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ASUS Maximus VIII Gene Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of ASUS

The Maximus VIII Gene is one of the Intel Z170 chipset offerings in the ROG (Republic of Gamer) board line. The board features the standard black and red ROG aesthetics in an mATX form factor to accommodate space constrained system builds. ASUS chose to integrate black-chrome heat sinks into the board's build, giving it a sleek and modern appearance. The board's integrated Intel Z170 chipset integrates support for the latest Intel LGA1151 Skylake processor line as well as Dual Channel DDR4 memory. With an MSRP of $230, the Maximus VIII Gene offers a compelling price for a feature-packed product.

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Courtesy of ASUS

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Courtesy of ASUS

The Maximus VIII Gene features an 8+2 phase digital power system, providing more than enough power to the CPU and integrated GPU for whatever you choose to throw at it. ASUS integrated the following features into the Maximus VIII Gene board: two SATA 3 ports; two SATA-Express ports; one M.2 PCIe x4 capable port; an Intel I219-V Gigabit NIC; two PCI-Express x16 slots; one PCI-Express x4 slot; on-board power, reset, MemOK!, Safe Boot, ReTry, Clear CMOS, and USB BIOS Flashback buttons; ROG SupremeFX 2015 8-Channel audio subsystem; integrated DisplayPort and HDMI video ports; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support.

Continue reading our preview of the ASUS Maximus VIII Gene motherboard!

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Courtesy of ASUS

ASUS integrated the latest ROG sound technology into the Maximus VIII Gene motherboard, ROG SupremeFX 2015. Similar to previous generations of the SupremeFX sound technology, SupremeFX 2015 integrates the audio components on a isolated PCB from the other main board components minimizing noise generation caused by those other integrated devices. ASUS designed the audio subsystem with high-quality Japanese-sourced audio and power circuitry, an ESS ES9023P DAC, and a dedicated headphones amplifiers for a top-notch audio experience.

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Courtesy of ASUS

Technical Specifications (taken from the ASUS website)

CPU Intel® Socket 1151 for 6th Generation Core™ i7 / Core™ i5 / Core™ i3 / Pentium® / Celeron® Processors
Supports Intel® 14 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

* The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.
* Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list

Chipset Intel® Z170
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 3800(O.C.) / 3733(O.C.) / 3600(O.C.) / 3500(O.C.) / 3466(O.C.) / 3400(O.C.) / 3333(O.C.) / 3300(O.C.) / 3200(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

** Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.

Graphics Integrated Graphics Processor - Intel® HD Graphics support
Multi-VGA output support: HDMI/DisplayPort 1.2 ports
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz
- Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz
Maximum shared memory of 512 MB
Supports Intel® InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™
Multi-GPU Support Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
Expansion Slots 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8, gray)
1 x PCIe 3.0 x4 (black) *1

*1 Supports Intel® RST for PCIE RAID storage.

Storage Intel® Z170 chipset:
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode) *2
2 x SATA Express port, Compatible with 4 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Intel® Rapid Storage Technology supports *3
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology *4

*2 When the M.2 Socket 3 is operating in SATA mode, SATA port 1 will be disable.
*3 Supports PCIE RAID configurations via onboard M.2 and PCIEX4_1 slot storage.
*4 This function will work depending on the CPU installed.

LAN Intel® I219V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s), GameFirst technology
Intel® LAN- Dual interconnect between the Integrated LAN controller and Physical Layer (PHY)
Anti-surge LANGuard
Audio ROG SupremeFX 2015 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- SupremeFX Shielding Technology
- ESS® ES9023P DAC: dB SNR, dB THD+N (Max. kHz/ -bit)
- TI RC4580 2VRMS audio OP AMP(s)

Audio Feature:
- Gold-plated jacks
- DTS Connect
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Sonic SenseAmp
- Sonic Studio II
- Sonic Radar II

USB Ports Intel® Z170 chipset:
8 x USB 3.0 port(s) (6 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)

Intel® Z170 chipset: *5
4 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at mid-board)

*5 2 x USB2.0 port at mid-board comes from the ROG extension (ROG_EXT) port.

ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller:
1 x USB 3.1 port(s) (1 at back panel, black, Type-C)

ASMedia® USB 3.1 controller:
1 x USB port(s) (1 at back panel, red, Type-A)

ROG Exclusive Features ReTry Button
Safe Boot Button
Start Button
Reset Button
LN2 Mode
Mem TweakIt
ProbeIt
KeyBot II
- One-click Overclocking
- X.M.P.
- DirectKey
- ClrCMOS
- Power On
UEFI BIOS features:
- O.C. Profile
- GPU.DIMM Post
- Tweakers' Paradise
- ROG SSD Secure Erase
- Graphic Card Information Preview
ROG RAMDisk
Extreme Tweaker
Special Features OC Design - ASUS PRO Clock Technology
- Full BCLK range for extreme overclocking performance
5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5
- 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 3, and Turbo App
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- MemOK!
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger+
- USB 3.1 Boost
- Disk Unlocker
- Mobo Connect
- PC Cleaner
Remote Entertainment
- Media Streamer
- HyStream
ASUS EZ DIY:
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 3
- 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)
RAMCache
Operating System Support Windows® 10, 64bit
Windows® 8.1, 64bit
Windows® 7 x86 / x64
Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
1 x USB 3.1 (black)Type-C
1 x USB 3.1 (red)Type-A
6 x USB 3.0 (blue)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
Internal I/O Ports 1 x AAFP connector
1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
2 x SATA Express connector: gray, Compatible with 4 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key design, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (Supports both SATA & PCIE SSD)
2 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4-pin)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (4-pin)
4 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4-pin)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
1 x 5-pin EXT_FAN(Extension Fan) connector
1 x MemOK! button(s)
1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x Water Pump header (4-pin)
1 x LN2 Mode jumper(s)
1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
1 x Safe Boot button
1 x ReTry button
Accessories User's manual
ASUS Q-Shield
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x M.2 Screw Package
1 x CPU installation tool
1 x Supporting DVD
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (1 in 1)
1 x 12 in 1 ROG Cable Label(s)
ROG Fan Label
1 x ROG Door Hanger(s)
BIOS 128 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI3.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 3.0, ACPI 5.0, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 3, CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, F9 Quick Note, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information.
Manageability WfM 2.0, DMI 3.0, WOL by PME, PXE
Support Disc Drivers
ROG GameFirst technology
ROG RAMCache
ROG RAMDisk
Overwolf
KeyBot II
ROG CPU-Z
ROG Mem TweakIt
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
DAEMON Tools Pro Standard
ASUS WebStorage
ASUS Utilities
Form Factor Micro ATX Form Factor
9.6 inch x 9.6 inch ( 24.4 cm x 24.4 cm ))

 

Video News


December 3, 2015 | 10:53 AM - Posted by YTech

Am I reading the specs correctly?

Multi-GPU Support :
- Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
- Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology

How can you get Quad-GPU SLI when there's only 2x PCIe slot?

I am surprised about the price which is about $100 less than the ASUS X99-M WS.

December 3, 2015 | 11:46 AM - Posted by kent1146

Two dual-GPU cards in SLI. Like an AMD Radeon 295 x2, nVidia GTX 690, or nVidia Titan Z.

When you SLI/XFire two of those dual-GPU cards together, it is seen as four GPU's that are SLI'ed / XFire'd together.

December 4, 2015 | 09:22 AM - Posted by YTech

I suppose if you put it that way. :)

Still brings some confusion because a lot don't think about the Titan Z as a Dual-GPU card. Those are just little things that tend to be overlooked.

December 3, 2015 | 11:49 AM - Posted by kent1146

Oh. And the Asus X99-M WS ($280) is an X99-based chipset workstation board, while this ASUS Maximus VIII is Z170-based chipset.

X99 boards (Haswell-E) are almost always more expensive than Z170 motherboards (Skylake), because the X99 chipset is just more expensive to source from Intel.

