Chapter 6 - What is BIOS?

BIOS (basic input/output system) is software stored on a motherboard that configures the board, loads an operating system and manages the data flow between the central processor and devices such as the hard disk, video adapter, keyboard and mouse. A modern BIOS is flexible and careful configuration can significantly improve audio reproduction. Optimum settings for the recommended motherboard are described.

To change BIOS values, press the delete key repeatedly on power up to enter the first menu as shown. Be sure to press <Ctrl>+<F1> at the main menu to access advanced menu items. Navigate menus with the keyboard, pressing Enter to move down a menu tree and to edit parameters and Esc to move back up the menu tree. Once changes are made, go to Save & Exit Setup and hit Enter.

Test after each change outlined below so that the cause of any problem can be identified. Menus even in different versions of the same BIOS may differ but the pertinent parameters are usually easy to find. The text below goes through the procedure menu by menu. It is recommended that, before starting the setup, the user performs Load Optimized Defaults.

The operating system can be installed before or after making the BIOS changes but it is slightly simpler to do the BIOS setup first (except for disabling the floppy disk and IDE interfaces, used during setup).

  1. If the BIOS fails to load the operating system due to an incorrect setting, default settings have to be restored. This is explained in Gigabyte’s manual. The feature is universal.
  2. It is advisable to install the latest BIOS version, preferably after installing Win XP but before optimising it. Download it from Gigabyte’s web site. Refer to Gigabyte manual for more details on upgrading BIOS.
  3. Use the latest version of CPU-Z to recognize the Core i3 CPU. If BIOS changes have been made correctly, they should show the CPU, QPI and Vcc settings.
  4. BIOS settings in red are high risk and requires a low temperature CPU setup.
  5. Some settings may cause BIOS to lock and a CMOS reset is required. To reset BIOS from CMOS refer to Gigabyte manual for how 2 (be sure to disconnect power when doing this procedure).

Standard CMOS Features

  • Disable Drive A (floppy disk drive) if available

Advanced BIOS Features

  • Disable:
1. HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability
2. No-Execute Memory Protect
  • Set Init Display First to Onboard
  • Set On-chip Frame Buffer Size to "32MB + 2MB for GTT"

Advanced Chipset Features

  • Set DVMT Memory Size to 128MB

Integrated Peripherals

  • Set SATA AHCI Mode to IDE
  • Disable SATA Port0-3 Native Mode
  • Disable USB Legacy Function
  • Disable USB Storage Function
  • Disable Azalia codec
  • Disable Onboard H/W 1394 (if not using a Firewire soundcard)
  • Disbale Onboard H/W LAN
  • Disable Onboard IDE conltroller
  • Disable Onboard Serial Port 1

Power Management Setup

  • Set ACPI Suspend Type to S1(POS)
  • Disable PME Event Wake-Up, Power On by Ring, Resume by Alarm, HPET Support, Power On by Mouse, Power On by Keyboard

PC Health Status

  • Disable CPU Warning Temperature
  • Disable CPU FAN Fail Warning
  • Disable System FAN Fail Warning
  • Disable CPU Smart FAN Control (if no Fan is used)

MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.)

E7200 CPU example. Host frequency at 175 (CPU=1050MHz, FSB=700MHz).

Advanced Frequency Settings

  • Set CPU Clock Ratio to 9 X
  • Set QPI Clock Ratio to x24
  • Disable Spread Spectrum
  • Enable Base Clock(BCLK) Control
  • Set BCLK Frequency(Mhz) to 100
  • Set System Memory Multiplier (SPD) to 6.0
  • Set Internal Graphics Clock 733 to 400
  • Set CPU Clock Drive to 700mV
  • Set PCI Express Clock Drive to 700mV
  • Set both CPU & PCI Clock Skew to 0ps

this gives CPU frequency of 900MHz (BIOS should reflect max cpu frequency of 900MHz). qpi link speed of 2.4GHz. memory frequency(mhz) of 600

only use 1 RAM module as this improves stability of lower settings.

Advanced CPU Core Features
  • Disable Intel(R) Turbo Boost Technology
  • Set CPU Cores Available to 1
  • Enable CPU Multi-Threading
  • Disable CPU Enhanced Halt(CIE)
  • Disable C3/C6/C7 State Support
  • Disable CPU Thermal Monitor
  • Disable CPU EIST Function (this is critical to ensure stability at low CPU frequency operation)
  • Disable Bi-Directional PROCHOT
only a single CPU core is used. multi-threading allows for a single core to run 2 threads concurrently. this is the most ideal settings for cMP².

Advanced Memory Settings

  • Set System Memory Multiplier (SPD) to 6.0
  • Set Performance Enhance to Standard
  • Set DRAM Timing Selectable (SPD) to Quick
Channel A Timing Settings
  • Set CAS Latency Time to 5
  • Set Command Rate(CMD) to 1
  • Set remaining parameters to Auto
if using more than 1 module (not recommended), set channel B timings as above.
advanced users sometimes change ram timings for further improvement. faster timings in theory should yield better results but its benefits are negated due to additional power supply noise.

Advanced Voltage Settings

  • Disable Load-Line Calibration
  • Set CPU Vcore 0.75000

lowest setting is 0.65000. start at 0.75000V. Vcore as low as 0.65000 can be achieved, drop it gradually until lowest cold start Vcore is achieved. some CPUs will not support the lowest setting and cold-starts would require a CMOS reset indicating instability.

for safe passive CPU cooling, a voltage of 0.72500V or lower is recommended.

  • Set QPI/Vtt Voltage to 1.050V
  • Set Graphics Core to 0.650V (as low as 0.612V can be achieved)
  • Set PCH Core to 0.950V
  • Set CPU PLL to 1.600V
  • Set DRAM Voltage to 1.300V
  • Set DRAM Termination to 0.550V
  • Set Ch-A Data VRef. to 0.540V
  • Set Ch-B Data VRef. to 0.540V
  • Set Ch-A Address VRef. to 0.540V
  • Set Ch-B Address VRef. to 0.540V

Miscellaneous Settings

  • Disable Isochronous Support
  • Disable Virtualization Technology

Perform Save & Exit.

After booting, confirm settings using CPU-Z.

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Page last modified on January 03, 2011, at 07:19 AM