ASUS Maximus II GENE mATX Motherboard


ASUS Maximus II GENEThe ASUS Maximus II GENE may be small, but it certainly packs a punch. Although it's been almost a year since we last reviewed a Socket 775 motherboard here on Overclock3D, the return to this old favourite was certainly a pleasant one and showed that it is still is a very capable platform when coupled with the right CPU and copious amounts of overclocking.
Thankfully this is also one area that the Maximus II Gene excels. Using nothing more than an off-the-shelf E8400, the board broke the 4GHz barrier with ease. In fact, aside from a manual increase of the FSB getting to this stage required almost no manual labour with all of the BIOS options set to [AUTO] and the Maximus managing items such as the dividers and voltage completely on its own. Only when we wanted to take things one step further was some manual tweaking involved, which once again proved fruitful with a maximum overclock of 4.3GHz.
Maximum FSB results were also very favourable with the Maximus hitting 530MHz with only minor tweaking. The board did feel like it was capable of so much more, but unfortunately the stubborn 1066MHz DDR2 kit used for the testing hindered these results and active cooling on the Northbridge would have also been required.
But it's not all about the overclocking. Although this is one area that the Maximus II GENE is clearly at home, credit has to be given to the ASUS designers for cramming all the features of a full-fat ATX motherboard in a standard mATX form factor. As mentioned in the Rampage II GENE review, this opens a world of opportunities for small-yet-powerful PC systems with LAN rigs and gaming HTPC's being just two of the possibilities.
Other features such as the on-board power switches, modular Northbridge cooling, on-board X-Fi and the insanely comprehensive BIOS are also more than worthy of mention, as is the excellent packaging and reasonable bundle that ASUS are quickly becoming renowned for. In short, mATX has been re-invented and the ASUS Maximus II GENE is at the forefront of the revolution.
The Good
- All the features of an ATX motherboard (and more).
- Layout not too cramped. Plenty of room for large coolers.
- Extremely capable at overclocking.
- On-board X-Fi sound.
- Usual ASUS RoG attention to detail in the looks and packaging.
- Fully featured BIOS.
- LGA775 platform for those who aren't willing to re-mortgage for LGA1366.
The Mediocre
- Passive cooling will only get you so far.
The Bad
- Absolutely nothing.
Editors Choice AwardGamers Choice Award
Thanks to ASUS for sending the Maximus II GENE in for review. Discuss this review in our forums
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Most Recent Comments

29-07-2009, 11:15:15

"They say that size doesn't matter, It's what you do with it that counts. But will ASUS's latest mATX motherboard - the Maximus II GENE hit all the right spots? Read on to find out.."

ASUS Maximus II GENE mATX MotherboardQuote

29-07-2009, 11:42:15

wow that was weird i was just looking at this board on scan thinking about getting one, thanks for teh review Quote

29-07-2009, 11:54:35

No probs. TBH I REALLY like this board. SO much I'm tempted to buy one and build an 'uber htpc'.Quote

29-07-2009, 11:55:48

lololol just what im thinking mate,and also what shal i do? either wait for a p55 matx board or just get this one?Quote

29-07-2009, 12:01:17

Jim, you have officially ruined my plan for payday.

Great review, looks to be an awesome board!Quote

29-07-2009, 14:59:33

wow - I didn't realise this one was coming out!

It looks a lot better (aesthetically) than the DFI equivalent, so I may well get one.

Thanks for the brilliant review Jim!


29-07-2009, 15:13:59

This thing has my name written all over it.

Gonna get this thing as soon as possible.Quote

29-07-2009, 15:46:37

775 just refuses to go away.

And with good cause !

Great stuff.Quote

29-07-2009, 19:27:04

Gr8 review, was lookin at a mATX board for a htpc build around christmas. Quote

30-07-2009, 02:43:08

Cheers for the feedback guys. Have to say that playing with S775 again rekindled an old flame for me.

Ghost: Just noticed your Q. Bit hard to say without being able to say much about the P55, but I think it's going to all lay in the overclocking. Some say the i5 chips will be crap overclockers because Intel will have learned from their i7 920 'mistake', but I personally don't know.Quote

30-07-2009, 15:05:20

I reckon i5 will be just as good tbh. All this clap trap about intel making a 'mistake' with i7's makes me cry. Iirc, P4s clocked well, core2's as did the c2q's not to mention the revised 45nm versons. Why would Intel suddenly start limiting thier chips? If anything I can see i5 being what wolfdale was to yorkfield - faster speeds, just a little less grunt.

Personally I'm looking forward to i9 and 6 core optys. Competition is deffo hotting up.Quote

30-07-2009, 16:30:10

Time will come ofc, where they will (both camps) remove all the tweakage in the name of "being green".

(smoke screen for, "if u want faster, pay more money" - prices we can now fix)Quote

01-08-2009, 09:42:47

picking up this board tommorow from ccl got a q9650 on the way from ebay aswell it shal be epic!Quote

01-08-2009, 09:51:00

Originally Posted by name='Ghosthud1'
picking up this board tommorow from ccl got a q9650 on the way from ebay aswell it shal be epic!
Awesome dude!

Pix of course and OC screenies ;PQuote

01-08-2009, 10:19:12

pix will come ofc, the board is just pure eye candy and hopefully this ocz vendetta will hold out and fit in the case....Quote

02-08-2009, 08:06:42

dern dern dernnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

will get beauty shots once my e5200, e8500 and q9650 arrive in the post overclocking madness anyone?!!?

ohh and thanks OC3D for the review you just drained my walletQuote

02-08-2009, 15:19:30

Originally Posted by name='Ghosthud1'

ohh and thanks OC3D for the review you just drained my wallet
Its only paper....look what you got in return Quote

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