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GIGABYTE X79-UD5 LGA2011 Motherboard Review

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MAC

Associate Review Editor
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As we have come to expect from any Intel processor launch, the market has been flooded with a bunch of really interesting new motherboards. While the X79 Express chipset might not be as innovative as we would have liked, specifically with regard to its lack of native USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt support, the platform as a whole does have robust graphics and storage capabilities, as well as a never-seen-before quad-channel memory interface. As a result of these advancements, and all of the unique requirements that they bring forth, manufacturers really had to re-think the overall layout of these X79 motherboards, and we are quite impressed with what they have come up with.

While we have already taken an in-depth look at the hugely impressive ASUS Rampage IV Extreme, today we are going to be reviewing a motherboard that is a little more affordable, if such a word can even be uttered when discussing the LGA2011 platform.

The $300 X79-UD5 might not be GIGABYTE’s flagship part, it is third in line behind the X79-UD7, which has been given the bright orange livery that was first introduced on the purpose-built X58A-OC, and the gaming-oriented G1.Assassin 2, but it is arguably a much better value than its higher-end siblings. First and foremost, of the three models listed above, the UD5 is the only one with the full complement of eight DDR3 memory slots, which allows this motherboard to support up to 64GB of RAM, enough to make most mid-end servers jealous. Those with more modest memory requirements will able to take advantage of the new 8GB and 16GB memory kits that have been launched at eye-watering speeds up to DDR3-2400.

Supplying the CPU is a new all-digital 14-phase power design that utilizes some of the low-profile POScap tantalum electrolytic capacitors that were first introduced on the aforementioned X58A-OC, as well as that board's distinctive red onboard power button. On the connectivity front, this motherboard is stacked courtesy of a mix of Marvell and Fresco I/O controllers. Not only does it have ten SATA ports, six of which are SATA 6Gb/s capable, but it also supports up to fourteen USB 2.0 ports, and up to four USB 3.0 ports. Naturally, FireWire and eSATA ports are present and accounted for as well. Since wireless connectivity is growing ever more prominent, GIGABYTE have included a Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi 802.11n expansion card, along with two separate antennas.

Although improved performance in multiple graphics card configurations is one of the key selling points of this platform, GIGABYTE have outfitted this model with 'only' three PCI-Express 3.0 x16...which is actually one less than the lower-end UD3. It does have two PCI-E x1 slots and one legacy PCI slot, but that still leaves one slot missing-in-action. Naturally, this motherboard features proven features like DualBIOS and On/Off Charge for charging mobile devices, but it is the newer 3D Power and 3D BIOS technologies that we are truly interested in and that we will be examining in the following pages.

 

MAC

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The X79 Express Under the Microscope

The X79 Express Under the Microscope



With Intel’s Sandy Bridge platform well integrated into certain areas of the market, we have seen an expanding number of motherboard chipsets which support it. Originally, B65, H61, H65 and P67 motherboards were released with or soon after the initial launch while the recent introduction of Z68 “Cougar Point” brought RST SSD caching into the mix. What we haven’t seen up to this point is an enthusiast level X-series chipset made available but the new Sandy Bridge E platform is about to change that.

Called the X79 (code named Patsburg), this chipset is the spiritual successor to the long lasting Tylersburg X58 and finally ushers the PCH era into the high end market. With Bloomfield finally on its way out, X79-based motherboards should be the go to products on Intel’s high end platform for the foreseeable future. Will still be around when the Panther Point platform is introduced in 2012 for Ivy Bridge CPUs and will be compatible with any Socket 2011 processors from now until the launch of Haswell in 2013. This is one of the reasons why Intel decided to go with the 7x moniker instead of sticking with Sandy Bridge’s 6x naming scheme.


Some of you may remember the last X-series chipset –the X58- from our original Nehalem review. Back then a 3-chip solution consisting of a processor, MCH and ICH was used but Intel has gradually moved towards a simplified approach by grouping functions into two areas: on the CPU die and within a so called Platform Controller Hub or PCH. This centralization leads to higher performance and increased platform efficiency.

