Sapphire and ECS X79 Motherboard ReviewBluePanda - September 3, 2012
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The Sapphire BIOS is another UEFI type with mouse enabled activity; though not limited to the little mouse alone. The main screen shows you your basic information including BIOS vendor, Core version, and even your build date and time (though I assume this changes anytime the CMOS is reset). There is a little memory information provided and a spot to denote the current access level – here I’m accessing the BIOS at the "admin" level.
Moving on to the performance tab we get a little more to play with. Here we have some access to the CPU configuration as well as memory and voltage configurations as well. Opening up the memory configuration specifically you can change XMP profiles, memory speeds, timings, and all the little things if you have the talent and/or patience. The voltage settings allow you to configure loadline controls, vcore, and memory frequency and voltages. Along the bottom this whole time you are able to see quick current settings on voltages on the CPU FSB, CPU, DIMM, and even frequencies and temperatures respectively. It’s nice to not have to flip back and to be able to easily monitor things while in menu.
The advanced tab opens up for some more fun. From the main list you can enable boot options, change ACPI settings, configure CPU, SATA and USB, as well as check onboard device configurations. There seems to be a lot to work with. Under CPU configuration you can see the current CPU speed settings and whether or not 64-bit is supported. You can enable/disable hyper theading, change the CPUID limit, change the number of active cores, as well as enable/disable Intel Virtual Technology. The next window shows off the marvell controller and its settings. You can control the LAN ports and even the three USB 3.0 controllers. This page also allows you to disable/enable Bluetooth for whatever devices you may have. Be sure to also note the PS/2 port type connection here as well; you’re able to tell it whether you want to recognize it as a mouse or a keyboard. The chipset tab really only has a couple of options so I tossed it in here as well. You can allow for Virtualilzation I/O or I/OAT.
Boot and security are the next two tabs to take a look at. The main boot screen allows you to change prompt time out, two boot priority options, and how to deal with USB, CD, and DVD drives on boot. Going into the boot option page you can set a specific drive to boot from as well as what exactly you would like it to try to boot first (or second). The security page allows you to setup passwords for the admin, and or a user. If only the admin password is setup only access to setup will ask for a password upon entering setup. If only a user has a password set then a password will be asked for on boot or to enter setup. However, the user will have admin rights to the setup. The only requirement on the password is length: 3-20 characters. The final exit tab allows for exactly that – allows you to save and exit, discard, or restore defaults – all very common yet useful.