The ASRock OC Formula’s BIOS is very similar to that of the Extreme6…only it isn’t. General layout remains easy to navigate and utilize, however the amount of options has increased substantially. ASRock also fixed the one issue I had with the BIOS from the Extreme6…the options have at least some level of explanation, helping novice users understand what it is they’re doing. Also added to every option is a QR code that you can scan for even more information.
We’ll start from the very beginning of the BIOS and work our way onwards. The first pane, subtly titled “Main” lists a few choice pieces of information including processor type and BIOS revision, along with memory timings and speed. There’s also an option here that will allow you to choose the pane that loads when you first enter the UEFI, which is a simple yet great tool for increasing efficiency when overclocking. It defaults to the OC Tweaker pane, however you can set anything you want depending on your preferences.
The OC Tweaker pane is where all the magic happens. In-depth voltage tweaking along with RAM timing configuration is available here. The designer of the board, Nick Shih, has also created saved profiles that will set everything required for a specific overclock. I did note that the voltage values were a little on the low side for my specific chip, so these may need to be adjusted. You can also set up to ten of your own individual profiles for easy restoration of your specific settings should you need to clear CMOS.
The Advanced pane offers in-depth configuration settings for your CPU, North Bridge, South Bridge and others. A lot of these settings are related to specific Intel technologies such as Rapid Start, though there are settings relating to other things too, such as C-State settings which can be invaluable when overclocking.
The Tool pane provides access to some maintenance tools, as well as access to the multitude of sensors on the motherboard. Also here is ASRock’s Instant Flash utility, which offers a much safer alternative to updating BIOS in Windows.
Moving on to the H/W Monitor tab, you’re presented with a list of every single sensor on the motherboard and its current value. Also available is voltage readouts of your power supply rails and CPU voltage. Scrolling down gives you access to fan PWM options. You’ll notice it seems I have no fans; this is simply because I use a fan controller as opposed to fan headers on the board.
The boot pane enables you to change your boot order, as well as change the BBS properties of your boot sequence. On some boards, if you wanted to boot from a SATA device, it had to be in the correct SATA port; enabling the BBS properties allows you to override this requirement and choose drives perhaps in a different port. Very useful. Fast Boot essentially enables you to skip POST, speeding up your boot times. There are other options here which are fairly self-explanatory. The security pane allows you to set a BIOS password, as well as setting a master boot password that will need to be entered prior to loading the operating system. For security-conscious people, this can be invaluable – especially since breaking past a Windows password requires nothing more than a USB thumb drive.
The exit provides a couple of options to save, restore defaults, and exit the UEFI, as well as the ability to load a shell of the UEFI from a USB drive.