|CPU:||Intel i7 3770K|
3.5 GHz, 8 MB Cache
|Memory:||8 GB DDR3 (4x 4 GB) G.Skill F3-2400C10D-8GTX|
|Motherboard:||ASUS Maximus V Gene|
Intel Z77 Express, BIOS ver 0813
|Video Card:||XFX Radeon HD 6950 2 GB|
|Harddisk:||Corsair ForceGT 60 GB SATA 6 Gb/s SSD(OS)|
Crucial M4 SATA 6 Gb/s SSD
Velocity SuperSpeed USB3.0 External Dock w/ Corsair F60 SSD
|Power Supply:||Silverstone Strider GOLD 750W|
|Software:||Windows 7 64-bit SP1, ATI Catalyst 12.3|
Installation of the ASUS Maximus V Gene was pretty straight forward, but there are a few things that stand out with this product that need to be mentioned. First and foremost, ASUS's UEFI BIOS does not follow the standard Intel Turbo profile for CPUs, and rather sets a custom profile that leads to a performance increase across the board. I noticed this immediately, as performance on a couple of quick benchmarks was far higher than I was expecting. Rather than having just a single core hit 3.9 GHz as is normal for an Intel i7 3770K, I found that ALL CORES run at 3900 MHz, as shown in the CPU-Z screenshot shown above. It's possible to manually set the default Intel Turbo profile, but since the default the ASUS Maximus V Gene offers is as shown in the CPU-Z screenshot, all testing was completed with this custom ASUS Turbo profile in place. This means I expect the ASUS Maximus V Gene to take the top spot in all benchmarks, although some may consider this an unfair advantage for ASUS. I'm pretty sure that most users would not have immediately noticed this behavior anyway, and a big part of how I do my reviews is focused on presenting exactly what you get out of the box, so I chose to leave things as they are. This is not the first time I've tested a board that runs Intel's Turbo in this fashion, and I do expect others in the future to do that same as well, so I merely consider it a bit of free safe overclocking, that any CPU should be capable of.
Memory, on the other hand, was just as expected, with the default JEDEC profile booting without any issues.
PWM Power ConsumptionSince one of our first tasks was to truly verify system stability, while doing so we measure CPU power consumption. We isolate the power coming through the 8-pin ATX connector using an in-line meter that provides voltage and current readings, as well as total wattage passed through it. While this may not prove to isolate the CPU power draw in all instances, it does serve as a good indicator of board efficiency and effective VRM design.
I run IntelBurnTest for power consumption testing, so these numbers do kind of indicate worst-case scenarios, however even with the added Turbo boost to all cores, I found idle power consumption numbers and load numbers pretty close to the other two Intel Z77 Express products I've tested so far. Load is a couple of Watts higher, but given the added performance, it is nothing unexpected and actually quite good considering.