BIOS

To take a look at the UEFI on the Crosshair VIII Hero I put together a basic video that goes through and opens up all of the options in the BIOS. I did this rather than just having a few pictures to allow everyone to see what options you have and to be able to pause at any point to get a closer look. I was surprised that my first boot in didn’t take me to the EZ mode that Asus has provided. The EZ Mode lets you turn on XMP which for AMD CPUs Asus calls DOCP. You can drag and drop your boot devices to change those around quickly and see all of the important hardware info as well as fan, voltage, and temperatures all on one page. The idea is that anyone with less experience can get most of what they want to be done including running the auto overclock without gaining access to options that could actually break things. You can check out the EZ Mode at the end of the BIOS video.

So in the advanced mode, the first page you land on is the main tab which lists off the BIOS revision and information as well as your CPU and memory clock speeds. You can also change system time. Over on the right on this and other paged you have CPU and memory clock speeds, voltages, and other information like capacity and ratio on the CPU. There are a few other voltages down at the bottom as well.

Most people will be looking for the extreme tweaker tab, this is where Asus has put most of the overclocking settings. Right at the top, they show the target clock speeds if you save this BIOS and they start with the DOCP options for memory overclocks then let you get into basic CPU and memory clock speed settings. Moving farther down you have a lot more control with full pages you can open up to get even more detailed memory timing control and then they have all of the voltage settings.

The advanced tab is where almost all of the other settings are tucked away at. This is where you will find subsystem settings like all of the M.2 and SATA settings, PCIe, and every other chipset or PCI subsystem setting. What I don’t like however is that the AMD CBS, AMD PBS, and AMD Overclocking settings are tucked down at the bottom here. These honestly are more needed for overclocking and should be over on that tab. Not only that but both open up their own pages but don’t have an arrow next to them to indicate that and they can be easily missed.

The monitor tab is basically a list of every sensor on the entire board, which is a LOT. It shows voltages, fan speeds, and temperatures. It also has the options for the Q-Fan which is a little weird to me. The options for q-fan would be easier to use if you could get to them in q-fan all together. You can change the ramp up and ramp down speeds, low limits for fans and force specific fan profiles on to different plugs. Most importantly you can also tell it what temperature source to listen to, so you can set fans near your CPU heatsink to listen to that and change other fans to ramp up to other sources. The boot tab is exactly what you might expect. This is for all of the startup options as well as setting the boot order. You can turn off the boot logo, set boot delays, and tell it how to handle boot after a power loss for example.

Then you have the took tab and this is where Asus has tucked away all of their exclusive stuff. The main thing here for me is the EZ Flash 3 utility that you can use to update your BIOS from the internet, from a USB drive, or my favorite right from a drive on the PC. I use this a lot to use the BIOS file I downloaded in windows without having to mess with getting a USB drive out or anything. Secure erase can wipe hard drives for you. The user profile page is where you can save and load different BIOS profiles to swap between overclocks or to save settings that you are still adjusting. If you have an office that gets hot in the summer you can use this to save your winter overclock in the offseason. Asus SPD and the GPU information pages just give more information. The Speed page shows detailed information on each stick of ram including the JEDEC and different XMP profile details. The Asus Armoury Crate page is where you can turn that feature on and off. If you don’t know what it is, when you first install a fresh windows install, the BIOS can push a basic installer to get you up and running for drivers and Asus software without a driver disc or downloads. It is nice, but the downside is having this option on is also a security risk and Asus recently had problems with exactly so if you know how to download your drivers you can turn this off and do it manually.

Up top, there are a few options like being able to turn the Aura lighting on the board on or off without having to install software. The Qfan Control option is where you can set up fan profiles for each of the fans hooked up. Then you have the EZ tuning wizard which is an auto overclocking tool. Asus has options that ask you what kind of load you will be doing, because sustained loads are a lot harder on overclocks. They also ask what kind of cooling you are running as well and depending on those options they give you an estimate on what kind of overclock you can expect. I saw from a 2% on CPU with no memory overclock to  11% CPU and 3% memory on the gaming option with water cooling.

Overall I really like Asus UEFI’s. They navigate smoothly without the mouse or keyboard and splitting overclocking options up from everything else makes sense. Asus does need to do some updating and consider moving the AMD CPU options over to the overclocking tab. Beyond that, I don’t think you will find any other board with the level of options available. Now hopefully Asus works out some of the bugs that they have been having with X570 BIOS’s like some locking up on a few options which have caused some drama on Reddit.

 

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