ASUS Unveils ROG Maximus IV Gene-Z/Gen 3 with PCI-Express 3.0 Slots

ASUS is ready with a new PCI-Express 3.0 compliant socket LGA1155 motherboard, adding to its recently-launched line of Intel Z68 chipset-based boards that feature Gen 3.0 PCI-Express x16 slots. This latest one is part of the elite Republic of Gamers (ROG) family, and is built on the compact micro-ATX form factor, called Maximus IV Gene-Z/Gen 3. This is the second modification of the Maximus IV Gene, the original was based on Intel P67 chipset, the Gene-Z replaced the chipset with Intel Z68 that supports Smart Response technology, while the Gene-Z/Gen 3 adds PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots.

The board uses a 12-phase Digi+ VRM for the CPU, it is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting DRAM speeds of up to DDR3-2200 MHz with overclocking. The socket is wired to two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots over Gen 3 compliant switches and electrical components, the slots configure to PCI-Express 3.0 x8/x8 when both are populated. PCI-Express Gen 3 support requires next-generation 22 nm Ivy Bridge Core processors, which will be launched next year. The only other expansion slot is an open-ended PCI-Express 2.0 x4, wired to the Z68 PCH. NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire are supported.

Storage connectivity includes two SATA 6 Gb/s, four SATA 3 Gb/s internal ports, and two eSATA 3 Gb/s ports driven by a JMicron controller. It's a given that ROG users will use discrete graphics, but an HDMI connector is dropped in nevertheless. Audio is care of a SupremeFX X-Fi 8+2 channel HD audio, the sole gigabit Ethernet connection is driven by a low-overhead Intel-made GbE controller. There are four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear panel, two by header).

There are the usual ROG exclusives such as GameFirst, ROG Connect, GPU.DIMM Post, CPU Level Up, and Mem TweakIt. The board is driven by UEFI firmware, with ASUS ROG-themed setup program that has a few more tweaking options. Pricing and availability information is not known.

Source: TechConnect Magazine