Articles: Mainboards

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The CPU Core Voltage Control page lets you specify voltage on different CPU subunits. You can leave the CPU voltage at its default value, fix it at a certain level or add an offset value to the default one.

There are individual pages for changing chipset and memory voltages. The Chipset Voltage Control page contains the PCH Core and PCH IO options whereas the DRAM Voltage Control page only contains one option, DRAM Voltage. The downside of grouping BIOS options into numerous subsections and individual pages is that you have to spend quite a lot of time to access a particular parameter.

The PC Health Status subsection reports current voltages, temperatures and fan speeds. The speed of the two CPU fans and three of the system fans is set up individually. The fourth and fifth system fans are set up together. You can choose one of the two predefined fan regulation modes (Normal or Silent) or set everything up manually. As is typical of Gigabyte mainboards, CPU fans can be regulated even via 3-pin connection. Five of the system fans can do that, too, but the two 3-pin fan connectors are not regulated or monitored at all.

The last subsection, Miscellaneous Settings, used to appear in the M.I.T. section or be empty or disappear altogether from Gigabyte’s BIOS. Now it is used to choose an operation mode for the PCI Express slots and improve performance in old benchmarks like 3DMark01.

The System Information section is similar to the former Standard CMOS Features section. It reports basic system info and lets you change the BIOS language and adjust system date and time.

In the BIOS Features section you can specify the boot device order, disable the startup picture, control other parameters and technologies (e.g. virtualization), and enable security passwords.

The Peripherals section allows you to control peripheral devices and onboard controllers. You can enable chipset-specific technologies here such as Intel Rapid Start and Intel Smart Connect.

The Power Management section contains a typical selection of power-related options.

The Save & Exit section is where you can apply your changes or load default BIOS settings. You can also manage BIOS profiles from here. The mainboard stores up to eight BIOS profiles which can be given descriptive names. The profiles can be saved to external disks or loaded from them. A unique feature of Gigabyte mainboards, the current BIOS settings are saved after the mainboard starts up successfully - even the total number of successful starts is recorded. Thus, you can get back to a working BIOS profile even though you have not explicitly saved it.

There are a few hotkeys available in the BIOS interface. Pressing F9 outputs system information while the integrated firmware update tool Q-Flash is evoked by pressing F8 (or choosing the corresponding menu option).

Except for the lack of the new customization opportunities, the classic BIOS from Gigabyte contains the same setup options as the new Dashboard interface, so you can easily use it to fine-tune and overclock your computer. The choice of the interface depends only on your aesthetic preferences.

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