The basic functionality built into the Socket 2011 processors closely mirrors that of previous Sandy Bridge chips but the capabilities have been expanded to better suit enthusiasts. An Integrated Memory Controller acts as a backbone for up to four high speed DDR3 memory channels, each rated at 12.8 GB/s while a separate controller takes care of the PCI-E lanes.

Speaking of PCI-E lanes, Sandy Bridge E processors support a serious number of lanes; 40 to be exact. These can be configured in a variety of different layouts depending on the number of slots Intel’s motherboard partners implement on their boards. We are told every X79 motherboard will include at least two 16x PCI-E 3.0 slots for a full speed 16x / 16x Crossfire or SLI, a vast improvement over the 8x / 8x supported by P67 and Z68. There is also the option of having a third or fourth graphics slot (running at 8x bandwidth) for triple and quad GPU setups.

The X79 Express Chipset incorporates the motherboard’s I/O functions and its features closely mirror those of the P67 and Z68. It includes support for up to 14 USB 2.0 and six SATA 6Gb/s ports (though motherboard vendors can ship products will less) while also including the usual Intel HD Audio module. Many will be disappointed with the omission of integrated USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt support but it seems like Intel isn’t ready to plunge into those waters just yet. Nonetheless, there is an additional 8 PCI-E 2.0 lanes that can be used for more slots or add on-controllers so boards can include USB 3.0 and other non natively supported features.

We should also mention that Patsburg-based motherboards won’t support Smart Response Technology or SSD caching at this point.


Connecting the processor to the PCH is a second generation Direct Media Interface along with an optional SCSI Controller Unit. However, the Intel FDI (Flexible Display Interface) from P and Z-series boards has been removed since none of the SB-E processors will come with onboard graphics controllers.

The Direct Media Interface (DMI) hasn’t changed either. When necessary, it can function with the same peak bandwidth as four PCI-E 2.0 lanes or 5 GT/s (20Gb/s) but most of the time it will be operating at lower speeds ensure optimal efficiency.

One thing that we didn’t see on previous chipsets is the SCU Uplink which Sandy Bridge E processors are capable of providing. In essence this link allows for a dedicated path between the PCH and processor in order to speed up storage performance and decrease latency. The only downside to using the SCU function is its need for a portion of the CPU’s PCI-E lanes (in this case four) which in essence limits the secondary PCI-E function to a 4x link down from 8x and eliminates the possibility for native 3-way GPU compatibility.


Unfortunately, there is a bit of confusion here since some of Intel’s documentation (including the diagram above) lists the Sandy Bridge processor as having 40 PCI-E 2.0 lanes while most of their other pieces list full compatibility with the upcoming PCI-E 3.0. This is a bit of a slippery slope but after digging much further with Intel and their motherboard vendors, a clearer picture is beginning to emerge.

According to our conversations these new processors do indeed have PCI-E 3.0 compatibility built in –at least one paper- but they haven’t been officially certified by the PCI-SIG. The main reason for this lack of the necessary certification is a lack of compatible add-in cards from AMD and NVIDIA to test on the dedicated graphics lanes. So while SB-E is physically capable of providing up to 40 PCI-E 3.0 lanes, we likely won’t see anyone make a big deal about it until some additional testing can be done in the near future.

With that being said, some motherboard partners feel strongly enough about the upcoming certification for the SB-E chips that they will be including PCI-E 3.0 stickers on their X79 boards’ packaging and marketing materials. We will even see a few instances of PCI-E 2.0 / 3.0 switching options included within the BIOS.

