Articles: Mainboards

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BIOS Setup

The main BIOS screen allows setting up the current date, time and interface language. You can also configure the operation of connected disks and view some basic system information. Take note that the mainboard's model name is now displayed in the title of each BIOS screen. The BIOS version number can be seen in the top right corner.

Most of performance tweaking options can be found in the Ai Tweaker section. By default, all of them are set by the mainboard automatically. If you choose the D.O.C.P. mode for the Ai Overclock Tuner parameter, the mainboard will change the base clock rate and the CPU frequency multiplier in such a way as to raise the memory frequency to the specified level. In the X.M.P. mode the mainboard will use the values written into the memory modules' SPD, if applicable.

We've got all the options for changing frequencies, multipliers and voltages here, so you can set your system up for optimal performance. You can also specify your memory timings (there are so many of them that they populate an individual BIOS page).

The Advanced section provides you with options for controlling the chipset, onboard controllers and interfaces.

We are mostly interested in the CPU Configuration subsection as it contains a lot of important CPU-related parameters.

Some of the options reside in a separate page called Intel PPM Configuration. This is not quite right because users are likely to neglect it whereas the Intel C-State Tech option is turned off by default. This means the CPU will not switch into deep power-saving modes when idle. Besides, it will not be able to increase its frequency multiplier by x2 under low single-threaded load. That is, the Intel Turbo Boost technology will be limited in its scope: it will only be able to increase the CPU multiplier by x1 irrespective of the CPU's load and power consumption.

Next we enter the Power section and make sure the EuP Ready parameter is available. It allows to lower the power consumption of the mainboard when the latter is turned off but not disconnected from the mains.

The Hardware Monitor page is for checking out the key voltages, temperatures and fan speeds.

You can choose the speed mode for the three fans connected to the mainboard's Chassis Fan connectors from three options: Standard, Silent and Turbo. For the CPU fan you can also manually specify the relation between speed and temperature.

In the Boot section you can specify the priority of boot devices and some other boot-related parameters. The Tools section provides a few tools we are already familiar with by other ASUS mainboards:

  • EZ Flash 2 is an easy-to-use and informative built-in BIOS update utilities;
  • Express Gate is an integrated Linux-based OS with basic functionality;
  • OC Profile offers handy options for managing profiles with BIOS settings;
  • AI NET 2 technology can be used to check out the network cable for damage;
  • The Drive Xpert Configuration page is where you can manage your HDDs connected to the SATA 6 Gbps ports.

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