Articles: Mainboards

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As soon as we begin to change anything in the left part of the screen, the right part outputs a more detailed selection of appropriate settings. For example, if you want to change your CPU frequency multiplier, you can do this in the Cores field by entering numbers from your keyboard or moving the slider. As you do it, the contents of the right window will change, too. The Turbo tab will appear so you can specify the frequency multiplier for all the cores simultaneously or for each of them separately. The Config tab lists the rest of the CPU-related parameters.

And if you click the voltage button in the same Cores field, you can use the right window to choose a voltage adjustment method and its value. The Intel Visual BIOS allows changing CPU voltage in three ways: in the offset mode, in the adaptive mode, or by fixing it at a constant level.

The same principle is applied to the other parameters. You select something in the left window, and then use the right window's controls to adjust it.

Although the Cooling and Performance sections have been redesigned in a similar way, the results are different. Everything is clear and intuitive in Cooling. You can easily browse through all the options in the left window by moving your mouse pointer and set everything up as necessary. In the Performance section, you can select an option with a mouse click first. It is important what exactly you click: frequency multipliers, frequencies or voltages. Depending on that, the list of options in the right window will change. The whole mechanism is too sophisticated, that's why we are not as enthusiastic about the Performance section as about Cooling. It reminds us of the Hardware Monitor section in the new BIOS of MSI mainboards. Everything looks pretty and, if you spend some time getting used to it, works normally. Yet still the section is not handy. Instead of the numerous subsections, tabs or individual pages, we’d prefer a single section with a full list of all parameters. Intel's Visual BIOS doesn’t offer anything like that but it does let you compile a list of frequently accessed options. The Favorites icon is available always, so you can use your own list of options for overclocking instead of what is offered in the Performance section.

The Security section lets you set up access passwords and other security-related parameters.

Power-related options and power-saving technologies can be set up in the Power section.

The Boot section is about how your computer starts up.

Summing everything up, we've got a favorable impression about the Intel Visual BIOS and how it has evolved. It doesn’t have huge sections with long lists of numerous parameters as in the BIOS of ASUS mainboards. And it doesn’t have small sections with multiple subsections and lower-level individual pages as in Gigabyte’s BIOS. Its key idea is to let the user do everything in the same screen – without having to switch to subsections or even scroll down. After that you can move on to the next screen, which refers to another aspect of your computer, and optimize in the same way. The specific implementations vary from perfect to mediocre, yet the general idea is good.

We also like the Home section, which allows to do some basic setting up or go to more detailed settings. It is the start BIOS screen by default, but you can use any other section as the start one. Following the latest trends in BIOS making, the user is given the opportunity to compile a list of frequently accessed options. The search function is unique to the Intel Visual BIOS. Besides capturing a full screenshot, you can capture a fragment of the BIOS screen, but that’s not a very useful feature. Help information is always visible at the bottom of the screen. When you move your mouse pointer to a specific BIOS option, you get context-sensitive information about it. Intel’s Visual BIOS offers all the settings you need to fine-tune and overclock your computer. They are just not always easy to use. Anyway, we'll have to use them now to test our Intel DZ87KLT-75K mainboard.

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