ASUS has been on a roll with their RoG line of motherboards. Their third installment, Commando, looks to impress enthusiasts with the help of Intels P965 chipset. How does this board stack up against others, and is it worthy of the Republic of Gamers name?
One thing that enthusiasts, and many gamers for that matter, look for in a good motherboard is an equally strong BIOS. This is where the tweaker’s expectations can be met or supremely let down. The majority of overclocking friendly boards have an equally friendly BIOS. In the past, I have worked with well laid out setups and my fair share of poorly planned ones as well.
With Asus marketing this motherboard directly as gamers, and with the many reports of record overclocks using this chipset, I fully expect the BIOS to be as robust as any we have worked with in the past.
The first screen we see is the basic, everyday setup screen. On the “main” screen, we have the option to change the displayed date, time as well as view our system information. Nothing to over the top here.
On the next tab over, we start to get into the meat of the BIOS. In the “Extreme Tweaker” section, we find where all of the overclocking tools reside. By default, everything fun is turned off. Should you wish to just run your Commando at stock settings, no changes need to be made on this screen. If you wish to overclock the hell out of your CPU, come on in.
If we set the AI Tuning to Manual, this opens up kinds of settings. This is where we can adjust the FSB, tweak our voltages and enable the C.G.I. (Cross Graphics Impeller) but more on this later. If you notice, the FSB can be cranked all the way up to 650 MHz. A bit optimistic on Asus’ part if you ask me but it’s nice to know that you have the headroom.
If you wish to completely fry your CPU, it should be noted that you can crank up your VCore up to 1.85v too.
Starting at 1.8v, the memory voltage can be kicked all the way up to 3.375v should you so desire.
By setting the Configure DRAM Timing by SPD, we can now go in and manually set our RAM timings should we want to do so. If you are going to want to have success overclocking on any motherboard, you are going to have to get very familiar with what you RAM can and cannot do. This includes their timings.
Moving down the line, in the “Advanced” tab, we can tweak our CPU even more should we want to. It is here that you can change your CPU multiplier if your CPU grants you the ability to.
The next tab is for power settings.
Here is where we can adjust our boot sequence as well as change the importance of one hard drive compared to another. Obviously your boot drive will want to take precedence over any other media drive you might have connected.
In the “Tools” column, we have the ability to use Asus’ built in BIOS flashing utility. We can also save successful overclocking settings in the O.C. Profiles section.
Finally, in the “Exit” column, we can either discard our settings or save them to have them applied at the next reboot. In this section, we can also restore the setup defaults if we get a bit out of hand in our setting changing endeavors.