Intel fans who are planning to pair their new 12th Gen Core processors with ASUS’ Maximum Z690 Hero motherboards may want to consider other options for the time being, as some owners are reporting that the item suffers from a manufacturing defect that ultimately leads to malfunction.
The issue was initially raised by users such as rockman 4 and The MaxXHD on reddit, who explained that their motherboards showed visible PCB damage and smelled of burnt electronics after a short period of usage. A further investigation by YouTuber Buildzoid has suggested that the problem likely stems from a single capacitor being installed incorrectly (i.e., backward) at the factory, leading to burned out MOSFETs—components responsible for delivering power to various components that include the power delivery system for DDR5 memory.
“[…] when I look over there I see a component on the motherboard literally on fire,” TheMaxXHD wrote in his post on r/ASUS detailing his experience. “I quickly switch the psu off and unplug it from the wall (the mobo also tried to restart during this endeavor before I turned the psu off and yanked the cord from the psu socket to ensure I wasn’t going to burn my house down.”
“At this point I am suspicious. One bad lemon, fine. Two, with the exact same failure potentially, that’s no coincidence. […] So I go on this reddit to see if maybe just maybe anyone else has said anything. Well to my surprise, I find someone else has had the exact same component go.”
ASUS’ ROG Maximus Z690 Hero is an Intel Z690 ATX motherboard with 20+1 power stages, DDR5 memory support, five M.2 slots, dual Thunderbolt 4 ports (USB Type-C), onboard WiFi 6E, and other premium features. It carries an MSRP of around $600.