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BIOS Functionality

When we reviewed ASRock Z77 Extreme4 and ASRock Z77 Extreme6 mainboards, we discussed their BIOS functionality in great detail, and a little later we talked about the BIOS on ASRock Z77 Fatal1ty Professional, which major distinguishing feature was the typical red-and-black “Fatal1ty” interface. That is why today we are going to go over the major BIOS sections and point out only the most important features and peculiarities.

The first section we see upon accessing the BIOS is called “Main”, which reports the basic information about our system.

 

“System Browser” sub-section is designed as a pretty precise schematic layout of the board itself. By rolling the mouse pointer over any of the mainboard components on this layout you can get information about it. For example, we highlighted the voltage regulator on the layout and learned that the BIOS sees its structure as 12+6 instead of 8+4.

ASRock OMG (Online Management Guard) function allows denying Internet access at preset times and days of the week in the BIOS.

Most of the overclocking and fine-tuning options are gathered in “OC Tweaker” section. The top part offers you options for automatic overclocking of the CPU and the graphics core integrated into it, or allows setting the parameters manually. 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. The voltages may be set above and below the nominal value. They may be set at specific values, or adjusted by adding an offset to the default setting. The digital voltage regulator circuitry allows selecting the Vdroop value.

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.

We are already very well familiar with the functionality of the sub-sections in the “Advanced” section: their names speak for themselves. I would only like to point out a very convenient BIOS updating tool called “Instant Flash”. This utility will analyze the contents of the plugged in USB drive and provide you a list of compatible updates. All you need to do at this point is select the correct BIOS version. We also noticed a few changes in another even more convenient BIOS updating utility called “Internet Flash”: now we can select the server for downloading the BIOS at the most convenient geographical location.

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

“H/W Monitor” section allows monitoring temperatures, voltages and fan rotation speeds. The rotation speeds of the two processor fans and a four-pin system 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 to the desired level. Only the “Power FAN” speed can be monitored but cannot be adjusted in any way. “Dehumidifier Function” will prevent boot-up failures caused by excessive humidity inside the system case. The humidity can be easily lowered from 70% to 40% in a very simple way: by powering the system on from time to time. This function allows setting the frequency of system power-ups, the length of the on-time and the rotation speed of the CPU cooler fan.

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 you to apply all changes, cancel 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.

 
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