Power Consumption and Conclusions
The Maximus III Gene used about 10 more watts under load conditions than the other two P55 boards we compared it against during our power consumption testing. We’ll have to break down how much wattage each component takes in idle and load conditions to pin-point what was causing the fluxuations in power with the Maximus III Gene and amend this review once we have researched the answer. There didn’t seem to be an initial cause that stood out during the testing phase of this motherboard.
The performance results we encountered during our review of the Maximus III Gene was nothing short of stellar. In almost every benchmark we threw at it, this micro ATX board kept pace and even beat the other full ATX solutions and showcased the optimizations ASUS made to the hardware as well as the BIOS and software utilities. Not only did this board live up to its billing as a gamer’s motherboard, but it also excelled in the multimedia and audio testing in our benchmark suite. We achieved a 4.15GHz overclock on our i7-860 with the Maximus III Gene, which is one of the best overclocks we have received on any ATX or micro ATX board utilizing the P55 chipset. To say this board performed well would be an understatement — it truly seemed to get more stable as we continued to pile on more taxing and resource-consuming programs and applications.
One of the key features users should focus on with the Maximus III Gene are its DDR3 2133 support, which helps get better overclocking results as well as increases the overall performance of the system itself. Another feature is the dual PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots that can handle SLI or CrossfireX configurations. The Creative SupremeFX X-Fi chip also added 8-channel, high definition audio support and a plethora of audio software enhancements to give gamers a premium audio solution.
Pricing and Availability
As of Feb. 4, the ASUS Maximus III Gene motherboard was available at Newegg.com for $199.99. This board can also be purchased at Amazon.com for $201.99 and Buy.com for $197.99.
We’d like to thank ASUS for providing the Maximus III Gene for our review today. There were a host of features and capabilities on the Maximus III Gene that we haven’t seen in any micro ATX motherboards since the form factor was created. ASUS continues to push the envelope in terms of performance, overclocking, and the amount of hardware they can fit on this form factor too. The included SupremeFX X-Fi audio chip, dual PCI-E x16 slots, and unique innovations to the memory DIMMs are just a few features that will enhance any gamer or HTPC user’s experience with this motherboard.
Users should also take advantage of all the onboard features like the Go Button, ROG Connect that links your system to a notebook via USB, and GameFirst enhancement that optimizing online gaming through lower latencies and better LAN traffic management. For novice overclockers, ASUS included a CPU Level Up features that dynamically configures the processor to increase performance during operation. Overall, the Maximus III Gene is well priced at the $200 range for a high end, micro ATX motherboard, but the lack of USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s support might hinder how future proof it is with these two technologies gaining popularity this year.
The Maximus III Gene has earned PC Perspective’s Gold Award for outstanding overall performance, ease of use, and advanced overclocking capabilities.