Recently we reviewed the ASUS P7P55D Deluxe motherboard, very good performance, reasonable price .. yeah we liked it.
But there are more advanced versions of ASUS P55 motherboards out there; among them typically labeled under the ROG (Republic Of Gamers) editions, and as such ASUS released the Maximus Gene III ROG edition. An awfully sexy motherboard in a handy carry along PC mATX design yet loaded with features and massive overclock capabilities. ROG motherboards match Guru3D's audience 1:1 it's that simple.
And sure ... it might be a little pricy at 175 EUR / 199 USD but if you like to take it to the extreme this certainly will be one of the top motherboards available on the market to date. The ASUS Maximus Gene III is a P55 motherboard, currently compatible with Core i5 750, Core i7 860 and 870.
The Intel P55 chipset, what is that all about some of you might ask ? Here's the thing, Intel launched three new processor. These processors come from the Nehalem family of processors and are classified with the codename 'Lynnfield'. To make some sense out of that, the 1st generation Core i7 processors had codename codename Bloomfield.
Lynnfield processors are a small step down from that uber-high end Bloomfield based processor architecture. The three most significant changes can be found in dual-channel memory, locked multipliers and lower TDP. Please read all about that in our Lynnfield processor review. Unfortunately the difference in-between Bloomfield and Lynnfield also entails a socket change, as such the really high-end Bloomfield processors like Core i7 920, 950 and 975 will be based on a Socket LGA 1366 design whereas the new Core i7 870, 860 and Core i5 750 processors will have to be seated onto Socket 1156. Chipset wise Bloomfield processors are paired with the X58 chipset from Intel, Lynnfield processors however will be paired with P55 chipset based motherboards. Overall the benefit of the P55/Lynnfield combo should be a better price performance ratio. Features wise on the motherboard side it all looks and feels fairly similar.
So to facilitate the new Lynnfield architecture processors Intel has been working on (amongst others) the P55 chipset, this chipset will replace P45. Lynnfield processors feature an integrated memory controller, like current Core i7 processors, and that they're outfitted with sixteen lanes of embedded PCI Express connectivity, there's no need to pair the processors with a second chip (Southbridge). Instead, the processor will connect only to the one P55 chip.
Today we'll review the Maximus Gene III, for what I feel is one of the best tweaker / gamer P55 motherboards currently available in the market. Let's go check it out shall we ?