The rear I/O contains plenty of connectors to use - you wouldn't really know it's an mATX board from the list below. Included are:
- Six USB 2.0
- One 6-pin Firewire port
- One eSATA port
- PS2 keyboard
- One RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port
- Optical S/PDIF out
- Backlit Clear CMOS button
- Six 3.5mm audio jacks for 7.1 channel surround sound plus microphone and line inputs
- A plug for the LCD Poster display at the far end
The Asus BIOS is, as ever, intuitive and full of useful features. The Extreme Tweaker section not only has plenty of goodies it, but it also updates clock frequencies, voltages and temperatures on the fly so while you're upping voltages and base clocks, the effects of your calculations are right there in front of you - settings still need to be saved and the PC restarted to take effect, though. Overall we're mightily impressed over the design of this BIOS.
The only downside is that all its CPU Level Up, Memory Level Up, XMP and RoG options overlap and confuse if you're unaware of what each does, but it's just a case of selecting them to see the changes. Most of us will want the manual setting, however.
Asus' voltage selection affords great finesse by offering increases in 0.00625V increments, and it also provides the extremely useful ability to type in the exact voltage required, rather than scrolling through a looooooooong list. The BIOS will also give colour hints for values, ranging from blue (OK), yellow (warning) and red (dangerous) as well. There are also over-current protections in place for CPU and memory.
Memory timings are hidden in a sub-menu so they don't make the main page too long, and are split between three sections with a useful list of current settings at the top of each one for reference.
Outside of the Extreme Tweaker section there are LED/LCD Poster controls under the advanced menu, while the Asus EZ Flash, OC Profile and TweakIT Batch File features are in the tools section. All of these are certainly useful in their own way, however we'd perhaps like to see Asus' own additions to the BIOS more clearly labelled to differentiate them from Asus' own additions.