Intel themselves are quite confident as well as they say: “The processor features up to 40 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 links capable of 8.0 GT/s…”


With all of this additional bandwidth coming their way, graphics card manufacturers are feeling quite confident as well. According to NVIDIA they have seen a substantial increase in overall 3-Way SLI performance when using the native solution on X79 instead of the usual 16x / 16x + NF200 setup some X58 boards used. Remember, this is based off of the exact same drivers being used in each instance and comparable processors so it looks like higher end SLI configurations could finally see better scaling.
 

MAC

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Features & Specifications

Features & Specifications





Now that we have taken a close look at the X79 chipset and examined some of the new features that GIGABYTE have included on the X79-UD5, let's take a closer look at the nitty-gritty specifications:

 

MAC

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging & Accessories



Now that we have gone over the X79-UD5's chipset and its extensive specifications, it is time to take a look at the packaging and the included accessories. At over $325, this model features an expectedly high-end price tag, but does it have the packaging and accessories bundle to back it up? Let's check it out:




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Whereas GIGABYTE went with a predominantly black look for the packaging of their P67 motherboards, they have now switched over to a more traditional all white design for their X79 series. They have also introduced a new cube logo, which is supposed to represent the new 3D Power and 3D BIOS feature that we highlighted on the previous page.



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Once you remove the outside packaging, you are greeted with an inner box that contains two separate sections, the top half contains the motherboard while the bottom half holds the accessories and the documentation.



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With regard to accessories, the X79-UD5 comes with a user manual, installation guidebook, WiFi card manual, driver DVD, a I/O shield, four SATA 6Gb/s cables, 2-way SLI bridge connector, 3-way SLI bridge connector, and 2-way CrossFireX bridge connector. Last but not least it also comes with a dual-port USB 3.0 front-panel box, and a WiFi 802.11n PCI-E card with two external antennas.
 

MAC

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A Closer Look at the X79-UD5

A Closer Look at the X79-UD5




Generally speaking, GIGABYTE have gotten really good at giving thoughtful consideration to a motherboard’s overall layout, and this X79-UD5 is a testament to that fact. As such all the numerous buttons, connectors, and ports are very easily accessible and free from possible obstruction. There is also a good amount of spacing between the three mechanical PCI-E x16 slot, so there won’t be any issues fitting three dual-slot graphics cards on this motherboard. It should be mentioned that the UD5 is based on the E-ATX form factor (30.5cm x 26.4cm), so it is a bit larger than your average motherboard.

From a purely aesthetic point-of-view, this motherboard is subdued yet sleek thanks to an all-black design with blue and grey highlights. Those who like to colour match their components should have no qualms finding compatible parts for this motherboard.



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The advent of the LGA2011 platform brought forth a drastically different layout due to the need to fit memory slots on both sides of the CPU socket. This is especially true on the X79-UD5 since it features the full complement of 8 memory slots, compared to four on the UD3 and UD7 models. While this has left less room for VRM components like chokes, capacitors, and MOSFETs, GIGABYTE have simply resorted to using advanced low-profile POScap tantalum electrolytic capacitors as well as fitting more of the VRM components to the backside of the motherboard.

On this UD5 model there is a 14-phase power design for the CPU, with ten phases dedicated to the cores themselves, and the remaining four phases taking care of the System Agent (SA) and VTT, both which are substantial parts of a Sandy Bridge-E processor's overall power draw. While that might not sound like much compared to the huge phase numbers that we have seen in the past, it is still more than sufficient for any possible scenario. Furthermore, this is a new all-digital VRM design that GIGABYTE have outfitted their X79 lineup with, and it allows for adjustable frequency/phase/voltage control via an International Rectifier PWM controller, all of which fall under their new 3D Power marketing lingo.

Perhaps due to space considerations or simply because of the thermal handling capabilities of the components that they have used, the MOSFET cooling system is rather minimal. The heatsink might have a good fin design and the help of a heatpipe, but it doesn’t have much mass to it so it does tend to get hot when you start pushing the clocks and voltage past stock. We definitely recommend some direct airflow on this area if you are planning on doing any serious overclocking.



