Included Software Utilities
- ROG GameFirst II
- ROG RAMDisk
- ROG CPU-Z
- ROG Mem TweakIt
- Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
- DAEMON Tools Pro Standard
- ASUS WebStorage
- ASUS Utilities
ROG GameFirst II is a network traffic prioritisation tool. This software was intuitive and seemed effective in our testing with torrents competing with Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4. We didn't notice any issues with ping times or rubber-banding. There are screen shots below to give an idea of the level of configuration available. It also has the ability to help you manage your quota via the "budget" feature.
ROG RAMDisk does what you expect, it sections off a portion of RAM as a virtual disk for speedy access - but it has a real value add in that it also manages junctions for you. This was one of the real stand outs for me - the RAMDISK utility allows you to temporarily move a directory to Memory, access it, write to it and then it syncs it with the source directory on shutdown with minimal user intervention. Sure, you won't be able to fit a lot in there but if you use 16GB RAM, it goes a long way. This also saves your SSDs from copping a thrashing - think about it, you boot and the ASUS RAMDISK utility creates a drive for your internet temporary files or video editing files. All the writes occur in RAM and then the contents are written back to the SSD at the end of your session ONCE, rather than hundreds or thousands of times - saving write cycles to the NAND in your SSD and potentially extending it's life. It all depends on how much of a flogging you give your SSD but it's great to get this utility in the software bundle.
After testing the MSI Z87M's sound solution, I was expecting similar things from the ASUS Maximus VI Gene. The sound clarity, driver implementation and gaming experience was impressive, not noticeably different to the also impressive MSI Z87M Gaming but certainly an improvement over other onboard offerings like the ALC892 and ALC 898. I'm no audiophile but for gaming, movies and listening to music, this solution negates the need for a dedicated sound card unless you are looking to do some professional audio work. The sound software interface is similar to other offerings, allowing the selection of acoustic sound effects and the audio jacks are auto sensing so the system knows when you plug something in.
One other feature that ASUS has is the Sonic Radar - it's been interesting to hear what some people say about it as well. I first saw it at the EB Games expo in Sydney last year at the ASUS booth and felt conflicted. Basically, there is a radar overlay on the screen that tells you where the sound of gunfire, footsteps, voices etc is coming from and because it's an overlay, there are some people that consider this an unfair advantage (read: cheating). I'm not so sure that it's an "unfair" advantage because it is also an added distraction as most competitive FPS games already have one radar or minimap without this overlay but it is pretty cool and it does work as advertised. It will be interesting to see if other sound card/motherboard vendors also start to provide similar software in the future.
ASUS AI Suite 3
AI Suite 3 is the one stop shop for performance tweaking - you can overclock or underclock here, monitor system performance or change FAN settings. The software worked perfectly in our testing - the average user probably won't venture in there much but for the tweakers out there that don't want to live in the UEFI BIOS, this is going to make life easier.