What's new
  • Please do not post any links until you have 3 posts as they will automatically be rejected to prevent SPAM. Many words are also blocked due to being used in SPAM Messages. Thanks!

ASUS Maximus VIII Gene Motherboard Review

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
Closer Look at USB 3.1

Closer Look at USB 3.1



The easiest way to start to describe what has changed with USB 3.1 standard is to start with what has been carried over from previous generations. First and foremost Type A and Type B connectors are still around and a USB 3.1 Type A port is identical to a USB 3.0 Type A port. The same holds true for Type B ports. That is to say both are physically the same as their USB 3.0 predecessor.

This in turn means that USB 3.1 is based upon a 4 data lane configuration - just as USB 3.0 was. More importantly, USB 3.1 Type A and Type B ports are fully backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices - they just will not work at USB 3.1 speeds.


This backwards compatibility was done on purpose. USB 3.1 does indeed represent a new direction and approach for the USB standard but USB-IF wanted consumers of existing devices to not worry about compatibility. Unlike Apple who threw their existing user-base under the bus numerous times, if your device works with USB 3.0 Type A or Type B ports it will fully connect and work via USB 3.1 Type A or B. More importantly consumers should notice almost no differences between connecting them via USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 controllers and ports.

For this reason, USB Type A and Type B ports will still be a part of the computing landscape and in all likelihood Type A's will still be the de-facto standard ports found on motherboards for the foreseeable future. We will see some of the new 'Type C' ports on motherboards but Type A will be the most common - just as when USB 3.0 was released and motherboards came with 2.0 and 3.0 ports, expect both A and C type USB 3.1 ports to co-exist.


This backwards compatibility and physical layout is nearly the grand total of what has been carried over to the next generation 'SuperSpeed Plus' USB standard. In fact, if it was not for backwards compatibility USB 3.1 in all likelihood would not have even exhibited this amount in common with its predecessors. We will get to the new Type C connector later but even excluding this new connector type USB 3.1 is an entirely new breed of USB built on a completely new foundation.


In some ways USB 3.1 is actually a return the original USB founders’ goal of replacing as many different and competing standards as possible. In the 1990s this meant simply being 'plug and play' via one all-encompassing USB driver set. Now the landscape is very different and in order to replace everything from HDMI to ThunderBolt and even power ports requires a new way of doing things.

With this in mind, the USB-IF started by changing the very encoding scheme USB uses. In the past USB generations, 8-bit data chunks would be encoded into 10-bit symbols and then passed over the USB interface, then at the other end of the connection this 10-bit encoding would then be decoded into the original 8-bits. The extra 2-bits of data was the sum total of the Error-Correcting Code (ECC) and this amounted to a twenty percent overhead packet loss, thus reducing speeds even further.

With USB 3.1, the USB-IF has moved to a new and highly sophisticated encoding scheme they have dubbed Gen X. The Gen X scheme does things differently and is best compared to how Ethernet transmits data. Much like your wireless Ethernet connection, USB 3.1 packets are much, much larger. Instead of USB 3.0's 10-bit packet that has only 8-bits of data, USB 3.1 sends data packets that contain 128 bits of data. Also like Ethernet, USB 3.1 uses a 'header' that contains the ECC for each packet as well as the instructions for what is inside the packet. This 4 bits of data also has an Error Correction Code built into itself and can be reassembled as long as at least 3 bits are intact.

Obviously this 4+1 ECC is much more advanced than the original 2-bit ECC used in USB 3.0, but also allows USB 3.1 to boast an theoretical overhead of only 3%. This increase in packet size, in-conjunction with better ECC, is precisely how the USB-IF was able to push theoretical maximum speed from 5Gbit/s to 10GBits/s, even though USB 3.1 uses the same 4 data lanes that was first introduced in USB 3.0 specification.


Bulk Only Transport (BoT) Protocol has also been updated and improved. The Bulk Transport protocol is a specific mode meant solely for transporting large amounts of data over USB. Nearly every motherboard gives their take on BoT implementation a different name, but ASUS uses the apt description of 'Turbo Mode'. When enabled, different software drivers are used for USB file transfer. These drivers allow a USB connection to consume as much bandwidth as it can, with little regards for other devices attached, and use greatly increased packet sized. For best results BoT should be used on a clear USB channel with no other devices attached to it.

