ASUS Maximus V GENE Motherboard review -
Final words and conclusion
Final words and conclusion
That's some pretty crazy stuff. This was the smallest motherboard we tested, yet it was the fastest in terms of performance. The overall baseline performance trumps all other Z77 boards we tested as ASUS applies a little trick with the ROG motherboard, likely slightly higher turbo's for the low bin threads. That doesn't matter as it will benefit you the end-user.
We already tested the SaberTooth Z77 and that is a scrumptious motherboard. The GENE however ups it a notch. The overall design and the features kill anything in its path ... for this small form factor.
Being on mATX and then still have two x16 PCIe 3.0 ports absolutely rocks. Overclocking and tweaking with this motherboard is a breeze as well, if you go for a manual tweak you may go as complex as you desire, that's what ROG motherboards are about. However for the not so PC savvy tweakers, you could just enabled one of the several CPU level up modes and let the motherboard overclock itself with a variety of choices.
Speaking about overclocking, Ivy bridge processors run hotter when overclocked opposed to Sandy Bridge once you pass 1.35~1.4 Volts on the CPU. Reaching 4.5~5.0 GHz is fairly easy to accomplish with the motherboard but you'll find yourself needing juice in the 1.40 Volts range of the processor. So be prepared for processor heat, proper liquid cooling definitely deserves a recommendation as heatpipe cooling will not be sufficient at those speeds, even our dual fan Noctua D12 was not able to pass that test.
As shown we popped in G.Skill's new Trident X 2666 MHz memory as well, and in the BIOS we simply flicked the XMP profile to on and boom, the memory was running at a rather amazing clock frequency of 2666 MHz. Astonishing really, though that alone will not bring you heaps of extra performance.
Currently the price point of the ASUS Maximus V Gene is set at the sub 170 EUR market. For that amount of money you'll receive a complete motherboard with a wide variety in terms of connectivity, design and features. Out of all the Z77 motherboards we have had in our hands this one was the easiest to overclock with. Fiddle around with the multiplier and voltages alone is enough to reach 5 GHz on heatpipe based cooling.
We feel the Maximus V GENE is priced fair. Now due to its size sure, it does come with slightly less features like extra SATA ports, heaps of USB ports and more PCIe slots. But realistically, everything you need is there and more ... The keywords 4x DDR3, mini-PCIe, 2x PCI-e x16, Crossfire, SLi, 2x SATA-300, 4x SATA-600, eSATA, 8x USB 2.0, 6x USB 3.0, DP, HDMI, should sum it all up.
In addition you'll get features like improved audio with SupremeFX III, USB Flashback, the updated FanExpert features and the most dandy UEFI BIOS with extended tweaking options and CPU level up. It's just a very solid offering and a feast to work with. We very much like the ASUS Maximus V Gene and have every reason to recommend it, as such we'll do just that.
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