ECS Z77H2-AX Golden Edition Reviewccokeman - May 13, 2012
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This board from ECS is the first I have looked at that is equipped with a UEFI BIOS. This is a huge step forward in how the BIOS can be navigated and comes a little bit later in the game compared to other manufacturers that have adopted the technology earlier. Much like on other offerings, ECS has implemented an Easy mode and an Advanced mode to accommodate both the novice and experienced user. Let’s start out with a look at the Easy mode and move on to the Advanced mode.
The Easy mode has four different radio buttons: Language is self-explanatory, Default sets the pre-defined parameters to allow a successful post, Boot allows the user to choose the primary boot drive, and Advanced leads to the Advanced section of the BIOS, where you get a granular look at the settings that make the board tick. The Advanced section has seven tabs: Main, Advanced, Chipset, M.I.B.X., Boot, Security, and Exit.
The Advanced menu gives the user the ability to set the disk drive parameters, employ CPU technologies like C1E and Turbo Boost, enable or disable Rapid Start technology, and monitor or configure voltages and fan speed profiles.
Under the Chipset Menu is where you choose the order in which the primary graphics adapters are polled. You can choose between a discrete GPU in the PCIe slot or to use the integrated HD 4000 or 3000 graphics adapter, depending on the processor used. The process to set up multiple displays is accomplished under this tab.
M.I.B.X is the tab where all of the CPU and memory-specific settings are accessed. The top choice in the menu is CPU Overclocking Configuration. Under this tab, you set the bclock, clock multiplier, Intel Speedstep technology, and internal PLL overvoltage and current override limits. Chipset overclocking is where the memory-specific settings are adjusted, including the X.M.P profiles, memory multiplier, and the primary/secondary timings. Back in the main section of the M.I.B.X menu are the voltage adjustments for the CPU, memory, system agent, and memory controller. Additional voltage can be tweaked, but these will be the most used.
The Boot tab gives the user a granular look at the boot order and how the attached drives are polled by type. The Security tab is where an administrator and user passwords are set. The Exit tab is where you set up your overclocking profiles and return the board to the factory default or optimized settings.
It's refreshing to see how each manufacturer has implemented a UEFI BIOS and how easy it is to interact with the menu.