ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ Motherboard Review

Author: MAC
Date: May 30, 2011
Product Name: ASUS 990FX Sabertooth
Warranty: 5 Years
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BIOS Rundown

The Sabertooth 990FX obviously features the terrific new ASUS EFI BIOS, which is based on the new Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification and replaces the ancient text-only BIOS layout that we have all grown accustomed to. Most noticeably, UEFI brings forth a graphical user interface (GUI) and the ability to use the mouse instead of just keyboard in the BIOS environment. However, this new BIOS spec also features other new capabilities as well, like support for boot drives above 2.2TB, which previously required third-party storage cards, and the potential for faster boot times.

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The EFI BIOS has two different interfaces: EZ Mode and Advanced Mode. Any self-respecting enthusiast will want to switch to Advanced Mode right away via the Exit menu in the top right corner, and then by selecting the appropriate Setup Mode in the Boot section.

By default, the EZ Mode screen provides a user-friendly visual overview of basic system information like bios version, CPU type, memory frequency, total memory, system temperatures, voltages, and fan speeds. It also allows you to select between three different system performance modes (Power Saving / Normal / ASUS Optimal), and very simply select boot drive priority with your mouse or keyboard. While it is intended for novice users, we would have liked to a few more capabilities added to EZ Mode, particularly the auto-overclocking OC Tuner feature since this is arguably where it would get the most use.

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The Ai Tweaker tab is where all the fun happens. Once the manual option is selected in the Ai Overclock Tuner setting, the BIOS opens up to reveal all of the essential system clock control options: individually adjustable Turbo multiplier(s) (ie: CPU multiplier), bus speed, memory frequency, CPU/NB frequency, HyperTransport Link frequency, etc. Users also have the option of enabling/disabling EPU power saving mode.

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When you enter the DRAM Timing Control sub-menu, you are presented with just about every memory timing that you could want. The DRAM Driving Control sub-menu amazing provides even further control over memory settings, but is definitely best left to professionals

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One of the benefits of the new DIGI+ VRM is that it can be significantly tweaked by users in order to maximize power efficiency for day-to-day operation or stability and performance while benchmarking or overclocking.
Naturally, all the important system voltages are present and accounted for, and can be manually entered at precise 0.005V increments.

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