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Intel Z77 Chipset motherboard Review

ccokeman    -   April 9, 2012
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Closer Look:

The BIOS

After having been beaten up over the early attempts at a new UEFI BIOS implementation MSI stepped up with Click BIOS II. This implementation is much more pleasing to the eye as well as functionally worlds ahead of the early implementations seen on the P67 boards. There are three main tabs at the top that set up the parameters for the lower six tabs by shading out information that should not be adjusted to facilitate the end goal of the mode. ECO is for energy management, Standard is all options available and OC Genie II sets up the system to use the OC Genie II button for one stop shop overclocking of the CPU, DRAM, IGP and Storage solution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Settings tab you can access the Boot menu where you can choose the boot sequence and drives in that sequence, and System Status tab that shows the date and time as well as basic information about the installed components. The Advanced section is where a majority of the system specific settings are made such as enabling the onboard devices, USB configuration, Intel Rapid Start technology and the Integrated graphics setup menu where the IGP and switchable graphics modes are implemented.

 

 

All of the performance magic happens under the OC section of the BIOS. When you go into the Overclocking settings menu, you are going to get a list of all your overclocking settings that you can tweak. You have a whole bunch of settings like your Internal PLL OverVoltage, CPU Base Clock, CPU Base Clock Ratio, CPU Ratio, EIST, Intel Turbo Boost 2.0, OC Genie Button, Direct OC Button, DRAM Frequency, CPU Voltages, as well as all your other voltages you are used to adjusting. When you select into the CPU Features sub-menu at the bottom of the screen you will be taken to a new screen that allows you to adjust all of the CPU specific features such as Hyper-Threading, C1E Support, OverSpeed Protection, number of Active Processor Cores, and a Core Ratio Limit for each individual core. Even user configurable overclocking profiles can be set up now with this latest offering.

 

 

 

When you go under the ECO menu you will find all of your settings for changing the power savings features for your system like EuP 2013, CPU Phase Control, CPU I/O Phase Control, Motherboard LED Control, C1E Support, Intel C-State. You will also find a list of all the current voltages at the bottom section of the screen like your CPU Core Voltage, System Agent Voltage, CPU I/O Voltage, CPU PLL Voltage, along with others.

 

When you click into the Utilities menu you have three different options: HDD Backup, Live Update, and M-Flash. When you go into the M-Flash you are going to get MSI's version of a flashing utility, which will allow you to save the currently installed BIOS to a file on your hard drive or USB Flash drive. You are also going to be able to select a file that you want to install on your BIOS chip. When you go into the Security section you will find the abilty to set an Administrator Password or a User Password. You can also set up a Udisk-Key and set up your Chassis Intrusion Configuration.

 

 

Now let's see if Gigabyte has made the move out of the stone age with the launch of their Z77 lineup.




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