In previous generations BoT did improve performance somewhat but the end result was extremely variable. In order to improve upon USB 3.0 BoT performance, USB 3.1 not only adds in SCSI command support - to reduce delays between command phases - but also adds in a caching element in which the controller uses a portion of its onboard cache for BoT I/O's. Unfortunately, Command Queuing is still absent and the I/O requests are processed in the order they are received, just as with USB 3.0. As such it is best to only transfer one file at a time using Turbo Mode, otherwise overall performance will suffer.

Interestingly, ASUS' next generation Turbo Mode also supports standard SCSI commands over USB and not just for USB attached SCSI devices (UASP). This is an important feature as next generation Solid State controllers are starting to include SCSI command capabilities, and as such ASUS motherboards may in fact provide improved performance over competitors' models in the future.


A doubling in the performance department is certainly impressive, but sheer speed is only one of the improvements the USB-IF is counting on to eliminate the competition. Up until USB 3.1, a USB port and USB cable could really only be used to transmit USB encoded data. For example, if a consumer wanted to add an external monitor to their system they either had to use a built-in controller and port, or they would have had to purchase USB based external display adapter and controller and use it between the monitor and the computer. USB 3.1 eliminates the need for specialized ports and external 'adapters' - be they displaybased, Ethernet, or other. Instead, monitor outputs, Ethernet cables, and nearly every other connector found on the typical desktop, laptop, and hand held computer can be used via the USB 3.1 port.

USB 3.1 is able to boast such impressive abilities due to a new addition to the actual USB standard. Since USB 3.1 already uses a header for their data packets it was relatively simple to encode in an additional code to tell the 'other end' of the connection that a given packet was not encoded via the USB standard but instead was encoded via some other standard. For example if the header states a given packet is encoded using the DisplayPort standard, the client side of the connection will treat it as an audio/visual package - just as if it was sent via a DisplayPort connector and cable. This new mode is aptly called 'alternate mode' and it can be used on any - or all - of the four data lanes at any given time.


If we use the same display output analogy as above, a compatible monitor both receive audio and video via a single USB 3.1 cable while it is also being used as a USB 3.1/3.0/2.0 hub with a keyboard, mouse, printer, etc also connected to this one cable. Alternately if you use a HDMI to USB adapter cable monitors with 'just' an HDMI port can still use a single cable to connect to the computer - as long as the monitor supports the Mobile High-Definition Link standard.

At this time the DisplayPort and Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) Consortium have already agreed to their perspective standard being used via USB. Meanwhile Ethernet and even PCIe governing bodies are in talks with the USB-IF. For laptop and tablet users, once the "Media Agnostic USB specification and protocol" is finalized, future portable devices may look a great deal sleeker with drastically fewer port types.


Being able to provide audio and visual data via USB is in and of itself very, very interesting, but on its own would have proven to be of limited use for laptops, tablets and other portable devices. To this end, the USB-IF also increased the USB Power Delivery standard.

In previous generations, USB Power Delivery Protocol was limited to a maximum of 5 amps at 5 volts, or 25 watts total. With USB 3.1 this has been increased to a maximum 5amps at 20 volts - or a whopping 100 watts. In theory this means one USB 3.1 port could be used as a power-in port on UltraBook while another is used to power external devices such as monitors, external storage arrays, or even printers.

There has been some confusion regards this new Power Delivery standard and it is not directly tied to the new Type-C port, rather it is tied to the controllers connected to the port and the cables themselves. What this means is that while we could in theory see Type A ports sporting 100 watt capabilities this is unlikely due to their backwards compatibility; using a standard Type A cable would result in a fire hazard with such a massive increase in power flow. Instead 100 watt connections will most likely be reserved for Type-C ports, and Type-C cables. Even then -thanks the auto negotiation chips in the client controller and host controller, not every Type-C cable will be 'allowed' to handle 100 watts of power.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
Hardware Installation

Hardware Installation


In order to test how different hardware combinations will fit onto the Maximus VIII Gene, we installed a Noctua NH-U12S, an 8GB dual channel kit of G.Skill DDR4-3600 RipJaws V memory, and an MSI R7 370 Gaming 2 video card.


