ASUS Intel Z68 ROG Maximus IV Motherboard Reviews

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The ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z and Gene-Z Intel Z68 Motherboards

ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z Intel Z68 Motherboard Layout

ASUS is know for their high quality computer components. Whether you are talking about graphics cards like the all new uber ASUS ROG Mars II 3GB card or the ASUS GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP card, which is much more main stream. Either way you get a quality product! Same goes for the motherboards from ASUS, you get quality with all of them. What differentiates the ASUS motherboards is features, and of course price. If you want the top of the line motherboards from ASUS though, you look for the Republic of Gamers tag on the product. The Republic of Gamers branded ASUS products are the top tier products from an already top tier company. Today we are fortunate enough to have two motherboards from the Republic of Gamers motherboard product array!

The first of today’s pair of motherboards is the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z. The Maximus IV Gene-Z is a micro-ATX motherboard based on the Intel Z68 chipset. Although the Maximus IV Gene-Z is a micro-ATX it sure looks like it is going to pack a mean punch! With a pair of PCIe X16 slots it will support two GPU’s in either NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFireX technology. The ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z also features Lucid Virtu switchable graphic technology.

The second board we have is the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z. Once again this is an Intel Z68 motherboard that features the latest technologies. Much like the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z, the Maximus IV Extreme-Z supports both multi-GPU technologies, SLI and CrossFireX. Though the Maximus IV Extreme-Z does it on a larger scale. The Maximus IV Extreme-Z features four PCIe X16 slots and will support Tri-SLI and Quad CrossfireX.

Being that the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z and the Maximus IV Gene-Z are based on the Intel Z68 chipset both boards feature many of the same technologies. Technologies such as Intel’s Smart Response technology and Lucid Virtu are two of the main features that came along with the new Intel Z68 chipset, and both are available on our boards today. One of the issues I have come across on a couple of Intel Z68 motherboards was the lack of onboard video. Without the onboard video we didn’t have access to Intel’s technologies such as Intel Quick Sync technology. When we look at the specifications below, you may notice that the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z does not have onboard video. That didn’t stop ASUS from enabling it on the Extreme-Z, which gives the Extreme-Z access to all of the great Intel Video technologies.

The technology behind both boards in nearly identical. Power delivery is handled with an 8 Phase system for the CPU and 4 phases for the iGPU. On the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z the memory power is delivered through a 3 phase system, the Maximus IV Gene-Z uses a 2 phase design for the memory power. Both of our motherboards today use a digital VRM design, ASUS refers to this technology as Extreme Engine Digi+. It produces the “ultimate performance” according to ASUS. The Extreme Engine Digi+ technology helps to expidite heat dissipation and achieve better electric conduction. This is great news for overclockers because you may be able to push your second gen Intel Core processor just a little further than previously possible.

We all know that the system specifications are by far the most exciting part of the article. Below we have the specifications for both or our boards today and we can see what is the same between them and what areas vary. As you go through the list, much of the technology is the same. Though there are a few significant differences, which we will touch on below the list. So take a look, and meet me below.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Maximus IV Extreme-Z and Maximus IV Gene-Z Specifications

   ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z  ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z
CPU Intel Socket 1155 for 2nd Generation Core i7/Core i5/Core i3 Processors
Supports Intel 32 nm CPU
Supports Intel urbo Boost Technology 2.0
Chipset Intel Z68
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 2200(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333 Hz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
 Graphics N/A Integrated Graphics Processor
VGA output support :
HDMI port
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
Multi-GPU Support Supports NVIDIA 3-Way SLI Technology
Supports AMD CrossFireX Technology
Supports LucidLogix Virtu Technology
Expansion Slots 4 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8 or x8, x16, x16)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x4
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x4
Storage Intel Z68 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s),
gray
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Support Intel Smart Response Technology on 2nd generation Intel Core processor family

Marvell PCIe 9182 controller :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red

