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BIOS Functionality

We already took a look at Biostar's UEFI BIOS implementation in our Biostar TP67XE review. It wasn't much different from conventional BIOS visually and we didn’t like it due to a number of flaws and missing setup options. It turns out that we dealt with an interim version. The new UEFI BIOS from Biostar is dramatically different in its appearance and free from most of the flaws we mentioned earlier. First of all, the start screen now mentions the hotkey combinations, so we know that pressing F9 evokes a boot-up menu.

The integrated BIOS update tool is also available and can be launched by pressing F12.

When you enter the mainboard's BIOS, you see the Main page which looks different now.

The list of BIOS sections is unconventionally placed at the bottom of the screen but the text labels are now accompanied with icons. The icon of the current section is highlighted. The Main section has a house icon whereas the Advanced one, a switch.

The names of the subsections in the Advanced section are self-descriptive. Let’s first open the CPU Configuration one to read some basic info about our CPU and find a few options pertaining to CPU technologies.

It is here you can find yet another downside of Biostar's new UEFI BIOS. The window for text is too small. There is a rather large company logo at the top of each BIOS screen whereas the bottom part is populated by subsection icons and text labels, so the setup options proper do not have much space left. As a result, there is a scroll bar even in small subsections such as CPU Configuration.

The SMART FAN Control page is where you can choose a regulation mode for the CPU fan: Quiet or Aggressive. You can also set it up manually. The fan can be calibrated so that the numbers were accurate. Unfortunately, this regulation is only applied to the CPU cooler (and only if the latter has a 4-pin fan). The two other fans are not regulated at all.

The PC Health Status section reports current voltages, temperatures and fan speeds.

There are three subsections in the Chipset section: North Bridge, South Bridge and Onboard PCI-E Devices.

There is no North Bridge proper in modern Intel chipsets, its functionality having been transferred to the CPU. So, the North Bridge subsection tells you some basic info about your memory modules and allows to enable virtualization and control the CPU-integrated graphics core.

 

The chipset proper doesn’t have much left to do as is indicated by the small size of the South Bridge subsection.

The Biostar TZ68K+ having but few extra controllers, the Onboard PCI-E Devices subsection may only be needed to turn off the network adapter or the additional USB 3.0 controller.

You can specify system startup parameters in the Boot section: how long the system will wait for the functional buttons to be pressed, boot device order, startup picture, etc.

Notwithstanding the abundance of text, the Security section only allows you to specify user and administrator passwords.

The majority of fine-tuning and overclocking options are collected in the O.N.E. section. By the way, Biostar mainboards still offer you the opportunity to choose any BIOS section as the start page. You may want to choose O.N.E. when doing some overclocking. The section is properly structured and offers most of setup options you may need together with a lot of information about the current parameter values. Voltage management options are flexible enough. The CPU is supplied its standard voltage by default but you can choose Auto mode or apply any voltage you like or add some value to the default one. You can also set the voltages lower than their default levels.

The Save & Exit section allows you to save and restore five profiles with BIOS settings. Unfortunately, you can’t name the profiles. They can only be identified by the date and time of their creation.

Overall, the transition of Biostar mainboards to UEFI BIOS is quite a success. Most of the flaws we noted in our previous review have been eliminated. There are enough setup options and the color scheme is appropriate. The only inconveniences are that the section menu is at the bottom of the screen and that the text window is too small, so you have to use the scroll bar often. Anyway, our impressions are positive, especially as Biostar’s UEFI BIOS is going to be perfected further in its future versions.

 
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