Bios and Overclocking
The BIOS on the X58A-UD9 is very similar to the Award based BIOS you find on Gigabyte’s UD7 line up [and most other Gigabyte boards]. You have the very familiar MB Intelligent Tweaker page [M.I.T.] and the rest of the gang.
Once you drill down into the MIT page you have a page of options. These break down into a few important categories. The first gives you the status of the system at a glance. This is everything from the CPU frequencies to the RAM timings and sub-timings. It is actually a very nice page to have as it can quickly show you if something is out of whack.
The next page in the MIT family is the Advance Frequency settings page. Here is where you do all of the tinkering with the clocks on the board. Everything from memory, to BLCK, Uncore, QPI Etc. it’s all right here.
From there we get into the meat of the memory performance. As you can see you can adjust almost everything even by individual channel for the best performance/stability.
One of the last areas we will cover in the MIT section is voltages. Here things extend off of the single page that the other sections have stuck to. Still that does not mean that you are not getting all of the voltage tweaks and options you need right on this one page.
Stepping out of the MIT area we find the more typical sections of the BIOS. The Advanced BIOS Features page is one that we have been seeing for many years now from Award based BIOSes.
Integrated Peripherals is a good page to hit up if you are getting the X58A-UD9 just for overclocking. Here is where you can disable anything that you do not want running on the board for those outrageous clocks.
The last two pages we are going to show you are the Power Management page and the PC Health Page. The Power Management page is very typical and the PC Heath page lets you get a rough estimate on what the X58A-UD9 is doing in terms of heat and power draw [although it is rarely accurate, but then again most boards are not].
Overclocking is what you are her to read about so let’s talk about that now. For starters the X58A-UD9 is not only setup as an overclocker’s board but it is designed to generate some simply amazing benchmark numbers. To do that, as we have covered, GB has redesigned the CPU power regulation, added in extra power to the board for more stability and also tuned the BIOS very well for both stock and overclocked performance. But most of this is aimed at the serious, hard core overclocker. You know the guy with cascade phase change cooling and the empty LN tank in the garage. That does not mean you are not going to get something out of it, it just means the average or mainstream overclocker might never push the board to its limits. I fact you are more likely to have a component fail before you have the board fail. For us the failure was a combination of CPU heat and memory spec. With our simple cooling system [Corsair H-70 Water cooling] we just could not get enough voltage into the CPU to get things stable over 168MHz BCLK. At least not in the limited time we had with the board. We are almost certain that with more tinkering and more advanced cooling this number will change dramatically. Still getting to 168 x 26 [4.368GHz] was fairly simple and considering that we had HT [Hyper-Threading] Turbo, and all of the peripherals enabled that is a pretty good stable OC.
Click to view validation pageEasyTune 6
EasyTune is not my favorite overclocking software. It is still fairly complete and very functional though. My issues are more about the flow of the application as well as its look; it is one of the more complete software based overclocking tools I have used though.
The first couple of tabs just reproduce the same information you can get from CPUz. It is not until you get to the third tab that things get interesting. This is the tuner tab and it is very interesting indeed.
When you first click on the tuner tab you are greeted with the options for the easy boost. This is just another name for auto overclocking, but it gives you degrees to work with. For our 980X we had options for 3.5GHz, 3.75GHz and 4GHz all with the click of a button.
But the fun does not stop there; if you are not one to use preset clocks but do not want to muck around with the voltages or sub settings there is an easy mode for you that just lets you adjust the main settings [BCLK etc.]
Under the controls found using the advanced tab you get a fairly amazing amount of flexibility including being able to adjust the RAM speed, which is something missing from most overclocking software.
The rest of the tabs go back to the rather boring side of things. You get smart fan controls and a rather limited temp and voltage monitoring page.
All in all not a bad piece of software but one that could be seriously trimmed down and with a couple of hours be given a face lift to look a little nicer…
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