.
- Intuitive graphical fan controls - Fine-tune individual fans simply by dragging a curve with the mouse.
- Storage information - View SATA port details for easy device recognition.
- Fast and easy clock adjustment - Use the mouse to quickly change time and date settings.
- Aura On/Off mode (Stealth) - Easily enable or disable Aura RGB lighting or every onboard LED, for a more subdued aesthetic.
Accurate Voltage Monitoring
Conventional motherboards use single-ended sensing tapped from a location that isn't ideal, leading to a large disparity between the actual voltage fed to the CPU and the value reported to software. ROG Maximus Z690 Hero features a differential-sensing circuit and delicate IC that simplify overclocking and tuning by allowing you to track voltages more accurately.
In addition to elite performance, ROG Maximus Z690 Hero introduces the new Polymo Lighting display, gracing the I/O cover with an eye-catching microstructural array of light and color. This intricate design features two RGB patterns, empowering builders to show off a luminous RGB style that they won’t see anywhere else.
Grow Your Gaming World
Gear up with ROG components — from graphics card and monitors to mice and keyboards. And up your game with complementary aesthetics, control and compatibility. The ROG ecosystem is more extensive than any competing brand, so you’ll enjoy greater choice as your system expands.
Addressable Gen 2 RGB Header
The addressable Gen 2 RGB headers now feature software that can automatically tailor lighting effects to specific devices. The new headers also offer backward-compatibility with existing Aura RGB gear.
Sonic Studio III
Sonic Studio supports HRTF-based (head-related transfer function*) virtual surround for headsets, casting an immersive aural landscape that draws you deeper into the action. The intuitive Sonic Studio interface also offers a range of EQ options and one-click presets, allowing you to tailor acoustics to suit personal preferences or the characteristics of your headset.
*A head-related transfer function is an audio algorithm derived from sound data recorded through a dummy head. Test tones are played from a spherical grid around the dummy head to obtain subtle changes in sounds that come from different directions. The results are combined into an algorithm that allows Sonic Studio's virtual surround to process sound true to life
- Sonic Studio link - Easily apply Sonic Studio effects on all playback devices. Simply press the Sonic Studio Link button to enjoy the effect on any playback device.
- App-specific profiles - Apply customized audio settings to different applications, so everything you do is perfectly tuned to the way you want to listen.
- Sonic Studio virtual mixer - Combine audio output from selected apps with audio from the microphone input and stream the compiled mix
DTS : Sound Unbound
ROG Maximus Z690 Hero includes a pre-loaded DTS Sound Unbound app that envelops you in audio as never before, conjuring whole new levels of immersion for extraordinary gaming and entertainment experiences. By exploiting Windows Sonic spatial technology, DTS Sound Unbound delivers audio in a virtual 3D space — putting you right in the middle of the soundscape, where you can sense the location and direction of every gunshot, footstep or other sound in your virtual environment.
* DTS Sound Unbound requires in-game support. Check with developers for titles that offer support.
Armoury Crate is a software utility designed to provide centralized control of supported ROG gaming products. From a single intuitive interface, Armoury Crate puts command of all your Aura gear at your fingertips with the new Aura Creator suite ready. The software also provides control of settings for a growing number of ROG products, making it easier to tune the look and feel of your system. Armoury Crate even offers dedicated product registration and ROG news feeds to help you stay in touch with the ROG gaming community.
ROG Maximus Z690 series includes a one-year AIDA64 Extreme subscription, a tool that provides detailed information about hardware and software, as well as benchmarks to measure the performance of the entire system or individual components. AIDA64 Extreme includes a monitoring and diagnostics feature to detect and prevent hardware issues. All vital system sensors can be tracked in real time, allowing voltage readings, fan speeds, and temperature information to be displayed on the desktop or sent to dedicated displays or to the LCD panels of ROG AIO liquid coolers*.
*Support available for ROG Ryujin II and later models.
Graphics Card Holder
Featuring a magnetic base and adjustable slider and hinge, the ROG Graphics Card Holder banishes sag and provides support where it’s needed most.