The P67A-UD7-B3 features two 32Mb Flash Award BIOSes, a step up in size from a typical 8Mb or 16 Mb BIOS. This extra space is to allow for storage of certain bits of data directly on the BIOS chip, so that even if your hard drive fails and you have to reinstall the OS, the data will still be accessible.
Unlike most of their competitors, Gigabyte hasn’t yet moved over to the more intuitive UEFI BIOS implementation. However, the larger capacity BIOS chips can allow for UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) simply by flashing the board to a UEFI version if one is ever available in the future. UEFI is used in some other boards and basically means your BIOS turns into an operating system-type interface that will provide a clean interface between operating systems and platform firmware at boot time. We don’t know if Gigabyte has a UEFI BIOS in development for the UD7 but support is there if they do.
The B3 version of the UD7 uses a new BIOS revision so when you are looking for the latest BIOS ensure you look for P67A-UD7-“B3” on Gigabyte's website.
The following section will provide a rundown of the UD7 B3 BIOS version F3c, which is the most recent BIOS version that we tested.
First up we have the BIOS splash screen which lists some of the Gigabyte features and shows that the UD7 uses Dual BIOS. We generally disable the splash screen so we can see what is happening with POST.
Next is the main BIOS page, typical to many motherboards with an Award BIOS.
The section that you will be in 95% of the time when overclocking is the MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) section. Here you find all the overclocking options you need. Going inside the M.I.T. section we have a page with subsections and essential information such as BIOS version, CPU and memory frequency, temperatures and voltages. The first subsection called Current Status shows more details such memory timings and Turbo Boost information. There is nothing editable in this screen as it is basically a monitoring page.
The next submenu in the M.I.T screen is Advanced Frequency Settings. Here you adjust BCLK by enabling BCLK/DMI/PEG Clock Control and multi by adjusting CPU Clock Control.
There is one submenu under Advanced Frequency Settings titled Advanced CPU Core Features. Here you find the Internal CPU PLL Overvoltage option which when enabled helps with stability on a higher BCLK overclock. Enabling Real Time Ratio Changes in OS allows for BCLK adjustments in Windows using ET6 while Turbo Boost Ratios and Power adjustments are available in the screen as well. At the bottom of the page you can choose to disable some CPU cores or Hyperthreading as well as set energy saving features such as C1E and EIST.
After Advanced Frequency Settings in the M.I.T. menu is a page called Advanced Memory Settings. This page has X.M.P. profile options, Memory Multipliers, and Timing Settings. To access the memory timings set DRAM Timing Selectable to Quick. The Quick setting allows you to change timings for both sticks of memory at once. Due to limited overclockability of BCLK, System Memory Multipliers are crucial to overclocking your memory. Six multipliers are available ranging from 8.00 to 21.33.
The memory timings available are shown above left. The main timings are at the top and the secondary timings are below in a separate section. In the BIOS shot above, the timings are all greyed out because timings were on auto at the time.
Going back to the main M.I.T. page we go down one submenu to Advanced Voltage Settings. Here you find all voltages that are available on the board along with the default setting of the left for reference. The Load Line Calibration has a few levels you can select from and works to eliminate vdroop and using the highest level actually gives more voltage at load than idle. Be careful with this as you may get more voltage than you expect.
Next we have Vcore (VCC), QPI/Vtt (VCCIO), and System Agent voltages. Vcore (VCC) is the voltage supplied to the processors inside the CPU and the main voltage you will tweak when overclocking. QPI/Vtt (VCCIO) is the voltage for the integrated memory controller (IMC) as well as the PCI-E controller. Be careful with VCCIO as you can damage your IMC with overvoltage over an extended period. We are not going to speculate on what safe levels are for these as there are a large range of opinions on this.
Dynamic Vcore (DVID) is greyed out in the shot above but you can adjust this instead of Vcore if you set Vcore to Standard. Dynamic VID is a type of Vcore option to fine tune Load Line calibration.
