ASUS P6X58-E WS ReviewRHKCommander959 - September 6, 2011
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The BIOS on the ASUS P6X58D-E WS is very simple and, once accessed, throws you right into the Main settings window. New users to the BIOS world need to remember that no changes are in effect until the changes have been saved. If you change settings on accident just exit without saving! The POST screen is black with the ASUS logo in the top right and Workstation in the center. The Delete key is used to access the BIOS on boot up, or if there is an error detected like a failed overclock, it forces users to hit F1 to load BIOS or F2 to attempt to continue boot up procedures. The main window allows users to change the system time and date, language, view any hardware installed in the six Intel SATA ports, and view system information. To the right are instructions on how to navigate the BIOS and what each option does. Otherwise the Main page is nothing juicy for overclocking enthusiasts.
Ai Tweaker is where the overclocking options are at. This page is rather long and has everything needed to adjust speeds and voltages. The first chunk has CPU multiplier, memory multiplier, QPI, BCLK, and UCLK frequencies as well. Further down are all the voltage options for the CPU, memory, CPU QPI, and chipset, and Load-line calibration. CPU clock skew and amplitude are tucked in at the bottom as well. 4GHz should be fairly easy for most users, but do not leave CPU voltages on auto as when I pushed high on auto the voltage ramped up to 1.4V! Proper speed ratios, CPU, QPI, and RAM voltage combined with proper cooling should make for high speeds easily. Leaving most everything other than BCLK and SpeedStep on auto allowed it to boot at 4GHz stable but with higher than necessary core voltage.
The next page is the Advanced page, which has five different tabs that can be opened. The first tab is CPU Configuration and shows CPU settings and features. The CPU Configuration page shows the amount of L1, L2, and L3 cache, clock speed, BCLK speed, available multipliers, and has options to turn C1E, Virtualization, Hyper Threading, and other settings on or off.
Following the CPU Configuration page is the Onboard Devices Configuration page. This has options to enable or disable audio, LAN, IEEE 1394, and the SATA 6.0Gb/s outputs. Lastly is the USB Configuration tab that allows the USB 2.0 and 3.0 controllers to be turned off or to change their modes. The connected devices are also listed.
Next is the Power BIOS page. Different power modes can be set here, and the current operating conditions of the system can be examined under the Hardware Monitor tab. The APM configuration tab has all of the Power On options, for example in event of power failure you can have the system reboot (useful for home servers, Folding@Home, and other automated systems). Users can also set it to boot off of an alarm, PCI device input, PCI-E input, and the PS/2 keyboard or mouse.
Opening the Hardware monitor takes a few moments as it reads all of the sensors data. Don't panic and assume it has frozen, it will load after a short wait. Fan control options are here for the CPU and case fans, the CPU fan has four options for fan speeds while the chassis fans only share three. One of the options for the CPU fan speed is manual mode where a user can set up a fan profile so that it operates at a certain speed between load and idle, lower CPU speed is unchangeable at this time and defaults to 40 °C. Fan speed is reported underneath the CPU and Northbridge temperatures, with the four main voltages at the bottom. Enough information to get a good idea how everything is running. The boot page has boot and hard disk prioritizing options. Boot settings are also available including Quick boot, Full screen logo, Num-lock on or off on boot, Wait for F1 on boot error, and the ability to turn the Delete key to get into BIOS message off or on.
The tools page has the ASUS EZ Flash 2 which simplifies updating the BIOS by allowing means other than a floppy drive to be used for updating the BIOS. Express Gate can be disabled here as well, and ASUS O.C. Profile and AI NET 2 are also accessible. The O.C. profile tab can save or load two custom settings so that users can make sure they don't lose their favorite settings after changing the BIOS settings. This is great for setting up everything and keeping a backup in case of an accidental CMOS reset. Overclockers will also enjoy this as it can help them keep track of their stable overclocks and so forth. If anything happens just reload a saved profile and you're back on track!
The last page Exit has the options to Load Optimized Defaults, Save and Exit (which will reboot the system with the changes applied), and Exit without Saving which will reboot without enacting any changes made. Time to move on to the Specifications and Features!