We’ve got another innovation here. ASUS's new mainboards come with EFI BIOS which is an implementation of the UEFI specification (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). By default, when you enter the mainboard’s BIOS, you work in EZ Mode which doesn't allow configuring much, actually. The top of the screen displays system information including basic monitoring parameters. In the middle of the screen you can choose one of the three preset power-saving modes. In the bottom part you can specify the order of boot devices by dragging and dropping them with your mouse pointer.
However, you can switch into Advanced Mode to get access to more setup opportunities. While EFI BIOS is very new with a bunch of new features and functions, new interface and ability to use not only keyboard but also mouse, we were extremely pleased that the menu structure is actually based on that of the time-tested conventional BIOS of older ASUS mainboards.
As before, most of the parameters we are interested in can be found in the AiTweaker section. Besides familiar ones, there are new options here. For example, we can now not only enable power-saving technologies with the EPU Power Saving Mode but also choose an appropriate level of power saving. Other options such as Load-Line Calibration or Phase Control can be set up flexibly, too. Some parameters have got separate pages: such as CPU Power Management and DRAM Timing Control.
The Advanced section contains CPU, chipset, onboard controller and interface settings.
In the Monitor section you can check out the key voltages and temperatures and adjust the rotation speed of the fans connected to the mainboard.
The Boot section is for specifying the boot devices order and some other boot-related parameters.
We found a few familiar utilities in the Tool section: EZ Flash for updating the firmware and O.C.Profile for managing BIOS settings. There is also a new feature: now you can view the memory modules' SPD information here.
We still have to see how other manufacturers implement UEFI but ASUS’s approach looks good to us. This EFI BIOS offers a lot of new capabilities while retaining all of the previous developments. Of course, such full-scale changes could not be expected to go without a single glitch. We encountered a number of small problems of various kinds when working with this mainboard but they will surely be eliminated in the future. Our overall impression from the EFI BIOS is the most positive anyway.