6. Final words
The Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z is a well-engineered Z68 motherboard that will fully unleash the power of your CPU and memory at both stock speeds as well as under overclocking Despite its microATX format that shrinks silicon and components in a small PCB, it does not lack the features and the performance of a full ATX version. Asus ' Republic of Gamers label also ensures stable and worry-free operation under demanding gaming as well as rich extra features that make this product special.
Asus has done a great job in the implementation of the UEFI BIOS - possibly the best we have seen so far in a motherboard. You can navigate across its sections fast and easily understand its extensive features, especially when it comes to manual overclocking. With high degree of polish and stable "Auto" settings that minimize tweaking hassles for novice enthusiasts, ASUS is the clear leader in the design of UEFI BIOS.
The latest Intel Z68 chipset allows SSD acceleration, which resulted to an improved overall user experience and performance, according to our tests. With SSD prices falling compared to previous months, adding an SSD to your Asus system is a good deal.
The Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z also supports the Lucid Virtu technology, which will will further boost the performance under Video applications and games, provided that you have a fast stand alone graphics (either from Nvidia or ATI). We didn't test the specific feature since the VGA we had in our labs (GT 430) wasn't supported.
Looking first to build quality we have a board which uses high quality capacitors and components and mixes them with a good power design that matches larger products from other manufacturers. Added to this we have some great features such as Extreme Engine DIGI+ to maximize stability and reliability and more than a few enthusiast related items such as voltage read points and status LEDs.
The Maximus IV GeneZ is a supreme overclocker no matter if you choose to use the impressive "Auto Tuning" feature or by making manual adjustments. We easily pushed our Intel i5-2500K @ 5.0GHz and the system looked stable enough to encourage us to go even higher, with a more efficient CPU cooler installed.
The ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z is possibly the best micro-ATX Z68 board out there. Of course, such a bounty of features, quality, and performance normally doesn't come cheap. ROG products cater to the elite, so it costs about $170. In our opinion, it remains an excellent deal for what you get, as you get the full features that are better than most full ATX board on the market. Overall a great design and product for Intel's Socket 1155 platform!
- Very good build quality & clean layout
- Tons of features and great UEFI BIOS
- AI Suite II offers many overclocking options (on-the-fly overclocking without reboot)
- Overclocking performance is stunning
- Supports X.M.P Memory profiles
- Supports Lucid Virtu technology
- Supports THX certification for output sound via software solution
- Supports two full-sized graphics cards
- Includes many SATA II and two SATA III ports
- Includes two USB3.0 ports
- The onboard graphics solutions (Intel HD3000) performs well for office use and basic gaming
- Price is higher than competition