Articles: Mainboards

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All parameters related to power-saving are singled out on a separate page called “CPU Power Management Configuration”.

“Monitor” section tells us the current temperatures, voltages and fan rotation speeds. You can select one of the preset modes for the processor and case fans from a pretty standard set including “Standard”, “Silent” and “Turbo” modes. You can also select the parameters manually. Before, the rotation speed of all case fans was the same and was determined by the only parameter called “Chassis Q-Fan Control”. Now there is a n individual option for each of the four fans and each of them may be adjusted separately.

“Boot” section allows you to set up the order of boot-up devices that will be applied on system start-up. By the way, this is where you have to replace the default “EZ Mode” with “Advanced Mode”.

Now let’s take a closer look at the functionality of the four sub-sections in the “Tools” section.

The built-in “EZ Flash 2” utility for BIOS reflashing is one of the most convenient and functional programs of the kind. However, the transition to EFI BIOS did force some changes upon it. In particular, it now saves the current BIOS version in the root directory of the drive by default, while previously you could have it saved into any selected folder.

Just like on other manufacturers’ mainboards, we can see the information written into memory modules SPD.

Asus mainboards allow saving and them quickly loading eight full BIOS settings profiles. Each profile may be given a brief descriptive name reminding you of its contents. You can also exchange profiles saving them to and loading them from external drives.

“Drive Xpert” sub-section will help you to easily and quickly create a RAID array of a pair of drives connected to the additional Marvell 88SE9128 controller.

The last section is called “Exit”. Here you can apply the changes, restore the defaults or go back to the “EZ Mode”.

The new Asus EFI BIOS is an excellent example of how it is possible to extend the functionality of the old BIOS without losing any of the existing convenience. In our case the new BIOS’ main advantage may be considered a sort of a drawback: too many adjustable parameters and settings could be quite overwhelming in the beginning. However, the settings in default mode are quite optimal, so you will get a perfectly operational system without really changing anything. We were very pleased to see that the functionality was expanded. Namely, we pleased to see a new F3 hot key and the options for individual configuring of the case fans. Unfortunately, some minor issues, which we already pointed out a few months ago during our first encounter with the EFI BIOS haven’t been corrected yet. The disabling of the startup image cannot be saved in a profile, the EZ Flash 2 utility saves the current BIOS version only in the root directory of the drive instead of our location of choice. In case of excessive overclocking when the mainboard cannot start, you don’t need to reset all the parameters, because the board will automatically reboot in safe mode, which is extremely convenient. In this case all parameter settings will remain untouched, except for the “EPU Power Saving Mode”, which will be disabled if you enabled it previously. However, these are not problems but more of minor issues that pose minimal inconvenience and do not interfere with the system configuring or overclocking.

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