LGA1150 Motherboard UEFI BIOS
ASUS has always had the best-designed UEFI BIOSes, in my opinion. They’re continually refining them, and the iteration included with BIOS 0801 on the Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 motherboard is the best I’ve seen yet.
The main page shows you all the information you’d need at a glance, segregated into logical panels. First, there’s the CPU information, along with its temperature and voltage (but bear in mind that both of these values will be with the CPU idling), along with the motherboard voltage. The panel below shows the memory and SATA device information, along with the XMP setting and whether Intel Rapid Storage Technology is on or off. Below that are the speeds for 8 fans, along with a temperature/speed graph for the primary CPU fan. (I’d expect this graph to show the settings for any of the fans, but it’s fixed on the CPU fan). At the upper right is an EZ System Tuninng panel, below which is the boot priority panel. You can click and drag devices to set the boot priority.
Pressing F7 takes you to the Advanced Mode page, which has Main, Ai Tweaker, Advanced, Monitor, Boot, and Tool sub-pages. You could write a lengthy book on just this BIOS and all its settings, which I’m not going to do…but I will try to hit the high points. The Main page just shows you component information and lets you set the language, time, and date. You can also set a security password.
The AI Tweaker is where the fun stuff is. Here you can adjust CPU and memory settings and timings to get the best possible performance. ASUS has enhanced the explanatory text shown at the bottom of the screen for the currently selected setting, which is a big help, although some of the more obscure settings are still rather…obscure. Then again, how can you summarize the t_RDRDr setting under memory timing?
The Advanced section is where all the non-performance adjustments live. This includes CPU features like Intel Virtualization Technology and Hyper-threading, and USB and SATA configuration, and so on.
I admit I’ve always found the idea of a Monitor section in the BIOS a little odd, given that your system will always be running at idle when you’re on this screen. Still, there it is.
There’s more BIOS goodness in the next section.