Sapphire Pure Platinum Z77K Reviewccokeman - May 20, 2012
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Sapphire has moved into the now with its QBIOS or in other words a full UEFI graphical interface BIOS by American Megatrends. Sapphire uses a pair of 32MB BIOS Flash roms with its "Dual BIOS" feature to allow the end user the ability to flash without worry of the repercussions of a failed flash like a bricked board. Who remembers the BIOS of the week flash failures back in the A64 heydays? The BIOS is laid out well and is easy to navigate showing that Sapphire has done a good job of putting this implementation together. It is not as granular as something you would find on some competing products, but it is equipped to get the most from your hardware at least settings wise. Let's take a look through it to see just what we have.
The "Main" section has the BIOS revision, date it was produced, system date and time as well as user access level can be viewed or set in this section.
Under the "Performance" tab there are three sections: CPU, Memory and Voltage configuration. As you might guess this is where you set the performance parameters that the system will use to operate. The CPU Configuration section is where the CPU bclock, bclock multiplier, PLL overvoltage state and Turbo Boost technology can be modified and adjusted. Under the Memory tab the memory base clock, ratio and timings can be tweaked. The Voltage section is to adjust the voltages to the motherboard components. Auto works fine for the masses but the voltage options available cover the basics and anything the mid range overclocker would need. Load line calibration works as intended with the 25% level being the closest to delivering as set voltages for the CPU under load with my CPU.
The "Advanced" Section is used to set the configuration of the rest of the motherboard features. Here you set the parameters the USB devices run under, monitor voltages and temperatures, set the mode the SATA devices use to operate as well as how and with what inputs the system will resume from a power down state.
Under the "Chipset" tab is where you will find the setup options for enabling the integrated GPU and setting the amount of shared memory it will use while in operation.
The "Boot," "Security" and "Exit" each have their uses. The "Boot" section is where you set the drive boot order and in which order the disks are polled. The "Security" tab is where an administrator and user passwords for use in the BIOS can be setup. The "Exit" tab is where setup and optimized defaults can be selected as well as exiting the BIOS. Under this tab you will find the EFI GUI BIOS Flashing utility, a simple to use feature.
UEFI BIOS implementations are the way to go and just about every manufacturer has delivered a BIOS that is carefully thought out. Sapphire has thought this one out as it is clearly labeled and easy to navigate. Unfortunately the mouse cursor does not follow as accurately as I would like it to. This could be the mouse I am using as I saw the same issue on the 990FX board from Sapphire with that issue being fixed with a small tweak to the BIOS.