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Exclusive Software

A few years ago, ASUS replaced its various software tools with the unified AI Suite. The downside is that you have to download quite a heavy software pack even if you only plan to use but one utility. It is not a big problem with today’s high-speed data transmission channels, though, and there are quite a lot of advantages. Thanks to the single installer and shell, AI Suite is easy to install, update, launch and remove. The utilities it contains serve different purposes but have a unified interface and are designed to work together. The contents of the suite have changed over time, so here we will give you a brief description of the utilities included into AI Suite III.

As usual, you have to download the whole AI Suite III but you can install only specific utilities. Moreover, you can choose the destination path while installing whereas many exclusive utilities from other manufacturers are only installed on the system disk.

After the OS boots up, you will see a power mode notification in the bottom right corner of the screen. You will see it again when you move your mouse pointer to it. This notification panel is supposed to help you quickly switch between the different modes, but we couldn’t make it work.

The start screen of the 4-Way Optimization program shows you the status of the following features: TPU (TurboV Processing Unit), EPU (Energy Processing Unit), DIGI+ Power Control, and Fan Xpert 2. The window is interactive, so when you move your mouse pointer to the fan icon, you will see a graph of its speed/temperature correlation. The icons on the right help you choose a power-saving mode, but this feature didn’t work in our case.

Depending on the specific AI Suite III utility, the contents of the window will change, but the regularly updated info panel in its bottom part will always report the current monitoring data. If you click the small triangle in the CPU Frequency section, you will be able to track the load on the CPU cores. The gear icon on the right will open a settings window where you can set up permissible adjustment ranges for voltages, temperatures and fan speeds.

By clicking on the 4-Way Optimization section on the left, you can overclock your computer automatically. You only have to specify the location of fans connected to the system connectors.

In the Advanced Settings window you can set up TPU, EPU and Fan Xpert 2 preferences for the automatic overclocking feature.

Automatic overclocking is handy as it requires no effort on your part and takes little time but you can achieve better results by choosing optimal parameters manually. You can do this by using the TPU feature that goes after 4-Way Optimization. In the top part of the window, you set up frequency multipliers for the CPU cores and check out the results of your changes visually. Similar graphs below will indicate the outcome of your changing CPU and cache memory voltages. Lower still, there are options for adjusting the rest of the voltages. They are hidden by default, as you can see in the smaller screenshot below, while the scrollbar on the right can be easily overlooked. This is perhaps the only flaw in the program interface. The CPU Strap tab at the top lets you change the base clock rate.

The next utility, EPU, is for setting up power-saving modes using the Auto, High Performance, Max Power Saving and Away Mode tabs.

The DIGI+ Power Control window has two parts. The left part contains CPU or memory (the DRAM tab) power options. In the right part, the purpose and effect of each option are described and illustrated.

The Fan Xpert 2 utility helps you choose one of the predefined fan regulation modes or manually set up the speed of each fan. The window in the bottom right recommends you to calibrate your fans first.

You can easily access the rest of the AI Suite III tools. The icon in the top right corner of each window will open a list of the installed utilities: to quickly recharge mobile gadgets, look for updates, report system information, speed up USB 3.0, prioritize your network bandwidth, update your firmware, simplify communication with mobile devices, and transform your computer into a wireless access point.

We’ve always been very skeptical about exclusive software bundled with mainboards. It is usually a set of diverse utilities that look primitive and have limited capabilities. Or they may look too gaudy, yet work imperfectly as well. AI Suite III changes our view as this unified set of software tools, with a proper user interface and broad functionality, can indeed simplify your experience of using the mainboard. It is not without bugs, yet the developers work to eliminate them by issuing updates. It’s up to you to choose the utilities you need, but we guess you should give them a try anyway. The only thing we didn’t quite like is that AI Suite III loads automatically and we couldn’t change that.

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