Asus Maximus VII Gene Review – Best Micro ATX Z97 Motherboard?

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Today we are going to look at and review one of the latest Z97 motherboards – the Asus Maximus VII Gene, based on the new Intel Z97 Chipset. The Maximus VII Gene continuous the legacy of the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Maximus Gene motherboard and supports the latest 4th Generation Intel Haswell Refresh, Devil’s Canyon and including the upcoming Broadwell processors. The Maximus VII Gene is loaded with new features, or rather updated features, like support for M.2 based SSDs, Intel™ Ethernet + LANGuard + GameFirst III, SupremeFX Impact II + Sonic Radar II and other gaming-centric features. It also features a new attractive heatsink design, new UEFI BIOS user interface and a new 5-way optimization tool. Are you planning to build a new micro-ATX gaming system? Please continue reading my Asus Maximus VII Gene review below and find out if this is the motherboard you are looking for.

Asus Maximus VII Gene Review

Asus Maximus VII Gene Review

The Asus Maximus VII Gene is one of Asus’ latest Z97 Gaming/Overclocking motherboard geared towards PC enthusiasts and gamers who are into micro-ATX form factor. Despite its smaller size, it’s still loaded with most features that you can find with its bigger brother – the Maximus VII Hero. It’s also very much capable of overclocking unlocked processors, GPUs and memory thanks to its 8 Phase Power design, Extreme Engine Digi+ III with 60A Ferrite Chokes and 10K Black Metallic Capacitors.

It features the new LANGuard RJ45 port with GameFirst III technology ensuring that online gamers will be able to maximize and prioritize their bandwidth specially during gaming sessions. It also features a new SupremeFX Impact II audio processor featuring Sonic SoundStage, Sonic SenseAmp and premium Japanese-made ELNA audio capacitors. Aside from the exceptional sound quality that it produce, it also features Sonic Radar II designed for first person shooter games to help you located your enemy via the sound that your enemy produces. Just don’t use this feature during official competition as it is considered cheating.

The Asus Maximus VII Gene also comes with this feature called KeyBot giving your ordinary USB keyboard an instant upgrade. KeyBot lets you assign macro functions from keys F1 to F10 to launch any application or run a command with just one press. It also features Truevolt USB technology making sure that you get a stable supply of 5V in any parts of the motherboard.

The new Maximus VII series Z97 motherboards also come with the new UEFI BIOS interface and design, making it much easier for users to navigate, tweak or overclock their system. It’s much more responsive and smooth-running compared to the previous UEFI BIOS we saw on Z87 ROG motherboards. The Maximus VII Gene also features Gamers Guardian, a set of features that includes: Black Nickel-coated Q-shield, Q-Slot in PCIE slots, Q-DIMM in memory slots, DRAM Over-current protection, backplates, ESD Guards or electro static discharge guards, stainless steel back I/O and 10K black metallic capacitors providing 20% greater temperature endurance and 5x longer lifespan.

The Asus Maximus VII Gene comes with RAMDisk, other propriety ROG software, and a new AI Suite 3 with 5 Way Optimization to help you manage and control your system. I’ll discuss more of its features and specifications as we take a closer look at the motherboard below.

