Asus Maximus V Gene Reviewccokeman -
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Testing this latest Z77-based board from ASUS will involve running the ROG Maximus V Gene through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which includes both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual gameplay, in which we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and the latest AMD Catalyst drivers for the XFX HD 7970. To ensure as few variables as possible, all hardware will be tested at their stock speeds, timings, voltages, and latencies – unless otherwise stated. Turbo Boost is disabled to make a fair comparison without skewing results.
- Processors: Core i7 3770K
- CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H100
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene,
- Memory: Mushkin 993997 Redline PC317000 9-11-10-28 8GB
- Video Card: XFX HD 7970 Black Edition
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA, Corsair Force GT 240GB
- Optical Drive: Lite-On Blu-Ray
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D
- USB 3.0 Dock: Thermaltake Black X 5G
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
ASUS offers an incredible array of tools to allow the enthusiast and overclocker the ability to maximize the performance potential of their installed hardware through a comprehensive set of tools, including AI Suite II and an incredible UEFI BIOS implementation. The hardware side of things is equally robust using the ASUS Extreme Engine Digi+ II power management system. My 3770K is up for replacement, as it maxes out at right around 4.7GHz. Any higher and the thermals need something better than high end water to keep the chip cool. With that being said, I was able to use the same methods to overclock the CPU and memory that have been standard with the Sandy Bridge micro-architecture. Some of the boards I have tested have not allowed the bclock to be tweaked very high, but the ROG Maximus V Gene was able to go to 104+MHz at the speed limit for my 3770K. It did this with a slightly lower vcore of 1.30 versus the 1.325v to 1.350v I have used on other boards, showing how efficient and accurate the DIGI+ II voltage regulation is. Using AI Suite II in the OS, further tweaking of the bclock and voltages would result in speeds just over 4.7GHz for some screenshots, but nothing meaningful. The CPU Level Up function works as intended and is meant to work with the average CPU speed capabilities. Your mileage will vary, as with any overclocking.
I found that the Maximus V Gene was able to deliver memory speeds in excess of 2500MHz with the modules I have available. By using one of the 13 preset profiles, you can get a good feel for what your modules are capable of and then tweak a little further for better efficiency. Several boards I have tested have not been as flexible, with speeds up to even 2133MHz being unattainable, so the Maximus V Gene has some serious memory overclocking chops, reminiscent of its Extreme level brother, the X79 Rampage IV Extreme. If you end up with a group of settings that just do not work and prevent the board from booting, ASUS C.P.R. (CPU Parameter Recall) allows the board to boot after a power down cycle so you do not need to use the Clear CMOS button. When it boots up, the settings that failed are still in place allowing you to either reload a different OC profile to start tweaking from or just tweak what is already input in the fields. Whether you are manually tweaking for performance or just want a quick solid overclock, ASUS has you covered with a BIOS that is granular enough to get that last MHz or simple enough for the novice to use. Any which way you look at it, the tools are there.
Each CPU and motherboard has been tested for stability at the clock speeds listed when in an overclocked state. These clock speeds will be used to run the test suite and will show the performance increase over the stock settings in the overclocked scoring.
Scientific & Data:
- Geekbench 2.1
- Bibble 5
- Office 2007 Excel Number Crunch
- POV-Ray 3.7
- ProShow Gold
- HandBrake 9.5
- Sandra 2011
- AIDA64 1.85
- ScienceMark 2.02
- Cinebench 10 & 11.5
- HD Tune 4.60
- PCMark 7
- Aliens vs. Predator
- Civilization V
- Battlefield 3