As we have stated earlier in the review it really is as if ASUS cut out the Maximus VIII Hero's CPU and RAM area and transplanted it to the Maximus VIII Gene. We say this as this motherboard really does have the same strengths and weakness as the Maximus VIII Hero. In other words it is fairly user-friendly and only has a few installation issues worth going over.

For most users interested in mATX motherboards the cooling solution of choice will be a sealed All-In-One water cooler but this board does a really decent job at accommodating standard heatsinks as well. If you do opt for air cooling, we do recommend a narrow profile tower rather than a massive affair. Opting for something like the Noctua U12S means folks won’t have any RAM installation issues to work around.


Of course, if you have an odd sense of humor and wish to mount a massive D14 or D15 on to this small motherboard you are going to have a bad day. By that same token, such coolers have no business on smaller form-factor motherboards and arguably don’t even belong on the typical consumer's ATX motherboard either. Basically when going with mega-sized air cooler buyers will need to go with standard height RAM, and expect to have to uninstall the CPU cooler before being able to access the memory modules.


It is worth noting that this motherboard may not have any issues with memory and 'normal' sized air coolers, but that is not the same as saying there is enough room for an active cooling device for your RAM. If you truly believe that your modules need active air movement to prevent cooking themselves, you will have to look towards water cooling or utilize the stock Intel heatsink.


This may be a small motherboard but there is plenty of room between the VRM heatsinks and the CPU socket area to install most cooling solutions without being a contortionist.


With all that being said, using a liquid-based cooling solution is even easier, and even more user-friendly. While it is impossible to state that every single waterblock ever created will fit on this motherboard, what we can say is that our XSPC RayStorm didn’t create any issues. There was plenty of room between the VRM heatsinks and the block, and the four DIMMS and the waterblock. This is also true of our AIOs as they also installed without any major issues worth noting.


As alluded to earlier, there are a few issues that users will have to work around regardless of whether they choose for air or water cooling. These are mainly a direct result of the smaller form-factor, but they still have to be taken into account before deciding on whether or not to purchase this motherboard.

The first issue is the most minor, and will only impact a small subset of 'Gene users. Basically, by opting to place the M.2 drive in between the two main PCIe x16 slots users will have to first remove their main video card from the system if they want to actually use that M.2 port.


For anyone interested in only using one video card, you can technically ignore the first PCIe 3.0 x16 slot and use the bottommost slot. This however is suboptimal as the card will then be covering the x4 PCIe slot and possibly even the bottom row of buttons. Needless to say this should be avoided.

Those who should take this hit and use the bottom PCIe 3.0 x16 slot are users either interested in SLI/Crossfire configurations, or anyone who wants to use a Hyper Kit adapter with the M.2 port. The latter group of people will be unable to use a video card in the top port as these M2 to U.2 'Hyper Kit' adapters are too tall to sit underneath a video card and simply make SLI/CrossFire impossible. Considering the number of U.2 form-factor SSDs is rather limited right now, this is not a huge concern.


The same can be said of the SATA and SATA Express ports. Yes they are going to be covered to some extent by most video cards, but as long as you plug in your SATA cables first it is not a major issue. On the other hand, we truly disliked the fan header layout of this board and the only positive thing we have to say is that at least the water pump 4-pin fan header is in a more sensible location.


Basically we dislike the idea of having plastic or cloth braided cables touching heatsinks that can get hot during extended usage. More importantly, in the short term accessing the two dedicated CPU 4-pin fan headers is a bloody nuisance if this motherboard is used in a case. This is especially true when you consider the typical mATX case is….space challenged. Simply accessing these crucial ports will take effort and maybe even a pair of needle nose plyers.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
Test System & Testing Methodology

Test System & Testing Methodology


To full test the built in overclocking abilities of a given motherboard, we have broken down testing into multiple categories:

Stock Turbo Boost - To represent a 6770K at stock with turbo enabled.

