ASUS Maximus V Formula Reviewccokeman - December 16, 2012
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Maximus V Formula Closer Look:
ASUS continues the use of its UEFI BIOS implementation with this ROG series offering for the high performance mainstream user. You get much of the same functionality that has existed since the first UEFI bios on the P67-based Maximus IV Extreme, through the Z68, X79, and now Z77-based motherboards. Along the way, ASUS has added functionality in the form of using the F12 key to take a screenshot of the BIOS that can be saved to an installed Flash drive for easy troubleshooting and sharing of settings – something seen on ASUS' own ROG site. A shortcut menu was introduced later on and is accessed by pushing the F3 key. Add in the F7 hot key for accessing a specific feature and usability is increased. With the latest boards, you have ASUS USB BIOS flashback that will allow the user to flash the BIOS while in a standby power state without the memory, CPU, or GPU installed. Further improving on the UEFI, ASUS has recently changed its BIOS builds to use a Windows 8 ready CAP format that brings along improved boot and POST speeds, new controller initialization options, and enhanced security to prevent any virus infections of the UEFI.
EZ and Advanced Mode:
EZ Mode allows the user to make a limited amount of changes and is more to show what the time, date, and what the installed devices are. Advanced Mode gives the user the entire shooting match, with access to each and every setting and feature in the BIOS. Advanced Mode consists of six sub-menus to take advantage of and optimize the performance of the installed hardware.
Advanced Mode: Extreme Tweaker:
This section is fairly expansive and is where ASUS spends the time to make sure that if you want to look for it and use it, there is a setting for just about every parameter on each device installed in the system. Starting off, there are four predefined overclocking profiles that can be set in addition to any XMP profiles, CPU Level Up, or AI Overclock tuner settings. EPU power saving presets, voltages, DRAM timings, and "Tweaker" functionality for the CPU, Memory, PCH, and VGA can be found in this one tab in the BIOS. You can literally spend days in this section to understand what each setting does. We will dig a little deeper on the next page.
This section is sparse by comparison to the Extreme Tweaker section of the BIOS. In this section, you'll be able to access the time, date, BIOS revision, iROG revision, CPU information, amount of installed memory, system language, and security features, such as admin passwords.
Under this tab, one can set the CPU configuration parameters, such as the bclock multiplier, enable Turbo Boost and Intel Speed step, C-states , SATA, USB, and have the ability to enable or disable the onboard device functionality. Under the SATA configuration, you can set the connection type for disk drives to AHCI, RAID or IDE, and turn on or off the hot swap feature. Under the USB sub-menu is the ability to configure how the USB interface is managed. Onboard device configuration allows the user to enable or disable the sound, Bluetooth, USB 3.0, LAN, and Boot Rom, as well as the USB 3.0 controller. Under System Agent configuration you will find the integrated graphics option and last but not least is the ability to enable or disable the on board LEDs and lighting for the RedLine isolation of the Supreme FX IV on-board sound solution.
Under this tab is the monitoring functionality for the board. Here the voltages, fan speeds, and temperatures can be checked. The first sub-menu below Anti Surge support is the voltage monitor. This tab is to check the voltages delivered to all the key components of the system. You can verify the voltages displayed against what is actually delivered by measuring the voltage check points on the Maximus V Formula. Temperature Monitor lets the end user monitor temperatures on the board and installed components, as well as several optional sensors. Warning temperatures can be set to alert the user when a specific component's temperature exceeds the set warning level. It's a tool that does work, as the warning levels are displayed through the AI Suite or via pop up warnings. Fan speed monitor does just what the name implies and displays the speed of up to eight fans. The last tab is fan control, where you can enable ASUS Q-Fan controls and set fan speeds individually to meet the end user's needs.
The Boot menu is where to set the sequence that the drives are polled for bootable media. The primary drive can be identified when more than one is installed. The full screen ROG logo can be enabled or disabled at POST, Wait for F1 if Errors can be enabled or disabled, the length of time the POST report shows can be altered, and the setup mode that the BIOS will open into can be set to EZ or Advanced.
This section comes in real handy. ASUS' EZ Flash 2 utility is hands down one of the easiest ways to flash a BIOS. It has been imitated, but not duplicated. Search for the BIOS file on any installed media, choose the BIOS file, choose to flash the BIOS, and the process is automated from that point on. The only simpler way to flash would be to use the USB BIOS flashback feature. SPD Information shows the SPD profile on the memory DIMMs. Under ASUS OC Profile, the end user can save up to eight distinct profiles. The Go Button File is the group of settings used when the Go Button is pushed on the Maximus V Formula. These settings can be a good solid base file to start from after a failed overclock, but with the C.P.R. feature used by ASUS this option proves to be a good safety valve.
The Exit tab at the top right allows you to load optimized or safe default settings, save or discard changes made to the BIOS settings, launch the BIOS in EZ or Advanced mode, or launch the EFI shell.