BIOS

We used to get lots of pictures to show some of the BIOS functionality but I’ve found that it is a lot easier just to have a video clicking through all of the options where you can pause and check anything out. When you first boot into the BIOS on the Maximus XII Extreme you are dropped right into the advanced mode which given the high-end nature of the board isn’t too big of a deal. I normally hate that a lot of the boards have an easy mode but then don’t start you there so this is an exception. The main page lists off the BIOS version as well as information on what CPU you are running and memory with just the system language and date and time settings being things you can change. Asus does have the EZMode option on this and every page as well as a hardware monitor over on the right that lists off clock speeds, temperatures, and voltages as you change things. Then up top you can get into the Qfan control, AI overclocking, and Aura lighting where you can turn things on and off without installing any extra software.

It is the extreme tweaker tab up top which is where Asus had focused all of the overclocking options altogether. Right up top, you can see if LN2 mode is on or off and see the CPU target frequency as well as the DRAM and cache. From there they have XMP up at the top and the most basic overclocking options like BCLK and PCIe frequency as well as the MCE or multicore enhancement option which does some auto overclocking on its own. Scrolling down from there you get into memory overclocking options and then you run into multiple pages that can be opened up. This is where Asus starts to get crazy with the level of detail you can get into with your overclocking. They split the advanced features up by the are so memory, the VRM, internal CPU power, V/F Point Offset, Tweakers Paradise, and AI Features. There is a reason this board's BIOS video is three times longer than any of the others, every single tiny thing has an option. Most come set to auto of course but the option to dive in deeper is there and frankly, it is way beyond my capabilities even. Even the AI options help you let the AI know how good your cooling is and to tell it how crazy to get when it comes to power usage.

The advanced tab gets you a full-page list of other pages you can open up and like with the overclocking options Asus goes well above and beyond compared to the other boards for options. You can dive into CPU specific features or different platform-specific things like the USB, PCI subsystem, network cards, PCH, and the Thunderbolt card configuration as well. You can relabel all of the ports and turn each off as well to speed things up all the way down to individual USB ports which can be turned on and off as well. All of the other devices like the onboard audio, specific NICs, and USB controllers can also be turned on and off as well.

The monitor tab up top lists off every single sensor available which includes all voltages, temperatures, fan speeds, flow rates, etc. You can also get into a special Q fan config here as well which lets you add some of the water cooling headers into Q fan. You can also set up profiles per fan for things like base speeds, wrap up and ramp down times and set different fan profiles per fan. Q Fan itself also lets you tune those profiles completely and lets you select which thermal sensor you want to use to control the fans which is nice. Not everything needs to go off of CPU temperatures. In fact, sometimes your CPU may not be under load but something like your GPU may be.

The boot tab is simpler than the rest but it does have what you would expect. You can select boot options and override boot options immediately as well. You can also set up secure boot options. Then next to that is the tool tab which is where Asus has tucked away a few important tools like their EZFlash 3 utility used to reflash the BIOS. You can also do secure erases on hard drives and get into options for the armoury crate which lets you turn it on and off. On one hand, the armoury crate is helpful for anyone who doesn’t know how to install drives and software. But if you don’t want to use it, it's nice to turn off and not get the in windows popups.

I did also jump into the EZMode to check it out. You get a simple page with all of the important info like temperatures all visible. You can see which fans are hooked up as well as memory slots. Then you have drag and drop options for the boot priority, a drop down to turn on XMP, and a quick option to turn AI overclocking on and off. Basically everything someone who isn’t experienced might look to change.

 

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