Gigabyte EX58-UD4P ReviewRHKCommander959 - April 16, 2009
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Entering into the Award BIOS, the general pages are available. MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) contains the overclocking/settings aspect; voltages, speed, timings, all of them are here. With Core i7, there is no more front side bus; the Quick Path Interconnect connects everything. Replacing the reference front side bus is the BCLK frequency, which is just a number that some of the other settings base themselves off of. For example, the CPU speed of an i7 920 is derived from the CPU multiplier called Clock Ratio, multiplied by the BCLK. Likewise the memory multiplier called System Memory Multiplier, times the BCLK, derives the memory speed. Some manufacturers forget to double the rate, since DDR memory (Double Data Rate) is running at double the rate. Gigabyte, however, does not make this mistake and displays the true frequency of the memory. This page will be dedicated to the overclocking BIOS features, while the next will have the general setup pages.
After tweaking the frequencies, the task of setting the memory timings comes around, with channel specific tweaks available. The major settings (CAS, tRCD, tRP, tRAS, and Command Rate) are on the same page, with even more complex sub-timings in the Advanced DRAM Features. XMP is a competing technology to Nvidia’s EPP, and allows preloaded profiles of the memory to fill in the settings for users by the Advanced DRAM Features page, but only if the technology is supported. QPI and DDR3 voltage are also displayed in the MB Intelligent Tweaker and Advanced DRAM Features pages, along with memory multiplier and timing settings based on SPD. All settings are applicable to all three of the memory channels.
Voltage control is saved for the bottom, with the basic being immediately available, and more hardcore settings grouped by type in the Advanced Voltage Control tab. Many voltage settings are available in the advanced page, eight for the memory alone with six for Data and Address voltages for the three channels, and also DRAM memory voltage, and DRAM Termination voltage. CPU voltage options include Load-Line Calibration – which combats the vdroop effect, CPU vcore for changing the reference voltage to either run more efficient and cooler, or hotter and more stable when overclocking. QPI/VTT voltage is also needed for high speed memory functioning, and aids the integrated memory controller; it is suggested to keep this within 0.5v of the memory voltage. CPU PLL voltage is for the clock generator, and generally helps in overclocking to bump it up a notch or so.
Now that we know how to overclock it through the many basic settings and a plethora of advanced settings, it's time to finish learning the rest of the BIOS setup.