|ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Monday, 02 May 2011|
Page 5 of 16
ASUS UEFI (BIOS)
The first major innovation for motherboards happens in the BIOS, where a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) design aims to supplement and replace an aging text-only layout with a new graphical user interface for pre-boot settings. UEFI is the replacement for Intel's original EFI 1.1 specification. On ASUS' premium models such as the Maximus IV Extreme, users can export UEFI screen captures onto an attached USB flash drive and then share with others to help illustrate settings.
The greatest part of UEFI is that anyone can build their own custom environment based on the Unified EFI Specification, and while BIOS vendors will likely make up the majority of builds the enthusiast community can also join in.
Floppy diskette drives officially now have no purpose being used with modern computer hardware. Previous BIOS firmware could be compressed to fit on a 1.44 MB floppy, but because of the large UEFI (BIOS) interface a 32MB ROM is now required. This will accelerate the use of USB-based devices for flashing BIOS firmware updates.
The ASUS UEFI (BIOS) can be used to configure hardware parameters and power settings, but users may prefer the robust AI Suite II software. The BIOS provides most of the same functionality, but AI Suite II allows for real-time changes by using integrated DIGI+ VRM, EPU, TurboV EVO, BT GO!, FAN Xpert, and Probe II software.
The UEFI (BIOS) requires system memory in order to book, since none of the ASUS P67-based motherboards have onboard memory outside of the 32MB ROM for UEFI. While UEFI is a great step forward, having the ability to boot the motherboard without system memory installed would have solved countless troubleshooting situations for hardware enthusiasts.
For users with a familiarity with text-only BIOS options, the new ASUS UEFI (BIOS) will come naturally as most options mirror those previously available. For novice hardware enthusiasts, the easy-to-navigate graphical user interface will allow them to make changes to the ASUS Sabertooth P67 motherboard series without fear.
Advanced overclockers will enjoy the UEFI (BIOS) EZ Mode utility, which allows them to make adjustments and test settings before entering the Operating System. Surprisingly, the ASUS auto-overclocking utilities (Easy OC Tool/TurboV EVO) do an impressive job at finding the maximum overclock possible.
Another nice feature about the UEFI (BIOS) is that it's already compatible with storage devices with more than 2.2 TB capacity - a barrier that holds many older motherboards back and restricts some of the latest large-capacity storage products.