Guys, this is my first post, and I am getting ready to do my first build by myself. I will be putting together an i7 system, using the Gigabyte UD5 motherboard, and the new i7 950 processor. I noticed on the Gigabyte website that only the newest bios supports the 950. My question is, what will happen when I install the 950 if my UD5 doesn't support it until after the bios is flashed? Will it just detect it as maybe a 940? Will it be safe until the bios is flashed? I don't want to make any stupid mistakes.
Also, will the UD5 work with my USB keyboard right away, so that I can actually get into the bios? Or do I need to make the initial setup/changes with a PS2 keyboard (which I don't currently have, but will pick one up if needed.)
I have answered this question at least a dozen times for various processor releases, and the straight-forward answer is "no one knows"! I keep an older (cheap) Celeron, 'in-the-box', just for this situation. Obviously, the safe move is to use a supported processor to flash the newer BIOS - you can't get burned. Unless you can find someone who's done the exact same flash that you need - same original BIOS, same board rev level, same CPU - you're on unknown territory. At worst - you'll need to wait for an RMA. At best, it'll work fine. But there are no guarantees... I've trashed my BIOS a few times, and the 'dual BIOS' auto-recovery always worked fine, so I was emboldened to do an experiment: I have a DS5 that shipped with the F5 BIOS - no support for the E0 stepping of the Q9550. After an auto-recover back to F5, I decided (and this was not just curiosity - I really didn't want to disassemble the water block just to throw in the Celeron for ten minutes!) to leave the E0 in, and try a flash to F8C: worked fine! But, as I said, every situation is unique, and my guess is that the probability of success is related to the depth of the changes in the 'micro-code' for the newer processor, as well as the actual instruction mix involved in the flash. Whatever, be sure to use the on-board flash, or GB's QuickFlash - DO NOT use the @BIOS windoze-based flasher - it's an invitation to disaster. More GB MOBOs are trashed by @BIOS than by the next four causes combined!
Don't need to worry about that - the guts of the chip - the power pins, the ground pins - none of that changes from stepping to stepping; of course, the operating voltage will no doubt fall a bit when the 35 nm chips are released later this fall, but chips are fairly resilient about temporary overvolting; and, you don't want to crank it too high forever - you eventually get voltage-induced junction breakdown (which is, long haul, much harder on chip longevity than high temps). The worst you'll do is flat-line your BIOS; if auto-recover doesn't catch it, you'll need an RMA, but your precious i7 will be none the worse for wear!