ASUS Maximus III Gene
The ASUS Maximus III Gene is a showstopper for a micro-ATX motherboard. For lack of a better description, it’s essentially a Maximus III Formula that’s removed a couple expansions slots to fit the smaller form factor. The aesthetics are very similar, the BIOS is almost identical, and the performance is just about the same as well, with the Gene only slightly behind the Formula in terms of overclocking potential. Similar to the base model Porsche 911 instead off the Turbo, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. ASUS has done a fine job here implementing the renowned RoG features and quality into a smaller package. The Maximus III Gene brings an abundance of features, ease of use, stability, overclockability, innovation, and quality to market, proving that a micro-ATX motherboard needn’t be sub-par or frowned upon.
This board packs some amazing features, but what is perhaps the most impressive advancement is the combination of Auto Overclocking and external tweaking ability through the ASUS TurboV EVO, BIOS OC Tuner, and RoG Connect features. For novice overclockers who may be hesitant or overwhelmed by the abundance of settings, the Auto Tuning (whether through Windows or BIOS) features are simply top-notch, providing a huge jump in performance with rock solid stability. Achieving a 1GHz overclock for 30 seconds worth of work is nothing short of outstanding.
In terms of usability and stability, the Maximus III Gene is rock solid. The Auto Tuning utilities easily ran through stress tests, and manual overclocking resulted in very impressive numbers for a micro-ATX board. If you don’t want to tweak much in the BIOS, then just set your bus and RAM speed and then let the Auto settings take care of the rest; it really is that easy with Gene, and you’ll have your friends convinced you’re a seasoned overclocking veteran when you achieve a 1GHz improvement in no time flat. Should you decide to push things, however, a failed overclock recovers nicely here as well, and the GO button is very handy for the more experienced users who push things to the limit.
In terms of price, this is really the only detraction on the Gene. ASUS Republic of Gamer products are not known to be cheap, so you will pay top dollar but you do get a top board as a result. Priced at $200 USD, the Maximus III Gene is the most expensive m-ATX LGA1156 board on the block, rivalling even several full-sized ATX boards offered by other manufacturers. But those other boards also don’t offer the extensive and innovative features such as TurboV EVO, OC Tuner, RoG Connect, and licensed X-Fi audio that the Gene has, not to mention excellent performance and overclocking for an m-ATX motherboard.
If you look at this as an investment, however, then the price premium is very small when you consider the lifespan of a system, and it’s a pittance when you factor in the cost of the other components in your build. So is the extra cost worth it here? Most definitely. The ASUS Maximus III Gene is an excellent motherboard, putting many full-sized ATX competitors to shame, but coming in a micro-ATX format to boot, proving that good things do come in small packages.
ASUS Maximus III Gene
Our thanks go to ASUS for providing the Maximus III Gene for this review.