ASUS Maximus II GENE mATX Motherboard

Test Setup & Overclocking

Test Setup
Now the time comes when we have a little confession to make - We got rid of all of our S775 testing equipment! Yes, after almost a year of nothing but LGA1366 X58 motherboard reviews on Overclock3D it seemed like there was little point in holding on to our ageing Q6600 processors and other gear, especially when most manufacturers had also seemingly turned a blind eye to our old favourite. So when ASUS sent  us the Maximus II Gene our way the first words muttered were something along the lines of "oh nuts"!
However, after a quick trip to eBay and an email to our friends over at we managed to rustle up an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 "E0" CPU and a Buffalo FireStix DDR2-1066 4GB memory kit. Phew! Here's the full system specs used in today's review:
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 "E0" 3.0GHz
Asus mATX ROG Maximus II Gene P45
Buffalo Firestix DDR2-1066 4GB
Graphics Card: NVidia GTX260 896MB
Power Supply:
Tuniq Ensemble 1200w
CPU Cooling:
OCZ Gladiator MAX
Hard Disk:
DiamondMax 22 500-GB SATA 3Gb/s
Graphics Drivers:
Geforce WHQL 190.38
Operating System:
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP2
Test Setup Test Setup
As you will be able to see, despite the miniature size of the Maximus II GENE there was absolutely no clearance issues with either the CPU cooler, memory modules or graphics card. You could easily install four sticks of memory complete with stupidly large heatsinks and a high-end CPU cooler and not really have to worry about any potential compatibility issues.

To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:
Synthetic CPU Tests
• Sisoft Sandra 2009
• PassMark CPU test
• SuperPI 1m, 8m, 32m

Synthetic Memory Tests
• Sisoft Sandra 2009
• Everest 5.02

Rendering/Multimedia Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• POV-Ray
• 3DMark 06
• 3DMark Vantage
• PCMark Vantage

3D Games
• Crysis
• Far Cry 2
• Call of Duty 4
• RaceDriver GRID
After spending some time getting used to the new components and finding out that the CPU seemed to thrive best on 1.25v Vcore and the Buffalo FireStix DDR2 kit didn't like being overclocked at all, we set about finding the maximum speed and FSB that the Maximus II GENE could achieve.
CPU-Z Overclock CPU-Z FSB
WOW is not the word when it comes to overclocking on the Maximus II GENE. Not only did it manage to take the E8400 all the way to 4.32GHz on 1.25v Vcore, but it also managed a highly respectable maximum FSB speed of 530MHz. I'm actually quite confident that the FSB could have gone even higher with a better DDR2 kit, but as the lowest memory/CPU divider is 1:1, the DDR2 kit hit its 1066MHz limit at 533FSB and refused to go any further even with relaxed timings.
The process of overclocking was totally effortless with little more than the usual FSB/Voltage/Memory adjustments needing to be made. Even when things got taken a little too far the board recovered without any issues and not once did we need to reach for the CMOS reset switch. All in all, a very pleasent overclocking experience.
Now let's move on to the benchmarks where the Maximus II GENE is going to be somewhat lonesome (as nobody wanted to send us any LGA775 board for comparison!). However, in the interest of having some slightly meaningful graphs, we'll be displaying the results of the board in both Stock and OC states.
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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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