BIOSTAR has done a nice job with the UEFI. While it's not the most glamorous UEFI, it does get the job done. There are too many theatrics in the background, but I guess it goes with the whole rugged military-style theme. There isn't another UEFI quite like this one; BIOSTAR seems to have really modified the standard AMI package. The result is quite functional, but it takes a little getting used to.
Fan control is allocated into three regions for PWM control, each CPU fan header gets independent control and then all system fan headers are controlled at once, and there are plenty parameters for customization. All the overclocking features you need are present, however, don't mix up CPU VCC with VCore, VCC is the input voltage to the CPU. The BIOS also provides the ability to save profiles to the ROM or an external file. BIOSTAR has put a lot of effort into the UEFI and it shows, considering they don't have many Z97 motherboards, it is an impressive accomplishment.
BIOSTAR provides a decent amount of software. First off is their BIO Remote 2 allowing you to control the computer from your phone.
While the standard Realtek suite also works, BIOSTAR provides a nice customized suite they call Smart Ear 3D, it resembles from CMedia audio control suites I have seen bundled with aftermarket sound cards. There are a lot of features in this software; it's comparable to Creative solutions I have seen. The Killer network manager is also provided.
I was surprised to find that BIOSTAR provides their TOVERCLOCKER software with this board, and just like the BIOS, it works quite well. I was able to get my maximum validation through this software and I didn't have to use Intel XTU.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and the GAMING Z97X]
- Page 3 [GAMING Z97X Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 5 [Test Setup and Overclocking]
- Page 6 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 7 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 8 [Temperature and Power Consumption]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]
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