Articles: Mainboards

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Some processor related parameters are located on a separate page called “Processor Overrides”.

“CPU Voltage Override Type” parameter allows you to choose between static and dynamic ways of increasing processor Vcore. In the first case the board will constantly support the voltage set using “CPU Voltage Override” parameter.  In the second case Intel processor power-saving technologies continue working; the Vcore will increase only under heavy load and lower in idle mode. “CPU Vreg Droop Control” parameter is intended to prevent the the processor core voltage from dropping under load.

The memory related parameters have also been moved to a separate page. Unfortunately, no improvements have been made in this section. Either all parameters are set automatically, or all are set manually. It is very inconvenient: many other mainboards can set the memory timings by themselves adjusting them for the memory frequency set by the user.

Moreover, the settings are not looped, which creates additional difficulties during their adjustment. For example, assume that I need to slightly increase the voltage on the memory controller integrated into the CPU. There is a special “Uncore Voltage Override” parameter for that. On most mainboards I would simply have to push the Up Arrow key twice to get to the right setting. On an Intel board I will have to push the Down Arrow key 14 (!) times to pass all other settings and get to the one I need.

The last “Bus Overrides” sub-section is not that interesting to talk about, so we won’t really go there this time.

As a result, all the changes we made will be quite correctly displayed in the “Performance” information field. It is very convenient that the first column shows the nominal values, the second – the desired changes and the third – the current settings that were used during system boot-up.

Everything is correct except the maximum processor clock frequency multiplier. In fact, no mainboard can display the processor clock multiplier correctly if Intel Turbo Boost technology is on and “CPU C State” parameter is off, but I hoped that Intel mainboard did know how to do it. In fact, the maximum multiplier for our Intel Core i7-860 processor is 22x, but we can only disable “CPU C State” in the next section called “Power”.

I can understand Intel’s formal logics here. “Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Tech” and “CPU C State” parameters do deal with processor power supply and power-saving technologies that is why it makes sense to include them into the “Power” section. But what do we get in the end? Most processor-related parameters are in the “Performance” section, some are in the “Power” section, but it is in the “Main” section that we can select the number of active cores, enable or disable Intel Hyper-Threading technology. Don’t you think that it causes a little too much running around?

Let’s move on. Now we get to the “Boot” section. It is one of those rare occasions that we don’t have any complaints or issues. On the contrary, the level of detail in this section for Intel mainboard settings configuration is even superior to those we saw by other manufacturers. If you believe that there are too many options in this section, then you can use “Boot Menu Type” parameter to cut them down.

We have high expectation s for the next sub-section called “Boot Display Options”, but we still can’t find an option that would allow us to take down the boot-up image.

You can replace the image, but you can’t remove it completely. The list of supported hot keys is visible and clear, you can notice the changing POST codes in the lower right corner, but I personally would also like to see the information on the CPU, memory and connected drives, which we normally get from other mainboards.

The last section called “Exit” has not only the traditional options like “Save and Quit” or “Quit without Saving”, but also a few additional parameters that allow you to save and load a complete BIOS settings profile. There is only one profile you can save and unfortunately, you can’t change its name or add a description for it.

One more time Intel DP55KG mainboard doesn’t give us any reasons to be raving. Of course, they do a lot of work, but every positive change (slight adjustment of the BIOS structure and elimination of duplicating names) will still be compensated by a negative one (terrible color scheme). The board has almost everything necessary for successful system configuring from a formal standpoint, but software developers have to double their effort and work really hard to make sure that at least some time in the near future the BIOS of Intel mainboards becomes convenient and easy to work with.

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