ASUS Maximus II Formula P45 Motherboard

BIOS Options

BIOS Options
 
The Republic Of Gamers boards, being directed at the high-end enthusiast market, require the very best structured BIOS to enable the end user to get the absolute maximum performance from their hardware. It therefore comes as no surprise that ASUS have once again pulled out all the stops to develop yet another BIOS filled to the brim with an amazing array of options that will enhance overclocking functionality.
 
Upon initial boot, we are greeted with the new ROG emblem and the usual DEL gains entry into the BIOS itself.
 
Initial 
 
The very first page is where all the action is at and the one that most overclockers will be using, saving time from flicking through the various pages to get to the overclocking section, which in the Maximus' case is the 'Extreme Tweaker' area of the BIOS. This first page is actually more like three pages, as that's how far the options scroll down!
 
First Page 1 
 
The first option in the BIOS will allow the user to set the CPU to 'level up' to another speed such as a Q6700 or QX6850, a quick and easy way to gain some extra performance out of your chip without spending the extra cash on one! Most thoroughbred clockers, though, will no doubt wish to fine tune the performance of their CPU by entering the values manually and with the amount of options available to tweak, I'm certain no one will be disappointed with this BIOS, regardless of knowledge and expertise. Below are just a few of the main voltage tweaks available:
 
Vcore PLL
 
VTT Vdimm
 
NorthBridge bottom of Page 1
 
As you can see, very small increments can be used to raise the voltages to sizzling levels that only the users of extreme cooling should venture. These voltages are also 'coloured' blue/yellow/red depending on the safety of the value you set, which is a useful addition to guide/warn those who are unfamiliar with voltages of current CPU's and motherboard chipsets. These voltages can be either input manually (where they will be rounded down to the nearest figure available) or by the use of +/- to scroll up or down as required.
 
Above right we see the final section of the Extreme Tweaker page where GTL voltages can be fine tuned to extract the maximum possible performance out of the CPU/Memory. The very bottom of the page features Load Line Calibration, which can be used to prevent Vdroop when the CPU is put under load. This is a feature most overclockers now rely heavily on.
 
Swiftly moving on past the usual peripheral settings found in most BIOS's, I was pleased to see Asus have also taken the time to include a well presented power/monitor section where one can view the major components' voltage and temperature readouts. While this section is not exactly rare among motherboards, the plethora of readouts are most welcome and much better than the limited monitors usually found in competitors' boards.
 
Voltage monitor Temp monitor
 
With that amount of settings, it would surely be a shame if you were to lose all those finely tuned tweaks to a bad overclock. Asus have thought about this and have provided an overclock profile utility that will store two of your most favoured settings that can quickly restore your previously saved settings with just one quick load out.
 
If on the other hand you should find yourself getting carried away with your BIOS tweaking and have become a little too ambitious, then fear not. The Asus Maximus features not one, but two BIOS chips, allowing the motherboard to self restore to a bootable state if one BIOS becomes corrupt either by a bad flash or overzealous overclocking. 
 
OC Profile Flashback
 
Below left is the section where you can configure what the LCD Poster displays, which is a new addition not seen before. Last of all, we come to the EZ Flash utility. This is now a making a regular appearance among ASUS boards thanks no doubt to to its ease of use. Floppy, USB and CD/DVD can be used as media with which to flash the BIOS. The need for a bootable floppy is gone; just stick the BIOS ROM file on your preferred media and EZ Flash will do the rest for you, with only the requirement being to follow on screen prompts as needed.
 
LCD Poster EZ Flash
 
One of the many aspects I liked about this BIOS is the little descriptions in the side panel describing briefly what the setting actually does, which helps ease the pain of trawling through the manual. With so many options in the BIOS, I was eager to see how well it actually overclocks. So without further delay, let's see how the overclocking went...
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Most Recent Comments

10-07-2008, 08:45:38

JN
"With more features than ever before, very cool looking heatsinks and a shiny new chipset. Does the Maximus II have what it takes to be crowned P45 King?" - By Webbo

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...234845465s.jpg



ASUS Maximus II Formula P45 Motherboard

10-07-2008, 09:01:45

Bungral
Tis very very nice indeed. I really like the look of it.

That said.. With the new Rampage looking just as good, If I had the wedge and was after a new mobo, I'd plump for the Rampage.

10-07-2008, 09:57:02

Mr. Smith
Rich, your OC tests - is the 3.9 jiggahurtz stable or just a screenie? Also, how does that compare to other mobos you've had the chip on?

I think that is relevant...

Ta

10-07-2008, 10:15:55

w3bbo
Prime95 was run for overnight (8 hours) aswell as a 1hr hour OCCT run - not exactly proof of 24/7 stability but it's good enough imo. This is compared against similar results with the MSI and P5Q deluxe. I rated the Maximus higher as, along with the ridiculous amount of BIOS tweaks available with more time and a more mature BIOS it is my belief the Maximus can at least equal the P5Q, not only that but gaming wise the maximus is already ahead of the P5Q albeit not by much.

Also overclocking on air, as I'm sure you are aware, can be heavily influenced by ambient air temps which due to the recent hot weather is limiting the possibilities. Using phase change is not realy an option as it isn't indicative of the 'average' user and wouldn't give a fair representation of the possibilities of the motherboard.

Because the P45 uses PCIE 2.0 which is double the bandwidth of PCIe 1.1 the need for 16 lanes is debatable so going for an X48 (which appears not to clock as good as P45) is not a decision that should be taken lightly. I guess it comes down to if you want every last ounce of CPU or GPU power - CPU = P45, GPU=X48 imo.

10-07-2008, 11:20:50

Luigi
Wow, Nice review

One thing that was in the press release, but I didnt see demonstrated, was the removable part of heatpipe cooling on the NB?

Is this possible?

10-07-2008, 11:22:20

WC Annihilus
Edit: think I read that wrong

10-07-2008, 11:26:52

Luigi
Yeah, apparently just the NB part can be taking off for water cooling, so you dont have to do the whole board?

10-07-2008, 11:30:17

WC Annihilus
Looking at the removed assembly pic, I don't really see how that would work, but I suppose I should let webbo answer this one

10-07-2008, 11:38:19

w3bbo
Yes it is possible - I'll upload a pic of that for you but I didn't include it in the review due to space constraints and the fact I can't understand why anyone would want to as if you are going to apply an aftermarket solution, the whole heatpipe would be best to be removed. I thought it better to include the whole heatpipe removal than just the top of the NB.

Just for you :

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...163754119l.jpg

As you can see, if you used an aftermarket solution you would in effect be creating a sandwhich effect and the cooling would be hampered by having to battle with two lots of TIM. Hence, best to remove the whole lot if that is your aim.

10-07-2008, 12:55:17

Pjalchemist
Loving my bord. Right out the box been able to hit 600FSB after latest BIOS update. It is eye catching. I can see there point in regards to the NB WC option, not much room to play though. Glad they have ditched push pins and the so called TIM. Think they lost too many bords that way! Luck has it i have an X38 IHS so when it come to going DICE on the NB i'll lid it. Nice review and nice ES bord!

10-07-2008, 13:00:44

w3bbo
Cheers Pete

31-08-2008, 07:52:17

ogmw
Hello im new to these forums and to overclocking so hello...

I have the Same MB and a Q6600 CPU and OCZ DDR2 platinum 800 RAM...

Just wanting to know the settings for the 3.6ghz OC and also is it stable?

Thanks
Reply
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