Asus Crosshair III Formula Reviewajmatson - July 5, 2009
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In my opinion, one of the most important parts of the motherboard is the BIOS. This is where an enthusiast makes magic happen. There are many tasks that you can do in the BIOS of a motherboard, including changing boot sequence, overclocking, etc. I am going to take you through some of the parts of the BIOS for the ASUS Crosshair III motherboard, but there is a lot more you can do than what is shown. This BIOS is fully featured and will help you get the most out of your system's speed and stability. To make the BIOS easier to understand, I am going to break it down by sections and explain a little about some of the settings that can be changed in each one.
The Main section is where you control the time of the system and the hard drives that are attached. Here you can set the properties of the drives and select the way the SATA drives operate, such as in IDE mode, ACHI mode for hot plug abilities, or in RAID. You can also check the BIOS version and system specs for the CPU and Memory.
In the Advanced section of the BIOS, you are able to adjust things such as the CPU configuration, Chipset configuration, how onboard devices work, and more. In the CPU Configuration, you can turn on or off Cool'n'Quiet and C1E support, as well as enable Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC) to potentially unlock the extra cores of some of AMD's Dual and Triple Core processors (Unlocking of the core is not recommended by OCC and is done at your own risk, not to mention, voiding your warranty). You can also change how ECC memory functions, which is supported by the Crosshair III Formula. In the Advanced section, there is also the sub menus for the LCD and LED controls on the board, as well as the iROG settings.
In the Power section, some of the configuration settings you can change is the Suspend mode from S1 to S3 to Auto, APM (Advanced Power Management) for "Power On" properties, and settings for the hardware monitor. The hardware monitor section lets you view current system voltages, in addition to allowing you to set thresholds and warnings for temperatures and fan speeds, and set up fan profiles for use with Q-Fan.
The Boot section allows you to set the Boot Device Priority and settings for boot up, such as quick boot, error messages, and boot logos. You can also set a supervisor password for entering the BIOS.
One of the neat sections I like is the Tools section. This section has tools available to you such as ASUS O.C. Profile, which allows you to save and load BIOS profiles for overclocked settings. This helps you from having to re-enter everything after a failed overclock. There is also ASUS EZ Flash 2, which is a BIOS update utility that allows you to save and update to the latest BIOS image using a hard drive or thumb drive. This keeps you from needing to have an old floppy drive to update it.