Articles: Mainboards

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“PC Health Status” sub-section reports current voltages, temperatures and fan rotation speeds. You can select one of the preset modes – Normal or Silent – for the processor and two case fans. You may also adjust the settings manually to your liking. I have to stress that the remaining four system fan connectors also allow adjusting the fan speed depending on the temperature, even if you are using three-pin fans. The only thing you can’t do is select the adjustment mode: everything will be done automatically. Unfortunately, Gigabyte mainboards lost their ability to adjust the rotation speed of a three-pin processor fan during the transition to AMI BIOS code.

The last sub-section in the “M.I.T.” section is called “Miscellaneous Settings” and it turned out to be empty at this time. So, now let’s continue to the next section called “System”.

This section is in fact similar to the “Standard CMOS Features” section. It will tell you the basic system info, show the list of connected drives on the “ATA Port Information” page, will allow changing the date, time and interface language.

The closest analogue to the current “BIOS Features” section would be “Advanced BIOS Features” available on previous-generation Gigabyte mainboards. Here we set the order of boot-up devices, control the startup image, configure other parameters and technologies, such as virtualization technology, and set access passwords.

“Peripherals” section contains parameters related to additional onboard controllers.

“Power Management” section contains a common set of parameters dealing with the mainboard power supply and startup.

The BIOS settings profiles can now be configured in the “Save & Exit” section. Unfortunately, all the changes here are more on the negative side. First of all, you can now save and load only four settings profiles. However, this should be more than enough, especially since we have two almost independent BIOS chips and that gives us a total of eight profiles, just like before. However, it is no longer capable of saving the settings profile after the last successful POST. Moreover, we can’t give the profiles a descriptive name any more, which will remind us of its contents. There is no way to tell if the current profile slot has already been taken or not, which is particularly bad because no warning message will pop up if you are trying to overwrite an existing profile. You also can’t save any profiles on external media.

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

The built-in Q-Flash utility for BIOS updating can be launched by pressing F8 key. It has become more convenient to work with and now shows you the current BIOS version and the new one you are trying to flash. Although it is still unable to work with NTFS drives and the current BIOS version is now saved only in the root of the drive instead of the location identified by the user.

It looks like it might be a little too early to draw any conclusions about the new “3D BIOS” just yet. Gigabyte has just transitioned to the AMI BIOS code, so some issues and flaws are inevitable at such an early stage. Our biggest disappointment at this time is the down-grading of the formerly very conveniently arranged work with the settings profiles. Sometimes, you select a parameter and press Enter waiting for the list of available values, but nothing happens as you have to use “+” and “-“ keys to go through the list. It is convenient that you can enter a lot of values using the keyboard. Other than that some things have become a little better, some – a little worse, but we can clearly see that the company is trying to retain the familiar BIOS structure, even some functional keys remained the same. We hope that the new BIOS will eventually become even more convenient to work with. Although I have to admit that we have an example, when our expectations didn’t come true. Almost all issues and inconveniences we pointed out in the first articles discussing the EFI BIOS of Asus mainboards haven’t been fixed up until now.

We were talking about the Advanced mode, which is a preferred mode, but our impressions from the 3D mode were also quite ambiguous. On the one hand, it is a few times better than the completely useless Easy mode on Asus boards, which doesn’t allow configuring almost anything at all. On the other hand, even this more extensive functionality is not enough for productive work. Take, for example, voltage adjustment options. You have to frequently correct them when you are searching for optimal overclocking settings, but in Advanced mode the parameters for voltage adjustment are spread over several different pages, while in 3D mode they are all on the same page.

It could be very convenient to change the voltages on this page, but there is no option that would allow you to add a desired value to the nominal setting that is why after checking out the 3D mode, I returned to the Advanced. Therefore, it could be a good idea to allow the user to select the preferred mode upon entering the BIOS Setup, to avoid wasting time on unnecessary navigation back and forth.

Many things and operational peculiarities show their cons and pros in action best of all that is why I recommend watching this Gigabyte’s video, which illustrates the features and peculiarities of their new “3D BIOS”.

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