The DS3 features the extremely popular AWARD bios, which is very easy to navigate. Gigabyte has customized the bios a bit to fit their needs, including hiding advanced options in memory timings, which have to be accessed by pressing ctrl-F1. I never have liked this setup from Gigabyte, and really never have heard of anyone that does. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting pages in the bios.
The integrated peripherals page gives us all the options we need for our hard drives, USB, sound, lan, and our serial and parallel ports. This is also the page that you would navigate to in order to setup RAID for your drives.
The PC Health page gives us all kinds of info about our system. voltages, temperatures and fan control are all a part of keeping the rig happy, so this is a needful page to have.
The M.I.T. page of the bios is the page that most enthusiasts will
visit. It includes every area that you need to overclock your system.
In the picture above, we see the C.I.A.2 . This is really an option to automatically overclock and control the speed of your CPU based on your usage. A pretty neat feature on this board for those with no overclocking savvy, or who are just starting out. Let’s look at a few other things on this page.
The Robust Graphics Booster can be used to automatically overclock your video card.
A wide variety of memory multipliers are available for doing that fine tuning for your system. I would rather see actual numbers like 400/533/667/800/1066 and so forth, but I am just a simple man, with a simple brain.
VDIMM is available all the way of to 2.5v, which is more than enough for doing some serious overclocking. As you can see, the numbers change color the higher you get as a warning to be careful. As with any overclocking, it is essential that you have proper cooling.
As mentioned, Gigabyte ususally hides their advanced memory timings on another page that can only be accessed by pressing Cntrl-F1. The pic above shows the timings that are available once you access this page.
FSB overclocking gives us up to a +.3 boost.
Chipset voltage can be set up to an additional +.3 as well.
As you can see, the DS3 comes with the ability to go to 700FSB. Very much overkill, but still pretty cool to see!
Vcore options are incredible! Going up to a whopping 2.0v! Any extreme (phase change, dry ice) enthusiast will be drooling at these settings.
Let’s take a look at how we have things set up for our testing.