ASUS Maximus II GENE P45 mATX Motherboard Review
Manufacturer's Part Number: Maximus II GENE
Manufacturer's Product Page: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
Warranty: 3 year limited warranty
All the way back in February, ASUS introduced the world to the latest addition to the Republic of Gamer (RoG) family of motherboards in form of the GENE series. The first model to be announced and released was the Rampage II GENE, an Intel X58-based microATX model that we had an opportunity to review a few weeks ago. In mid-April, the second model in the series was revealed to be the Maximus II GENE, an LGA775 motherboard which sports the mainstream P45 chipset and is also based on the compact mATX form factor. This is the board we will reviewing for you today.
The Maximus II GENE is targeting case modders, LAN gamers, and just about anyone who enjoys having a more compact system but who doesn't want to give up anything in the form of performance, multi-GPU support, overclocking, etc. Let's face the facts, aside from the DFI Lanparty JR P45-T2RS, all microATX motherboards on the market are quite boring, budget-oriented models with very little appeal to those who want compact but high-performance systems. The MIIG, as we will occasionally refer to it, certainly does come packed to the gills for an mATX board, featuring two physical PCI-E x16 2.0 (8x electrical) slots, one PCI-E x1 slot, one PCI slot, seven SATA-II ports, one Gigabit LAN port, six USB 2.0 ports, eSATA and FireWire connectivity, an 8-channel HD SupremeFX X-Fi audio codec, diagnostic LEDs, onboard power/reset buttons, a heatpipe cooling system, etc.
What really distinguishes the Maximus II GENE from almost every other LGA775 mATX on the market is CrossFireX capability, an 8-phase PWM for the CPU, dual-channel DDR2-1300 support, an overclocking-oriented BIOS, Loadline Calibration (LLC), and TweakIt LCD Poster. That is not even mentioning the wide range of proprietary ASUS features like CPU Level Up and MemOK! and worthwhile software tools like PC Probe II and TurboV. Clearly, on paper everything is in place for this to be the best microATX motherboard on the market for the enthusiast crowd. Can it live up to these lofty expectations? Let's find out!