ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z
As we’ve seen over the last couple of years, ASUS has been leading the way with innovative features and technologies, nost notably on their Republic of Gamer products. Indeed, the Maximus IV Gene-Z is proof of that, as it’s a rarity to see such premium features included on a micro-ATX motherboard.
There are a few impressive things in particular worth mentioning. The first is the Digi+ VRM power design works wonderfully with the fast-changing clocks of the Sandy Bridge processors, as power is available as soon as the load is applied. Couple this with the EPU feature and the on-demand Turbo clocking functionality, and we’re left with a speed demon of a setup that can also run rather frugally in terms of power consumption. If that’s not an impressive dichotomy, we don’t know what is.
Second, the UEFI BIOS found on ASUS boards, and ROG ones in particular, continue to impress us with their high degree of polish, extensive features, and stable Auto settings that minimize tweaking hassles for novice enthusiasts. Of all the manufacturers we’ve seen with a UEFI BIOS, ASUS is the clear leader.
The last thing that is perhaps the most impressive feature of all is the Auto Tuning feature. Coupled with a robust AI Suite II and TurboV EVO, the simple fact is the auto overclocking here is utterly outstanding. The reason why it’s so critical is because the performance increases nearly match what can be achieved with manual overclocking. It’s just that good. Finding the right combination of voltages, settings, and speeds is no longer necessary. Just a couple quick clicks of a mouse and you’ve got the maximum boost your CPU will allow. Couple this with the ROG Connect and other enthusiasts bells and whistles, and we’re left thinking that ASUS may have produced one of the very best micro-ATX boards out there for any platform.
Of course, such a bounty of features, quality, and performance normally doesn’t come cheap. ROG products cater to to the elite, so we typically see a very steep price tag. But in this instance, the Maximus IV Gene-Z costs about $170, which is an excellent deal for what you get. The micro-ATX form factor isn’t a hindrance here as may assume; you get the full features that are better than most full ATX board on the market for a lower cost.
The reality is the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z is the best micro-ATX Z68 board out there, and it’s arguably one of the very best micro boards on the market for any platform. It is that good. And considering the very reasonable price tag that comes with it, the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z is outstanding.
The Pure Point: Small in size and price, but massive in features and performance, the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z is peerless.