ROG Strix vs Extreme vs Apex vs Hero: What's the difference between ROG gaming motherboards?

Feb 28, 2023 Written by:ROG Article

One of the best parts of being a PC enthusiast is the freedom to build your computer in your own way. You’re not limited to picking from a couple different preset options. When we launch a new generation of motherboards, we don’t just design one model and expect it to meet everyone’s needs. We give you a broad range of options from our ROG Maximus, Crosshair, and Strix lineups so that you can find the board with the right features and style for your next build.  

While it’s empowering to have all these different models to choose from, we do understand that it can also be a little intimidating to sort through all the available options. We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll introduce you to our different motherboard product families, explaining what makes each family unique. Along the way, we’ll walk you through some of our naming conventions so that you can quickly sort through the different models in each lineup. 

ROG Maximus and ROG Crosshair lead the charge

If you’re a hardcore gamer with a thirst for cutting-edge hardware, our high-end motherboards should be your first choice. For years, these boards have been paving the way for the rest of the industry. Almost all our key motherboard innovations debuted in ROG motherboards. Features like AI Overclocking, the PCIe Slot Q-Release Button, and Dynamic OC Switcher all appeared first in trendsetting ROG boards.

am5 socket

Armed with robust VRMs, beefy heatsinks, and extensive cooling options, these motherboards enable overclockers to extract the full potential of their new CPUs. You'll find everything you need for a premium gaming experience in this lineup: high-fidelity audio, comprehensive connectivity, plentiful high-speed M.2 slots, cutting-edge networking, and much more.  

ROG's top-tier motherboards are divided into two camps: ROG Maximus and ROG Crosshair. ROG Maximus boards have the requisite sockets for Intel CPUs, whereas ROG Crosshair motherboards are built for AMD CPUs. 

Extreme vs. Apex vs. Hero

Inside these two camps, you’ll find a variety of options. The “Extreme” boards, like the ROG Maximus Z790 Extreme and ROG Crosshair X670E Extreme, are always the highest-end motherboards in the family. Designed for those who dare to want it all, these EATX motherboards are loaded with cutting-edge features and sizzling gamer style. They’re currently our only motherboards to include a fully customizable AniMe Matrix display. 

The ROG Z790 Maximus Apex motherboard on a black background.

Professional overclockers often turn to our Apex motherboards as they chase new world records. Just recently, our overclocking team used the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex to push an Intel Core i9-13900K CPU past the 9 GHz barrier. The optimized 2-DIMM memory layout of these motherboards lets them reach DRAM timings and frequencies beyond the capabilities of other boards. 


Our ROG Maximus and ROG Crosshair families always include at least one “Hero” model. Loaded with premium features, yet priced within the reach of a wide range of PC enthusiasts, these motherboards are some of our most popular options. If one of Intel’s 12th Gen Core CPUs has caught your attention, check out the ROG Maximus Z790 Hero, or if one AMD’s latest Ryzen 7000 Series CPUs has your name on it, take a peek at the ROG Crosshair X670E Hero.  

x670e gene

There are a couple more models that you might find in our ROG Maximus and ROG Crosshair lineups, depending on the generation. “Formula” boards, like the ROG Maximus Z690 Formula, set you up for liquid cooling. Additionally, they usually offer a strikingly different aesthetic, typically white-themed. For devotees of the microATX form factor, we sometimes offer “Gene” motherboards, like the ROG Crosshair X670E Gene.  

ROG Maximus and ROG Crosshair
Designation Form Factor Defining Characteristic
Extreme EATX Exceptional performance and features
Apex ATX Cutting-edge overclocking
Hero ATX All-around excellent gaming performance
Formula ATX Tools for liquid cooling and standout style
Gene microATX Great performance for compact builds

ROG Strix serves up gaming excellence to mainstream audiences

ROG Maximus and Crosshair motherboards stand at the apex of our lineup, and ROG Strix boards take that basic DNA and offer it in more attainable designs that provide exceptional gaming performance and bold styling. 

To distinguish each model in any given ROG Strix family of motherboards, we include a letter after the name of its chipset. For example, if you’re shopping for a Z790 motherboard from the ROG Strix lineup, you’ll find options like the ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi and the ROG Strix Z790-A Gaming WiFi.  

ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming WiFi motherboard

The highest-performance option in any ROG Strix lineup is the “-E” model. It’ll have the most power stages, the fastest storage options, and the highest-speed selection of USB ports. The “-F” model will have a very similar style, but it’ll come in at a more affordable price point. We typically use the “-A” to designate motherboards with white-themed heatsinks and accents. Most ROG Strix motherboards use the common ATX size format, but not all. If you’re building a Mini-ITX machine, you’ll need an “-I” designated motherboard like the ROG Strix X670E-I Gaming WiFi. ROG Strix “-G” motherboards are Micro-ATX. 


Depending on the generation of motherboard that you’re considering, you might have an option between models with DDR5 RAM support and DDR4 support. To make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting with your new hardware, we add a “D4” at the end of a product’s name to let you know that it's only compatible with DDR4. 

ROG Strix
Designation Form Factor Defining Characteristic
-E ATX Best performance in the ROG Strix series
-F ATX Balance of performance and value
-A ATX Alternate style in an ATX form factor
-I Mini-ITX Ready for small form factor builds
-G microATX Great performance for compact builds

Find your next motherboard today

ROG offers some of the best motherboards available today, and we have plenty of options to serve the needs of gamers everywhere. If you're on a tighter budget or have a shorter list of must-have features, our TUF Gaming line delivers the performance you need in designs that communicate durability and practicality, while ASUS Prime boards deliver cost-effective performance for all-around builds. You can read more about these lineups here.

If you want to learn more about the latest models in each of these lineups, we've got guides for you. Looking to build a cutting-edge PC with one of Intel’s latest 13th Gen CPUs? You’ll want an overclocking-ready Z790 motherboard. Head over to our full Z790 motherboard guide to browse our options. Prefer an AMD Ryzen CPU instead? Click here to read about our feature-rich X670 motherboards.  

We also have a wide range of options for builders on a budget. Our B650 motherboards offer unbeatable value to anyone building an AMD-powered machine, and for those who want to build an Intel-powered PC that doesn’t break the bank, we have a full selection B760 motherboards at the ready.