BIOS Terms - What do they mean and when to adjust?

Hey everyone, I was hoping some people could chime in and enlighten me on some BIOS terms in my ga-ma785gmt-ud2h and why adjustments would be made:

Here is my setup:
MOBO: GA-MA785GMT-UD2H ver 1.0, BIOS ver. F5
CPU: AMD Penom II X3 720 BE
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek S1283
Crucial 7-7-7-21 2x2gb DDR2 PC3-1666
Western Digital Velociraptor 300
Sony Optiarc 24x DVDRW

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

Power Management:


PC Health:
CPU temp at idle: 29C
CPU fan rpm: 1380, System fan rpm: 1273 (all power control functions are turned off so fan runs at full speed all the time)
What is this CPU's operating range?

C1E Support?
K8 Cool&Quiet?

EC Firmware: Normal/Hybrid - what is the difference? what do they do?
Advanced Clock Cal: Disable/Auto/All Cores/Per Core - when would you select these options?
CPU Core Control: Auto/Munaul (actually mis-spelled in BIOS) - when would you change it to "Munaul"
CPU Host Clock Control - what does this do?
HT Link Width - what does this do? why adjust?
HT Link Frequency - what does this do? why adjust?

DRAM Config:
DCT Mode: Unganged/Ganged - Currently set as Unganged, why would you want one over the other?
DDR3 Timing: Auto/Manual - would you want to set it to manual and enter the stock timing numbers, or only set to manual if you're going to overclock?
Bank Interleaving: Enabled/Disabled - what does this do?
Channel Interleaving: Enabled/Disabled - what does this do?
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about bios terms adjust
  1. Some bios will have adjustment options explained on the right side as options are selected. Most of the default settings can be left alone. You can enable virtualization, cool and quiet (to save energy) or speedstep (same as cool and quiet but for Intel). You can change the "memory mapping" setting if bluescreens appear. For the others, look up on your favorite search engine under bios.
  2. Best answer

    The high precision event timer is a hardware timer subsystem; an HPET chip consists of a 10 MHz 64-bit up-counter and 3 independent 64-bit comparators, and includes 29 further 32bit comparators/timers for random interrupt generation for user software. The HPET can produce periodic interrupts at a much higher resolution than the real time clock subsystem, and is often used to synchronize multimedia streams, providing smooth playback and reducing the need to use other timestamp calculations. HPET is meant to supplement and replace the 8254 Programmable Interval Timer (PIT) and the real-time clock's (RTC) periodic interrupt function. Compared to these older timer circuits, the HPET has higher frequency (at least 10 MHz) and wider 64-bit counters (although they can be driven in 32-bit mode). You want HPET set to whichever mode your main OS is at - either 32 or 64 bit... The system will function with this set wrong, but may 'bobble' high-res A/V streams a bit...

    AMD Penom II X3 720 BE:

    Specs (what there are of them) are here:
    including voltage range and maximum operating temp...


    C1E enhanced halt state — Introduced in the Pentium 4 500J-series processors, the C1E halt state replaces the old C1 halt state used on the Pentium 4 and most other x86 CPUs. The C1 halt state is invoked when the operating system's idle process issues a HLT command. (Windows does this constantly when not under a full load.) Entering halt state, which is a lower-power state, will cut a CPU's power consumption and heat production. Intel's new C1E halt state is also invoked by the HLT command, but it turns down the entire CPU's clock frequency (via multiplier control) and voltage in order to work its mojo. This more robust halt state requires significantly less power than the old C1 implementation.


    Windows Virtual PC is the latest Microsoft virtualization technology designed for Windows 7. It is the runtime engine for Windows XP Mode to provide a virtual Windows environment for Windows 7. With Windows Virtual PC, Windows XP Mode applications can be seen and accessed from a Windows 7-based PC.
    In addition to MS' implementation, both Sun:
    and VM_Ware:
    have free virtualization packages that run on windoze...

    K8 Cool&Quiet:

    Cool'n'Quiet is a CPU speed throttling and power saving technology introduced by AMD with their Athlon 64 processor line. It works by reducing the processor's clock rate and voltage when the processor is idle. The aim of this technology is to reduce overall power consumption and lower heat generation, allowing for slower (thus quieter) cooling fan operation. The objectives of cooler and quieter result in the name Cool'n'Quiet. The technology is similar to Intel's SpeedStep and AMD's own PowerNow!, which were developed with the aim of increasing laptop battery life by reducing power consumption.

    EC Firmware:

    Allows 'unlocking' X3's 4th cores; good GB-specific slide-show here:

    CPU Core Control/Advanced Clock Cal:

    CCC/ACC allows you to boost/limit (mainly limit) individual cores, on the theory that if one of the cores (typically the 4th that you've 'unlocked') doesn't run to spec (usually thermal problems), you can 'throttle' that core...

    CPU Host Clock Control:

    A CPU's operating frequency is a result of a clock multiplier times an underlying 'base' system clock; host clock control allows you to incrementally raise that underlying frequency to boost performance...

    HT Link Width/Frequency:

    AMD whitepaper here:

    DCT Mode: Unganged/Ganged

    Dual channel symmetric mode ('ganged') is used when both Channel-0 and Channel-1 DIMMs are
    populated in any order with the total amount of memory in each channel being the
    same, but the DRAM device technology and width may vary from one channel to the
    other -

    Stacked Asymmetric Mode
    In this addressing mode addresses start in channel-0 and stay there until the end of
    the highest rank in channel-0, and then addresses continue from the bottom of
    channel-1 to the top.
    This mode is used when both Channel-0 and Channel-1 DIMMs are populated in any
    order with the total amount of memory in each channel being different

    L-shaped Asymmetric Mode
    In this addressing mode the lowest DRAM memory is mapped to dual channel
    operation and the top most DRAM memory is mapped to single channel operation. In
    this mode the system can run at one zone of dual channel mode and one zone of
    single channel mode simultaneously across the whole memory array.
    This mode is used when both Channel-0 and Channel-1 DIMMs are populated in any
    order with the total amount of memory in each channel being different

    My automatic assumption about this is that symmetric mode ('ganged') should be faster, but I've seen it claimed that both are faster (obviously, a contradiction - but the web is full of them...) - never a test or numbers to support the claims...

    DDR3 Timing:

    Only a few AMD/nVidia chipsets support EPP to set faster RAM to appropriate timings automatically; manual allows you to set up the memory timings to match your specific DIMMs...


    One of the major differences between Intel and AMD is the latter's dearth of actual real-world, accessible documentation; for Intels, this info is clearly available in the chipset docs (for 775s), or the CPU docs (for 1156/1366 platforms); for AMDs, it's a deep, dark, (NDA-only) SECRET!

    Hope this helps...

  3. Nice write up there Bill !! has a pretty good article describing the ganged vs. unganged memory ( ) - which explains the difference.
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