ASUS P9X79E-WS Motherboard Review - BIOS and Software

BIOS and Software


The BIOS and AI Suite implementation in the P9X79 WS model is effectively the same as the other P9X79 models, sans some of the ancilliary and overclocking features of the P9X79 Deluxe, and since we've covered these in much detail before, we'll go ahead and steal from our previous look at the P9X79 family.

ASUS' UEFI BIOS

ASUS' UEFI BIOS has been, and still is, the standard for comparison for other graphical BIOS implementations.  It's smooth, snappy, the layout makes sense, and the overall appearance is modern and attractive.  

One of the best achievements in my mind is the fine mesh of the new UEFI BIOS with the classic BIOS navigation.  Nearly everything is easily navigated with the mouse, as clicks are swiftly registered and the pointer tracks smoothly.  But, possibly more importantly, is that it's just as easily navigated with a keyboard alone, and the layout is familiar to anyone who has dabbled in the BIOS before.

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ASUS has also done a few other small things which impact the ease-of-use of the BIOS.  One of the most challenging things with a new motherboard or a new BIOS is finding the elusive option you're looking for.  Be it power management for your CPU or legacy USB settings, ASUS has created a "shortcut," activated by pressing F3. The shortcut displays a list of functions, and it'll take you the the desired section without having to first go into "Advanced Mode" and then sift through various menus and sub-menus.

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The Fan Xpert utility is a clear differentiator for the board, and enables an array of fan speed profiles which are nearly endless, and can be tailored to your desired needs.

The SPD tool is also a great feature, as it will give you quick pre-boot access to RAM diagnostics and other detailed SPD information.  As we'll discuss in more detail in a bit, ASUS' BIOS settings are also complemented by an OS-based equivalent, for those who are more comfortable working from the OS instead of the BIOS.

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AI Suite II

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ASUS' AI Suite II utility suite rolls all of their utility applications into one program.  AISuite II offers a "modular" program which allows for full customization from the operating system.  The modularity makes it very easy to disable any of the various components of AISuite II from running, and everything may be accessed from a single small, unobtrusive dock on your desktop. To dig deeper in each of the individual features of AI Suite II, check out our editor Brandon's extremely detailed take on it.

ASUS strove to deliver both BIOS and software support for all of their motherboards' features and settings.  Some people are simply more comfortable with a graphical software UI on their desktop, and others would rather tune their motherboard in the BIOS.  The idea here is to not force compromise, and ASUS' AISuiteII is the software-based "desktop BIOS."  It also rolls in other desktop-only utilities into one easy install and easy-to-access program.  And, don't worry about it being a resource hog, as all of the programs are easily disabled from running under AI Suite II.

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