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Building A Liquid-Cooled MicroATX Gaming Monster

The Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z defaults our CPU to approximately 3813 MHz, regardless of the number of active cores. But it then idles down to 1606 MHz. Enabling XMP Profile 1 prevents Intel's SpeedStep technology from spinning the processor down when it's idle. That's good news for performance fanatics, and bad news for anyone who cares about their power bill.

A core voltage of only 1.38 V provides the extra stability needed to push the CPU multiplier to 47x and the CPU base clock to 101.1 MHz.

The motherboard’s 1.375 V setting pushes our CPU to 1.38 V with ± 4 mV of fluctuation.

As with most Asus motherboards, “Load-Line Calibration” reduces voltage “droop” under full load. The Maximus IV Gene-Z takes this feature a little further by adding several steps, with its “75%” setting appropriate for our CPU voltage and clock frequency.

A stable 4.75 GHz frequency is the result.

The Maximus IV Gene-Z responds to the altered base clock by changing from 9-11-9-28 to 10-10-10-30 timings. G.Skills DDR3-2200 remains stable, even though 10 is less than 11.

Liquid cooling allows our GeForce GTX 580s to reach an incredible 950 MHz frequency, even under “combined load” testing with the CPU and one of the two graphics cards on the same radiator.

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