Asus Maximus VII Gene Specifications

ProcessorIntel® Socket 1150 for the 5th/New 4th/4th Generation Core™ i7/Core™ i5/Core™ i3/Pentium®/Celeron® Processors
Supports Intel® 22 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
ChipsetIntel® Z97
Memory4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 3300(O.C.)/3200(O.C.)/3100(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666(O.C.)/2600(O.C.)/2500(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory *
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
GraphicIntegrated Graphics Processor- Intel® HD Graphics support
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
Supports Intel® InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™
Multi-GPU SupportSupports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
Expansion SlotsExpansion Slots2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x4 *1
1 x mini-PCIe 2.0 x1
StorageStorageIntel® Z97 chipset :
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Start Technology, Intel® Smart Connect Technology *2
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE mode)
ASMedia® ASM1061 controller : *3
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
LANLANIntel® I218V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s), featuring GAMEFIRST III
Intel® LAN- Dual interconnect between the Integrated LAN controller and Physical Layer (PHY)
Anti-surge LANGuard
AudioROG SupremeFX Impact II 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC *4
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- SupremeFX Shielding™ Technology
- ELNA premium audio capacitors
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
- DTS Connect
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Sonic SoundStage
- Sonic SenseAmp
- Sonic Studio
- Sonic Radar II
USB PortsIntel® Z97 chipset : *5
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
Intel® Z97 chipset : *6
7 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 3 at mid-board)
ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller :
2 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue)
ROG Exclusive FeaturesExtreme Engine Digi+ III :
- 8 + 2 phase power design
- NexFET™ Power Block MOSFET
- 60A Ferrite Chokes
- 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
ProbeIt
KeyBot
- CPU Level Up
- XMP
- Direct Key
UEFI BIOS features :
- GPU.DIMM Post
- Tweakers' Paradise
- ROG SSD Secure Erase
- Graphic Card Information Preview
ROG RAMDisk
GameFirst III
Extreme Tweaker
Special Features5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5
- Whole system optimization with a single click! 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 3, and Turbo App together, providing better CPU performance, efficient power saving, precise digital power control, whole system cooling and even tailor your own app usages.
Gamer's Guardian:
- ESD Guards on LAN, Audio, KBMS and USB3.0/2.0 ports
- DRAM Overcurrent Protection
- 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
- Stainless Steel Back I/O
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- USB BIOS Flashback
- MemOK!
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger+
- USB Charger+
- USB 3.0 Boost
- Disk Unlocker
ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS USB BIOS Flashback
- Push Notice
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-Connector
Overclocking Protection :
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Media Streamer
Operating System SupportWindows® 8.1
Windows® 8
Windows® 7
Back I/O Ports1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
4 x USB 3.0 (blue)
4 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to ROG Connect)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
3 x Audio jack(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
1 x ROG Connect On/ Off switch(es)
Internal I/O Ports1x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)
3x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 5 USB 2.0 port(s)
1x M.2 Socket 3 for M Key, type 2260/2280 devices
1x TPM header
8x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
1x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
3x Chassis Fan connector(s) (3 x 4 -pin)
1x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
1x MemOK! button(s)
10x ProbeIt Measurement Points
1x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1x LN2 Mode header(s)
1x Power-on button(s)
1x Reset button(s)
1x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
1x KeyBot Button
1x Sonic SoundStage Button
AccessoriesUser's manual
I/O Shield
6 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
1 x 12 in 1 ROG Cable Label(s)
1 x ROG Door Hanger(s)
BIOS64Mb UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.7, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI5.0a, Multi-Language BIOS
ManageabilityWfM 2.0, DMI 2.7, WOL by PME, PXE
Support DiscDrivers
ROG GameFirst III
ROG RAMDisk
ROG CPU-Z
ROG Mem TweakIt
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
DAEMON Tools Pro Standard
ASUS WebStorage
Home Cloud
ASUS Utilities
Form FactormATX Form Factor
9.6 inch x 9.6 inch ( 24.4 cm x 24.4 cm )
Note*1: The PCIe 2.0 x4 slot (PCIEX4_1) shares bandwith with mPCIe 2.0 x1 and M.2 slots. The default setting is in Auto mode that automatically optimizes the system bandwidth. If you install PCIe 2.0 x4 device, the system will automatically detect and disable mPCIe 2.0 x1 and M.2 slots.
*2: The supported functions depends on the CPU installed.
*3: These SATA ports are for data hard drives only. ATAPI devices are not supported.
*4: 8-channel audio output is supported by jack-retasking using a chassis with HD audio module in the front panel.
*5: Support ASUS USB 3.0 Boost, UASP standard on the Intel native USB 3.0 is only supported under Windows® 8.1/8.
*6: 1 x USB2.0 ports at mid-board (USB13) shares with ROG extension (ROG_EXT) port.
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