Articles: Mainboards

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“Advanced Voltage Settings” sub-section allows adjusting the voltages. The processor voltage may be locked at a certain value or may be increased by adding a certain value to the nominal setting. In the latter case, even if you change any of the voltages during overclocking, the mainboard will leave all Intel power-saving technologies up and running. In idle mode the mainboard will lower not only the processor clock frequency multiplier, but also the CPU Vcore. There is also an option that allows you to vary the counteraction to the processor core voltage drop under heavy load in two steps. By the way, you can not only increase the voltages, but also set them lower than the nominal, which may come in very handy in some cases. For example, if you need to have your CPU work at lower frequencies or if you use low-voltage memory modules.

The contents of the “Standard CMOS Features” are as standard as its name.

“Advanced BIOS Features” section offers you to choose the boot-up devices order and adjust a few other parameters:

“Integrated Peripherals” section has a long list of options for configuring additional onboard controllers.

“Power Management Setup” has pretty common parameters:

“PC Health Status” section reports data on the current voltages, temperatures and fan rotation speeds. Gigabyte GA-X58A-OC can adjust the rotation speed of three-pin fans, too. A while ago, it could only be done automatically, but they have recently introduced an option for manual adjustment in the BIOS. Besides the CPU fan, the system can also automatically adjust the rotation speed of a three-pin fan plugged into the SYS FAN4 connector.

And Gigabyte G1.Sniper mainboard for some reason lost its ability to adjust the rotation speed of a three-pin processor fan, and there is no parameter in the BIOS that would allow you to select the adjustment mode. I have to say that you still can automatically slow down some of the three-pin fans connected to the mainboard, but only in the two fan connectors out of five – SYS FAN and FAN3.

You can get access to some additional features if you use specific functional keys in the main window of Gigabyte’s BIOS. By pressing F8 you will launch integrated Q-Flash Utility for BIOS updating, and by pressing F9 you will display system information on your screen.

You can also press F11 to save one of the eight full BIOS settings profiles. Each profile may be assigned a descriptive name, and if you are trying to overwrite a profile, you will be warned. You can load a profile from a menu by pressing F12. Besides manually saved profiles, the mainboard automatically saves all configurations that passed the startup POST successfully and they can also be restored if necessary. You can also save and load profiles using external media.

We have been very well familiar with the looks and functionality of the Gigabyte’s BIOS pages. Everything is well thought-through and easy to use. We hardly have any serious complaints about anything. However, we have a few requests. For example, the built-in Q-Flash Utility for updating the BIOS doesn’t yet know how to read BIOS from storage devices formatted as NTFS, while many other mainboard makers have already implemented this feature. Also, the BIOS could use a few options for configuring Gigabyte’s proprietary technologies, such as dynamic adjustment of the number of active phases in the CPU voltage regulator circuitry depending on the CPU utilization. Other mainboard makers have already done it, and Gigabyte mainboards still require Dynamic Energy Saver utility to be installed.

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