Ah, the new EFI BIOS, are you tired of it yet? Me? I think I kind of like it. It is certainly much better (in many ways) than the old BIOS that you got with a motherboard. The one nice thing is that board makers can now add even more of their own touches to the BIOS. MSI's BIOS is a little cartoonish, but it is still more than functional.
The landing page that you hit when you first enter the BIOS has a few animated icons that will catch your eye. I can tell you after working with this board there is only one that you will spend a lot of time in. It is that one in the center labelled "Overclocking", however, we have a few more places to hit before we get there.
The first stop on the list is the Green Power section. As you can imagine, there is plenty here that is about power efficiency and power management. Of course, if you look up in the corner, you can see these shots were taken while overclocked to 4.9GHz. At that speed, are you really worried about power conservation?
The next stop on cartoon lane is the Utilities section; some of these are actually really good. There is a memory test that can really find bad memory.
Live Update you already know about, while the HDD backup is a pretty cool feature. It allows you to backup partition images to another drive for safe keeping. This is outside of any OS you might have installed, so all of you Linux users are not out in the cold.
The Boot screen utility is also kind of cool if you are looking into personalizing your system. For many overclockers this will be a wasted utility, but it can be fun for some.
Here is what I got when I tried to run the games utility. The reason for this is that I did not have the Driver DVD in the DVD-ROM. To use this or the backup utility, you have to have this in place or you get nothing.
Ah, here we finally come to my favourite section, the Overclocking section. Here is one of the reasons why I like the EFI BIOS; before I would spend a ton of time pressing the up and down arrows to get back and forth between the settings that I like to use. Now I can click on them with the mouse and scroll up and down. It is much easier to get around. You are also not losing any of the same controls that you like; they are just simpler to get to now.
The last area we will cover is the Settings page. You have the usual suspects in place here; System status, Advanced CPU settings, M-Flash Security and boot options. I have to say that I do like this BIOS.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The Box and What's Inside]
- Page 3 [The Motherboard]
- Page 4 [BIOS]
- Page 5 [Overclocking & Control Center Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup and Comments]
- Page 7 [Synthetic Tests - Part I]
- Page 8 [Synthetic Tests - Part II]
- Page 9 [Synthetic Tests - Part III]
- Page 10 [Real-World Tests - Part I]
- Page 11 [Real-World Tests Part II]
- Page 12 [Power Usage, Heat Tests and Final Thoughts]