ASUS Maximus II Gene Intel P45 mATX Motherboard Review

Conclusions

[ad#review977-top]As in the rest of the testing, the Maximus II Gene allowed the CPU overclock to show distinct gains, even in some tests that don’t always show better numbers with merely a CPU overclock. I was very satisfied with all testing results.

Looking around at other LGA 775 mATX motherboards, I just don’t see any that I could consider an upper-end board. Most have onboard graphics, with Q35, G45, Q45, geForce 9300 or geForce 9400 chipsets. There are a few P45 mATX boards out there, but nothing I’d consider really special…or to be more precise.nothing that I’d want.

The Asus Maximus II Gene is a full-featured motherboard belying its small size. I feel that it would be a superb board for any application, definitely not the compromise that you normally would find in an mATX board. There are no compromises here, this is an Asus ROG motherboard in all respects. It utilizes the full capabilities of the P45 chipset, even providing CrossFireX support. Actually, I found myself forgetting that this is an mATX board during the testing.

As in most motherboards, especially upper-end ones, there are too many features here to explore. The Maximus II Gene has all of Asus’ latest ROG niceties, including TweakIt, iROG, and MemOk!, along with. Find out more about these at Asus’ website.

There is something here for everyone, but especially the overclocker and gamer. For the overclocker, besides having a BIOS with a full range of overclocking tweaks, the board itself proved to be an excellent overclocker, taking my E8400 to its highest overclock yet, and I didn’t even explore the limits. For the gamer, besides CrossFireX, the Maximus II Gene sports full-blown Creative X-Fi. No need to shell out extra cash for that SB card, it’s built right in. And don’t forget the high LANability of an mATX rig.

I found nothing whatsoever to dislike about this motherboard. I suppose that a few may have issues with the unavailability of the PCI slots when running a pair of dual-slot video cards, but the onboard X-Fi eliminates most gamer’s need for a PCI slot. When was the last time you had an mATX motherboard that would support a pair of dual-slot video cards anyway?

The Asus Maximus II Gene isn’t yet available in the states. Its big brother, the Rampage II Gene, an ROG i7/X58 mATX motherboard runs $250. I’m assuming that the Maximus II Gene will run somewhere in the $200 range, but I’m just guessing. ThinkComputers.org gives the Asus Maximus II Gene P45 mATX motherboard a 10 out of 10 score.

Pros:

– Full-featured ROG motherboard in an mATX form factor
– With CrossFireX and onboard X-Fi, a gamer’s dream
– Excellent overclocker

Cons:

– Limited availability

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