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Although there is nothing particularly noteworthy about the LGA2011 socket that GIGABYTE have sourced for their X79 motherboards, we figured a little close-up could be helpful for those who haven’t yet had an opportunity to see one up-close. To open the socket cover you have to unhook the arm with the curved end and then unhook the arm with the kink in it. It is a simple idea, and although the arms can occasionally get in the way, it’s still a fool-proof mechanism.




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The quad-channel memory interface is definitely one of the centerpieces of this motherboard. As mentioned above, the UD5 is strangely the only model in GIGABYTE’s lineup to feature eight memory slot, unlike the UD3, UD7, and G1.Assassin 2 which are limited to four. Each bank of four slots features its own 2-phase power design. This is a standard configuration, but we would have liked to see a three-phase design since this motherboard supports up 64GB of RAM and is certified for memory speeds of up to DDR3-2400.

While the 24-pin ATX power connector is in its usual spot, the unmistakable onboard power button that GIGABYTE put on all their upper-end motherboards has moved up a little to the far-right corner of the motherboard. There is also an onboard reset button, but it is at the bottom-right corner of the motherboard.



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Below the aforementioned 24-pin ATX power connector rests the internal USB 3.0 header, which can be used to supply up to two USB 3.0 ports to the front-panel of any compatible case. This header is powered by one of the two Fresco Logic FL1009-2Q0 PCI-E controllers found on this motherboard.




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Here we get a good look at the large machined southbridge cooler, which is held down by four metal screws. Although it might look like a little boring from above, in person the unique fin design gives it nice appearance. Thanks to its abundant cooling surface and the use of a heatpipe, this heatsink has no issues at all cooling the X79 Express chipset, even without any passive airflow.

Pictured is one of the three Marvell 88SE9172 PCI-E controllers that GIGABYTE have strewn about this motherboard. Two of the controllers power the grey SATA 6Gb/s port, which support RAID 0/1, while the other one is responsible for the eSATA 6Gb/s ports on the rear I/O panel. The two white ports are SATA 6Gb/s capable, while the four black are limited to SATA 3Gb/s. All the ports support RAID 0/1/5/10.
 

MAC

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A Closer Look at the X79-UD5 pt.2

A Closer Look at the X79-UD5 pt.2






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As previously mentioned, the onboard reset button is located in the lower-right corner of the motherboard, right next to one of the five fan headers. Only two of them of are of the 3-pin variety, the three others are the more versatile 4-pin PWM headers. As we have come to expect, the DualBIOS feature is still present in the form of – you guessed it – two individual BIOS chips, ensuring instant recovery in the case of an improper BIOS update or a particularly nasty virus. However, GIGABYTE have now implemented a bios switch button on the rear I/O panel, which allows users to choose which BIOS chip they are booting from, and thus manually activate the backup BIOS or simply switch between an ‘every day’ and overclocked ROM profile.

There is no helpful debug LED display on any of GIGABYTE’s recent motherboards, but the user-friendly colour-coded front panel header remains. The USB header with the red insert supports GIGABYTE’s On/Off Charge technology, which allows you to charge your mobile devices even when the PC is turned off.



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Although Intel X79-based motherboards natively support four mechanical PCI-E x16 slots, GIGABYTE have elected to only use three on the UD5. This is a little weird since even the UD3 model has four PCI-E x16 slots. This is obviously a non-issue for 99.99% of users though, even for those interested in this high-end platform.

In the case of the UD5, in a dual graphics card configuration, the first and third PCI-E x16 slots will operate at the full x16 speed (x16/x16). When three graphics cards are installed, all three mechanical PCI-E x16 slots will run at x8 (x8/x8/x8). GIGABYTE could have forced the first slot to run at x16, but there wouldn’t have been any performance benefits. This model has been for certified for 3-way CrossFireX and 3-way SLI, whereas the lower-end UD3 model has 4-way certification due to its additional PCI-E x16 slot.



