ASUS ROG Maximus III Formula Reviewccokeman - September 17, 2009
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The BIOS on the ASUS Maximus III Formula is by American Megatrends and is contained on a 16MB flash ROM. ASUS has been firing out BIOS updates fast and furious for the Maximus III. ASUS has continued to support the board with an update when an issue is presented, the latest offering a fix for S3 state functionality. There are seven sections that can be looked at and I will go through each section of the BIOS to show what can be found and then dedicate a section to the Extreme Tweaker section as this is where all the dirty work gets done.
This section is where all of the performance enhancements can be found and is the first item you touch when going into the BIOS. There are options that will allow the novice as well as the hardcore enthusiast a way to bump the clock speeds up to gain additional performance from the installed hardware. Under the CPU configuration section you have the ability to enable and disable the energy saving options.
The Main section show the time, date, installed drives by channel as well as two tabs that give the top level system info as well as allowing you to manually configure the hard drives. One thing I have not seen before was the ability to change the language used in the BIOS.
This section is where the functionality of the onboard devices are configured. Under CPU configuration is the Uncore configuration. Under LED configuration you can choose the LED lighting scheme to use. Some may like the LEDs to be seen through the side panel while others find it distracting.
Under this section you can set up the Advanced Power Management features. Under the hardware monitor section you have the ability to view the temperatures reported from the installed hardware as well as set up the shutdown temperatures for the PCH as well as the three optional monitoring points. Unfortunately, the sensors are not part of the bundle so no joy on this point. The fan speeds can be monitored and controlled with fan profiles to allow you to control any fans attached to an onboard fan header.
Here is where you can choose the boot order, whether or not to enable the full screen display as well as choosing whether you want to have an error stop the boot sequence. Under the security section you can choose to set paswords and access levels.
The Tools section has some interesting functionality. You can save a specific BIOS profile. This can help when you are pushing the limits so that you have a safe or even an everyday profile to fall back on without having to remember each and every tweaked setting. There are a total of eight profiles that can be saved. The EZ Flash Utility makes flashing the BIOS a no hassle affair. Just enter in and find the now BIOS file to flash and hit flash. The GO button file is configurable so you can load this file at the touch of a button for an instant performance boost.
The last section is the Exit menu which really is self explanatory and does not need discussion. After looking through this BIOS, it contains plenty of functionality to work with the ROG features found on the Maximus III Formula. Let's move on and look at the Extreme Tweaker section to see how to overclock this board and CPU combination.