Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R ReviewRHKCommander959 - March 18, 2010
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The BIOS is an essential tool for anyone looking to customize and optimize their computer - overclocking is heavily reliant on BIOS capabilities to unleash the hardware's true potential! The Award BIOS is stored on dual 16 Mbit flash chips - if one fails, the other kicks in to take over. The main boot screen looks just like the box artwork on the top - 333 Onboard Acceleration - USB 3.0, USB 3x power, and SATA 3.0 with Ultra Durable 3 underneath. In the bottom left corner is the 2x copper PCB moniker - indicating the denser PCB that this board features. The bottom has instructions on how to view the post screen, choose boot device, flash, or setup the BIOS. Once into the BIOS, we are greeted by the ever familiar blue screen with a menu that links to other pages. The first option selected is the MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) - here are the voltage and clock speed options for overclocking the motherboard!
Inside the M.I.T., ratios or multipliers are readily available to set the CPU clock speed, QPI clock speed, and memory speed. BCLK control is disabled by default - enabling allows the BCLK to be manually adjusted for overclocking performance. The BIOS supports X.M.P. memory profiles - instantly loading the settings for the Mushkin memory that the test bed uses. Memory timings can be adjusted for each channel, with more advanced timing options also available. At the bottom are some basic voltages option - Load-line calibration is the first and helps combat the effects of Vdroop. CPU, QPI, IOH, and memory voltage are next - these are the main voltage settings that most overclock settings will need. Advanced options are also available at the very bottom.
The Advanced Voltage Control page breaks the categories into CPU, chipset, and memory. CPU voltage, QPI voltage, and CPU PLL voltage are adjustable along with load-line calibration settings and dynamic Vcore. Next the various chipset voltages are available - PCIE voltage, QPI PLL, IOH Core, ICH I/O, and ICH Core are all adjustable. DRAM voltage, termination voltage, and channel A/B/C Data and Address VRef are all adjustable as well and proves that the basic settings should be enough for most users while the advanced can handle the hardcore tweakers. The next category is the Standard CMOS Features - date, time, and drives can be viewed and adjusted here. Options are basic here as usual.
Round 2 of the BIOS adventure is coming up!