Articles: Mainboards

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The voltages in different parts of the processors can be changed on “CPU Core Voltage Control” page. The CPU Vcore may be locked at a certain value or you may also add a certain value to the nominal setting.

The voltages may be not only increased, but also reduced below the nominal, which may come in very handy sometimes. For example, you may need it if your CPU is functioning at the lower than nominal frequencies or if you are using low-voltage memory modules.

The “PC Health Status” subsection reports current voltages, temperatures and fan speeds. Each of the five fans you can connect to the mainboard can be regulated, but only the second system fan can be regulated independently of others. The second regulation option refers to both the CPU fan and the third system fan while the third regulation option governs the first and fourth system fans. You can select one of the preset modes – Normal or Silent – or adjust fan settings manually to your liking. Every fan connector, save for the third one, allows regulating 3-pin fans, too. Unfortunately, Gigabyte mainboards have lost their ability to adjust the rotation speed of a 3-pin CPU fan during the transition to AMI BIOS code.

The “System” section is similar to the Standard CMOS Features of the older BIOS. It will tell you basic system information and show the list of connected drives on the ATA Port Information page. You can also change the date, time and interface language here.

The “BIOS Features” section is where you define your boot device order, enable the startup picture, control other parameters and technologies, e.g. virtualization, and specify access passwords.

The “Peripherals” section is about external devices and additional onboard controllers. Chipset-specific technologies like Intel Rapid Start and Intel Smart Connect are also set up here.

”Power Management” section contains a conventional set of parameters pertaining to the mainboard’s power supply and start-up.

To apply or undo your changes, or load factory defaults, you go to the “Save & Exit” section. It is here that you can manage profiles with BIOS settings.

You can have up to eight BIOS profiles, give a descriptive name to each profile, and save profiles to external media.

Some of the functional keys still work the same way as in the older Gigabyte BIOS. Just as before, F9 will bring up system information.

The built-in Q-Flash utility for BIOS updating can be launched by pressing F8. It has become more convenient to work with and now shows you both the current BIOS version and the new one you are trying to update to. But it is still unable to work with NTFS disks and the current BIOS version is saved only in the root folder of a disk rather than where you want it to.

Summing up this description, we have to acknowledge a number of improvements about the new version of Gigabyte’s 3D BIOS. The 3D Mode has become more functional. Profile management options have been restored except for the automatic saving of a profile after a successful POST procedure, but the latter option isn’t crucial at all.

On the other hand, the Advanced Mode is still the more functional of the two. We haven’t found how to make the BIOS open in that mode by default, but there is another solution. If you've applied your changes in the 3D Mode, the next time you open the mainboard's BIOS, it will be in the 3D Mode, too. But if you saved in the Advanced Mode, the latter will welcome you the next time you go into the BIOS. That's a very convenient solution, we guess. So, our overall impression from Gigabyte’s 3D BIOS improves with every tested mainboard and we hope that it will just keep on getting better in the future.

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