Articles: Mainboards

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BIOS Functions

I am going to describe the BIOS of the Gigabyte mainboards using the GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3 as an example. This is possible because Gigabyte’s junior models do not differ much from senior ones in terms of their BIOS capabilities. The difference only boils down to the senior models having BIOS settings pertaining to extra onboard controllers the junior models simply lack. Let’s begin with the main screen. Gigabyte’s mainboards can show you the actual frequency of your overclocked CPU whereas other mainboards will usually report the default CPU frequency irrespective of the real one.

By the way, you can only access the whole set of BIOS options on a Gigabyte mainboard if you press Ctrl+F1 in the main BIOS screen.

It is handy that the first section is MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) as it includes all the options for overclocking and fine-tuning your system. The main screen of this section contains a list of subsections and reports some basic system information.

Next goes the informational M.I.T. Current Status subsection which can tell you the current parameters of your computer.

The Advanced Frequency Settings are all about clock rates and multipliers. There are a number of informational parameters that help you keep track of the consequences of the changes you’re making.

The Advanced CPU Core Features page is where you can control CPU-related technologies.

To fine-tune your memory subsystem, go to the Advanced Memory Settings.

There are individual pages for the numerous memory timings. You can set up timings for the two memory channels simultaneously or individually.

System voltages can be adjusted in the Advanced Voltage Settings subsection. You can fix the CPU voltage at a desired level or add a certain value to it. In the latter case the mainboard will keep all the power-saving technologies implemented in Intel CPUs up and running even if you overclock your system (when idle, the system will lower not only the CPU’s frequency multiplier but also its voltage). By the way, the voltages can be not only increased but also lowered compared to the default level, which may be a useful option in some situations.

The name of the Multi-Steps Load-Line option speaks for itself. As opposed to mainboards from other manufacturers, Gigabyte’s BIOS has always offered an option for counteracting the drop in CPU voltage under load. However, we ceased to use this option, which may be most beneficial at overclocking, on LGA1155 mainboards because the resulting voltage would be too high. But now that we’ve got the opportunity of multi-step adjustment of the strength of that counteraction, we can easily set it the way we want. A similar feature was originally available in ASUS’s LGA1155 mainboards, and now we can use it with Gigabyte mainboards, too.

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