Abit AN78GS ReviewThe Smith -
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I will now show a peek into the BIOS, where all of the motherboard controls and settings are. The Abit AN78GS uses the Phoenix - Award BIOS. It can be accessed by pressing "Delete" when you see the Abit logo. In this BIOS, the overclocking sections are scattered everywhere. So I put back some order and regrouped all of them on the next page of this review, which is the Closer Look (The BIOS continued).
In this section, date and time settings as well as system and drives information are found.
Advanced BIOS Features:
Here you can find the settings for boot priority. The security option is also present there, to determine if the password is required only to enter into the BIOS, or at each boot up. The sub-menu "CPU feature" is about overclocking.
Advanced Chipset Features:
The onboard graphics settings are there. If an NVidia discrete graphics card is installed, the first two lines in this menu become available to the user. Then, Hybrid SLI can be enabled, as well as display detection in order to detect to which device the monitor is hooked up. By enabling the "iGPU Frame Buffer Control," the "VGA Share Memory" can be manually set, from 64MB up to 512MB. On the next line, the "Onboard GPU" can be set to "Always Enable," or enable only if there is no discrete graphics card. I'll talk about the "K8<->NB HT Speed" and the "DRAM Configuration" sub-menu later, as it concerns overclocking. Then, the PCI Spread spectrum can be enabled by choosing "Down Spread." Now I hear some readers asking what is this function. When enabled, the chipset will slightly, I mean slightly, reduce the PCI clock to avoid spikes. This function should be left disabled unless there is electromagnetic interference, which causes these spikes in frequency, because in theory, it will also reduce performance. Finally, on the last line, the PCI-E can be limited to generation one.
This section has two sub-menus. The first one brings you to where the drives can be set to work in RAID, IDE or AHCI (hot-swappable) mode. Next is the "USB Device Setting" sub-menu. This one allows the user to enable the USB controllers. Then, back to the integrated peripherals menu, the first initiated display can be selected. Right under are the audio settings. The onboard audio controller can be enabled. If it is, the front panel audio can be set to HD or AC'97, and the audio out via HDMI can be enabled. Finally, the onboard LAN controller and floppy disk controller can be enabled.
Power Management Setup:
The Power Management section is all about sleep. In the "ACPI Suspend type," the type of sleep can be set. Then, the ways to wake up the computer follow. On the last two lines, the action taken on an AC power loss can be set, as well as the High Precision Event Timer (HPET).
In this menu, the Interruption requests (IRQ) can be set to Reserved, by first selecting "Manual" in the "Resources Controlled By." In other words, this means the processor won't allow some of its time for PCI devices. Then, the "PCI/VGA Palette Snoop" allows a PCI card that does not contain its own color palette to borrow the one of a VGA card. This setting must be left on "Disabled" unless a TV card or MPEG decoder card needs it. Finally, the maximum payload size refers to the TLP (Transaction Layer Packet). It must not be higher than what the PCI-E card can handle.