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The replacement for that clunky, 20+ year old, keyboard only BIOS is here: UEFI. ASUS’ latest P8P67 boards and Maximus IV Extreme all now ship with it. You’d be forgiven for being unsure about something so new, and with that in mind, we decided to take you through all its new faces.

UEFI stands for “Unified Extensible Firmware Interface” and it’s basically a complete update to the ageing BIOS – the software that boots your PC – with support for more colours, a higher resolution, and native USB support for using a mouse as well.

The new ASUS UEFI BIOS offers two modes – EZ-Mode and Advanced Mode – which can easily be switched between without having to restart. As their names suggest, the former is for beginners; with its more visual style, and the latter is for those looking to have new way or using the huge depth of features ASUS BIOS are renowned for.

The first interface you’ll be presented with its the EZ-Mode:

ASUS EZ Mode

EZ Mode in UEFI

This shows a lot of info about the CPU and current setup – in fact it’s useful as a quick reference even if you prefer to use the advanced mode! The three little tachometers in the middle are actually clickable buttons that represent three modes: Energy Saver, Standard and ASUS Optimal. They can quickly change the systems settings with a single click, to give an easy, generalised match to how you prefer your PC to run.

TEZ Mode switch to Advanced Modehe Boot Priority icons underneath – here representing the hard drive and optical drives I have plugged in – are also drag and drop. Say you’re installing Windows 7 from a DVD; you can use the mouse to ‘pick-up’ the optical drive and drop it in front of the hard drive, telling the system to read the DVD first so OS installs. That’s much quicker and easier than diving into sub-menus!

In the top corner you’ll see the button to exit or go to the advanced mode. For seasoned system builders, advanced mode is where you’ll want to nose around.

ASUS UEFI Main Page

ASUS UEFI Main Page

From there you’ll get a whole new interface with clickable tabs at the top:

The AI Tweaker tab is the main area for overclocking and performance tweaking. It houses the settings for system voltages, memory timings, CPU and new DIGI+ VRM adjustments you can see above and below. We’ll detail what each of these do in a guide to overclocking on the P8P67 series, at a later date.

The Advanced tab next to it has a separate sub-menu covering all the features of the motherboard. Most people will just need to drop into the Onboard Devices Configuration if you want to tweak what extra features should run or not. The SATA configuration page is helpfully pre-set to ACHI mode for better performance so most people won’t need to change it, although change it here to RAID (for two or more hard drives) if need be. Helpfully ASUS lists all the SATA drives currently connected, so if you’ve a problem with one it takes less time to work out which. The CPU configuration section gives not only more detail on what CPU is currently plugged in, but also all its advanced features that can be enabled or disabled as well.

The next stop is the Monitor tab, which does pretty much what it says on the tin: it reads the current CPU and motherboard (P67 chip) temperature, as well as fan speeds from around the board. ASUS also includes its Q-Fan control to set fans to either Silent, Standard, or Turbo settings depending on what your PC needs, or it can be disabled entirely if you use a separate fan controller.

In the Boot section the boot priority (like in EZ-mode) can be setup, as well as whether you want to drop into EZ-mode like normal or straight into Advanced mode instead, and it can also change the full-screen logo for the standard POST screen too.

Finally the Tools section adds a few extra features than usual – while the always, very useful OC Profile (BIOS settings saving) and EZ-Flash (BIOS update tool) are both present, ASUS also now includes an SPD Information tool to read all the reference data on your DDR3, slot by slot. If your memory lost its labels or you lost the box, this can tell you exactly what they are, avoiding confusion and potential instability by using the wrong settings.

What do you think of ASUS UEFI? Let us know your thoughts, in the comments below!

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