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ASUS ROG Maximus VI Gene Review

ccokeman    -   January 30, 2014
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Asus ROG Maximus VI Gene Testing:

Testing ASUS ROG Maximus VI Gene motherboard will involve running it 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 NVIDIA drivers for the NVIDIA GTX 770. In the past we had locked the clock speed on the processor to eliminate any easily controlled variables due to processor speed. However there is a difference in how each manufacturer handles the CPU default and boost speeds creating opportunity for one board to deliver a higher level of performance. This variable is a point of difference between boards. The majority of users will run the stock settings making this point a valid concern so we are changing up the test methods to capture this difference.

Testing Setup: Socket 1150

 

Comparison Motherboard:

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

 

Needless to say, ASUS delivers a wide selection of options for the overclocking enthusiast on their ROG line up. Manually tuning the settings is going to get you everything your chip is able to deliver as far as core clock and memory speed, albeit at the expense of higher operating temperatures. Manually tuning the Maximus VI Gene I was able to reach 4.64GHz on my 4770K. Not quite its maximum stable clock speed, but close enough. A lot of research goes into making the BIOS on the MVIG work without a lot of input from the end user. To get 4.64GHz stable running the memory at 2400+MHz, most of the settings were left on auto with the exception of the vcore at 1.268v, Ring voltage at 1.25v, System Agent voltage at 1.265v, and the memory voltage set to 1.66v. Internal PLL voltage was enabled, load line voltage set to eight and the rest were left on auto. Only the primary memory timings were set manually at 10-12-12-30. My chip is capable of 4.7GHz, but I just could not get it there on the Maximus VI Gene.

Manual tuning aside, ASUS provides a few other avenues for increased clock speeds. By having a large pool of processors on hand, ASUS has the ability to provide a comprehensive suite of tools to take all the guess work out of overclocking. Using the 4-way optimization tool in AI Suite III, you can get a nice, conservative overclock that is on the lower end of the overclocking range all at the push of a button in the 4-way tool. Going conservative in this tool is a necessity due to the wildly varying overclocking results on the Haswell-based processors. A 4.2 Ghz overclock is, like I said, conservative, but CPU thermals and stability are easily achieved by using the 4-way optimization tool.

If using a tool in the operating system is not your bag, ASUS has a set of overclocking settings in the BIOS called CPU Level Up. In this tool you get three levels of core clock speed overclocking: 4.2GHz, 4.4GHz and 4.6GHz. Each level changes all of the settings in the BIOS to facilitate a stable overclock as long as your cooling can handle the load. Something it could not do for me with the 4.6GHz profile. Even when using a dedicated water loop the CPU would throttle when running Prime 95 using the 4.6GHz due to the voltage applied by the tool. The results with the 4.2GHz and 4.4GHz profiles were perfectly stable and kept thermals in check. Should you choose to go full tilt on CPU speed and decide sub zero cooling is the way to go, ASUS provides a wide selection of pre-programmed profiles in the BIOS. Using water cooling you can stick to manual tuning for the best 24/7 results.

 

4.2Ghz OC 4 Way Tool    4.4Ghz OC CPU Level up

 

4.6Ghz OC CPU Level Up    4.64Ghz OC Manual Tuning

 

Maximum Core Clock Speed:

Each CPU has been tested for stability at the listed overclocked speeds. These clock speeds will represent the level of performance shown by the over-clocked scores in the testing.

 

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. PCMark 7
  2. SiSoft Sandra 2013
  3. Cinebench 11.5
  4. X.264 5.1
  5. AIDA 64 3.00
  6. Crystal Disk Mark
  7. ATTO 2.47
  8. iPerf
  9. Rightmark Audio Analyzer
  • Gaming:
  1. 3DMark
  2. Metro: Last Light
  3. DiRT 3



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