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ASUS ROG Maximus X Formula Motherboard Review

The ASUS UEFI enters straight into the EZ Mode splash screen which has a selection of frequently used settings including XMP profiles, boot device order and fan speeds. Pressing F7 takes the user into the advanced section of the UEFI but there are some additional tools that can be accessed from the splash screen such as Q-Fan Control and EZ System Tuning.

The first tab is MyFavorites which stores the most frequently accessed UEFI settings. The next tab, Main, contains detailed processor and BIOS version information.

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AI Tweaker is the UEFI tab which contains the vast majority of performance tuning settings pertaining to the CPU and DRAM. From here you can set XMP profiles, overclock the CPU, set all the various voltages and voltage operation modes, change the Load Line Calibration (LLC) and considerably more.

LLC has 8 levels, using a 0-based index, with 0 being the least aggressive and 7 the most. The voltage modes include override, adaptive and offset. Unlike MSI, ASUS does not offer combined voltage modes such as override + offset.

The UEFI provides a clear warning that when enabling XMP there is a choice to opt out of enhanced Turbo functionality and stick to Intel’s default specification.

There is a significant selection of performance and compatibility parameters to be found under the Advanced section should the need arise. As well as a number of other peculiar settings related to the functions of onboard devices, LEDs, USB and storage controllers and more.

The Monitor tab will allow you to instruct the UEFI how to handle temperature data from the various sensors as well as what to do with fan speed profiles. For example where a fan speed profile is temperature dependant you can choose which temperature sensor to use. If you purchase the optional ASUS Fan Extension card that can also be configured from within this section.

The Boot tab is as expected in delivering the key boot options such as secure boot, boot priority and boot compatibility options. Users needing to update the UEFI (via the EZ Flash Utility), save, import or export BIOS settings, or secure erase a storage drive should refer to the Tool tab.

The EZ Flash utility is very simple to use and allows the UEFI to be updated from either a local disk or the internet over the Intel I219V Gigabit Ethernet adapter.

Q-Fan Control is a must-use utility since it will calculate the fan speed ranges of all PWM or DC fans on the 8 controllable fan headers. Once the voltage-to-fan-speed values have been calculated the user can then assign a preferred profile to each fan from the four presets (standard, silent, turbo, full speed) or simply set a custom profile using manual mode.

We have tried the automated ASUS overclocking utility EZ Tuning Wizard in the past and it will provide your system with an automatic overclock depending on which options you select. However, it applies a high voltage to account for variation in the quality of CPUs so it will often apply more voltage than necessary, users are better off attempting a manual overclock as it is very simple with Z370.

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