A few naive questions before I begin building...

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Re: A few naive questions before I begin building...

Postposted on Tue May 27, 2014 6:16 am

dortmunder wrote:My continued thanks...
In advance of the build, I'm gathering some drivers/firmware but am confused about the Asus mobo. The TR guide says to go to the website and download the latest firmware. The Asus list of downloads for their H97M-Plus has 'Bios' and 'Bios Utilities'. Do I want one or both?


The 'BIOS Utility' allows you to flash the BIOS with the 'BIOS' file from within Windows. It's better to flash the BIOS from within the BIOS in my opinion. Asus has an EZFLash feature in their BIOS which lets you flash the BIOS from a USB stick or anywhere on the hard drive. Long answer short just download the BIOS file not the Utility stick it on a USB drive and then flash from within the BIOS using the Asus EZFlash tool, the motherboard manual will have an exact how to guide.
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Re: A few naive questions before I begin building...

Postposted on Tue May 27, 2014 9:39 am

puppetworx wrote:
dortmunder wrote:My continued thanks...
In advance of the build, I'm gathering some drivers/firmware but am confused about the Asus mobo. The TR guide says to go to the website and download the latest firmware. The Asus list of downloads for their H97M-Plus has 'Bios' and 'Bios Utilities'. Do I want one or both?


The 'BIOS Utility' allows you to flash the BIOS with the 'BIOS' file from within Windows. It's better to flash the BIOS from within the BIOS in my opinion. Asus has an EZFLash feature in their BIOS which lets you flash the BIOS from a USB stick or anywhere on the hard drive. Long answer short just download the BIOS file not the Utility stick it on a USB drive and then flash from within the BIOS using the Asus EZFlash tool, the motherboard manual will have an exact how to guide.

I am of the opinion that unless there is something in the changelog that you must have, you do not need to update BIOS/firmware like you update drivers. I am in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" camp.
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Re: A few naive questions before I begin building...

Postposted on Tue May 27, 2014 10:46 am

Flying Fox wrote:I am of the opinion that unless there is something in the changelog that you must have, you do not need to update BIOS/firmware like you update drivers. I am in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" camp.

I've got mixed feelings on this. While I do agree in principle with "if it ain't broke don't fix it", I've definitely seen instances where upgrading a BIOS fixed issues that weren't listed in the changelog, so the changelogs aren't always comprehensive.

There are several situations where I will typically flash to the latest BIOS:

1. I'm having an issue that the changelog says should be fixed by the update.

2. I'm having an issue with the BIOS itself and/or onboard devices which could plausibly be fixed by a BIOS flash, even if the issue isn't listed in the changelog. Examples of this sort of thing would be device recognition problems; BIOS settings which seem to have no effect or which don't have the expected effect; needing to underclock the RAM to achieve stability (but RAM checks out OK on another system); or random weirdness like the time-of-day clock losing or gaining significant amounts of time.

3. I receive a new motherboard that has an older BIOS out-of-box.

4. I'm about to build a system using an older board from the spares pile.

5. I'm about to do a nuke-from-orbit and OS reinstall.

In cases #1 and #2 the sh*t's already broken; in #3 and #4 I might as well start with the latest and greatest since the system isn't in use yet and if a BIOS update is gonna cause problems I'd rather find out about it up front; and in #5 I'm about to break the system intentionally (assuming it isn't already messed up)! :wink:
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Re: A few naive questions before I begin building...

Postposted on Tue May 27, 2014 10:51 am

just brew it! wrote:5. I'm about to do a nuke-from-orbit and OS reinstall.

For me, if the OS is working but was just bogged down by bloat or malware, the BIOS would be working. I would not flash in this case. To each his own of course.
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Re: A few naive questions before I begin building...

Postposted on Tue May 27, 2014 11:03 am

I'm a bit more activist on BIOS and utilities--I always stay current on everything, and quite fortunately, so far so good.
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Re: A few naive questions before I begin building...

Postposted on Tue May 27, 2014 12:18 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
DPete27 wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:If you buy an Asus board though, they include a block adapter that should make your life easier.

Even though I agree that the Asus block adapter does make things easier, am I the only one that doesn't think it's that big of a deal to attach the front panel headers? The Asus block adapter is a welcome addition, but it wouldn't sway my purchasing decisions in itself.

To you and me, may be not much difference (I actually feel that the increased "height" of the block adapter may make the whole thing more loose so I choose not to use it). The OP is a first-timer so it can help. ;)

I've used them a few times when available... they are very sturdy and not loose at all... the issue is in small builds the extra height... and on some boards would be under cards.
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Re: A few naive questions before I begin building...

Postposted on Tue May 27, 2014 1:11 pm

I am with flying fox. If it is not broke do not mess with it unless a problem is fixed good feature/performance is added.

Unless it lists something important like the problem my Gigabyte p67 board had a boot loop bug where it would turn on and off several times before it finally booted up or for new CPU compatibility I leave it alone.

I had to flash my dual bios board like 4-5 times to finally fix the boot loop. On top of that it does it on occasion still if it falters with overclock when I do not use enough volts. I like that My board has a bios to fall back on if you screw up one....even though its over 3 years old..if one goes bad for any reason I have another.

I like my EVGA 770 classified Video card's even more they have 3 bios roms on each. I never will use LN2 to cool it so I will experiment with that switch selection when I need 1.3+v over the max of just under 1.2v.
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Re: A few naive questions before I begin building...

Postposted on Tue May 27, 2014 1:29 pm

Thanks for all the comments, I'm enjoying learning about all this stuff. I think, then, I'll go with whatever BIOS version my new mobo has. I take it the BIOS will tell you what that version is just so I can check how for out of date it might be?

As for drivers, the tutorial I watched recommended doing chipset/NIC/USB/audio (in that order) WITHOUT an internet connection (i.e. download them to a stick first). But the downloads look a tad complex – each folder has a number of sub-folders and, between them all, quite a number of .exe files. I wouldn't know which one to run. Do you reckon it's best to connect to the net and simply let EZ Update look after the drivers?

(to puppetworx – and all who commented on my initial choice of PSU – thanks, I've ordered a CXM 430W Modular)
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