The big launch is almost upon us and motherboard manufacturers have been rolling out P55 based boards on a daily basis, many of which we will be previewing here at Hardware Canucks over the coming weeks.
Asus has an already impressive lineup of P55 chipset offerings ready for the Core i5 launch, and it looks to add one more which is sure to excite the micro-ATX crowd. The Maximus III Gene is the natural progression of the Asus Maximus lineup and is a board designed under the ROG (Republic of Gamers) banner, a familiar name to enthusiasts. The board will host most everything that can be found on the full-size P55 ATX boards, plus a few extras.
Obviously the board supports LGA1156 CPU’s and features a 10-phase power design; a surpising bit of “oomph” for an mATX unit. There are only two PCIe x16 slots, supporting single x16 or dual x8 in Crossfire or SLI, with a PCIe x1 sandwiched in between and a legacy PCI set at the bottom.
Connection wise, the rear panel is brimming with nearly every form of port; still including the PS/2 connector along with what appears to be 9X USB, Firewire, eSATA, Onboard X-fi audio and a few ROG exclusive buttons.
With its ROG status, the board will also include LCD Poster, Voltminder LED, MemOK, iROG and the Extreme Tweaker ability.
Surprisingly the board does not seem to be overly crammed despite the long list of features, and aside from the usual expectation of loosing some expansion ports with dual slot coolers – accessories like larger heatsinks or watercooling additions shouldn’t prove to be a problem.
Asus also intends to release the Maximus III Formula which is the regular ATX version of the P55 chipset. The official release of the Maximus III Gene is not known, and neither is the price; however, one can expect it to fall in line with other ROG products and be offered slightly above the $250 mark.