Articles: Mainboards

Bookmark and Share

Pages: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 ]

BIOS Setup

We do not usually have any serious issues with the BIOS of Asus mainboards, and those comments that we make have mostly to do with the convenience of use rather than functionality, which is always on an extremely high level. Asus Maximus III Formula mainboard belongs to the “Republic of Gamers” series that is why it is assumed that its owner will be paying special attention to system performance right from the start. Therefore, it is quite logical that the first section we see on entering the BIOS is not the standard but not very interesting “Main” section, but an enormous section called “Extreme Tweaker” containing almost all the settings affecting the system performance.

In fact, the screenshot above doesn’t show the entire section. Once you give up fully automatic parameters setup and set “Ai Overclock Tuner” to Manual, you get access to previously hidden options for adjusting base clock, PCI Express bus frequency and memory frequency.

It is very convenient that “Republic of Gamers” mainboards duplicate the processor settings page inside the “Extreme Tweaker” section. As we will see later on, “CPU Configuration” sub-section didn’t leave the “Advanced” section, but nevertheless it is good to also have it here. Unfortunately, this is not the case with mainstream Asus mainboards.

Memory timings have been also singled out into a separate page. There are a lot of them in this list, special information strings indicate their current values; however, it is very inconvenient to determine which value corresponds to which parameter.

The next group of settings we see is connected with voltage adjustment. “Extreme OV” parameter will allow you to push voltage maximums further back. The intervals for air cooling are quite sufficient right from the start, but they may be not enough for more extreme cooling systems. “LN2 Mode” parameter will help overcome startup problems in case of extremely low temperatures. You can also avoid processor Vcore drop under serious operational load here. You can set the voltage to a certain fixed value, or simply add the desired voltage increment to the nominal value: in this case Intel processor power-saving technologies will continue working. Informational parameters will display the current voltages and temperatures.

However, the way all the values are listed in a single line makes it difficult to work with them. It will take you some time to figure out that the current “IMC Voltage” is not the closest value of 1.058 V, but 1.118 V, which is listed way higher up. This is what makes regular Asus mainboards much more convenient than the “Republic of Gamers” solutions. For example, this is what this section looks like by Asus P7P55D Deluxe mainboard:

Although the current values are not listed in a columned form next to the corresponding parameters, they are fairly close, and most importantly, they are all marked. It is really hard to get confused if you are being told exactly that this is “Current CPU Core Voltage” or “Current IMC Voltage” instead of the neutral “Current Voltage”, like we see on Asus Maximus III Formula mainboard.

It is very interesting that in the very end of the “Extreme Tweaker” section there is a duplicate of the “O.C. Profile” sub-section that allows saving and loading up to eight complete BIOS settings profiles.

We have already seen this feature by ASRock P55 Deluxe mainboard, but it was severely criticized back then. It is formally very convenient to save the settings profile once all the adjustments have been made inside this section. However, we are going to come across a lot of other BIOS section where we will also need to make certain changes, so we will have to go back and resave the settings profile afterwards. And if you need to load one of the previously saved settings profiles, you will have to go to the very end of the fairly long section to find the necessary option. Asus Maximus III Formula mainboard doesn’t have these issues, because “O.C. Profile sub-section didn’t go anywhere from the “Tools” section. It is simply duplicated inside the “Extreme Tweaker” section, so you can use the one that is more convenient for you at the time.

Now let’s go over to “Advanced” section that contains a number of new and very interesting sub-sections.

Asus Maximus III Formula mainboard has quite many LEDs onboard. There are glowing buttons, shimmering “Republic of gamers” logo on the central heatsink, tri-color “Voltiminder LED” indicators reporting the current CPU, memory and chipset voltages. It is very nice that the BISO contains a special “LED Control” sub-section, where you can manage all these LEDs. You can disable them completely or partially to your own liking.

“ROG Connect” sub-section allows you to prohibit the connection to another computer system. It also allows you to choose the way boot-up status is displayed: in text or POST-code form. “iROG Configuration” sub-section will allow to monitor the current and total system operation time.

Pages: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 ]


Comments currently: 8
Discussion started: 01/02/10 03:20:08 PM
Latest comment: 04/22/11 10:54:11 PM

View comments

Add your Comment