December 4, 2015 | 09:32 AM - Posted by YTech

I thought the manufacturing cost of the X99 would be very close to the Z170.

By the way, I'm comparing the cost in Canadian Dollars - X99 (379.99) vs. Z170 (294.99)

December 3, 2015 | 12:13 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's a $50 difference. The same amount the 6700K costs more than the 5820K.

December 3, 2015 | 12:01 PM - Posted by ImmenseBrick

Thanks Morry, even though I am not in the market for a new mobo, I always enjoy reading your write-ups. I like that you included the NHD 15 cooler for spacing demonstrations, I think it is an excellent idea as it helps really understand the layout distances and challenges with placement of fan headers, USB 3.0, etc.for large coolers.

December 3, 2015 | 02:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

PCPer: I think you need to get one of the VII Gene, and one of the VIII Impact, and build them both inside that Phanteks Enthoo Mini XL Dual System case down below.

Of course, I understand if you guys are too busy for that. You're welcome to send all the parts to me and I'll do it for you. :D

December 4, 2015 | 03:08 PM - Posted by vailr

Looks somewhat tempting, except for the lack of a DVI video port. Hopefully, Gigabyte can produce one with similar features: mATX Z170 board with Intel I219-V LAN, Realtek ALC1150 audio, USB 3.1 & these 3 video ports: DVI, DP & HDMI (no VGA). Or: wait a year for the "Kaby Lake" boards to appear.

December 4, 2015 | 06:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

While in general I would prefer a DVI port over a VGA port, chances are pretty good that the people ASUS is targeting with this board are going to have a discrete GPU (or maybe two) and won't be using the onboard graphics ports to begin with.

I'd also think chances are pretty good that, since HDMI and DVI are electrically compatible, and HDMI-DVI converters are plentiful and cheap, they chose to keep the HDMI and include the VGA port for compatibility. Or perhaps the VGA port is required per Intel specifications. I don't know for sure.

December 4, 2015 | 06:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

(oops, my bad. Doesn't have a VGA port. I'll stick with my theory on HDMI-DVI converters, then. lol)

December 11, 2015 | 01:51 AM - Posted by vailr

Another mATX Z170 board, with features similar to the Asus Maximus Gene VIII:
Supermicro C7Z170-M - $299.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA5EM3BS6230
Note: doesn't show up via Newegg's search engine, specifying "Intel motherboard - socket 1151" & "mATX".
Currently OOS: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?Edp...
eBay has several listed as "New" for under $200:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/371503778313
http://www.ebay.com/itm/391336978484
Includes:
Realtek ALC1150
Single Gigabit Ethernet LAN port (Intel i219V)
1 DVI-D, 1 DP (Display Port), 1 HDMI <--the only Intel 100 series chipset mATX board with those three IGP video port types, that I'm aware of.
6x SATA3 (6Gbps); RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
Expansion slots: 1 PCI-E 3.0 x16, 1 PCI-E 3.0 x4, and 1 PCI-E 3.0 x1
1 PCIe M.2 (PCIe x4 2260/2280/22110)
6x USB 3.0 (4 rear + 2 via header), 4x USB 2.0 (2 rear + 2 via headers), 2x USB 3.1 (10Gbps) ports (headers)
UEFI BIOS support

Side note: "2x USB 3.1 (10Gbps) ports (headers)" would seem to imply requiring adding your own USB 3.1 2x port bracket, unless it might be included in the motherboard package.

November 5, 2016 | 09:49 PM - Posted by nichitapavel

Hello guys!
If I am allowed I would like to make a (possible) stupid question:
does this motherboard allow to boot into Windows (10) with a NVMe M.2 SSD? Like Samsung 950/960 Pro.

I am looking to upgrade my PC and I do not find this kind of information online.
Thank you in advance.

EDIT 1:
I just went to Samsung 950 Pro video review. According to Ryan Intel Z170 chipset by default supports boot from NVMe M.2, since this is a Z170 motherboard I guess I already have my answer.
Still if someone can confirm that would be nice!

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