ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Dark Hero Released for Intel’s 14th Gen Raptor Lake Refresh

Although the specifications are largely unchanged, we're looking at higher core clocks and higher overclocking potential.

Intel’s 14th Gen Raptor Lake-S Refresh is all set for the third quarter of 2023. Leveraging the unlocked processors, these chips will go up against AMD’s 3D V-Cache and, later on, the Zen 5 offerings. Although the specifications are largely unchanged, we’re looking at higher core clocks and higher overclocking potential. The memory clocks also take a hike with superior VRMs and shinier sockets overall.

The base chipsets, however, remain unchanged. Vendors have beefed up the I/Os with Thunderbolt 4 Type C, USB 20Gbps, and several onboard PCIe Gen 5 slots. This also means more high-performance USB 3/4 ports and better audio chipsets.

We’ve got three flagships, the ASUS ROG Strix, TUF Gaming, and the Dark Hero. The core features of the latter are as follows:

  • Intel LGA 1700 socket: Ready for Intel Core Next-Gen & 13th Gen processors, Intel Core 12th Gen, Pentium Gold, and Celeron Processors
  • Robust Power Solution: 20+1 teamed power solution rated for 90A per stage with dual ProCool II power connectors, high-quality alloy chokes, and durable capacitors to support multi-core processors
  • Optimized VRM Thermals: Massive heatsinks integrated with the I/O cover, joined by an L-shaped heatpipe, and connected to the power stages with high-conductivity thermal pads
  • Latest M.2 Support: Onboard PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot, and four PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots all with substantial cooling solutions
  • Abundant Connectivity: Dual Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C ports, USB 20Gbps Type-C front-panel connector with Quick Charge 4+ up to 60W and USB Wattage Watcher, six additional USB 10Gbps ports, two PCIe 5.0 x16 SafeSlots, HDMI 2.1
  • High-Performance Networking: On-board Intel Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be) and Intel 2.5 Gb Ethernet with ASUS LANGuard
  • Intelligent Control: ASUS-exclusive AI Overclocking, AI Cooling II, AI Networking, and Two-Way AI Noise Cancelation to simplify setup and improve performance
  • Immersive Audio: ROG SupremeFX ALC4082 codec with ESS ES9218 Quad DAC for up to 32-Bit/384 kHz playback
  • Unmatched Personalization: I/O cover with Polymo Lighting, three addressable Gen 2 headers, and one RGB header, all configurable with ASUS-exclusive Aura Sync RGB lighting
  • DIY Friendly Design: PCIe Slot Q-Release, M.2 Q-Latch, Q-Antenna, pre-mounted I/O shield, Q-Code, Q-LED, FlexKey button, Start button, BIOS FlashBack™ button, and Clear CMOS button


Computer hardware enthusiast, PC gamer, and almost an engineer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.

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