5-Way Software OC - To represent a RoG Gene at best proven stable overclock achieved via included software based overclocking (4.7GHz).

Manual OC –To represent an experienced overclocker that is looking for the optimal long term overclock to maximize system performance while keeping voltage and temperatures in check (4.8GHz).

We chose benchmark suites that included 2D benchmarks, 3D benchmarks, and games; and then tested each overclocking method individually to see how the performance would compare.

The full list of the applications that we utilized in our benchmarking suite:

3DMark 8
3DMark 2013 Professional Edition
AIDA64 Extreme Edition
Cinebench R11.5 64-bit
SiSoft Sandra 2013.SP4
SuperPI Mod 1.5mod
RightMark Audio Analyzer 6.2.5
Sleeping Dogs Gaming Benchmark
Metro: Last Light Gaming Benchmark
Tomb Raider
BioShock Infinite


Instead of LinX or P95, the main stability test used was the AIDA64 stability. AIDA64 has an advantage as it has been updated for the Haswell architecture and tests specific functions like AES, AVX, and other instruction sets that some other stress tests do not touch. After the AIDA64 stability test was stable, we ran 2 runs of SuperPI and 2 runs of 3DMark to test memory and 3D stability. Once an overclock passed these tests, we ran the full benchmark suite and then this is the point deemed as “stable” for the purposes of this review.

To ensure consistent results, a fresh installation of Windows 8.1 was installed with latest chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) from the manufactures website. The BIOS used for overclocking and benchmarking was version 1301 and the Nvidia drivers used were version 332.21.

<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:EnableOpenTypeKerning/> <w:DontFlipMirrorIndents/> <w:OverrideTableStyleHps/> </w:Compatibility> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="--"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="true" DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99" LatentStyleCount="267"> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 9"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 9"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="35" QFormat="true" Name="caption"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" Name="Default Paragraph Font"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Placeholder Text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Revision"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="34" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="29" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:15.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:14.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} </style> <![endif]-->


Our test setup consists of an Intel Haswell 6770K, ASUS RoG Gene motherboard, one NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 video card, 8GB GSkill RipJaws V DDR4-3600 1.35v memory, a Intel 335 180GB SSD, and a WD Black 1TB. All this is powered by an EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 1000 watt PSU.

For cooling we used a Corsair H110i AIO w/ four 140mm fans attached. For hardware installation testing we also used a Noctua NH-U12S and a XSPC Raystorm waterblock.

Complete Test System:

Processor: Intel i7 6770K ES
Memory: 8GB GSkill RipJaws V DDR4-3600
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780
Hard Drive: 1x 180GB Intel 335 SSD. Western Digial Black 1TB.
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2
CPU Cooler: Corsair H110i AIO

Special thanks to EVGA for their support and supplying the SuperNOVA 1000 P2.
Special thanks to G.Skill for their support and supplying the RipJaws V RAM.
Special thanks to NVIDIA for their support and supplying the GTX 780
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
Feature Testing: Onboard Audio and USB 3.1 Performance

Feature Testing: Onboard Audio


<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/noise.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/thd.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/tr.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

These results just show that mATX motherboards can come with just as good, and sometimes better, audio solutions as large ATX motherboards. To be perfectly clear these results are bloody marvelous and when you mix in the additional gaming related features that the ASUS software has to offer the Maximus VIII Gene becomes one potent portable PC gaming platform.


Feature Testing: USB 3.1 Performance


For the USB 3.1 device we have used an Asus USB 3.1 enclosure which uses a pair of Samsung 840 EVO 250GB drives, and is powered by an ASMedia ASM1352R chipset.

Crystal DiskMark


<i>Crystal DiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your drives. Currently, the program allows to measure sequential and random read/write speeds; and allows you to set the number of tests iterations to run. We left the number of tests at 5 and size at 100MB. </i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/cdm_w.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/cdm_r.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

Real World Data Transfers


<i>No matter how good a synthetic benchmark like IOMeter or PCMark is, it cannot really tell you how your hard drive will perform in “real world” situations. All of us here at Hardware Canucks strive to give you the best, most complete picture of a review item’s true capabilities and to this end we will be running timed data transfers to give you a general idea of how its performance relates to real life use. To help replicate worse case scenarios we will transfer a 10.00GB contiguous file and a folder containing 400 subfolders with a total 12,000 files varying in length from 200mb to 100kb (10.00 GB total).

