Articles: Mainboards

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Alas, there is a hitch to this option which makes it less useful than I’d want. It turned out that the counteraction to the CPU voltage drop now works only if the CPU voltage is fixed at a certain level. If, on the contrary, you add a certain value to the default voltage level in order to retain Intel’s power-saving technologies – and that’s the way we do in our overclocking experiments – this option becomes unavailable.

The contents of the Standard CMOS Features section are indeed standard as its name suggests.

The Advanced BIOS Features section is where you can specify the boot device order and some other parameters.

The numerous options of the Integrated Peripherals section help you manage the mainboard’s additional controllers.

The Power Management Setup section offers a standard selection of options:

To learn about the current voltages, temperatures and fan speeds, go to the PC Health Status section. Gigabyte’s mainboards have retained the ability to regulate the speed of 3-pin CPU fans. The regulation used to be automatic but now the BIOS supports user-defined regulation as well.

You can press some functional buttons in the main BIOS menu to reach extra features. For example, pressing F11 allows you to save up to eight profiles with full BIOS settings. Each profile can be assigned a descriptive name. A warning is issued if you try to rewrite a profile. To load a profile, you press F12 and select one from the menu. Besides the profiles that you save manually, the mainboard automatically remembers BIOS configurations which have passed the POST procedure successfully and you can restore them, too. The BIOS profiles can be saved to and loaded from internal memory as well as external media.

System information is displayed after your pressing F9.

Pressing F8 evokes an integrated BIOS update tool called Q-Flash Utility.

Gigabyte’s BIOS is quite user-friendly and offers all the features you may need for overclocking and fine-tuning your computer. The only thing I don’t like is that the option for counteracting the CPU voltage drop under load is now incompatible with energy-efficient overclocking. I would also like to have some BIOS options for controlling the power-saving features implemented in the mainboard itself, such as the dynamic adjustment of the number of active phases in the CPU voltage regulator depending on its load. Most manufacturers have implemented such BIOS options in their products whereas Gigabyte mainboards make you install the Dynamic Energy Saver utility for that. As for the new-fangled EFI BIOS and mouse support, Gigabyte’s mainboards support 3-terabyte and larger HDDs thanks to Hybrid EFI Technology whereas their BIOS can be accessed via a new Windows-based tool.

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