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Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Review


Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Closer Look:

Gigabyte has continued to improve upon its earliest UEFI BIOS implementations and pulls together a BIOS that, visually, is appealing, along with being truly functional. Featuring a pair of 128Mbit flash ROMs, you get a pair of BIOS should you have the unfortunate happen and hose up one of the BIOS ROMs. This AMI BIOS is PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0 ready, supports Gigabyte's Dual BIOS technology, and offers up support for Gigabyte's Q-Flash+ system that allows you to easily flash the BIOS. With an all-new look, this BIOS should offer all you expect out of the modern BIOS. Let's dig a little deeper into what each section has to offer.

System & BIOS:

These two sections are kind of slim. The system pages gives you a brief over view of the board from the BIOS version to the board name. User access level is set in this section, along with the system time and date. The BIOS page allows you to set your drive boot priority, specific boot options, and the user and admin passwords.




This section digs into the USB and drive configuration tools. A couple of highlights here are the Secure Erase feature and Thunderbolt connectivity configuration. This section is where you set your graphics card polling order and turn on the Ambient lighting effects. The Secure Erase funtion seemed to work quite well when used to clear a drive.



Chipset & Power:

Under this section you can configure how your installed disk drives can be configured. The Power section is used to managed the power profile you can use with the board and how to bring the board out of a standby state.




Save & Exit:

This section has quite a bit more than you would expect. You can choose which device to boot from, save any changes and exit the BIOS, load BIOS defaults, and save and load specific BIOS profiles should you find settings that work especially well for you.




In this section you will be doing all of your overclocking work or just tuning the boards operating parameters to deliver the best possible performance. Under Advanced Frequency settings you can work with the core clock speed and use the overclocking tools. Advanced Memory Settings let you set the XMP profile of your installed DIMMS, and tweak and tune the memory sub timings for the highest level of performance.  Advanced Voltage settings is just what you would expect - the location you tune the voltages to get the maximum clock speed for the lowest possible voltage penalty. PC Health Status allows the user to check the voltage readings and how they relate to the applied voltages. Miscellaneous settings gets you to the PCIe slot configuration and 3DMark01 enhancements. Smart Fan lets you tune your fan speeds and noise commitment. 











I found Gigabyte's new BIOS easy to work with and navigate. The only challenging part initially was with some of the applications of secondary voltages, where they were labeled to suggest an applied voltage rather than an offset voltage. Mouse and keyboard activity was seamless while working in the BIOS.

  1. Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Closer Look: The Board
  3. Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Closer Look: Programs & Applications
  4. Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Closer Look: The BIOS
  5. Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX: Specifications & Features
  6. Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  7. Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Testing: PCMark 8, SiSoft Sandra 2016
  8. Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Testing: Cinebench R15, X.265, AIDA64
  9. Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Testing: CrystalDiskMark, ATTO 2.47
  10. Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Testing: iPerf, RMAA
  11. Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX Testing: Gaming
  12. Gigabyte X99-Designare-EX: Conclusion
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