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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Saturday, December 24, 2011
Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z review

1. Features, specs

The Maximus IV GENE-Z motherboard by Asus takes the ROG motherboard recipe and shrinks it to a micro ATX form factor, in an effort to appeal to speed freaks and case modders alike. The motherboard offers support for both NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX but still, the integrated GPU features of the Intel Z68 chipset are wasted. Full support for the Lucid Virtu graphics virtualization engine means the Maximus IV GENE-Z can switch between discrete and integrated graphics on-the-fly as the application demands, while SupremeFX X-Fi 2 audio and Intel Ethernet with GameFirst allow you to build a great gaming rig.

Furthermore, with the addition of Lucid Virtu, you can also take advantage of Intel’s integrated GPU on their 2nd generation Core i7 CPUs for improved video transcoding. The GPU TweakIt feature that’s also on board allows you to adjust the system’s GPU and CPU settings from an external notebook in real-time, should you want to tweak it for that extra boost in performance.

The M4G-Z is also loaded with the new UEFI BIOS, which provides a mouse-enabled graphical BIOS menu for easy adjustment of system settings. An added bonus is the ASUS feature CPU Level-up, which easily upgrades the CPU at no additional cost with a simple click.

- Features

Lucid Virtu: Optimal onboard graphics and discrete GPU's performance by dynamic switching
Lucid Virtu is the GPU virtualization software along with 2nd generation Intel Core processor featuring like Intel Quick Sync to enable a media platform and discrete GPUs coming with DirectX 11 3D and anti-aliasing . Ultimately, users can enjoy optimal simultaneous performance in 3D gaming and video functions like transcoding and HD playback without having to manually change settings between GPUs.

Extreme Engine Digi+: Combination of analog and digital design elements
Extreme Engine Digi+ equipped with digital VRM design can achieve the ultimate performance with adjustable CPU PWM frequency. It expedites heat dissipation and achieves better electric conduction keeping critical components reliable. Extreme Engine Digi+ balances the need for voltage and the desire for solid performance.

SupremeFX X-Fi 2: Play with cinematic in-game surround sound
SupremeFX X-Fi 2 features EAX 5.0 and OpenAL for cinematic in-game audio. It even comes with THX TruStudio PRO branding, which makes games, music and movies sound better. SupremeFX X-Fi 2 also implements gold-plated jacks and high quality capacitors.

GameFirst: The speed you need to pwn
Low Internet latency allows you to frag more, and get fragged less. That's why ROG has introduced GameFirst, a feature that manages the flow of traffic according to your needs so that you can still listen to online music, download and upload files, and engage in Internet chats without sacrificing the low ping times you need to pwn your opponents.

- Full Specifications

CPU Intel Socket 1155 for 2nd Generation Core i7/Core i5/Core i3 Processors 
Supports Intel 32 nm CPU
Supports Intel®Turbo Boost Technology 2 
* The Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.
Chipset Intel® Z68
Memory

4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs. 
* Due to CPU behavior, DDR3 2200/2000/1800 MHz memory module will run at DDR3 2133/1866/1600 MHz frequency as default.

Graphic

Integrated Graphics Processor

VGA output support : HDMI port
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz

Multi-GPU Support Supports NVIDIA SLI Technology
Supports AMD CrossFireX Technology
Supports LucidLogix Virtu Technology
Expansion Slots 2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8) 
1 x PCIe 2.0 x4
Storage

Intel Z68 chipset : 
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), gray
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Support Intel® Smart Response Technology on 2nd generation Intel Core processor family

JMicron JMB362 controller : 

2 x eSATA 3Gb/s port(s), red (These SATA ports are for data hard drivers only. ATAPI devices are not supported.)

LAN Intel, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Audio

SupremeFX X-Fi 2 built-in 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC 
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking

Audio Feature :
- X-Fi®Xtreme Fidelity 
- EAX Advanced HD 5.0 
- THX TruStudio PRO
- Creative ALchemy 
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection 
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel

USB Ports

ASMedia USB 3.0 controller : 
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)

Intel® Z68 chipset : 
12 x USB 2.0 port(s) (8 at back panel, black, 4 at mid-board)

Overclocking Features

ROG Connect 
Extreme Engine Digi+ :
- 8 -phase CPU power design + 4 -phase iGPU power design
- 2 -phase Memory power design
Mem TweakIt

ROG Extreme OC kit :
- Debug LED

ProbeIt

UEFI BIOS features :
- ROG BIOS Print
- GPU.DIMM Post

GameFirst
iROG
Extreme Tweaker
Loadline Calibration

Overclocking Protection :
- COP EX (Component Overheat Protection - EX)
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)

Special Features

ASUS TurboV EVO :
- CPU Level Up

ASUS Exclusive Features :
- MemOK!
- Onboard Button : Power/Reset/Clr CMOS (at back IO)

ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
- ASUS Fan Xpert 

ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3 
- ASUS EZ Flash 2 
- ASUS MyLogo 2 

ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM 
- ASUS Q-Connector

Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x HDMI
2 x eSATA 3Gb/s
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.0 
8 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to ROG Connect)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
Internal I/O 1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s) 
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
2 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)
2 x CPU Fan connector(s) 
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s) 
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s) 
6 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x ROG Connect switch(es)
1 x Go Button(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
Form Factor uATX Form Factor 
9.6 inch x 9.6 inch ( 24.4 cm x 24.4 cm )




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