The X79-UD5 has some undeniably impressive connectivity on its rear I/O panel. Starting from left to right we have two USB 2.0 ports, a keyboard/mouse PS/2 port, CPU overclocking button, BIOS switch button, Clear CMOS button, IEEE 1394a/FireWire port, USB 2.0 port, eSATA 6Gb/USB 2.0 combo connector, two USB 2.0 ports, eSATA 6Gb/s connector, two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit LAN port, two USB 2.0 ports, and the six audio jacks.




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Starting clockwise from top-left, we have the ITE IT8728F chip is an I/O controller which is responsible for hardware monitoring along with fan speed management and it supplies the legacy PS/2 port. Next is the VIA VT6308P, a singe-port IEEE 1394a/FireWire controller. The Realtek ALC898 is a newer eight-channel HD audio codec, while the Intel WG82579V is a high quality Gigabit LAN controller.The Fresco Logic FL1009-2Q0 is a PCI-E controller that supplies the two USB 3.0 ports on the rear I/O panel. The Marvell 88SE9172 PCI-E controller is responsible for the eSATA 6Gb/s connector and the eSATA/USB combo port.




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As we mentioned on the previous page, due to the scarcity of real estate on the top of the motherboard, specifically in the CPU socket area, GIGABYTE have added quite a few VRM components on the backside of the motherboard. Although we did not experience any issues, we would like to see some type of cooling apparatus of these rear-mounted input drivers. No push-pins are found of this motherboard, metals screws are used to secure both the MOSFET and chipset heatsinks.
 
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MAC

Associate Review Editor
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Location
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Hardware Installation

Hardware Installation



In the Hardware Installation section we examine how major components fit on the motherboard, and whether there are any serious issues that may affect installation and general functionality. Specifically, we are interested in determining whether there is adequate clearance in all critical areas.



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When installed in the East-West orientation, our Prolimatech Mega Shadow had no clearance issue with the surrounding memory modules. We were even able to use the memory slots which were the closest to the CPU, which was a rarity on previous platforms when using RAM with relatively tall heatspreaders. The usual troubles crept up when we installed the heatsink in the traditional North-South orientation, since the fans clips prevented the installation of a memory module with tall heatspreaders in the first memory slot. Even if you install the RAM before the heatsink the issue remains.



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Thanks to the expansion slot layout, there is an adequate gap between the memory clips and the back of the graphics card, so there is no need to take out the GPU before installing/removing memory modules. The 24-pin ATX power connector and the 8-pin CPU power connector are both ideally placed, so that makes assembling and disassembling the system just a tad easier.




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This board will hold three dual-slot graphics cards without issue. There are no overhang worries here, and the edge-mounted connectors and headers are still easily accessible.


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The ten 90-degree SATA ports are obviously accessible no matter how many graphics cards are installed.


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There is nothing on the rear of the motherboard that gives us any cause for concern with regarding to mounting brackets of any type.
 

MAC

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BIOS Rundown

BIOS Rundown



While we have previously been disappointed at GIGABYTE's delay in implementing a UEFI BIOS, it certainly cannot be said that they were simply sitting on their hands when it comes to BIOS development. One particularly drastic step is that GIGABYTE have switched BIOS companies, transitioning from Award Software to American Megatrends Inc (AMI). The new partnership was clearly worth it because as you will see below the new 3D BIOS is option-rich, functional, and it boots really quickly. While the early versions of the UD5’s BIOS were occasionally a little sluggish when transitioning between different sections, performance is generally excellent with the latest releases.

By the way, in order to take these screenshots we used the built-in F12 screenshot feature, one of many advantages of a UEFI BIOS. Keep in mind that in order to use this feature you need to have a USB flash drive that is formatted in the FAT16/32 file system, otherwise you will get a ‘Cannot detect USB key’ error.

