The pricing of the ASUS Maximus VI Gene has recently dropped from $285 to $269 at a prominent local e-tailer. This takes the board from the 'pretty expensive' bracket to the price point where more system builders might consider stretching their budget to own one. That said, the Gene is still a pricey option for a micro-ATX board compared (on price alone) with its competition. This places it price-wise as below:
- ASRock Z87M Extreme 4 at $159
- ASUS Gryphon (not including option armour kit) at $185
- MSI Z87M Gaming at $235
- ASUS Maximus VI Gene at $269
- Gigabyte G1 Sniper M5 at $275
The above list are all considered "gaming" or "enthusiast" micro-ATX motherboards - certified for NVIDIA SLI and AMD Crossfire, most with upgraded sound chips (*excluding the Gryphon which has ALC 892). Cost is the biggest hurdle for the Gene and it shouldn't be a negative because the board itself in isolation is worth it. The thing is that when you are building a system, other options like the Z87M Gaming also come into play when working to a budget. That said, if you are looking to treat yourself, intend to use the majority of the reatures and can afford to spend a little more, the ASUS Maximus VI Gene isn't going to disappoint.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the ASUS Maximus VI Gene - in fact it's near perfect. This board is well engineered and has all the trimmings you could ask for with uncompromising aesthetics in line with it's ROG siblings. ASUS has cheaper boards to suit those on a tight budget and if you are in the market for an SLI capable micro-ATX Z87 board but can't afford the Maximus VI Gene, then they have the Z87 GRYPHON for $84 less. The Maximus VI Gene is designed, marketed and sold as a premium product that doesn't pretend to be anything else.
Although it's a board that looks to the future with little legacy support for older connectivity, I'd be happy to trade some USB 2 connections on the rear I/O for a DVI port as 2 of my screens don't have HDMI - in real life, this would only be useful for troubleshooting as I would never run a board like this without at least one discrete graphics card.
I really liked testing the Maximus VI Gene, specifically the attention to detail with the POST status LEDs on board, DirectKey, UEFI options and even the ability to make the board 'dark' if you wanted. Overclocking was solid and easy, the audio perfect for gaming and the PCIE Combo II add on card means that you could add WIFI and Bluetooth to the board for an additional ~$30. There is a lot to be said for the software bundles that come with motherboards and in the case of the ASUS, The GameFirst II and RAMDISK applications had some simple but really effective tweaks and configuration options that I could really see myself using beyond novelty value.
|ASUS Maximus VI Gene Motherboard|
Fully featured board for gamers, overclockers and enthusiasts
Limited rear video outputs might be an issue for some