Testing will include transfer to and transferring from the devices, using MS RichCopy and logging the performance of the drive. Here is what we found. </i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/copy_lg.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/copy_sm.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

Because we use the exact same USB 3.1 controller, and has access to the exact same RAM (at the same speed), and exact same CPU, it comes as no surprise to see that these numbers are basically the same as what you would find with a Maximus VIII Hero, Deluxe, or any other high end ASUS Z170 motherboard. In other words you would be hard pressed to tell that the connected USB 3.1 storage device is an <i>external</i> storage device and not a <i>internal</i> one. This is especially true when you implement USB 3.1 Boost and deal with large sequential file transfers.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
Feature Testing: Software Auto-Overclocking

Feature Testing: Software Auto-Overclocking


Just like all the other ASUS Z170 motherboards we have recently looked at, the Gene boasts numerous ways to automatically overclock your system. These options differ in how they go about achieving a stable overclock, and also differ in the results they can offer, but the major options do share one thing in common: ease of use. It is so easy to overclock this motherboard that not opting - at the very least - for the HotKey OC settings would be downright criminal.

To actually implement the easiest automatic overclocking option - HotKey OC - all that needs be done is hold down the Control key and the 'T' key at the same time during POST. This will tell the onboard TPU controller to implement its onboard overclock profile (TPU 1). The end result is the same as it would be on other ASUS Z170 motherboards which have a TPU switch on the motherboard which is set to the TPU 1 setting: it will instantly boost your 6700K to 4.3GHz on all four cores, nudge the UNcore up to 4.1GHz, and implement your RAM's onboard XMP profile. Since the Gene can actually handle DDR4-3600 or better speeds we didn’t run into any issues with this particular setting.


The down side to this option is that it is a factory hard set profile that will not take into consideration the abilities of your CPU, and your CPU cooling solution. As such, on the one hand it does use more voltage than needed to hit 4.3GHz (as ASUS has to ensure stability on all 6700K processors), but on the other can only boost the system by a relatively minor amount. In other words, it is better than nothing but the other options are more efficient and effective. On the positive side it takes seconds to implement, will not negatively impact the longevity of your system and is perfect for people who otherwise would have left the system at factory settings.

The other options are accessed via ASUS' AI Suite III program. Simply navigate to the 5-Way Optimization section, and either customize a few key settings to save some time, or simply press one button and enjoy an efficiently overclocked system. Honestly, the results that the AI Suite III can offer are impressive, and are arguably the best you will find on the market today.

While users certainly can leave all of AI Suite’s settings at their default state we do recommend increasing the stability testing to its maximum, turn on AVX stress testing, and turn on RAM stress testing. These changes will ensure that the final overclock is stable over the long term. However, the defaults are still adequate and certainly quicker - as doing it with our recommendations can take hours upon hours to complete.


In either case, the only real decision people will have to make is on whether they want to maximize multi-core performance or single core performance. The first is done via the ratio only overclocking option, and the second is via BCLK overclocking.

As with other ASUS motherboards that we have used with this particular 6700K, the program settled on a 4.7GHz overclock on all four cores, with unCore set to 4.1Ghz and the XMP profile is enacted on the DDR4 RAM (in our case DDR4-3600 speeds).

The second AI Suite option will result in a system that will boost one core all the way to 4.8Ghz, two cores to 4.7GHz, but only 4.6GHz when all four cores are active. For some scenarios this setup will actually be 'faster' than having all cores set to 4.7GHz. We prefer multi-core performance over single core and as such used the 4.7GHz ratio only overclock results for the testing on upcoming pages. You may feel the opposite is true, and there is no wrong answer. In either case these two options are very easy to implement and consumers can easily experiment with both to see which one is a better match for their needs.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
Manual Overclocking Results

Manual Overclocking Results


Even though the Maximus VIII Gene boasts an impressive list of automatic overclocking features, anyone who purchases this motherboard owes it to themselves to actually try at least a bit of manual overclocking. In our opinion, this board has a slight edge over the otherwise-perfect Maximus VIII Hero in this department.