Now this UEFI-based 3D BIOS has two distinct modes: 3D and Advanced. The 3D Mode really makes great use of the graphical user interface (GUI) and was designed to be used with a mouse. It obviously does not have all the functionality of the Advanced mode, but it is not meant to. It simply gives novice users an easy way to visualize and alter some of the most common settings.





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As you can see above, the thoughtful design of the 3D Mode should definitely help less advanced users interact with the bios easier. Lots of novice users have historically been afraid of tinkering or even entering the BIOS due to fear of a catastrophic mess-up, and this new GUI approach should alleviate those fears.

With that out of the way, we are sure that fellow enthusiasts are obviously much more interested in the Advanced Mode:


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There is no magic key press to enter the Advanced Mode, you need to click on one of the icons on the bottom of the screen, preferably the one that you want to enter first and from there you can go into any of the sections.


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In this new UEFI BIOS, the MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) section has been broken down into six main sub-menus. This is where enthusiasts should expect to spend 99% of their BIOS time. First and foremost, we have M.I.T Current Status sub-menu which contains a convenient overview of all the system frequencies, memory sizes and timings.



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When you open the Advanced Frequency Settings sub-menu, you are greeted with all the essential system clock control options that a serious overclocker needs: base clock frequency, Gear Ratio, CPU multiplier, and memory multiplier.

The Advanced CPU Core Features sub-menu is where you can enable or disable the various CPU-specific settings like Turbo Boost, C1E, C-STATE, Thermal Monitor, and Enhanced SpeedStep (EIST).




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As its name suggests, the Advanced Memory Settings section is where you will find all the memory-related settings. Within this section you can select the memory multiplier, change the performance profile, monitor the memory + VTT voltages, and obviously tweak the memory timings. Each memory channel has its own section, within which you can alter the primary and secondary timings. It had just about every memory setting that an enthusiast or overclocker will need to fine-tune their memory modules.



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The Advanced Voltage Settings sub-menu is where you can fine tweak the new digital VRM or simply adjust the primary and secondary system voltages. We wish there were more drop-down menus in this section. As it is you can manually type in whatever you want, but that is not particularly useful when you don't know or don’t remember what the default voltages are.

The 3D Power Control section is particularly interesting for those who like to tweak since it allows a great deal of control over all elements of the VRM. We really liked the granular Load-Line Calibration (LLC) options for the vCore and IMC, since On or Off simply doesn’t cut it most of the time.

By the way, as you will in the coming pages, with the 3D Power utility you can do all this tweaking from within Windows itself.


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Compared to their past BIOSes, this one actually has a half-decent PC Health Status section since it has readouts for most of the critical voltages and temperatures. BIOS-based fan control is still relatively minimal, but the EasyTune6 does have a little bit richer fan PWN functionality.
 

MAC

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Location
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BIOS Rundown pt.2

BIOS Rundown pt.2





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The System section displays the CPU type, CPU frequency, bus speed, RAM size, BIOS version, the connected SATA storage devices, and of course the date and time.




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The BIOS Features is where you can select the boot device priority, enable/disable the full screen logo, and also saving the BIOS image to a hard drive.




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The Peripherals section is where you can enable or disable all of the various onboard devices (FireWire, GbE LAN, audio codec, USB 3.0, RAID, etc). This is also where you set SATA devices to IDE, AHCI, or RAID mode.



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The Power Management section contains the power management settings linked to the power-saving sleep modes. The Save & Exit section is pretty self-evident, however you can also save or load BIOS profiles from within this area.



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For a while now, we have assumed that Q-Flash was simply broken since we hadn’t been able to get it to work on a few motherboards. However, it ended up being an issue on our end. We did not follow the age-old advice of RTFM. Our mistake was the USB flash drive must be formatted in the FAT16/32 file system in order to be supported by Q-Flash. All of our units were in the NTFS format, as most of yours likely are as well. You will know pretty quickly since the Q-Flash Utility won't allow you to update the bios or save the bios to a flash drive. Once you do any necessary formatting, the Q-Flash Utility can be accessed via the F12 key, and it simply and quickly updates the BIOS from a USB flash drive.
 

