Articles: Mainboards

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Most settings that you will use to configure or overclock your system are gathered in “O.N.E.” section. Unfortunately, Biostar’s proprietary ability to select on its own a BIOS section as a startup page, which we really liked, is no longer here. Moreover, this section has been segmented into numerous sub-sections.

“Over Voltage Configuration” page allows you to control and adjust the voltages. All parameters only add certain values to the nominal settings, but you can set the memory voltages below the nominal, which is a great feature if you are using low-voltage memory modules. If the set values are very far from their nominal originals, the settings will be highlighted yellow, and then red. The only inconvenience is that we do not know what the current voltages are, and need to return to the “PC Health Status” section to find this out.

“Biostar Memory Insight” sub-section shows the timings recorded in the memory modules SPD.

“AMD Pstate Configuration” page allows changing the processor clock frequency multiplier, CPU core and North Bridge voltages, North Bridge frequency.

You configure the frequency and width of the HyperTransport bus in “Hyper Transport Configuration” sub-section.

If you have already forgotten what memory timings you need to set, you will have to go a few pages back to the “Biostar Memory Insight” sub-section first, because the next page in our list called “DRAM Timing Configuration”. This is where you adjust your memory frequency and timings.

Although configuring memory frequency and timings may seem very simple and obvious, you can still make mistakes here. The frequency can be set between 800 and 1600 MHz, higher frequencies are available only if you overclock your system by raising the base clock frequency. By the way, Asus mainboards allow setting the memory frequency at 2133 MHz. As for the memory timings, you can configure them for each memory channel separately, or for both of them at the same time. Of course, I decided to go with the second option and was very surprised when I discovered after rebooting my system that the timings hadn’t actually changed. Setting “Both” for the “DRAM Timing Mode” parameter doesn’t at all mean that you will be changing the memory timings for both memory channels at the same time. I had to pay attention to the scroll bar on the right: set the timings for one channel and then scroll the page down and repeat the same for the second channel. As far as I remember, MSI mainboards used to employ this extremely inconvenient way of configuring memory, but they have got rid of this unnecessary complexity long time ago.

At the same time we uncovered yet another problem with the new UEFI BIOS of the Biostar mainboards: the window for the text info is not big enough. There is a pretty large company logo at the top of all screens, with smaller section icons beneath it and the section names written above them. As a result, there is not that much space left for the actual BIOS parameters.

“MCT Configuration” page has a few more parameters related to the memory sub-system.

As for the last sub-section called “G.P.U. Phase Control”, it has nothing to do with the graphics cores. “G.P.U.” stands for Green Power Utility. It allows disabling automatic adjustment of the number of active phases in the processor voltage regulator circuitry depending on its load. This function is enabled by default, which we are very pleased with.

“Save & Exit” section has some profile-related options: you can save and quickly restore up to five different settings profiles. Unfortunately, you no longer can name the profiles to your liking. Only the date and time get recorded automatically for each saved profile.

The transition of Biostar mainboards to UEFI BIOS has been an overall success, but numerous little issues are, frankly, quite disappointing. It is very inconvenient that the sections menu is at the bottom of the page, the window for the text information is way too small, so you have to use the scroll bar most of the time. It is difficult to adjust voltages without knowing their current values, the memory timings need to be set twice, individually for each of the memory channels. The rotation speed of the case fans cannot be adjusted either. For some reason they got rid of the option that could allow you to select a BIOS section as a startup page, which we really liked. You no longer can provide your individual settings profile with a descriptive name. Of course, these are just the first versions of the new UEFI BIOS, the company developers constantly continue to improve it and a lot of these issues may be fixed later on. We hope all the upcoming changes will be only for the best.

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