ASUS M5A99FX Pro R2.0 Motherboard ReviewWaco - December 29, 2013
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ASUS M5A99FX Pro R2.0 Motherboard Closer Look: Programs & Utilities
So the software opens up with what you see as the toolbar at the bottom of the shots below. Just a simple bar that doesn't really let you see much without clicking on things. I felt most of you were smart enough to look and go "oh" without me taking its own image – sorry if you've proven me wrong. Nonetheless clicking on "Tool" brings up something we can work with. A little sub-menu shows at least the main pages for what is to be found as tools. There's quite a bit more there, which we'll go through briefly. The menu shows "TurboV Evo", "DIGI+ Power Control", "EPU", and "Probe II" since I removed quite a few of the utilities I wasn't going to be using during my overclocking endevours (more about that further on!). These all have more menus to go to and play with. But rather than focusing on which tab brings up what – I'll try to just talk about what each page is and its capabilities.
The first page we see shows us the manual mode options where you can change Bus Frequency, Voltages on the CPU and NB, as well as your DRAM voltage. There is even an advanced tab further down that lets you be nit picky on specific voltages from the BIOS. On the right you can look at CPU frequency in real time. You can cycle through each core individually or just look at the loading indicators for each core. If you at any time want to return to stock settings, a lovely "OS Default Settings" button returns you there. Perhaps you have something else to do besides OC all day and you need a "safe" system – this is for you.
The DIGI+ Power Control pages allow you to set things using relative settings of "high" or "low" and in some cases percentages. Here I've set the CPU to VRM Fixed Frequency Mode at 400kHz and the CPU Power Phase control to extreme. There are also sliders on the right that allow you optimize based on power or performance. Obviously higher performance is going to cost you in the efficiency game. The second page gives a few more options on thermal control and response control. The right side of the screen here gives you tips on overclocking a bit – reminding you that a higher value on the VRM controller will provide you better power response for "extreme overclocking".
Moving along, we've got up the next screen. The EPU (Energy Processing Unit) is ASUS's intelligent hardware controller that has been integrated with this GUI for user friendliness. The EPU is interconnected with the CPU, systems controller, and many components of the system to help you either get the best performance or the best power savings out of the board and chip based on your preferences. On the menu page for it you can see the pentagon with categories of preference. Selecting either AUTO, High Performance, or Max. power saving will show you different plots of categories. Clicking on configurations allows you to change each of these a little – but for us, we'll stick with High Performance, no need for power saving today!
The FAN Xpert page is next. I won't dwell here long as most of you have seen a fan profile before (either with your mobo or perhaps fan controller). I think you all have a basic idea of how this works. The Probe II settings allow you to set a threshold on your voltages, temperatures, fan speeds, and a few performance tweaks that will give you alerts as you hit them. Defaults leave them all the way open, but if you are trying to fine tune it may help to see when some voltages are going high (since not all of us can read everything at the same time). The sensors on the board can allow you to log voltage, temperature, and fan speed while testing things out. You can find your peak voltage and temperature during your epic battle with Nurgle. The "Sensor Recorder" page actually allows you to see a trend over time and even save some history for how things change between setting changes.
Most of you know about Remote GO! from ASUS. If you want to know a lot more I suggest you take a Google trip. Essentially the Remote GO! feature allows you to gain access of your machine via other DLNA devices you have around the house. For example you could gain access to your music folder with your phone and stream music in another room; or perhaps you want to look at some photos on your home theater from your main machine when the relatives are in not a problem. You just have to have supported devices to really take advantage. But like I said, take a spin on google and see what more it can do for you specifically.
Too much on that – how about we move on to the AI Charge+. This allows you to increase the rate at which your supported devices charge; up to three times as fast! Be sure your device is supported by the BC 1.1 Function before you get too excited, and of course, actual charging times can vary. It is neat that it is here, but just be sure to have it disabled if you are looking to charge from USB 3.0 without a supported device. There is also the USB 3.0 Boost feature that allows you to speed up transfer rate across USB storage automatically. Obviously for the image I didn't have anything plugged in, but you can play with the different protocols to see what gets you the fastest with your devices.
The Network iControl panel lets you change some basic network options. IControl is supposed to provide you with a smoother online experience – I can't really say for sure if it actually did that. I wouldn't be the last to say that our Internet here kinda sucks. But, I could see with a slightly more reliable network it perhaps having an effect of ups and downs with traffic. You can, however, monitor your bandwidth and observe which programs are running and using the network at a given time. Unlucky for you this shot is of an odd occurrence the Steam.exe isn't showing download rates – but you get the idea.
The System Information window provides you with just that: what board you have, what version, and even the serial number. It also provides you with what version of the BIOS you are currently running so you can check and see if you have the newest and greatest without the reboot. Under the settings menu you can control what applications you actually want enabled. For example, I will NEVER use the EPU or Remote GO!, so I can just disable them here and never have to look at them. It's nice to be able to turn off some of the extra features once in awhile. Again, when you click on some of the options of the original tool bar menu you get another sub-menu to play with. The update tab can get you to the ASUS Update page, the EZ update options, and even the USB flashback app for rolling back a BIOS or two. There is a lot here, and whether or not you use it is completely up to you.