To gain access to more overclocking presets and turn off warning messages when using higher than Intel recommended voltages, we must put a jumper on a set of pins on top of the ones marked TB_HEADER to unlock the secret LN2 mode. 

IMG 0909 ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene (Z77) Review   Ivy Bridge on Phase Change

The functional UEFI BIOS layout on the board is an ROG themed variant of the ones found on ASUS boards since the P67 era, providing a well partitioned and verbose GUI for stress-free tuning. Once the secret LN2 mode is activated, hidden profiles meant for subzero experimentations are available for selection. Recovery from bad overclocks is spot on, with a quick power cycle bringing the board back to previous stable settings without any theatrics.

cpu1 ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene (Z77) Review   Ivy Bridge on Phase Change

 

Common and not-so-common voltage options are present for enthusiasts to mess around, with values colour coded to indicate the level of danger.

cpu3 ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene (Z77) Review   Ivy Bridge on Phase Change

 

The elusive Xtreme Tweaking and SPI Booster options help tighten internal timings to give the board the edge over its competitors in some benchmarks.

cpu2 ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene (Z77) Review   Ivy Bridge on Phase Change

 

Thanks to its DIGI+ PWM controllers, the BIOS is well endowed with settings to control LLC, switching frequencies and over-current capability, giving users a choice between eco power saving and environmentally irresponsible overclocking dexterity. Because we are VR-Zone, this review will focus on the latter.

vrm ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene (Z77) Review   Ivy Bridge on Phase Change

 

The DRAM tweaking section is fairly comprehensive as well, with memory presets provided for common DDR3 chipsets as a good starting point for further tuning.

mem1 ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene (Z77) Review   Ivy Bridge on Phase Change

mem2 ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene (Z77) Review   Ivy Bridge on Phase Change

 

Typically found only on high-end motherboards, there are skew and drive options to squeeze every bit of performance out of the CPU and memory.

skew ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene (Z77) Review   Ivy Bridge on Phase Change

 

BIOS profiles are retained across CMOS reset but not after a flash upgrade.

profiles ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene (Z77) Review   Ivy Bridge on Phase Change

 

Since the recent BIOS releases, ASUS has worked on its much criticized boot-up speed of their motherboards by tweaking PNP device initialization during POST. The controversial Windows 8 Secure Boot support has also been added to qualify their boards for official Microsoft certification.

fastboot ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene (Z77) Review   Ivy Bridge on Phase Change

win8 ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene (Z77) Review   Ivy Bridge on Phase Change