I'm not sure why, but I'm such a sucker for the mATX format when it comes to computing. I say I'm not sure why because I don't have an mATX system, nor do I have a need for one, but it doesn't stop me from being interested in the layout. For years we saw companies release mATX formatted boards that had one thing in mind, low cost by sacrificing the stuff that makes the big boards so great.
ASUS stood up one day, though, and said "No more!" - For some reason I'm kind of picturing the CEO smashing his fist on the table while he says it. Anyway, we saw ASUS start to create mATX boards that could do just as much as their larger counterpart, but in a smaller form factor.
Today we look at the latest power mATX board from ASUS in the form of the Maximus IV Gene-Z. At first glance it looks like it does everything a user would want in a performance mATX board. Looks can be deceiving, though. Just because it can walk the walk, can it talk the talk? Well, we intend to find out today, but before we get into the fun stuff like overclocking and benchmarking, we have to first start off with the package.
Once that's done we'll move on to the board itself and see just exactly what ASUS is offering us when it comes to Maximus IV Gene-Z. From there we'll get into the BIOS and just before we start to get in to the benchmarking side of things, we'll check out the overclocking capabilities.
As you'd expect in typical ASUS style, we've got a lot going on with the box thanks to the foldout bit that gives us a bunch more information. The main difference between this box and other ROG ones apart from the size is the fact that we don't have the normal see through panel that lets us see the product. There's actually not even a picture of the entire board on the box. Of course, there are pictures of bits of it and the back of the box gives us a wealth of information telling us all the specs including the size.
For such a small box there are a whole lot of bits and pieces going on inside. We've got our manual, Driver CD, ROG sticker, SATA cable labels, SLI Bridge, easy connectors, I/O back plate, ROG connect cable and a total of six SATA cables with two being SATA III.