MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) Reviewccokeman - January 18, 2012
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When you first open up the BIOS for the MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) you are going to see that it does have the uEFI BIOS installed on the motherboard, which is going to help with people that are not very familiar with the old blue screen BIOS organization, as well as allow for mouse support. The main screen is very well set up and you are given quite a bit of information about the system's current state, such as the current CPU and Mainboard temperatures. You also get a digital clock with the date printed at the top with the current CPU and frequency selected. We also have the DRAM Frequency and Memory Size located at the top. We have a click and drag-able Boot device priority along the top section of the BIOS, which makes it easy to quickly jump into the BIOS and change what you want to boot from first. When you click into the Settings Menu, you are going to get System Status, Advanced, Boot, and Save & Exit sub-menus. Clicking into the System Status, you are able to set the system clock and date as well as view which SATA ports are currently used and what device is hooked up to it. The System Information section at the bottom of the screen gives you your CPU name, BIOS version, Build Date, Memory Size, Cache Size, and L3 Cache Size. Under the Advanced sub-menu you are going to find all of your advanced settings for your PCI Subsystem, ACPI, Integrated Peripherals, USB Configuration, Hardware Monitor, Power Management, and Wake Up Events.
Selecting the Hardware Monitor sub-menu you are going to get a screen that shows you your CPU Smart Fan Target, CPU Min Fan Speed as well as the current temperatures for your CPU and System Temperatures, as well as the different fan speeds that are hooked up to your board's fan headers. Under the Boot sub-menu, you are going to be able find the settings to adjust the Boot Configuration, you can enable or disable the Full Screen Logo Display. You are also going to be able to change all of your Boot Option Priorities here. The final option in the Settings Menu is the Save & Exit sub-menu — here you are able to save the changes you have made, discard them, or even restore the default values. You also have the Boot Override options here, which is going to allow you to exit out and directly boot to one of these devices.
Now the fun part: Overclocking on the MSI X79A-GD65 (8D). When you go into the Overclocking settings menu, you are going to get a list of all your overclocking settings that you can tweak. You have a whole bunch of settings like your Internal PLL OverVoltage, CPU Base Clock, CPU Base Clock Ratio, CPU Ration, EIST, Intel Turbo Boost 2.0, OC Genie Button, Direct OC Button, DRAM Frequency, CPU Voltages, as well as all your other voltages you are used to adjusting. When you select into the CPU Features sub-menu at the bottom of the screen you will be taken to a new screen that allows you to adjust all of the CPU specific features such as Hyper-threading, C1E Support, OverSpeed Protection, # of Active Processor Cores, and a Core Ratio Limit for each individual core.
When you go under the ECO menu you will find all of your settings for changing the power savings features for your system like EuP 2013, CPU Phase Control, CPU I/O Phase Control, Motherboard LED Control, C1E Support, Intel C-State. You will also find a list of all the current voltages at the bottom section of the screen like your CPU Core Voltage, System Agent Voltage, CPU I/O Voltage, CPU PLL Voltage, along with others.
When you click into the Utilities menu you have three different options: HDD Backup, Live Update, and M-Flash. When you go into the M-Flash you are going to get MSI's version of a flashing utility, which will allow you to save the currently installed BIOS to a file on your hard drive or USB Flash drive. You are also going to be able to select a file that you want to install on your BIOS chip. When you go into the Security section you will find the abilty to set an Administrator Password or a User Password. You can also set up a Udisk-Key and set up your Chassis Intrusion Configuration.
Now let's take a quick look at the included programs and then get to the benching!