In the next grouping we have MCH/ICH voltages, PCH Core and CPU PLL. CPU PLL can help with stabilizing BCLK overclocking which makes sense because it is the voltage to the internal clock generator for the CPU. You may be able to avoid raising this by enabling the CPU PLL Overvoltage option under Advanced CPU Core Features.
Next we have memory-related voltages and the main one you will use here is DRAM Voltage (VDDQ). This is your memory voltage and it is recommended you use what your memory is rated for or less if possible. We did use up to 1.76v for DRAM Voltage for short benching sessions without any issues but for 24/7 less is always better.
Maximum, minimum, and default (for 2600k) voltages are as follows:
The last submenu under the M.I.T. screen is Miscellaneous Settings. Under Miscellaneous Settings there are only two subsets: Isochronous Support and Virtualization Technology. Isochronous Support determines whether to enable specific streams within the CPU and Chipset. Virtualization Technology enables or disables Intel Virtualization Technology. Virtualization enhanced by Intel Virtualization Technology will allow a platform to run multiple operating systems and applications in independent partitions. With virtualization, one computer system can function as multiple virtual systems.
Going back to the main Award BIOS screen we move down to the second submenu which is Standard CMOS Features. Here you find system time and date as well as hard drive configurations.
The submenu below Standard CMOS Features is Advanced BIOS Features. The main settings you will need in here are Hard Disk Boot Priority, Quick Boot, and No-Execute Memory Protect. Hard Disk Boot Priority specifies the sequence of loading the operating system from the installed hard drives. Also, you can set up your boot device sequence under First Boot Device if you want to set the system to boot from a dvd or USB stick.
Quick Boot enables or disables the quick boot function to speed up the system boot-up process to shorten the waiting time for entering the operating system and to deliver greater efficiency for daily use. The settings here synchronize with the settings of the SMART QuickBoot of Smart 6.
No-Execute Memory Protect enables or disables Intel Execute Disable Bit function. This function may enhance protection for the computer, reducing exposure to viruses and malicious buffer overflow attacks when working with its supporting software and system. We found that disabling this setting gives a small boost in performance. Full Screen LOGO Show allows you to determine whether to display the Gigabyte Logo at system startup. We usually disable this to see a normal POST message.
Init Display First specifies the first initiation of the monitor display from the installed PCI graphics card or the PCI Express graphics card. Select which slot you want as your first display here.
The next subscreen is Integrated Peripherals. Here there are a number of useful settings regarding your Peripherals such as USB, LAN, onboard audio, GSATA, and eSATA. eXtreme Hard Drive enables or disables the X.H.D function for the SATA controllers integrated in the Intel P67 Chipset. When set to Enabled, the PCH SATA Control Mode item below will be set to RAID (XHD) automatically. PCH SATA Control Mode enables or disables RAID for the SATA controllers integrated in the P67 Chipset or configures the SATA controllers to AHCI mode.
The next section is on Power Management Setup and contains things like sleep state setup and resume by alarm. You can set power to be by keyboard, mouse, or alarm here. Next in the main menu is PC Health Status. This page gives all of your temperatures, voltages and fan speeds as well as setup for warnings for a number of things from CPU temp to fans.
Ten BIOS profiles can be saved by pressing F11 and loaded by pressing F12 on the main BIOS page. The Q-Flash utility can be accessed by pressing F8; however, we had no luck getting this to work. Every attempt at a BIOS flash ended in an error message stating “Invalid BIOS”.
When using the B2 version of this board, there were many issues when flashing the backup BIOS with a different file than the one which existed in the primary BIOS chip. The B3 is a different story as Gigabyte has made some massive BIOS improvements. Since using this board we haven’t seen one case of BIOS corruption yet and we must say that the board is massively easier to work with than the B2 as a result. To flash the same BIOS to the backup slot you hold ALT-F12 on POST screen immediately
when the board POSTs. The flashing process is found in the image above right so when you see this the backup BIOS is being flashed. Remember, this only works with the keyboard in the PS2 slot so if you use a USB keyboard, grab a USB-PS2 adapter.