On the RAM side of the equation we had absolutely no problems hitting the limits of our particular modules and likely the CPU's integrated memory controller. It really was as easy as picking from the rather long list of ratios listed and then changing a few timing settings. That was it. No bitching, no complaints, and absolutely zero issues when it came to pushing out some impressive DDR4-3644 speeds. Considering we have had larger ATX motherboards fall well short of that goal, the Gene did nothing but impress.

On the CPU side of the equation ASUS seems to have their power delivery system design dialed in and this board was every bit as stable and complaint-free when pushing higher than average voltages to the CPU. Sure, it uses an 8+2 phase subsystem but given the efficiency of Intel’s Skylake, we can’t see that being a limiting factor for anyone.

From a stability standpoint, it is extremely hard to find fault with what ASUS is offering here. The BIOS never got stuck into an infinite reboot loop and not once did we actually need to use the bounce back option it offers. That is quite confidence inspiring and is sure to make novice users a bit more willing to truly explore their system’s abilities. It this is freedom of fear which is the secret to learning the ins and outs of overclocking - as only through exploring, trying different things, and failing that a novice have confidence to push their components just a bit further.


With all of that being said, the Safe Boot and Retry buttons are a dream come true. Having a system hang so hard that you have to shut off the power manually is just a part of overclocking…and we have had too many BIOS corruptions over the years from just doing that we have lost count. Thanks to those two additions, most of those concerns can be safely brushed aside. Granted, neither is completely infallible but they can effectively be used as a safety net to get you out of a jam.

Hard locks and failed BIOS settings are just a fact of life with overclocking. There is always going to be a time that you forget to save the BIOS settings to a profile before trying it out. We have all been there and we have all had to clear the CMOS and start from scratch…while cursing our own stupidity. Thanks to that Safe Button, this motherboard has your back and will allow you to reboot the CMOS using the safe defaults (basically clearing the CMOS), but also keeping the settings you manually entered intact. Magic? Nope. Convenient? You bet.

With features like these backstopping a very capable motherboard leads to a huge reduction in stress and hassle when trying to explore the limits of your particular system. They also helped us edge past the automatic overclocking results and we were able to push all four cores to 4.8GHz, with an UNCore of 4.3GHz, and the RAM set to DDR4-3644 speeds.

This boosted system performance quite drastically and since it was downright fun discovering this untapped potential we really do recommend everyone at least try the manual overclocking features this board has to offer before going the software overclocking route. Or, at the very least, use the software to set a baseline and then go from there.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
System Benchmarks

System Benchmarks


In the System Benchmarks section we will show a number benchmark comparisons of the 6700K and motherboard using the stock speed (turbo enabled), 5-way Optimization (4.7GHz), and our manual overclock(4.8GHz). This will illustrate how much performance can be gained by the various overclocking options this board has to offer.

For reference the CPU speeds, memory speeds, memory timings, and UNcore speeds used for these tests are as follows:

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/result.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

SuperPI Benchmark


<i>SuperPi calculates the number of digits of PI in a pure 2D benchmark. For the purposes of this review, calculation to 32 million places will be used. RAM speed, RAM timings, CPU speed, L2 cache, and Operating System tweaks all effect the speed of the calculation, and this has been one of the most popular benchmarks among enthusiasts for several years.
SuperPi was originally written by Yasumasa Kanada in 1995 and was updated later by snq to support millisecond timing, cheat protection and checksum. The version used in these benchmarks, 1.5 is the official version supported by hwbot.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/pi.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

CINEBENCH R11.5


<i>CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation.

