ASUS ROG Z390 Maximus XI Gene Review
Published: 27th January 2019 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
Like the Extreme, Formula and Hero the ROG Maximus XI Gene steps away from the world of red packaging that has been such a feature of the Republic of Gamers brand and instead doubles down on the idea of a minimalist black box. We like it. We know it will divide opinion and we understand that throwing away such an identifiable element of your brand seems like lunacy, but the results are attractive and that's half the battle.
The ROG DIMM.2 idea allows you to utilise one of the DIMM slots as an extra M.2 drive port. With memory reaching denser capacities and the need for storage driven eternally by the voracious appetite of larger and larger games, it makes sense to utilise the third slot for storage rather than another 8GB of RAM. To this end ASUS bundle the Gene with a DIMM.2 heat sink which perfectly matches the design of the rest of the heat sinks on the Gene and doesn't look far removed from a stick of memory.
Under the covers of the M.2 vertical heatsink you can see the padding that ensures both the M.2 drives are kept cool. With them being so temperature sensitive this is an area you can't afford to scrimp on. It's pointless spending a fortune on a blazing fast M.2 drive only to have it throttle due to inadequate air flow.
As befits a ROG motherboard you get plenty of accessories included in the box. The Gene itself is much brighter than the other Maximus XI models, with more silver on the heat sinks and a generally lighter tone to the board in general. The IO section and heat sink combination which normally dominates ATX motherboards takes up about a third of the mATX Gene.