MAC

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Included Software

Included Software



EasyTune6

EasyTune6 is a system management utility that displays system clock speeds, voltages, temperatures, and fan rotation but more importantly it allows users to overclock from within Windows. Anyone familiar with past EasyTune iterations knows that although this utility has always contained a fair bit of functionality, its ease of use left much to be desired. Thankfully Gigabyte went back to the drawing board and created a brand new EasyTune version from scratch. Let's check it out.


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The CPU and Memory tabs provide basic component information and are somewhat reminiscent of the widely used CPU-Z utility.


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The Tuner section is really the only one that's important. First, it contains the Quick Boost feature, which allows automatic overclocking at the touch of a button. Simply pick the Quick Boost level that best suits your needs/courage, reboot the system, and voila! Overclock achieved.

If you click on Easy or Advanced mode, three additional tabs appear: frequency, ratio, voltage. The Frequency tab allows you to tweak the BCLK, memory, and PCI-E frequencies.
Within the Tuner section, the Ratio tab allows you to independently set the multiplier on every individual CPU core, even the 'virtual' logical cores...which is unnecessary to be honest.

The Voltage tab is arguably the most important one since it allows complete control over every voltage option that is found in the BIOS. This is a great tool to fine tune an overclock.

The Graphics tab can be used to manipulate your graphics card’s core/memory/shader clock speeds. Unlike past versions of ET6, this section no longer allows you to control the GPU fan, nor monitor the GPU temperature.


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The Smart tab gives you access to the Smart Fan feature and its finely-tuned control over the 5 Smart Fan headers.


3D Power








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The 3D Power utility has the same capabilities as the 3D Power section in the BIOS, and there is a lot of functionality here. Having said that, these are all settings that the overwhelming majority of users will never ever have to use. Furthermore, while PWM frequency, Load-Line Calibration (LLC), and Over-Voltage Protection (OVP) are all things that elite overclockers will tweak, they are never going to bother installing this program, instead favouring to do their work within the BIOS itself.



Smart 6

One of the key technologies introduced by GIGABYTE at Computex 2010 was Smart 6, which is a collection of six user-friendly system management tools. In their own words, Smart 6 "allows you to speed up system performance, reduce boot-up time, manage a secure platform and recover previous system setting easily with a click of the mouse."



As you can see, Smart 6 has its own dock that allows quick access to the six SMART utilities.



Smart QuickBoot, as the name suggests, helps reduce boot-up time. This tool consists of BIOS QuickBoot and OS QuickBoot. BIOS Quick Boot allows your system bypass the time-consuming power-on self test (POST) procedure after three successful boots, if no changes are made to the BIOS or hardware configuration. The OS QuickBoot on the other hand makes the system go into an advanced S3 sleep mode upon exiting the operation system, and it permits a quick resume to full OS functionality.



Quick Boost provides quick and effortless overclocking for novice users. Just click on one of three overclocking presets and the program does the rest of the work for you. This is the same Quick Boost as found within Easy Tune 6.



Smart Recovery 2 is kind of like Windows Restore/Apple Time Capsule function, where you can roll-back system settings to a previous working status. Users can select just about any day, week, or month to roll-back from, without having had to manually tell the program to create a backup flag.



Now most GIGABYTE motherboards feature two physical BIOS ROMs, but with Smart DualBIOS this is the first time that important passwords and dates can be saved directly to the new 16MB BIOS chips (up from the previous 8MB). While this might seem like a security risk, the only way to access Smart DualBIOS is with a password. It is simply a secure way of storing the countless passwords that most people have nowadays.



Smart Recorder monitors and records system activities, such as when a system was turned on or off, and what data files were accessed or copied.



Smart TimeLock is a feature all kids will despise, as it allows parents the ability to schedule time limits for their children to use the PC. Parents can even make different usage time rules for weekdays and weekends.
 
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