Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H - Page 6

..:: 975X7AB-8EKRS2H System BIOS ::..

For the 975X7AB-8EKRS2H BIOS, Foxconn has opted to go with their usual Phoenix AwardBIOS setup. When you enter the BIOS, you’ll come across all of the usual options such as Standard CMOS Features, Advanced BIOS Features, Advanced Chipset Features, Integrated Peripherals, Power Management Setup, PnP/PCI Configurations, PC Health Status, and all of the Default Settings, etc. but there is one new addition, FOX Central Control Unit. Otherwise, this is an identical layout to several of the BIOS’ seen on Foxconn’s i9xx products.

The first menu that we’ll be diving into is labeled as “Advanced BIOS Features”. This menu houses the various boot order and boot settings, as well as allowing for control over CPU features and L3 cache. The user also has the ability to adjust what images or logos are shown on boot up. This was formerly home to the series of Foxconn technologies for overclocking, system BIOS security, etc. but those have now been moved to a separate location.

The Advanced Chipset Features submenu houses a few of the PCI-Express and RAM related settings like ECC or Non-ECC for the RAM, however much has been removed and placed elsewhere from what we normally see. In past BIOS’, Foxconn has included all of the memory timing options as well as alternative settings for PCI-E and RAM. These additional memory timing settings have been moved to the Foxconn Central Control Unit, which we’ll be covering shortly.

The Integrated Peripherals window is also broken up into an immense listing of certain specific aspects of the motherboard and the peripherals that are built-in. Within this menu, the user has the ability to configure the IRQ settings of several of the integrated peripherals, along with enabling or disabling the ones that they wish to use or not to use for that matter. Within this menu, we can enable or disable several items such as the IDE and SATA configurations, USB 2.0, Audio, Integrated LAN, Serial Ports, Parallel Port, and much more. If you know that you’re going to be utilizing any of the given features offered by the 975X7AB-8EKRS2H, this is the portion of the BIOS where you’ll need to look to make sure each of them has been enabled.

The next menu that we will be discussing is that of the PC Health Status menu. The menu houses all of the various displays for system temperatures, RPM readings, and voltage readings. Foxconn also adds an option to select a shutdown temperature for the system, as well as several PWM settings for controlling the various system fans. This is certainly a favorite feature of mine to control the sometimes awful noise penetrating the case. The fans can be set to run anywhere between 60% and 100% based on the temperature reading that you set the control system for.

The Fox Central Control Unit is a menu that has only been added with the recent addition of Foxconn’s FOX ONE technology. Foxconn hasn’t had the best reputation amongst the overclocking and performance crowd, and it seems they’re taking some steps in the right direction by catering more towards this crowd with FOX ONE. This menu ties in all of the key performance and tweaking settings into one main menu within the BIOS.

There are several key settings available, ranging from setting the FSB clock, PCI-E clock, DRAM and VCore voltages, as well as additional CPU and DRAM tweaking options. In terms of the VCore voltages, instead of offering the standard settings, Foxconn allows for adjustments to be made in percentage intervals. These intervals occur in steps of +/- 3% up to a maximum over voltage of +24%.

In terms of the available timings and settings for the DRAM, Foxconn allows for adjustment of the Voltage, RAM clock, CAS latency, RAS to CAS delay, and RAS precharge. The all important CAS latency setting can range from 3 to 6 in the typical integer interval. One excellent aspect of this board, along with its support for Core 2 Duo processors, is the fact that Foxconn has allowed for DDR-II up to 800MHz to be utilized. Previous versions only allowed for DDR-II up to speeds of 667MHz. The DRAM voltage can be both either raised or lowered from the default setting. The interval of voltage is 0.05V all the way up to a possible +0.600V. One additional feature is the ability to adjust the voltage of the MCH. With the MCH, voltages can again be raised or lowered from that of the default setting. This time, increments of 0.04V up to +0.240V are allowed.

The Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H ships with an improved BIOS in comparison to previous versions of both this same board, as well as all other products we have seen in the past. Foxconn has cleaned up the BIOS and removed several of the unneeded features. The addition of the FOX ONE settings has allowed Foxconn to move their products closer to the wants of the performance user as well as the occasional overclocker.