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Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7 Rev 1.1 Review


Closer Look:

While the Hybrid UEFI BIOS for the 990 chipset may not be one of Gigabyte's strengths, the standard Award Software BIOS is a very mature BIOS filled with all the options an enthusiast overclocker and tweaker needs to extract the maximum performance from the hardware.
















The first category as you enter the BIOS in the UD7 is of course the most fun. MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) is where you will find the settings for the CPU, NB, HT, clock ratios, frequency controls, and more. The memory clock control and DRAM configuration sub-menu is also located in M.I.T. The bottom half of the menu contains the voltage readings when in auto or "optimized" mode, and can be adjusted for under or overclocking when set to manual. It is also in this menu where Core Performance Boost is set or disabled. This is obviously the menu that overclockers will spend a majority of their time trying to eek out every last megahertz.



Standard CMOS Features is where the time and date for the system are set. You can also see the drives detected on the system and what channel they are on.



Advanced BIOS Features is where you will find the ability to enable or disable the AMD power savings features such as AMD Cool & Quiet, C1E, and AMD C6 support. A welcome addition to the BIOS is the AMD APM (Application Power Management), which keeps cores from dropping when under heavy overclocked load. You also set boot options and hard disk boot priority here. The most interesting addition to this revision of the UD7 is the feature highlighted at the top of the menu. Load Line Control or LLC keeps voltage steady to the motherboard and the components and, as I will demonstrate later, is extremely important to reaching higher overclocks and reducing heat. The difference with the same CPU and the same model motherboard is 300MHz and .065v to the CPU. Not to mention the life shortening effect of wildly fluctuating voltage to the system.




In Integrated Peripherals, you can set the SATA and eSATA controller and type for IDE and RAID functions as well as configure PCIe devices and USB controllers. Onboard sound can also be enabled or disable here. In Power Management Setup, you set how your machine responds to suspend and wake up and the behavior of your power button function.




PC Health Status is where you find the control for thermal issues such as enabling or disabling warning alarms and temperature thresholds for shutdown. You can also see the basic system voltage readings and temperatures. You have the ability to enable or disable temperature warnings and fan failure warnings. The CPU smart fan control is located here as well.










Up next is specifications and features.

  1. Introduction and Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: 990FXA-UD7 Rev 1.1
  3. Closer Look: Utilities
  4. Closer Look: BIOS
  5. Specifications and Features
  6. Testing: Setup and Overclocking
  7. Testing: PCMark 7
  8. Testing: HD Tune (5.0), AIDA64 2.20
  9. Testing: Apophysis, WinRAR, Geekbench, Bibble 5
  10. Testing: Office 2007, POV-Ray, ProShow Gold, HandBrake
  11. Testing: SiSoft Sandra
  12. Testing: Sciencemark, Cinebench
  13. Testing: 3DMark 11, DiRT 3, Battlefield 3
  14. Conclusion
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