ECS A890GXM-A2 Motherboard Reviewajmatson - February 24, 2011
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The BIOS is a very essential part of any motherboard. No matter how much design went into the hardware, the BIOS can be the downfall if it is too weak. There are several types of BIOSs available, including one from American Megatrends Inc., which ECS has chosen for the A890GXM-A2 board. Some BIOS structures are very complex, but ECS has kept that complexity to a minimum. There are several menu systems that are not too confusing and a special area that adds a bit more functionality for the enthusiast types that like to tweak around a bit. I am going to break this up into two sections. First is "General", which will encompass all the basic menus and then there will be a section dedicated to the special area, called the "M.I.B. III" section.
The first several sections of the BIOS are where the general tasks take place. These tasks include setting up the system time and resources, controlling power states and functions such as AMD Cool & Quiet and C1E halting for memory, IRQ configurations, and more. You can also adjust onboard chips including how SATA ports run as (IDE compatibility mode or AHCI), USB legacy support, system temperatures, and the speeds at which the fans run.
M.I.B. III, or Motherboard Intelligent BIOS III as it is better known as, is the section where all the overclocking magic happens. While the BIOS on the A890GXM-A2 is compact, don't let that fool you — there are plenty of options available to squeeze the most out of your hardware. There are detailed controls that allow you to increase your processor multiplier if you are so lucky to have a Black Edition CPU, as well as your reference clock speed. You can independently adjust your memory speed, timings and voltages, as well as your SidePort memory. Voltage is controlled by adding in mV to the stock voltage, so be careful here. ECS has included warnings to help you if you are unsure.
Now that we have seen the BIOS, we can move on to the testing phase.