In this system benchmark section we will use the x64 Main Processor Performance (CPU) test scenario. The Main Processor Performance (CPU) test scenario uses all of the system's processing power to render a photorealistic 3D scene (from the viral "No Keyframes" animation by AixSponza). This scene makes use of various algorithms to stress all available processor cores. The test scene contains approximately 2,000 objects which in turn contain more than 300,000 polygons in total, and uses sharp and blurred reflections, area lights, shadows, procedural shaders, antialiasing, and much more. The result is displayed in points (pts). The higher the number, the faster your processor.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/cine.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

Sandra Processor Arithmetic & Processor Multi-Media Benchmarks


<i>SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. The software suite provides most of the information (including undocumented) users like to know about hardware, software, and other devices whether hardware or software. The name “Sandra” is a (girl) name of Greek origin that means "defender", "helper of mankind".

The software version used for these tests is SiSoftware Sandra 2015. In the 2015 version of Sandra, SiSoft has updated operating system support, added support for the latest CPUs, as well as added some new benchmarks to the testing suite. The benchmark used below is the Processor Arithmetic benchmark which shows how the processor handles arithmetic and floating point instructions. This test illustrates an important area of a computer’s speed.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/sis.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

PCMark 8 Benchmark


<i>Developed in partnership with Benchmark Development Program members Acer, AMD, Condusiv Technologies, Dell, HGST, HP, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Samsung, SanDisk, Seagate and Western Digital, PCMark 8 is the latest version in FutureMark’s popular series of PC benchmarking tools. Improving on previous releases, PCMark 8 includes new tests using popular applications from Adobe and Microsoft.

The test used in below is the PCMark 8 Home benchmark. This testing suite includes workloads that reflect common tasks for a typical home user such as for web browsing, writing, gaming, photo editing, and video chat. The results are combined to give a PCMark 8 Home score for the system.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/pcm8.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

AIDA64 Benchmark


<i>AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a diagnostic and benchmarking software suite for home users that provides a wide range of features to assist in overclocking, hardware error diagnosis, stress testing, and sensor monitoring. It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, and disk drives.

The benchmarks used in this review are the memory bandwidth and latency benchmarks. Memory bandwidth benchmarks (Memory Read, Memory Write, Memory Copy) measure the maximum achievable memory data transfer bandwidth. The code behind these benchmark methods are written in Assembly and they are extremely optimized for every popular AMD, Intel and VIA processor core variants by utilizing the appropriate x86/x64, x87, MMX, MMX+, 3DNow!, SSE, SSE2, SSE4.1, AVX, and AVX2 instruction set extension.

The Memory Latency benchmark measures the typical delay when the CPU reads data from system memory. Memory latency time means the penalty measured from the issuing of the read command until the data arrives to the integer registers of the CPU.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/aida.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/aida_lat.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
3D and Gaming Benchmarks

3D and Gaming Benchmarks


In the 3D and Gaming Benchmarks section we will show a number of benchmark comparisons of the 6700K and the motherboard using the stock speed (turbo enabled), highest stable software overclock of 4.7GHz and our manual overclock of 4.8GHz. This will illustrate how much performance can be gained by the various overclocking options this board has to offer.

For reference the CPU speeds, memory speeds, memory timings, and uncore speeds used for these tests are as follows:

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/result.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

3DMark Fire Strike Benchmark


<i>The latest version of 3DMark from FutureMark includes everything you need to benchmark everything from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks and home PCs, to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming desktops. And it's not just for Windows. With 3DMark you can compare your scores with Android and iOS devices too. It's the most powerful and flexible 3DMark we've ever created.

The test we are using in this review is Fire Strike with Extreme settings which is a DirectX 11 benchmark designed for high-performance gaming PCs. Fire Strike features real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/3dm.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

Sleeping Dogs Gaming Benchmark


<i>Sleeping Dogs is an open world action-adventure video game developed by United Front Games in conjunction with Square Enix London Studios and published by Square Enix, released on August 2012. Sleeping Dogs has a benchmark component to it that mimics game play and an average of four runs was taken.

The settings used in the testing below are the Extreme display settings and a resolution of 1920x1200. World density is set to extreme, high-res textures are enabled, and shadow resolution, shadow filtering, screen space ambient occlusion, and quality motion blur are all set to high.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/sd.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

Metro: Last Light Gaming Benchmark


<i>Metro: Last Light is a DX11 first-person shooter video game developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and published by Deep Silver released in May 2013. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and features action-oriented gameplay. The game has a benchmark component to it that mimics game play. Scene D6 was used and an average of four runs was taken.