JMicron JMB362 controller :
2 x eSATA 3Gb/s port(s), red

Intel Z68 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s),
gray
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Support Intel Smart Response Technology on 2nd generation Intel Core processor family
JMicron JMB362 controller :
2 x eSATA 3Gb/s port(s), red
LAN Intel, 2 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s) Intel, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller
Bluetooth Bluetooth V2.1+EDR
RC Bluetooth On/Off Switch
Audio Realtek ALC 889 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
SupremeFX X-Fi 2 built-in 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity
- EAX Advanced HD 5.0
- THX TruStudio PRO
- Creative ALchemy
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
 - Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
USB Ports NEC USB 3.0 controller :
8 x USB 3.0 port(s) (6 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
NEC USB 3.0 controller :
2 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue)
Intel Z68 chipset :
9 x USB 2.0 port(s) (1 at back panel, black, 8 at mid-board)
ASMedia USB 3.0 controller :
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
Intel Z68 chipset :
12 x USB 2.0 port(s) (8 at back panel, black, 4 at mid-board)
Overclocking Features ROG Connect
RC Bluetooth :
- RC TweakIt
ROG iDirect
Extreme Engine Digi+ :
- 8 -phase CPU power design + 4 -phase iGPU power design
- 3 -phase Memory power design
- ML Caps on CPU respectively
Mem TweakIt
ROG Extreme OC kit :
- LN2 Mode
- PCIe x16 Lane Switch
- Debug LED
- Q Reset
ProbeIt
UEFI BIOS features :
- ROG BIOS Print
- GPU.DIMM Post
- CPU Socket Monitor
iROG
Extreme Tweaker
Loadline Calibration
BIOS Flashback
USB BIOS Flashback
Overclocking Protection :
- COP EX (Component Overheat Protection – EX)
- Voltiminder LED
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
ROG Connect
Extreme Engine Digi+ :
- 8 -phase CPU power design + 4 -phase iGPU power design
- 2 -phase Memory power design
Mem TweakIt
ROG Extreme OC kit :
- Debug LED
ProbeIt
UEFI BIOS features :
- ROG BIOS Print
- GPU.DIMM Post
GameFirst
iROG
Extreme Tweaker
Loadline Calibration
Overclocking Protection :
- COP EX (Component Overheat Protection – EX)
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Special Features ASUS TurboV EVO :
- CPU Level Up
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- MemOK!
- Onboard Button : Power/Reset/Clr CMOS (at back IO)
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
- ASUS Q-Fan Plus
- ASUS Fan Xpert
- ASUS Q-Fan
ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS MyLogo 2
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-Connector
ASUS TurboV EVO :
- CPU Level Up
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- MemOK!
- Onboard Button : Power/Reset/Clr CMOS (at back IO)
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
- ASUS Fan Xpert
ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS MyLogo 2
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS Q-Connector
Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
2 x eSATA 3Gb/s
2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
8 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 2.0 (white port can be switched to ROG Connect)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
1 x ROG Connect On/ Off switch(es)
1 x RC Bluetooth switch(es)
1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x HDMI
2 x eSATA 3Gb/s
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.0
8 x USB 2.0 (white port can be switched to ROG Connect)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
Internal I/O Ports 1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)
4 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 8 USB 2.0 port(s)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x Power Fan connector(s)
3 x Optional Fan connector(s)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s)
8 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
3 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x RC Bluetooth header(s)
1 x LN2 Mode header(s)
1 x Q Reset switch(es)
2 x EZ Plug connector(s) (4-pin Molex power connector)
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x LN2 Mode switch(es)
1 x Go Button(s)
1 x BIOS Switch button(s)
1 x ROG light connector(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
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 6Gb/s connector(s)
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)
2 x CPU Fan connector(s)
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s)
6 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x ROG Connect switch(es)
1 x Go Button(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
Accessories User’s manual
ROG Exclusive Feature Guide
I/O Shield
2 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)
2 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x 3-Way SLI bridge(s)
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x CrossFire cable(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
1 x 2-port USB 2.0 module(s)
1 x ROG Connect cable(s)
1 x ProbeIt cable set(s)
1 x Thermal sensor cable pack(s)
1 x Cable ties pack(s)
1 x ROG theme label(s)
1 x 12 in 1 ROG Cable Label(s)
1 x RC Bluetooth card(s)
User’s manual
I/O Shield
2 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)
1 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
1 x ROG Connect cable(s)
1 x Cable ties pack(s)
1 x ROG theme label(s)
1 x 12 in 1 ROG Cable Label(s)
BIOS 64Mb Flash ROM, EFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.5, ACPI2.0a, Multi-Language BIOS
Support Disc Support DVD:
- Drivers and applications
- ASUS AI Suite II
- ROG CPU-Z
- 3DMark Vantage
- ROG Mem TweakIt Utility
- Kaspersky Anti-Virus 1-year license
- ASUS AI Charger
Form Factor Extended ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 10.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 26.9 cm )
uATX Form Factor
9.6 inch x 9.6 inch ( 24.4 cm x 24.4 cm )

One of the first differences between our pair of ROG motherboards is the lack of onboard video on the Extreme-Z, we touched on that above so we wont dwell on it here. Beyond that is the total number of expansion slots. The Extreme-Z has four PCIe X16 slots, 1 PCIe X4 and 1 PCIe X1, the Gene-Z features 2 PCIe X16 and 1 PCIe X4. This difference is easily understandable simply due to the different form factors used, extended ATX and micro-ATX. The Extreme-Z features a pair of Intel Gigabit LAN controllers while the Gene-Z features a single. Another of the differences has to do with the audio codecs used by each board. The ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z uses a Realtek ALC889 8-channel High Definition codec while the Maximus IV Gene-Z uses a SupremeFX X-Fi 2 audio codec.

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