Ivy Bridge processors are here, and that means we can now fully test the potential of Intel Z77 PCH based motherboards. Today we handle the the ASUS Maximus V GENE Z77 motherboard. The GENE series equals small mATX motherboards, small however does not mean less powerful..
Today we test the ASUS Maximus V Gene, a smaller motherboard (mATX) yet a product that just oozes with dandy features and overclock potential. Get this, we took a Core i7 3770K processor towards 5.0 GHz.
Next to the tweaking possibilities this is a ROG (Republic of Gamers) motherboard, and means extra enthusiast features alright. New FAN Xpert 2 FAN regulation has now been embedded, we spot Smart DIGI+ Technology (Smart DIGI+ Key & Smart CPU Power Level), USB 3.0 Boost and the lovely USB BIOS Flashback (simply insert a USB stick with firmware, press a button and boom your mobo firmware was flashed).
All that and much more has been put onto an mATX form factor motherboard based on Intel's Z77. Z77 is of course the Intel chipset predominantly released for Ivy Bridge based processors. These motherboards will have a slightly altered feature set and thus support them new Ivy Bridge apples from Intel. Good to know however is that Z77 also supports Sandy Bridge Socket 1155 based processors, that's right your favorite Core i5 2500K and Core i7 2600K will be perfect for these motherboards as well.
The changes for Z77 primarily can be found in native USB 3.0 support as well as an upgrade towards PCie gen 3 PCIe x16 slots.
So today a closer look at the technology and of course we'll review the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z. Armed with the latest gadgets, some ROG lovin' and that Z77 chipset will most definitely surprise you. Have a peek at the mATX (24x24cm) sized motherboard first.
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