Asus Striker II Extreme Reviewccokeman - June 8, 2008
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The BIOS is where the basic functions of the motherboard are controlled. Using the most current BIOS can help alleviate large and small problems that can pop up during testing. On the Striker II Extreme, I used several different BIOS' to try and gain additional stability or overclocking ability while testing; I finally settled on the 0603 BIOS to complete the testing. The flavor of the week is not always the best BIOS for the application or combination of parts that are installed. There are several different sections in the BIOS with specific items that can be changed to enhance the performance, stability, and usability of the board. I will take a quick peek at each section and concentrate mainly on the Extreme Tweaker section, since this is where the performance tuning is done.
This section is where all of the CPU, memory, and hardware-based settings are chosen. This section will be discussed in greater detail further along in the review.
The main section allows the system time to be adjusted, and shows some basic system information. The installed drives - optical, hard, and floppy - can be accessed and checked here also. System information can be seen be under this tab in the BIOS, and in the case of this particular BIOS, there wasn't much to be gained from viewing this section.
This section allows the user to configure the on-board devices such as the sound, FireWire, LAN and the serial port. AI NET allows checking the LAN cable status during the POST sequence. Configuring the USB functionality is done under the USB menu. Hard drive configuration happens under the IDE and SATA menus, and the functions of the LCD Poster and Voltminder LEDs can be setup or disabled in the LCD Poster menu.
Under this tab, Suspend mode can be set up. The monitored functions include the voltages, temperatures, and fan speeds. In the voltage monitoring menu all of the common items are measured. The Temperature field displays the measurements of three main system components, as well as allowing for three optional measurements by installing one of the three temperature probes onto a device to measure the temperature. The Fan Control section allows the user to set up fan profiles to manage the temperature and airflow through the chassis.
Several things can be accomplished in this menu - boot priority of all system disks is chosen, security settings are configured, and whether or not to display the ROG logo on the boot screen is determined.
This last section contains the OC Profile menu that allows you to save that special overclock profile, so you do not forget the settings that made it "work". Rather than pulling out the floppy drive and hooking it up to flash the BIOS, Asus has made it so that flashing the BIOS is as simple as point and click. You can pull the BIOS from whatever drive you have saved BIOS file on - just choose the drive, and the program runs itself and reboots the computer to finish the job.
Now let's look at the Extreme Tweaker section and see just what the Striker II Extreme has to offer.