ASUS Maximus V Formula Reviewccokeman - December 16, 2012
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Maximus V Formula Closer Look:
The Extreme Tweaker section of the UEFI BIOS is where the overclocking magic happens. ASUS gives the end user the tools to get the most from their hardware. To start, there are four different overclocking presets the user can choose to use and not move any further into the BIOS. When you want to go deeper ASUS provides the tools to do so. After the presets are the start of the adjustments with AI Overclock tuner and bclock/PEG frequency. Turbo Ratio is to set the bclock multiplier from this menu. Internal PLL overvoltage, CPU DRAM ration is used to set the CPU/DRAM strap, Xtreme Tweaking and SPI booster are used to help tune performance in several benchmarks, EPU or the Energy Processing Unit function can be enabled or disabled. Then there are several drop-down menus for the DRAM Timing control, Digi+ Power control, CPU Performance settings, and the GPU DIMM Post indicator that can be used to show whether or not the installed hardware is detected and functioning. Further down this first part of the Extreme Tweaker section are the voltage tuning options. Several can be set manually or set by adding an offset to the base voltage.
Under the DRAM timing control sub-menu, you can, as one would suspect, set the primary and secondary timings for the installed DRAM. To start, much like the main tab, there are a series of presets that can be used to tweak the memory performance characteristics using the Maximus Tweak feature or one of the 14 factory-tuned presets based on the modules used in the system. Shown here is just the top of this tab, as it gets further into the sub-timings menu as you dig deeper down the page. The Digi+ Power Control section is where the user can configure the load line calibration, the VRM switching frequency, current capacity, and overheat protection for the VRM circuits. The CPU Power Management section is where the bclock multiplier is set, as well as where Intel Speedstep and Turbo mode can be enabled or disabled. The wattage used by the cores before they throttle down can be adjusted in this section.
GPU/DIMM Post is a functional area that allows the user to see if the memory modules are fully engaged and in operation. The slot assignment and speed are shown on the BIOS screen. The same is done with the GPU. The manufacturer and the slot in use are shown, as well as the PCIe lanes being used — in this example, 16.
Using the latest Windows 8 compatible UEFI builds allows the user added stability and improved boot speeds. Coupling the new enhancements with a BIOS that is granular enough for the hardcore enthusiast yet easy enough to navigate for the novice is a challenge that ASUS has met. ASUS UEFI BIOS, at this point, is the cream of the crop in terms of usability and functionality. Small things like the ability to manually input the desired setting rather than scrolling through a drop down box that speeds the work in the BIOS, overclocking profiles that provide a reference point for a new overclocking session or specific profiles for each of your differing usage scenarios. The functionality is there. Working through the menus using a mouse or keyboard proved flawless. I have yet to find a combination that does not work correctly. That being said, ASUS is constantly working to improve compatibility with the latest peripherals. The current BIOS as of this writing is 1408, with even newer betas if you look. A total of seven updates since June of 2012 shows the ongoing support commitment.