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ASUS ROG Maximus XI HERO (Wi-Fi) and ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming Motherboard Evaluation

PRODUCT INFO

ASUS ROG Maximus XI HERO (Wi-Fi)

October, 2018

Kind Motherboard

Value $289.99 US

Introduction

Intel has come a good distance with their mainstream processor platform. The platform has largely seen stagnation by way of core and thread rely over many generations for the reason that first Core sequence CPU that launched again in 2010 however final yr introduced an enormous change to the CPU large. What gave the impression to be a generational core clock bump has now was a generational core rely bump whereas conserving the clock pace enhancements.

The Espresso Lake-S eighth Era household, was the primary huge core rely soar on the mainstream 300 sequence platform. It was a chance for Intel to indicate that they don’t solely maintain the IPC or clock pace benefit on the mainstream phase however they will additionally provide good multi-threading CPU efficiency. Whereas the soar to six cores and 12 threads was nice, the competitors was providing as much as eight cores and 16 threads on their mainstream platform.

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Intel is now unleashing their very own eight core components with their new ninth Era lineup, also called the Espresso Lake Refresh. The attention-grabbing half is that whereas there’s the well-known Core i7 SKU with eight cores, they’re additionally launching their first mainstream Core i9 half with eight cores. Each components are very attention-grabbing in their very own proper and the worth to efficiency distinction is one thing which avid gamers have been wanting ahead to, particularly when Intel is terming the Core i9 SKU as the most effective gaming processor on the planet, which is one thing I’d extensively be wanting into within the efficiency benchmarks.

Concurrently the CPUs launched, motherboard companions of Intel additionally launched a variety of Z390 chipset primarily based merchandise. These merchandise vary from funds to mainstream and go all the way in which to the high-end tier, providing numerous designs and options, geared toward overclockers, avid gamers and each.

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At present, I might be having a look a the ASUS ROG Maximus XI HERO (WI-FI) and the ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-E Gaming motherboards. These two motherboards retail for $289.99 US and $244.99 US every. The prime goal of each ROG sequence motherboards is the Gaming market which has been clearly highlighted by the ASUS advertising and marketing division. I will even be having a look on the whole function set that’s packed on these motherboards to see which one gives the most effective worth.

Because the launch of Espresso Lake processors, Intel can be providing a brand new platform that’s marked underneath the 300-series household. The Intel 300 sequence platform options a number of chipset SKUs however the prime of the road is the Z390 PCH which replaces the Z370 PCH because the flagship mainstream SKU.

The Z390 platform is designed to assist each eighth and ninth Era Espresso Lake CPUs. Because the new processors are a part of a refresh, Intel didn’t limit ninth Gen compatibility to only Z390 boards or eighth Gen compatibility to only Z370 boards. We’ve extra particulars on this within the LGA 1151 socket part so right here, we might be having a look on the Z390 function set and what it gives over the earlier 200 and 100 sequence platforms.

Intel Z390 PCH Options:

The ninth gen desktop platform has a variety of latest options that primarily embody:

  • First efficiency Intel Core i9 desktop S-series processor
  • As much as eight cores
  • Intel Z390 chipset suitable
  • Solder Thermal Interface Materials (STIM)
  • Intel Wi-fi-AC 802.11 AC and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wi-fi-AC Adapter
  • Up To six x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Ports
  • As much as 16 threads, 5.Zero GHz, 16 MB cache, and 40 platform PCIe lanes (16 CPU + 24 PCH)
  • ninth Gen CPUs Suitable with all Intel 300 sequence chipsets
  • Intel Optane reminiscence and Intel Optane SSD assist
  • Thunderbolt Three assist

Anticipated Intel 300-Collection Kaby Lake Refresh and Cannon Lake PCH Options:

