Previous Republic of Gamers motherboards have never failed to impress in the BIOS department and ASUS seeming to have to have the combination of just enough options for the pro, yet not overwhelming for the novice down to a fine art. The Maximus II Gene certainly gets a good start by using the familiar Phoenix BIOS layout which has fast become most enthusiasts favourite over the slightly dated AWARD BIOS used by some other manufacturers.
Today we're going to focus mostly on the Extreme Tweaker section which is where all of the overclocking happens, but you can rest assured that the remainder of the BIOS contains all of the usual options for enabling/disabling board features, configuring boot sequences and configuring SATA devices.
The very first option at the top of the page is "Tuning Mode". This essentially allows you to set the amount of visible options on the rest of the Extreme Tweaker page. Opting for "Gaming" only provides the basic options for overclocking, with all of the more advanced options hidden away and automatically set by the BIOS, whereas Extreme OC (as you've probably already guessed) shows the full list of options in all of their glory.
If you happen to be after a quick overclock and don't really feel like setting any of the options yourself, then CPU Level Up is the place to be. The BIOS correctly detected our chip (E8400) and provided a list of faster CPU's in the same product range to effectively level up our CPU to. Similarly, if you was to have an Q8200 chip in your system, the options here would be along the lines of Q8400, Q8600...etc.
As you'd expect, the Maximus II Gene also provides a decent amount of memory ratio options going all the way up to DDR2-1335MHz (we wish). These will certainly come in handy later on in the review when we test out the maximum OC and maximum FSB capabilities of the board.
Voltage options are borderline suicidal in most cases with the CPU voltage going all the way up to a silicon sizzling 2.4v and DRAM options up to a chip frying 3.4v. A great feature of this particular BIOS is that it shows you both the current voltages and temperatures on the same screen. This makes it extremely easy to work out how much further you can push the CPU or other components without having to switch to another area of the BIOS to check these values.
Of course, should you want to see a list of all voltages and temperatures in one place, a more comprehensive list can be found under the "Power" section of the BIOS. Once again there's no cutting corners with ASUS monitoring everything from CPU voltage to Southbridge Voltage and the same in the Temperature section too. Up to four fan speeds can also be monitored and controlled from this section of the BIOS.