EVGA 790i SLI FTW Reviewccokeman -
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This section allows just what the name implies. The ability to adjust the clock frequencies and voltages. These two go hand in hand when it comes time to getting the most out of the installed hardware. The EVGA 790i SLI FTW has plenty of adjustment to gain that maximum clock speed as well as performance. It's just finding that right combination to make it all come together.
Dummy OC can be enabled or disabled and allows the user to overclock by a predetermined amount, up to 25% over the default CPU and memory speeds.
The System Clocks sub folder allows you to set the CPU clock multiplier, including half multiplier support. The frequency of the PCI-E bus and southbridge to nortbridge communication bus can be increased or left alone depending on how adventurous you are. The PCI-E bus is adjustable up to 200MHz with the SPP to MCP bus speed ramping all the way up to 500MHz. HT multiplier sets the speed of the connection back and forth from the SPP to MCP. The Spread Spectrum options are used to reduce the EMI generated by each listed device.
FSB and Memory Config allows the front side bus speed, memory speed and memory sub timings to be set. There are several modes that can be used. There is Linked in, where the CPU and memory clock speeds are linked together clock for clock. One of the features of the Nvidia 790i SLI chipset is the ability to run the memory Unlinked. This allows the CPU and memory speeds to be adjusted independently of one another to find the best performance. The memory ratio can be set to several preset options or when the clocks are run in linked mode there is the synced option. This allows the best possible performance with this chipset.
The frontside bus can be adjusted all the way up to 700MHz (2800QDR) for the CPU and up to 1400MHz on the memory. With the world FSB record over 700MHz now, the potential is there.
P1 and P2 can be left on auto or set to enabled. When enabled there is an increase in memory performance but your memory may or may not be able to maintain stability when set to enabled. Higher clock speeds on the memory are slightly more difficult with it enabled.
The Memory Timing tab allows the memory subtimings to be adjusted to maximize the memory performance. The TRFC adjustment has been added to the BIOS on the 790i SLI FTW. The adjustment is pretty course but it is available.
The CPU Feature tab contains the energy saving features for the Intel CPU. C1E, Intel Speedstep, Thermal control are some of the items found here. The System Voltages tab contains all the voltage adjustments. These adjustments can be left on auto or tweaked for maximum overclocking, the choice is yours. Vdroop control is there to help remove any voltage under shoot under load. CPU voltage is available to 2.0 volts, CPU FSB to 1.65, Memory to 3.075 volts! That's double the JEDEC specification and then some. The SPP goes up to 1.57, the MCP to 1.75 and the PLL volts to 1.90. The GTLRF voltage adjustments can be set to allow for a higher stable overclock using lower voltages on the critical components. It's best to read up on the effects of this adjustment as you can get off track pretty quickly.
As you can see the BIOS is laid out nicely and includes many of the voltage and memory settings that enthusiasts demand to get the most from the available hardware.