Z68 Motherboard Roundup: ASUS, EVGA, ASRock, GB, MSI, ZOTAC

Article Index

UEFI/BIOS Comparison

An interesting thing happened in the not-too-distant past: a slick UEFI became de rigeur for most motherboard manufacturers. It’s easy to see why. First, it’s visually appealing for tinkerers, and frankly, the visuals are kind of a nice change of pace from the plain BIOS we all grew accustomed to over the years. Secondly, it gives motherboard makers the chance to pack in more features and capabilities in a way that differentiates a product, as opposed to just burying them in multiple sub-menus. Finally, let’s be honest--it’s really nice to navigate through BIOS settings and overclocking features with a mouse.


ASUS (Advanced)

Gigabyte (both)


It’s interesting to see each manufacturer’s take on what the UEFI or BIOS can look like. The ASRock UEFI was arguably our favorite, as it’s attractive and easy on the eyes but also simple and straightforward to navigate. MSI and ASUS both opted for vibrant, flashy UEFI’s with different modes of operation. In MSI’s case, you can toggle between ECO, STANDARD, or OC Genie II modes to access the settings and features appropriate to each. ASUS did the mode thing a bit differently, offering an EZ Mode by default that assaults the senses with dials and graphic visualizations of temperature, voltage, and fan speed. However, you can click “Exit/Advanced Mode” at the top right corner of the screen to switch into an Advanced Mode. The Advanced Mode looks a lot like the ASRock UEFI--simple, clean, and attractive--and it's ideal for the overclocker.

You may note that although we included two Gigabyte boards in this roundup, we only provided one photo of the BIOS; that’s because the motherboards have identical BIOS menus and setups, which is the same BIOS you’ve seen on every Gigabyte board for years. This has pros and cons; on the one hand, it’s antiquated-looking compared to all the nice UEFIs out there, but on the other, it’s nice to use a BIOS where everything is located where you know it to be, rather than having to dig around each different new UEFI you encounter.

EVGA and ZOTAC have the oddest takes on their UEFIs/BIOSes of the seven motherboards we looked at. At first glance, it looks like ZOTAC took the Gigabyte route and went with a legacy-looking BIOS; then, you realize that you can use your mouse to navigate through it. We wonder why ZOTAC would go to the trouble of making a UEFI that’s mouse-navigable without dressing it up a bit; even a simple GUI skin would have gone a long way.

EVGA has a hipster UEFI; it ironically looks like an old BIOS, and you can’t use your mouse to navigate, but the company gave it a cool black-and-white color scheme and slick icons for the different areas of the UEFI.  Just in case there was any doubt, “UEFI” is stamped in the upper-left corner.

Tags:  Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, Zotac, evga, Z68, ARock

Related content