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BIOS Functionality

In our ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Professional Review we have already discussed the new UEFI BIOS from ASRock in detail and found their interface to be very convenient to work with. It turned out that mainstream ASRock mainboards have almost the same exact BIOS, but designed in a different color scheme. The first section e see on accessing the BIOS is called “Main”, which reports the basic information about our system.

You can right away check out the major peculiarity of the ASRock UEFI BIOS – the System Browser. It is designed as a pretty precise schematic layout of the board. By rolling the mouse pointer over any of the mainboard components you can get information about it.

Most of the overclocking and fine-tuning options are gathered in “OC Tweaker” section. At the bottom of the page there is an option that allows you to save up to three complete settings profiles and assign each of them a descriptive name.

As usual, some parameters have been relocated into individual sections to unload the main page a little bit. In particular, all the settings for memory timings configuring have been singled out onto a separate page.

All parameters related to voltage adjustment are in a separate section, too. The voltages can be set above or below the nominal value, you may set them as specific values or just add a certain value to the nominal setting. The digital voltage regulator allows selecting the desired intensity of the voltage drop counteraction.

We are already very well familiar with the functionality of the sub-sections in the “Advanced” section: their names speak for themselves.

The “CPU Configuration” sub-section contains basic information about the processor and offers to configure some processor technologies.

All parameters related to power-saving are singled out on a separate page called “CPU Power Management Configuration”.

We have to specifically point out a very convenient BIOS updating tool called “Instant Flash”. The unique thing about it is the absence of any type of file manager, though the updating process is still very quick and easy. Upon boot-up the utility will automatically analyze the contents of the connected drives. The system supports devices formatted as FAT16 or FAT32.

After that you get a list of compatible BIOS versions and at that point all you have to do is select the one you need. We are going to show you the BIOS updating procedure performed on ASRock X79 Extreme3 as an example, but it is identical for all mainboards from this maker anyway.

The actual reflashing process doesn’t take long and the new BIOS version is in place after a system reboot. Everything is very simple and quick. The only thing missing is the ability to save the current BIOS version and the support for drives with NTFS file system.

 “H/W Monitor” section allows monitoring temperatures, voltages and fan rotation speeds. The rotation speeds of the processor fan, four-pin system fan and chipset fan may be set in dependence on the temperature or locked at a certain fixed value. The rotation speed of the remaining two system fans can only be lowered. Only the “Power FAN” speed can be monitored but cannot be adjusted in any way.

The “Boot” section allows choosing the startup system parameters.

“Security” section will offer to create administrator and user passwords.

The last section called “Exit” allows to apply all changes, reverse them or reset all settings to defaults.

Overall, the new UEFI BIOS from ASRock looks very solid and convenient to work with. It offers everything necessary for system overclocking and fine-tuning. The only thing we couldn’t find were the parameters for Turbo mode configuring, namely the options for setting different frequency multipliers depending on the number of utilized cores in unlocked CPUs.

 
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