UEFI Features

ASUS bundled the Maximus VIII Extreme motherboard with the latest version of their ASUS UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) implementation, a customized version of the AMI baseline UEFI BIOS replacement. The UEFI offers full keyboard and mouse support while using the BIOS pages. ASUS changed the way mouse right-click functions in their UEFI implementation with right-click having no impact on the screen. By default, the user sees the EZ mode screen when entering the UEFI. The Advanced mode screens accessible via the Exit/Advanced Mode button at the upper right corner of the screen or by hitting the F7 function key. Advanced mode screens can be set for the default user interface via the UEFI Boot menu as well.

As we've stated in previous reviews, the ASUS UEFI implementation remains among the best out there. The UEFI is very responsive to both keyboard and mouse input with almost no lag or questionable click-space evident anywhere. The UEFI is designed in an intuitive manner so that both novice and advance BIOS users can quickly find what they are looking for. The EZ Mode screen lays out everything in a highly readable format, while the Advanced Mode tabbed layout displays as you would expect from a traditional BIOS. ASUS also gives you the ability to taken screen captures from within the BIOS by pressing the F12 key with those screen-caps saved in a 1024×768 bitmap format to an attached USB device. From the Tools menu, ASUS houses their collection of of BIOS-related tools and applets, ranging from an UEFI-based updater (EZ Flash3) to their full UEFI profile load and save utility.

UEFI Notable Features

The Maximus VIII Extreme UEFI includes enhancements to the features introduced to the interface with their Z97 board line, as well as exposing several new features specific to the Skylake-S processor line. They revised their EZ Mode page with added utility, integrating a customizable My Favorites tab into the Advance mode menu, Shortcut screen, a graphical fan tuning interface, a graphical EZ Tuning Wizard interface, support for display in nine different languages, and a Quick Note interface introducing memo persistence across UEFI sessions.

My Favorites tab, populated

My Favorites & Shortcut setup popup

The My Favorites tab houses user selected settings for access to these from a centralized location. To access, select the My Favorites tab from within the Advanced Mode interface. Note that if a menu or sub-menu is added to this page, all fields on that page will be added. The real strength in this My Favorites tab implementation comes with the ability to mix and match commonly used options in a central location, rather than having to hunt them down through multiple sub-levels of menus.

EZ Mode page

The EZ Mode page presents information organized into sections in an easy-to-read manner for those users who do not want to be bothered with the labyrinth of the Advanced Mode settings.

Q-Fan Tuning page

The Q-Fan Tuning page allows for graphical configuration of fan operation based on predefined threshold levels. The interface is similar in nature to the Windows-based Fan Xpert3 fan configuration interface and is a nice touch in-lei of the text-based configuration approach. The Q-Fan Tuning page is accessed by clicking on the Manual Fan Tuning button within the EZ Mode page.

Easy Tuning Wizard – OC Page

Easy Tuning Wizard – RAID Page

The EZ Tuning Wizard can be accessed by hitting the F11 function key from within the EZ Mode page or from within the Advanced Mode interface. This wizard can be used to setup BIOS configured system performance optimization or drive RAID setup based on user selections made within the wizard interface.

Advanced Mode, Main tab, Quick Note pop-up

The Quick Note window is accessed by clicking the Quick Note field in the top menu bar or hit the F9 function key. From this window, you can enter notes that remain persistent between BIOS sessions. This functionality is only available from the Advanced Mode interface.

Advanced Mode, Tools tab, ASUS EZ Flash 3 pop-up source selection

Advanced Mode, Tools tab, ASUS EZ Flash 3 pop-up USB drive selected

The ASUS EZ Flash 3 utility was updated, allowing for BIOS update via an attached drive or through a network connection. When selecting the network update method, the utility launches a network connection wizard for getting the most up to date BIOS file from the ASUS servers.

Advanced Mode, Monitor tab, Q-Fan Configuration page

ASUS enhanced their Q-Fan control capabilities in their latest UEFI version, allowing for user configurable pauses in between when the BIOS detects a change in threshold temperature and when the BIOS increases the header fan speed. As with previous version of the UEFI, the user is able to set temperature thresholds and fan speeds (based on percentage run speed) for the board's fan headers.

Extreme Tweaker tab with Manual mode enabled

For the Z170 Express boards, ASUS opened up the CPU back clock settings with user capable settings up to 650MHz. This is because of the decoupling of the PCI and DMI bus from the base clock with the Intel Skylake processors.

Extreme Tweaker tab, Tweaker's Paradise page

Extreme Tweaker tab, Tweaker's Paradise page continued

To cater to the extreme overclockers, ASUS exposed many esoteric board settings not normally exposed to the end user and housed them in the Tweaker's Paradise menu. This menu contains voltage, timing, and bus settings for those of you trying to squeeze every last ounce of speed and stability out of you overclocked board. It contains settings for tweaking everything from CPU internal settings to PCI-Express bus related settings. Enjoy your time in the Tweaker's Paradise.

Tools tab, ROG OC Panel H-Key Configure page

ASUS's UEFI would not be complete without the ability to create a custom profile controllable using their optional OC Panel device. Via the ROG OC Panel H-Key Configure sub-menu, you can configure a custom profile for your CPU voltage, base clock speed, and CPU ratio that is enacted upon pressing the H-key on your OC Panel device (as long as it is connected to the board).

EZ Mode, Save & Reset popup

The Save & Reset page displays to the user a scrollable list of all UEFI changes made since the last save. Listed changes are not committed to BIOS memory until saved by the user. Note that the same list displays when the user chooses any of the save settings from the Exit page or the Last Modified option with Advanced Mode active.

BIOS Walkthrough

Extreme Tweaker tab with Manual mode enabled, CPU ratio settings

Extreme Tweaker tab with Manual mode enabled, submenu list

Extreme Tweaker tab with Manual mode enabled, voltage settings

Extreme Tweaker tab, Overclocking Presets page

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page, Secondary Timings settings

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page, Third Timing settings

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page, Third Timing settings continued

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page, Miscellaneous settings

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page, Memory Presets page

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page, Memory Presets page, Module-specific details page

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page, Memory Presets page, Module-specific details page continued

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page, Skew Control page

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page, Skew Control page continued

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page, Skew Control page continued

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page, RTL IOL Control page

Extreme Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing Control page, RTL IOL Control page continued

Extreme Tweaker tab, DIGI+ Power Control page

Extreme Tweaker tab, DIGI+ Power Control page

Extreme Tweaker tab, CPU Power Management page

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