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BIOS Functionality

In the previous Asus mainboard reviews we already discussed Asus EFI BIOS – an overall very successful implementation of the UEFI standard (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). By default, we see EZ Mode when we enter the BIOS, which serves purely informational purposes, because it hardly allows you to adjust anything at all. You can find out the basic system specifications, check out some monitoring parameters, select energy-efficient or performance mode and set the boot-up devices order by simply dragging them with a mouse pointer.

Frankly speaking, I can’t figure out why Asus considers this EZ Mode to be one of their mainboards’ advantages. Even if we take the most undemanding user who would normally only set the date and time in the BIOS, this mode will still be not functional enough for him. You can’t change date and time in this section. In my opinion, EZ Mode is a drawback, because it makes you waste valuable time switching to the normal mode called “Advanced Mode”. However, there is a new way of getting rid of the useless EZ Mode – by pressing the F3 hot key. This key gives you access to any BIOS section via a drop-down menu.

You can immediately switch to Advanced Mode from EZ Mode every time to access the BIOS, you can use the F3 hot key, which also works in all other BIOS sections, but it will undoubtedly be much more convenient to make Advanced Mode the startup mode in the BIOS settings. In this case the first section we will see is going to be the well-familiar “Main”.

Note that you can change the interface language. Not all the parameters will be translated and the BIOS does look a little funny in any language other than English. However, I am sure that it will help the non-English speaking users to find their way around the BIOS settings.

Most of the overclocking-related options are gathered in “Ai Tweaker” section. The new Asus EFI BIOS looks a little unconventional, but its structure and parameters remind us a lot of the good old Asus BIOS. You can change the frequencies, multipliers and voltages in the main section window. You don’t need to go over to the Monitoring section to check the current voltages, as they are all listed right here next each of the parameters used for changing these voltages, which is extremely convenient.

Some parameters are as usual singled out into individual sub-section in order to unload the main section a little. “OC Tuner” parameter only looks like a sub-section, but in reality its helps to automatically overclock the system. The memory timings adjustment settings are also singled out onto an individual page and they are scarily numerous. However, don’t be afraid, as this sub-section is very easy to work with. You can see all timings that the mainboards installs for each of the four memory channels. And you can adjust only a few selected timings, such as the main ones, for example, leaving all other settings at defaults.

I can’t help pointing out a great lot of new options that deal primarily with the power and energy consumption. They appeared due to the digital “DIGI+” voltage regulator circuitry. Now right in the BIOS you can configure Asus’ proprietary power-saving technologies that allow changing the number of active phases in the voltage regulator circuitry depending on the CPU utilization. “CPU Load-Line Calibration” technology that prevents the CPU Vcore from dropping under heavy load may be not only enabled or disabled, but also adjusted to deliver the desired effect.

You can adjust the options affecting Turbo performance in the “CPU Performance Settings” sub-section.

We are very well familiar with the functionality of the parameters in the sub-sections of the “Advanced” section mainly from their names. I would only like to point out that SATA drives on Asus mainboards now work in AHCI mode by default.

The “CPU Configuration” sub-section reports the basic info about the processor and allows managing some processor technologies.

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