Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z

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  • ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z LGA1155

    Up:

    • Full-size board features and capability packed into a much smaller footprint
    • Excellent overclocking options
    • Mature BIOS ensures easy setup for near every configuration
    • Low power consumption
    • Lucid Virtu support
    • Fantastic accessory package.
    • Near the best "Out-of-the-Box" performance we've seen so far
    • 3-Year Limited Warranty

    Down:

    • Our first "High-End" board without a USB 3.0 front panel device.
    • Slot spacing not ideal for multi-GPU configurations
    • Forced overclock with "stock" ASUS settings
    • Small size may leave it overlooked by many
    • BIOS has too many pages
    • Voltage read points need to be socketed.

    We cannot say enough how impressed we are with the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z. When it comes to the BIOS, although we feel that the pages are far too numerous, we wouldn't want to see a single option removed, and the ones we'd like to see added hardly have any effect on usability or performance. With one of the best audio results we've seen so far, and really some of the very best overclocking we've seen yet, this minute board not only offers everything much larger boards do for features, it offers a few things more too, and the fact that it's so small doesn't affect those features one bit. There is one problem, however. With support for dual video cards, both in SLI and CrossFire format, the slot spacing is far too close together for dual high-end cards like nVidia's GTX 580 and GTX 590, or AMD's 6970 and 6990. All of those solutions, from both sides of the fence, tend to require a high-airflow system, and that's just not possible in such a small form-factor. However, for single cards, we do believe many users will have a hard time to find anything lacking, and if high-end multiple-card video solutions are required, aftermarket watercooling is always possible. With the overclocking abilities offered it's almost a shame to not watercool a rig built with this board, as it's definitely able to go even further than we pushed it, provided you have a CPU that is capable. If you are serious about overclocking and plan on using a single VGA, you'd be foolish to not consider this product. We deducted points for the slot configuration, and for the "cheating" stock overclock, although these are very minor issues that one should expect from a product like this. Don't forget to hit us up in the forums when you buy yours, and we'll help you get started.

    6 years ago
  • ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z LGA1155

    Plus

    • Full-size board features and capability packed into a much smaller footprint
    • Excellent overclocking options
    • Mature BIOS ensures easy setup for near every configuration
    • Low power consumption
    • Lucid Virtu support
    • Fantastic accessory package.
    • Near the best "Out-of-the-Box" performance we've seen so far
    • 3-Year Limited Warranty

    Minus

    • Our first "High-End" board without a USB 3.0 front panel device.
    • Slot spacing not ideal for multi-GPU configurations
    • Forced overclock with "stock" ASUS settings
    • Small size may leave it overlooked by many
    • BIOS has too many pages
    • Voltage read points need to be socketed.

    6 years ago
  • ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z (Intel Z68) mATX Motherboard Review

    Conclusion If we had to answer one thing the Maximus IV Gene-Z does, it's that ASUS show us just because you want to go for a mATX platform, it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice performance or features. The Maximus IV Gene-Z does exactly what you'd want from not only a mATX board, but from a ROG designed one which we know is designed to offer us strong performance. The biggest shock in regards to the Maximus IV Gene-Z isn't the performance it offers or the features (which are both fantastic), but the price it comes in at. At $179.99 US the Gene-Z is just at such a strong price point and while it of course lacks features that are seen on the big brother Maximus IV Extreme and Extreme-Z, if you're going for a two card setup or even a single card one, this is simply an awesome board. What the Gene-Z allows you to do is get in on the ROG action at an amazing price point. Thrown into a nice mATX case and using something like the Corsair H70 water cooling system, you'd have yourself such an awesome machine that could easily out power machines twice its size. The biggest problem you're going to have when it comes to buying the Gene-Z is wondering what video card you're going to put in it. Considering the lower price tag associated with the board, you could well end up with room for a faster video card and if you wanted to go crazy and pair it with something like an ASUS Matrix GTX 580 Platinum, you'd have so much power on tap. With features like Intel Gigabit LAN and X-Fi 2 Audio combined with the small stature, aggressive price tag and awesome performance, the Maximus IV Gene-Z isn't just a board that will suit someone who wants an mATX system; it will suit anyone who's interested in a performance motherboard. There's nothing stopping you from putting this in a full size case and with the performance it's able to offer; why wouldn't you? There's plenty of mATX boards on the market, the problem is the market is limited by cut down versions of boards that offer less overclocking potential and less features than their larger counterparts. Sure, the Gene-Z is cut down compared to the normal extreme model, but ASUS has done everything possible to make sure the same performance is on offer and all those features that make other ROG boards so great are present here. 

  • No grade
    ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z Review

    So is the change to the Maximus IV sweet as Aristotle prophesied or does it leave a bitter taste?

    Probably the first thing to get your head around is the fact that the extra Z at the end makes all the difference. This isn't a cut-down version of the previously reviewed (to great acclaim) Maximus IV Extreme, but rather this is a distinctive version based around an as-yet unreviewed Maximus IV Extreme-Z.

    The major changes with the Gene-Z are the same as those we've previously seen on Z68 boards when compared to their P67 predecessors. Firstly we have the inclusion of Intel Rapid storage Technology. There is also Lucid Virtu which can be used in two modes and transparently switches between your discrete (add-on) graphics card and the integrated graphics to save power in 2D situations. Given how most graphics cards de-clock significantly when in a Windows desktop environment this isn't really a deal maker or breaker, unless those few extra watts of power are critical to you. Finally on older H67 boards you couldn't overclock whilst using the integrated graphics, but with the Z68 chipset you can.

    The BIOS is a UEFI number and the all the usability benefits that are prevalent in that solution. We cannot overstate how much nicer this is to use when compared to the keyboard-only BIOS of old.

    Design-wise the Gene-Z is amazingly compact. We can't recall an mATX board in which the GPU has seemed so close to the CPU Cooler. Kudos to ASUS for ensuring the tolerances are so precise that there aren't any actual issues, but visually it's quite arresting if you're using an extra-large CPU Cooler to see the solder on the back of the GPU within a few millimetres of an equally metallic lump of aluminium. This aside it's a very attractive board, even if the plain black heatsinks and lack of lighting aren't as spectacular as the Maximus IV Extreme.

    Performance is just a notch below the very best motherboards around. It couldn't quite push our 2500K to a stable 4.9 GHz, instead we had to settle for a 4.8 GHz clock. With the CPU at these speeds the Gene-Z was a bit of a mixed bag. In some tests the results were outstanding whilst in others, although never reaching particular lows, it wasn't quite up there with the cream of the crop.

    At the time of going to press we haven't got a price yet, but judging from previous Gene boards we'd expect it to be around the £160 mark and assuming this is the case it's worthy of the OC3D Silver Award. If it's around £130 it would be good enough value for a Gold, and at £180 or above we'd thing a Bronze. The performance is that right on the money, if that money is where we expect.