Maximus V Gene Overview
As I stated in the opening of this review the Maximus V Gene is a micro ATX motherboard. Since this is a Republic of Gamers board it keeps the same red, black and white styling. If you haven’t seen a ROG board up-close they look awesome.
Let’s start at the top left of the board. Here is where you will install the mPCIe combo card. It easily plugs in and you lock it into place with a single screw. The mPCIe combo card is great because you can install an mSATA SSD to either user as a boot drive or to take advantage of Intel’s Smart Response technology. If you choose to not use the mSATA port you can also connect a mPCIe card like a wireless card. With the limited space on this board this is the perfect solution. Moving to the right you have an 8pin CPU power connection and two 4pin fan connectors (CPU_FAN, CPU_OPT).
Around the CPU socket you have your power delivery components. You will notice the 10k black metallic capacitors. These offer a 5x longer lifespan and 20% cooler performance. The Maximus V Gene features an 8+4+2 all digital power delivery system. That is 8 phases for the CPU, 4 for the iGPU and 2 for the memory. This is all controlled by dual DIGI+ controllers for the most precise control of power delivery. ASUS has also added new built in power profiles that make the management of DIGI+ Power Design more accessible for all users regardless whether
the users would like to allow better OC or power saving. The power delivery components are cooled by 2 large heatsinks that are connected by a heatpipe.
Moving over to the right side of the board you have your memory slots. They are color coded which will show you the proper dual channel memory operation. This board supports dual channel memory up to 32GB with speeds of 2666MHz (OC). On the far right of the board you will notice a bunch of contact points. This is ASUS’s ProbeIt. Using a multimeter you can monitor voltages for DRAM, VCORE, etc from these points. This is a small red button, this button actually serves 2 functions. During boot up if you press it, it acts as the MemOK! button making sure your system boots even if you have the wrong memory settings. If you are already in your OS you can press the button to instantly overclock your system (the overclocking settings are set in your BIOS). Next to that button is your 24pin ATX power connection and the USB 3.0 header. Moving down to the SATA ports you have a total of 6. The black ports are SATA 3GB/s and are controlled by the Z77 chipset. The red ports are SATA 6GB/s. 2 are controlled by the Z77 chipset and 2 are controlled by the ASMedia controller.
Moving down to the bottom of the board there are quite a few different connections and buttons. Starting from right to left you have the debug LED, Q-connector header, 4pin fan connector, two USB 2.0 headers, thunderbolt header, power and reset buttons and HD audio headers. The debug LED is great on any motherboard. If you system is failing boot you can see what is being displayed on the debug LED. From there you can lookup the code and see what is causing the system to not boot. I love seeing power and reset buttons on a motherboard. Many times people do not have their motherboard inside of a case and having the power and reset buttons right on the board makes things so much easier. The PCH on the bottom right side of the board is covered by a large heatsink that has the ASUS ROG logo on it.
On the far left of the board you will see a SupremeFX III chip. This is something gamers are really going to enjoy because of course audio is very important in gaming. The SupremeFX III features support for X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity, THX TruStudio PRO, EAX Advanced HD 5.0 and Creative ALchemy. One big problem with having built-in audio on motherboards has been vulnerable sound quality because of electromagnetic interference. ASUS solves this problem by actually cutting the PCB into two parts to completely isolate the audio parts from the rest of the board. The open section of the board actually lights up red, which actually looks pretty cool. You are able to turn the lights off if you choose in the BIOS.
As far as expansion slots go you have two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots which support quad CrossFire and quad SLI. You also have a single PCIe 2.0 x4 slot. Moving on to the connections on the motherboard starting from left to right you have the BIOS flashback button, ROG connect button, four USB 2.0 ports, eSATA port, two USB 3.0 ports, optical SPDI/F port, HDMI port, DisplayPort, Intel Gigabit Ethernet port, two more USB 3.0 ports, and the audio connections. The BIOS flashback button allows you to easily update your BIOS. Just load your BIOS file on a USB flash drive and install it in the white USB 2.0 port, power on the system and hit the button and it will instantly update your BIOS.