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“Boot” section allows configuring different settings related to the system start-up.

I have to say that at first the new “Intel Visual BIOS” seems simply brilliant. It is not until later that you start to wish they had completely restructured it, so that it wouldn’t remind you of the old confusing Intel BIOS. For example, unlike the BIOS from other mainboard makers, this one still doesn’t have a separate page or section with all processor parameters gathered in it: they are still scattered all over the place. Only some of the processor settings can be found in one of the sub-sections of the “Performance” section, the processor power-saving technologies are located in the “Power” section, and I personally would never be looking for virtualization technology in the “Security” section, but this is exactly where it is right now. Despite a few drawbacks, “Intel Visual BIOS” is much easier to work with and much prettier than the old BIOS. We totally loved the extensive functionality of the new “Home” startup page, easy overclocking with the help of “Overclocking Assistant”, the option that allows you to make any BIOS page your “home page” and the ability to access desired parameters using Search function.

It is really surprising that other mainboard makers haven’t yet implemented the Search function in the BIOS. This relatively simple measure may make things a lot easier in a number of cases. For instance, not so long ago I got a call from a friend of mine who couldn’t enable virtualization on a Biostar mainboard although the utility showed that theoretically the processor would support it. I suggested that he should look in the “CPU Configuration” sub-section, but he didn’t find anything relevant. Then I proposed to update the BIOS with the latest version, but it didn’t help either. This was when I remembered about one of the issues with the new UEFI BIOS from Biostar, which we pointed out in our reviews: the window for text information wasn’t big enough. There was a pretty large company logo at the top of all screens, then there was a row of smaller section icons and some text below them, which left very little room for the actual BIOS parameters. For example, even a relatively small “CPU Configuration” sub-section already had a scroll-bar on the right.

My friend couldn’t find the parameter he was looking for, because it was hidden and he should have used the scrolling. However, he only learned about it later.

Intel mainboard could also have the same problem. We didn’t see any scroll bars in any of the screens, but Virtualization should be enabled in the “Security” section, which isn’t obvious at all, so you may end up having hard time finding the necessary parameter after all. But in this case all you need to do is use the Search function to get help. You don’t need to know the exact name of the parameter or type in the entire word: just type in the first few letters and you will get the results immediately.

However, if you have already worked with Intel mainboards before and are very well familiar with their BIOS specifics, then you may find the new Visual BIOS very different and therefore inconvenient. In this case you can easily switch back to the traditional BIOS interface by clicking the “Classic Mode” button in the “Home” section menu.

The startup “Main” screen performs informational function and reports the basic system info. The “Configuration” section allows configuring integrated controllers and peripheral devices.

Most overclocking-related parameters are gathered in the “Performance” section. There are three columns there: default settings, current (active) settings and proposed settings, which will take effect after you apply the changes.

“Processor Overrides” page allows adjusting processor settings.

“Memory Overrides” page allows adjusting memory settings. Just like in the Visual BIOS, it is inconvenient that all parameters at once are set automatically or all are set manually, so you can’t adjust just a few selected ones manually, if you wanted to.

“Security” section is exactly the same as in the new “Visual BIOS”. It will let you set access passwords and other security-related parameters.

“Power” section also is exactly the same as the namesake section in the new “Visual BIOS”. The parameters here refer to power supply and power-saving.

The only section in the Intel mainboard BIOS, which we have never had any problems with, is “Boot”. On the contrary, it has been known for extensive functionality related to system startup parameters configuring.

You can save or discard the changes in the “Exit” section. Moreover, here you can also save or load user BIOS settings profiles. Each profile may have a descriptive name. If necessary, profiles may also be deleted completely. Unlike other parameters, which will be the same in both versions of the BIOS interface, the settings profiles are completely independent. If you saved the profile in one BIOS mode, you won’t see it in another mode, and the other way around. The last two options in this section allow returning to the new “Visual BIOS”.

Both BIOS modes have the same shortcomings: they do not allow adjusting selected memory settings manually and only let you change all of them or adjust all of the automatically, and they have 20 mV Vcore increment, which is way too much for contemporary processors. However, each mode has some unique issues that surface during work with settings profiles. Of course, small issues and bugs are inevitable during the introduction of the new “Visual BIOS”, it is indeed frustrating to uncover them, but it is part of the process. As time goes on, most of them will surely be eliminated, and at that point you won’t even remember about the “Return to Classic Mode” option. However, now we desperately need the opportunity to select startup BIOS mode, so that we didn’t have to constantly switch back from the default “Visual BIOS” to the “Classic” one.

 
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