Asus ROG Maximus III Gene Micro-ATX Motherboard - Layout & Slots

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


Layout of the Maximus III Gene is also excellent. Primary slots are red for easy identification. There are no less than five fairly easily accessible fan headers which are fully speed-controlled from the BIOS. No ports are obscured with a full-length graphics card installed in the primary PCIe slot, and even with two 5870s in CrossFire you'll only lose access to a single SATA port, leaving six free.

Four memory slots take DDR3 RAM overclocked up to 2,133MHz, though this is pretty much standard across Asus' range. Also standard is the company's QDIMM system, which means that there is only one latch holding memory sticks in, making it easier to install and remove them. Likewise MemOK! is an old familiar, and of the three it's perhaps the best feature, as it automatically tunes memory for optimum compatibility and operation at the touch of a button (here labelled 'go!', though on most Asus boards it's just labelled 'MemOK!').

To the left of the snazzy ROG cooler we have six angled SATA ports and a single port facing straight up running off a separate JMicron controller, though this will be completely obscured if a second graphics card is installed. There is no sign of legacy connectors such as floppy or EIDE, which is a welcome exclusion. Below this are three USB headers, a FireWire header, and headers for additional audio connections.

Nestled in between these you'll find LED-backlit Start and Reset buttons. They're differentiated clearly: the reset button is smaller, black and convex, while the start button is red, larger and concave. A clear-CMOS button can be found around on the rear I/O, but we'll get to that in a bit.

In terms of PCI slots you get two red PCIe x16 slots with Asus' unique easy-to-use latches, a PCIe x1 slot and one older PCI slot. Unfortunately using a dual-slot graphics card will block the PCIe x1 slot, though the second x16 slot will still be usable for expansion cards and with a high-grade sound-chip built in on the Gene, one of the more common reasons people might need one is removed.

As is essential for any board with gaming aspirations, the Maximus III Gene supports both CrossFire and SLI multi-card setups. Though you only get x8 bandwidth on each slot, this is good for a P55-based motherboard, as far too many sport x4-speed secondary graphics slots (which make a mockery of 'CrossFire ready' claims). Also, the x8 bandwidth will be more than adequate for all but the highest-end graphics card combinations.


May 6, 2010, 1:46 pm

"you don't get either SATA 6Gb/s or, more significantly, USB 3.0, and it's worth keeping in mind that you can get overclocking-friendly Micro-ATX Intel boards with these features for around £110"

Which would that be?


May 6, 2010, 3:33 pm

"... it was no problem getting our Core i7 870 CPU to run at 4.3MHz"

I imagine it wouldn't be a problem, what with my 25 year old 8086 running faster than that :)


May 6, 2010, 3:53 pm

Doh! Cheers, fixed.


May 6, 2010, 4:59 pm


For example, mATX H55M USB 3.0 entries from both AsRock and Gigabyte - not to mention Asus' own H55 efforts like the Asus P7H55D-M EVO.

Denis iii

May 6, 2010, 10:50 pm

what crossfire config would max out the PCIE x8 bandwidth? Would 2x Ati 5870's be fine?

shame about no SATA 6gbps or USB...wish they did this board in an AMD 890GX/X version.


May 10, 2010, 2:27 pm


You'll still see a significant benefit from even the most high-end CrossFire setup, it's just that you won't get the FULL benefit. Two 5870's should work at close enough to their max potential to make it worth it, though we haven't run any such tests on this generation of video cards so it's worth double-checking.

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