ECS A780GM-A Reviewajmatson - April 1, 2008
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The BIOS is one of the most important components of a computer. This small software program controls how the system handles the hardware. BIOS, which stands for Basic Input/Output System, is used to identify and initialize the hardware of a computer and set defaults for them like memory speed, CPU speed, and more. The BIOS on the ECS A780GM-A "Black Series" motherboard is a very basic one. It offers you the basics to get you going, but no hardcore overclocking will be done with this board.
Standard CMOS Setup:
Once you enter the BIOS by pressing the "Del" key at start up, you will be presented with the main screen. I will explain each one as we go on, but here is an overview for you so you get an idea of the layout. First up is the Standard CMOS Setup, which allows you to adjust the Date/Time and access drive information.
The Advanced Setup section lets you alter features such as the Hyper Threading Frequency, boot priorities, power on tests, and CPU throttling. You can change the Hyper Threading Frequency from 200MHz to 1.8GHz in 200MHz increments or set it to Auto and let the system configure it for you.
Advanced Chipset Setup:
In the Advanced Chipset Setup you have the ability to alter the Memory Frequency from 200MHz to 533MHz in standard preset increments only. You also have the ability to change the shared RAM size, which is the amount of RAM set for the onboard video graphics. You have the ability to select from 32MB to 1GB with six different preset amounts. Here is also where you can change the memory ganged status and disable the HDMI Audio. There is no manual way to disable the onboard video, however when a graphics card is placed in the PCI-e X16 slot, the onboard video will automatically disable itself, unless it is a CrossfireX compatible card.
Moving on down is the Integrated Peripherals section. This is where the user controls the onboard IDE and SATA controllers, Audio, LAN functions, and USB support. For SATA settings you can select IDE mode, RAID mode for multiple disks, or ACHI mode. ACHI, which stands for Advanced Host Controller Interface, is a newer interface specification that supports new technologies like Native Command Queuing and Hot Plug capabilities.