Articles: Mainboards

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These well-known features of the Tools section are now complemented with new ones. Easy RAID Installer helps you copy RAID drivers from the bundled DVD to a USB drive. However, quite a lot of modern PCs lack any optical drives since users expect to find everything necessary from the internet. In this case, you can use Easy Driver Installer to install the network driver and the Live Setup utility on your USB drive. The utility will then help you download and install all the other drivers. The Secure Backup UEFI tool can be used to copy your BIOS with all its settings to the second BIOS chip. And, finally, if something doesn’t work or you face any problems, the UEFI Tech Service option lets you submit your tech support request right from the BIOS interface. ASRock only needs to build in an email client (to read the response) to make this solution complete!

In the H/W Monitor section you can check out temperatures, voltages and fan speeds. It’s all simple here. The 4-pin connectors can regulate 4-pin fans whereas the 3-pin connectors do the same for 3-pin fans. For most fans you can choose any of the preset regulation modes: Silent, Standard, Performance and Full Speed. Or you can choose Customize to manually set up the regulation parameters. The speed of the second system fan can only be fixed at certain levels whereas the speed of the fan you connect to the Power FAN connector can be monitored but not regulated.

In the Customize mode, you can flexibly set up a fan’s behavior depending on temperature by specifying four combinations of CPU temperature and fan speed. You can also specify a critical temperature threshold for the fan to switch to its maximum speed.

In the Boot section you choose what parameters to apply when the computer starts up. For the computer to boot up faster, enable the Fast Boot option.

Admin and user passwords can be set up in the Security section. The Secure Boot option is indicative of support for Microsoft Windows 8.

The last section, Exit, is where you can apply your changes, discard them or load BIOS defaults.

As a minor downside, we can note that the offered buttons are too similar. Of course, it is no problem when you use a mouse as you can’t miss the captions, but it may be more difficult when you have to select a button with your keyboard.

The overall look and feel of ASRock’s UEFI BIOS hasn’t changed much compared with previous products. We can just note a few new capabilities. It is now much easier to turn off audio notifications and choose the interface language. There is a helper telling you about the basics of using the BIOS. There are new Tools and flexible fan speed management options. All of these innovations are great but we did also uncover a few important aspects that need to be taken into account when working with this mainboard. We’ll talk about them below.

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