Author: Frank Stroupe
- Specifications & Features
- A Closer Look
- The BIOS
- Testing - Benchmarks
- Testing - Futuremark / Photoshop
- Testing - Gaming
The P45X3 Deluxe uses the American Megatrends BIOS, a tabbed BIOS that makes for easy navigation. Another difference between this motherboard and other ASRock boards is that you can press the “Delete” key to get to the BIOS. Other ASRock motherboards use “F2″, this one uses either. It really doesn’t make much difference one way or the other, but I always forget to use F2 and have to reboot.
The BIOS opens to the Main menu, which gives system info, and has the Date/Time setting. The next menu is the Smart menu. Of special note is the EZ overclocking, you just tell the BIOS what overclock you want and it does all of the adjustments automatically. You may have to come back and do a little tweaking, but usually not.
The next menu is the Advanced menu. Most of the motherboard’s settings are in submenus here. The relevant overclocking settings are scattered throughout the Advanced menu rather than all being in one place, which is usually a bummer, but at least all of the submenus are short enough that no cursoring down is necessary.
The CPU Configuration submenu has the very basic overclocking settings, the FSB and multiplier. SpeedStep and other energy related settings are also here.
The Chipset Configuration submenu contains a few of the normal chipset settings, but mostly contains other submenus relating to memory settings. To overclock, we now have to go into submenus of submenus, including one just for memory timings and one for voltages.
The Hardware Monitor menu contains all of the relevant temps and voltages, and also has settings for keeping your CPU and chassis fans quiet.
The Boot menu has Boot Configuration and Boot Device Priority.
Since it is there, I decided to use the EZ Overclocking. I started at 3.8gHz, since that is about the max of my CPU’s overclocking ability. It produced a stable, solid overclock at 3.76gHz. I tried higher settings, tweaking those settings, and overclocking the old fashioned way, but the one that the BIOS gave me was the most satisfying overclock and I stuck with it.