Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 Reviewccokeman - May 25, 2008
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The Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker section is where enthusiasts will spend the majority of their time on the X48T-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 entirely by the processor you install in the X48T-DQ6. With an unlocked chip, the sky is the limit. With the Q9450 used for this review, the limits are a more realistic 6x and 8x. Fine CPU clock ratio is available when you use a processor that supports half multipliers, such as the Wolfdale and Yorkield Intel chips.
CPU Host Clock Control allows the CPU clockspeed to be adjusted from 100 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 at the touch of a button.
The XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) setting is similar to nVidia's EPP profile. It allows modules with the XMP profile to be run at settings that allow the modules to perform at their best with no additional tuning required. Of course, the performance can be improved upon with manually tweaking the memory settings. The System Memory Multiplier sets the memory frequency based on four different northbridge strap levels. The "A" setting corresponds to the 266MHz strap, "B" to the 333MHz, "C" is the 200MHz strap and of course, that leaves "D" at the 400MHz strap. Each has a different affect 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 for you. For the more adventurous, there are plenty of timings that can be adjusted to maximize the performance of the X48T-DQ6.
Clock Driving and Skew Control allow for adjusting the amplitude of the CPU and northbridge clocks.
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 DDR3 memory is 1.5 volts, so to reach the 1.9 volts specified for the memory used in this system, I would have to overvolt, or increase, the memory voltage by .45 volts. Knowing the starting point is the key to not damaging the installed hardware. With that said, the maximum increase on the DDR3 is 1.55 volts, giving a maximum possible voltage of 3.05 volts. More than enough for the LN2 crowd to play with. PCI-E voltage goes up by .75 volts, FSB volts by .35, MCH (Northbridge) volts can go up by .575 volts for a max of 1.85 volts. Loadline calibration helps minimize or eliminate the VCore droop noticed on many Intel chipset motherboards. CPU core voltage goes to a death zone high of 2.35 volts. The tools are there for you to get the most out of your hardware, you just need to know where to go to get it.
In this section there is one hidden menu that is accessed by hitting Ctrl+F1 in the main BIOS page. This allows the GTL reference clock settings to be seen and adjusted. These settings are quite coarse, but can be used to fine tune your overclock nonetheless.
Let's move on to the configuration.