Gigabyte In The Fast Lane

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The BIOS:

This BIOS is not much different than any other Gigabyte BIOS, with the exception of the Advanced Chipset page, which we will see in a moment.

Here on the first two pages, we see some of the typical settings you would find. The Standard CMOS page allows you to set the time and date, as well as to configure the IDE channels. The next page, the Advanced BIOS page, allows you to set the boot order, set a password, and also select whether or not Hyper-threading is enabled or not. Nothing much to see here… move along….

Next, we see the integrated peripherals page, which allows you to enable and disable the different IDE, SATA, USB, Serial and Parallel ports on the board as well as making adjustments to them (IRQ’s and such). Most will not have any reason to visit the Power management page after setting it the first time.

The first page here is the PnP/PCI page. Once again, this page does not have much to look at. The Hardware Monitor page was a little disappointing. We can see that it has the ability to monitor the Vcore, Vdimm and the voltage rails from the power supply, but the only thing it says is that they are "OK." I would like to be the judge of that! We do see that it shows us the CPU temp and fan speeds. We also can control the different warnings that are available to us.

The last two screens will get the most attention from users. Here on the first page is where we can set our own frequencies and voltages. The FSB has a limit of 355 (which used to seem like overkill!). The vCore has a limit of 1.76v, which is adequate. The vAGP has a limit of 1.8v (also more than enough) and the vDIMM has a limit of 2.8v. All of these limits really are fine, even for the overclocker. This board also has what Gigabyte calls C.I.A. – CPU Intelligent Accelerator. Basically, this is an automatic overclocking feature… now what fun is that! The only disappointing voltage is the vDimm, and as I have stated before, we need to see at least 3.0v be the upper limit for this setting. The last page has alot of opportunity for tweaking! You can configure your ram to your hearts desire, except for the CAS latency. When we tried to change this setting, the only option given was a CAS setting of 2.5… no more, no less. Take a look:

One huge problem with this is that some of the higher speed DDR that I have had will absolutely refuse to let the system boot if it is not set at CAS 3, so you can see the possible problem. This should be able to be fixed by a BIOS update. We also see a setting that is unique to Gigabyte (in name at least that is). At the very bottom of the page is a MIB setting. This stands for Memory Intelligent Booster Technology. This is what their site says about it: "This technology is specially designed to maximize memory performance and boost memory bandwidth up to 10% by optimizing data transmission among CPU, north bridge chipset and memory. The innovative GIGABYTE M.I.B technology shortens memory latency time and enhances system performance without sacrificing stability." This is a PAT like setting that is found on the 875 boards.

Let’s move on to the layout of the board.

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