ASUS bundled the Crosshair VI Hero motherboard with the latest revision 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
ASUS continues to revise and enhance their UEFI interface, sharing features from their Intel Z270 board line as well as exposing new features specific to the AMD Ryzen processor and X370 board lines. Updated and notable features include the EZ Mode page, the Advanced mode My Favorites tab, Shortcut screen, a graphical fan tuning interface, a graphical EZ Tuning Wizard interface, and a list of recent changes listed on the Save popup.
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. ASUS enhanced this interface with an animated background, making for an interested effect.
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.
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
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 based on user selections made within the wizard 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.
Extreme Tweaker tab, Tweaker's Paradise page
Extreme Tweaker tab, Tweaker's Paradise page continued
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.
Advanced 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.
Advanced mode, Extreme Tweaker tab
Advanced mode, Extreme Tweaker tab continued
Advanced mode, Extreme Tweaker tab, voltage settings
The Extreme Tweaker tab houses the settings controlling all board overclocking settings. ASUS integrated several settings specific for the AMD Ryzen processor including processor overclocking and voltage settings. The Core Performance Boost setting enables processor controlled speed boosting per factory settings with the processor under load. The SMT Mode setting enables the SMT instruction set for the processor. The processor's on-die PCH voltage is configured using the VDDSOC Voltage setting, exposed with the CPU SOC Voltage option set to Manual mode.
Advanced mode, Extreme Tweaker tab, External Digi+ Power Control page
Advanced mode, Extreme Tweaker tab, External Digi+ Power Control page continued
The External Digi+ Power Control page, accessed via a link from the Extreme Tweaker page, contains settings controlling the behavior of the board's power control circuitry. ASUS expanding the available settings to include options for controlling power configuration settings tied to the VDDSOC voltage.
Tools tab, ASUS Overclocking Profile page
The Overclocking Profile page allows for storage and retrieval of up to eight full UEFI profiles. Each profile stores all user settings configured at the time of profile creation / update. Further, profiles can be saved or retrieved from external drives or devices.
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).
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS page
The AMD CBS page, accessed from a link within the Advanced tab, houses all AMD-specific processor and chipset tuning settings. These settings are for expert users only and should be approached with caution. All settings are housed within a series of submenus accessible from the links within the AMD CBS page.
BIOS Walkthrough – AMD CBS settings
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, Zen Common Options page
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, Zen Common Options, Custom Pstates/ ThrottlingAccept page
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, Zen Common Options, Core/Thread EnablementAgree page
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, DF Common Options page
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, DF Common Options page continued
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, UMC Common Options page
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, UMC Common Options, DDR4 Common Options page
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, UMC Common Options, DDR4 Common Options, DRAM Controller Configuration page
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, UMC Common Options, DDR4 Common Options, DRAM Controller Configuration, DRAM Power Options page
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, UMC Common Options, DDR4 Common Options, CAD Bus Configuration page
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, UMC Common Options, DDR4 Common Options, Data Bus Configuration page
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, UMC Common Options, DDR4 Common Options, Common RAS page
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, UMC Common Options, DDR4 Common Options, Security page
Advanced mode, Advanced, AMD CBS, NBIO Common Options page