The settings used in the testing below are Very High for quality and a resolution of 1920x1200. DirectX 11 is used, texture filtering is set to AF 16X, motion blur is normal, SSA and advanced physX turned on and tessellation is set to high.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/met.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

BioShock Infinite Gaming Benchmark


<i>BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter video game developed by Irrational Games, and published by 2K Games released in March 2013. The game has a benchmark component to it that mimics game play and an average of four runs was taken.

The settings used in the testing below are UltraDX11 for quality and a resolution of 1920x1200.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/bio.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>

Tomb Raider Gaming Benchmark


<i> Tomb Raider is an action-adventure video game. Published by Square Enix released in March 2013. The game has a benchmark component to it that mimics game play and an average of four runs was taken.

The settings used in the testing below are Ultimate default settings for quality, VSync disabled and a resolution of 1920x1200.</i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/tr.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AkG

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,274
Conclusion

Conclusion


ASUS’ Maximus VIII Gene proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that good things <I>can</i> come in small packages. It boasts features normally found on much more expensive boards, allows for some impressive overclocking feats and incorporates several elements that make overclocking more approachable for novices and veterans alike. If there was a motherboard that proves ASUS’ design team in on their game, it is this one.

On the connectivity front, the Gene could have fallen into the same trap so many other mATX boards have in the past: reduce the available storage ports in favor of unnecessary add-on features. While Intel’s Z170 chipset offers a broad range of I/O options, ASUS faced a challenge when it came to incorporating them into a limited space. They succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. For all but the most demanding of users, two SATA Express Ports, a single M.2 x4 slot, and six 6Gb/s SATA ports will be more than enough to satisfy storage needs. More importantly, that M.2 port has access to a quartet of PCI-E lanes and is thus compatible with ultra high performance next generation drives. Mix in USB 3.1 support and this board covers literally every option and mixes in a good amount of future-proofing as well.

Anyone interested in overclocking will be equally impressed with what this little powerhouse has to offer. In fact, its 10-phase voltage subsystem is every bit as good as ATX form-factored motherboards that we have recently seen. This robust all-digital VRM is more than capable of pushing your CPU to its limits and as we saw, it gave up nothing over larger and more expensive Z170 motherboards.

The software side of the coin is equally impressive and once again the combination of simple POST-based overclocking via HotKey OC and ASUS' award winning AI SUITE III is a winning one. Here too nothing was left on the table, making it obvious that ASUS wanted to offer the best possible combination of elements on a board that effectively fits into smaller cases. In fact, with a software overclock of 4.7GHz the Gene is right up there with the best we have seen from ANY motherboard manufacturer to date.

With its storage, connectivity and overclocking bases perfectly covered, the Maximus VIII Gene also caters extremely well to gamers. It’s very capable onboard audio solution is literally second to none in this class <i>and</i> the dual PCIe 3.0 x16 slots allow for a good amount of potential GPU performance. There’s no need to worry about trading performance for portability here.

Now with all that said this motherboard is not perfect and does have one major omission. For some reason ASUS hasn’t seen the need to include wireless Ethernet abilities with their mATX motherboards. They have to realize these small form-factor boards are tailor made for users who want a portable gaming system that also offers SLI and CrossFire capabilities.

While ASUS does include a PCIe x4 slot, its location means that using a secondary add-in card will force users to either forgo a second GPU or use one of the rare single-slot designs out there. Neither of these is an optimal solution. We have to wonder why ASUS includes their WiFi+Bluetooth module on their even smaller ITX boards yet not on an RoG-branded mATX product like this one.

All in all the ASUS Maximus VIII Gene is simply a wonderful mATX motherboard but one that may not be right for everyone looking for a compact, LAN-dominating motherboard. However, everyone else will appreciate the Gene’s combination of performance, overclocking abilities, excellent software, nearly-perfect BIOS and broad ranging I/O options. With the Z170 generation, ASUS has shown they are a good half generation ahead of the competition and this board further cements that perception.

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Motherboard/Maximus_VIII_Gene/dam_good.jpg" border="0" alt="" /> </div>
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top