Chipset Title Espresso Lake S (KBL-R) PCH / Z370 Platform Espresso Lake S (CNL-H) PCH / 300 Collection (Z390/H370, B360, Q370, H310)
Course of Node 22nm 14nm
Processor 8C, 6C, 4C (6 Client SKUs at Launch)
Enhanced IA and Reminiscence Overclocking
Gen 9 Intel Graphics GT2 (Up To 24 EUs)
Client Solely
8C, 6C, 4C, 2C (Full company/shopper SKU stack at launch)
Enhanced IA and Reminiscence Overclocking
Gen 9 Intel Graphics GT2 (Up To 24 EUs)
Company/vPro & Client
Reminiscence Up To DDR4-2666 (Native) Up To DDR4-2666 (Native)
Media, Show & Audio DP 1.2 & HDMI 1.4
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Built-in Twin-Core Audio DSP
DP 1.2 & HDMI 1.4
HDCP 2.2 (HDMI 2.0a w/LSPCON)
HEVC & VP9 10-bit Enc/Dec, HDR, Rec.2020, DX12
Built-in Twin-Core Audio DSP
SoundWire Digital Audio Interface
I/O & Connectivity Built-in USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Alpine Ridge)
Built-in USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
Built-in Intel Wi-fi-AC (Wi-Fi / BT CNVi)
Built-in SDXC 3.Zero Controller
Thunderbolt 3.0 (Titan Ridge) w/ DP 1.4
Storage Subsequent Gen Intel Optane reminiscence
PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0
Subsequent Gen Intel Optane reminiscence
PCIe 3.0, SATA 3.0
Safety Intel SGX 1.0 Intel SGX 1.0
Energy Administration C8 Help C10 & S0ix Help for Trendy Standby
Launch 2017 2018

Intel isn’t transferring away from the LGA 1151 socket anytime quickly. We’re as soon as once more wanting on the identical socket which has been doing the rounds within the mainstream market since 2015. There’s, nonetheless, a significant distinction. There’s no backward compatibility with Skylake and Kaby Lake processors.

That brings us to the following vital element in regards to the Intel 300-series platform. Intel is confirming that the ninth Gen Espresso Lake processors retain compatibility with the 300-series chipset. It’s good to see compatibility retained nevertheless it was additionally anticipated since ninth Gen is a refresh of Espresso Lake CPUs and high-end motherboards primarily based on the Z370 chipset nonetheless permit for full overclocking assist on the eight core processors, despite the fact that the Z390 sequence is tailor-made round these CPUs with higher PWM provides.

A extra detailed evaluation was posted by David Schor a couple of days in the past which confirms the change in pin configuration on Espresso Lake processors. This permits assist for each eighth and ninth Gen CPUs with none main points.

In accordance with David, the rationale we don’t have Espresso Lake processors suitable with older sequence motherboards that function the LGA 1151 socket is the change in pins. As an illustration, if the pin config adjustments on a processor, the sockets on the motherboard have to be configured as such. It’s not a course of that may be finished by way of software program as its extra of a {hardware} stage change.

In comparison, the Espresso Lake processors have 391 VSS (Floor) pins which is a rise of 14 in comparison with Kaby Lake, 146 VCC (Electrical) pins which is a rise of 18 pins in comparison with Kaby Lake and about 25 pins which can be reserved and a lower of 21 pins from the 46 reserved on Kaby Lake.

Kaby Lake -> Espresso Lake

  • VSS (Floor): 377 -> 391 (+14)
  • VCC (Energy): 128 -> 146 (+18)
  • RSVD: 46 ->25

Intel LGA 1151 CPU Pin Configuration (Espresso Lake vs Kaby Lake):

So one factor is evident, Intel was, actually, telling the reality about electrical adjustments to the processors and socket within the 300-series platform. Moreover, it’s not simply the reserved pins from Kaby Lake which have merely been populated. There are pins apart the reserved ones that had been swapped with VCC pins and point out a design tweak.

Whereas we will put many theories to relaxation with this new element, I feel a lot of the confusion might have simply been prevented if Intel clarified this themselves. In fact, in case you are making the boards with a brand new PCH and new sequence of processors on the identical socket that ran the earlier CPU line, shoppers would undoubtedly need to know extra about why the brand new platform that has the identical socket can not assist their older chips. We beforehand heard in regards to the LGA 1151 V2 naming scheme and which will have sorted some confusion however as we will inform, all motherboards nonetheless use the LGA 1151 naming scheme which can result in folks considering that their sixth and seventh technology processors can run on the newer boards.

Cooler Compatibility With LGA 1151 Socket

Holding the identical socket has some benefits within the type of cooler compatibility. All customers who’re working the LGA 1151 socket and even LGA 1150 boards can use the identical cooler on the Z390 boards with none trouble. The socket has the identical dimensions and no adjustments are made except for electrical adjustments which can be particular to socket and processor pins. The socket meeting and mounting stay the identical.

Intel does provide a separate boxed cooler however will probably be a a lot better option to get an AIB cooling answer since these provide higher cooling efficiency. It is suggested for the unlocked SKUs that customers run them on a high-end air cooler or liquid cooling answer. Customized loop cooling will ship even higher outcomes.

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