ASUS Sabertooth X58 ReviewRHKCommander959 - October 17, 2010
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The BIOS will be covered over two pages with each group of settings being explained. The American Megatrends, Inc. (AMI) BIOS has been around for a long time. ASUS frequently uses it on their motherboards and usually includes plenty of overclock settings. The splash screen on post is similar to the front of the motherboard box art with four button options to choose from: DEL key for BIOS setup; TAB for showing the BIOS POST message; F8 for the boot menu and Alt+F2 for the EZ Flash 2 program. Once in the BIOS, a blue and gray interface guides users to the settings and changes available therein.
First up for the BIOS options is the Main settings. Here, the six Intel SATA ports display what is hooked up, the date, time,and BIOS language can be changed here as well. Storage configuration opens a new page to change how SATA storage drives are treated and accessed. The system information page displays the BIOS version and release date, CPU type, default speed and current speed and system memory. To the right of the screen is a help panel that displays how to change settings, what the settings do, how to navigate the settings and which buttons to push to exit, save and exit, or get more general help along with other helpful tidbits. This pane will get much more useful to some in the overclocking section.
Ai Tweaker is where all of the overclock settings are to be found. Settings can be left at auto or changed manually for seasoned users that want more direct control. Power saving options such as SpeedStep can also be toggled along with the TurboMode capability. Users can choose to enable the 21st turbo multiplier for extra clock speed. BCLK is the reference speed that the others are adjusted for. Memory speed and timings are handled at the top with a new page opening for the timings. Using an X.M.P. Memory profile is also possible here. The center area of the Ai Tweaker page is devoted to voltage settings for the CPU, QPI interconnect, motherboard components including the IOH and ICH (colloquially known as the northbridge and southbridge) and lastly memory voltage. Lastly Load-Line Calibration and different skew/spectrum settings can be adjusted for fine tuning a system. The memory page separates the timing into chunks, the first chunk deals with the primary settings, the second half starts with the command rate, and several more settings follow thereafter. More than enough settings for most users looking to tinker with their hardware for some extra performance.
Next is the Advanced page which actually links to five separate pages. The first is CPU Configuration where certain CPU features can be adjusted such as toggling Virtualization technology on or off (better off if not running virtual machines), C1E support, thermal management, Hyper-Threading and a few other settings are also adjustable and some cores can be disabled. The sizes of the three levels of CPU cache are displayed along with the minimum and maximum CPU multiplier, CPUID, current multiplier and CPU brand/type are also displayed. The chipset page has options to adjust the on-board audio and front panel output type (AC'97 or HD Audio) as well as enabling or disabling the LAN and IEEE 1394 ports. The JMicron and Marvel add-on settings are also adjustable here. USB settings can be adjusted in the USB Configuration page with changes including enabling or disabling certain USB controllers or changing how they interface.
Continue on for the rest of the BIOS!