Gigabyte X48-DQ6 Reviewccokeman - February 19, 2008
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The Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker section is where enthusiasts will spend the majority of their time on the X48-DQ6. Follow along as I look at this section in more detail.
Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker:
The main page of this section has many of the settings on Auto or normal as the baseline adjustments. We all know that this just won't do to get the most from our hardware.
Robust Graphics booster can be set to Auto, Fast or Turbo depending on the performance characteristics of your GPU. The CPU clock ratio settings are dictated by the processor you install. With an unlocked chip, the sky is the limit. With the Q6600 used for this review, the limits are a little mundane at between 6 and 9.
CPU Host Clock Control allows the CPU clock speed to be adjusted up to 700MHz. There are few, if any, CPUs out that can even come close to this speed, but it would be fun to try and reach it.
The PCI-E frequency can be adjusted up to 150MHz. Not as high as some performance motherboards, but a level that is more realistic. CIA2 is a built in Dynamic overclocking tool to allow preset levels of performance to be selected and implemented.
The System Memory Multiplier sets the memory frequency based on four different northbridge strap levels. The "A" setting corresponds to the 266MHz strap, "B" the 333MHz, "C"is the 200MHz strap and of course that leaves "D" at the 400MHz strap. Each has a different effect on performance and will be up to you to find out what works best for your combination of parts. Of course, Auto will choose the setting based on the SPD values for your memory.
The DRAM Timing Selectable tab can be left on Auto to set the parameters of your memory or you can choose the manual option to tweak the timings to gain the most performance from the memory that is installed.
The Gigabyte BIOS voltage settings are managed in a way that is a little different from most other manufacturer's BIOSes. To set a voltage, the options are shown as an increase above the spec voltages for the device. For instance, JEDEC spec for DDR2 memory is 1.8 volts, to reach 2.2 volts I would have to overvolt, or increase, the memory voltage by .40 volts. Knowing the starting point is the key to not damaging the installed hardware. With that said, the maximum increase on the DDR2 is 1.55 volts to give a maximum possible voltage of 3.35 volts. More than enough for the LN2 crowd to play with. PCI-E voltage goes up by .75 volts, FSB volts by .35, MCH or Northbridge volts can go up by .775 volts for a little bit over 2.0 volts. Loadline calibration helps minimize or eliminate the VCore droop noticed on many Intel chipset motherboards.