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First post and boot: Do I need to configure BIOS?

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October 2, 2011 1:53:15 PM

Hi,
This is a very newbie question, so please forgive me. It's my first build and I'm wondering if once I get through the construction phase and the cable management phase, Will I need to configure the BIOS manually? or will it already be configured?

I do intend on learning how to OC later on, as well as learn the various options available in the BIOS menues, however i'm not sure if i'll need to do it immediately upon first post or not.

Thanks.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 2, 2011 2:25:55 PM

You will need to install an operating system, of course. Windows is normally installed from CD, so it is just as well to go into BIOS first thing and set the boot order to boot from the CD drive. The other settings can be fiddled with later, if you want, but a BIOS comes set up for normal operation and can detect what it really needs to just to run.
October 2, 2011 2:59:30 PM

Awesome, thanks Petrofsky.

Another question: I checked the current bios versions available on the Gigabyte site and it would seem there is a F4 version and an F7 version. I've read somewhere that the F4 supports the Ripjaw X ram I got, i'm wondering if:
A) In the event that I update bios to version F7 - will this mean the board will no longer support the RAM that it previously support in F4?

B) In the event that my Motherboard comes with version F1, should I at all flash it to a newer version? or should I just keep it at its current one? I know that there is some risk with updating the BIOS version, however I don't want to miss out on any performance boost that may come from a newer version. What do you think?
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 2, 2011 3:16:34 PM

I would update the BIOS now... Will you be using a SSD? if so you must set the BIOS fot your SSD to AHCI mode before installing your OS.
October 2, 2011 3:22:27 PM

I won't be getting an SSD for atleast 3 months. I do intend on setting my bios for AHCI however regardless.

What benefits am I to gain from updating the bios right on the start? and would you update it before installing Windows 7 or after?

All of this will be happening in 3 days. Right now my rig parts are flying 40,000 feet above the atlantic ocean :) . Thanks for the help.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 2, 2011 3:25:31 PM

I would update the BIOS now because at some point you will want to and any changes will not be saved.
October 2, 2011 3:35:05 PM

At what stage do you update the bios? before or after installing Windows 7?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 2, 2011 3:48:33 PM

I'm sorry to say I disagree with our illustrious anonymous veteran on this one. Only flash the BIOS if you absolutely need to, on the principle if it ain't broke, don't fix it. There are risks, and the new version may only have added functionality that you don't have the hardware for, anyway. What mobo do you have?
October 2, 2011 5:21:38 PM

I'm getting the GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 from Gigabyte

i5 2500k, Gskill ripjaw X 1600mhz, caviar black 1TB 64mb cache and corsair TX650 PSU, MSI HD 6950 2GB Twin frozr III.

Do I stand to gain anything from updating my BIOS to F4 or F9 in the event that it comes in earlier bios versions?
October 2, 2011 5:23:12 PM

I read that F9 supports Dolby Home Theater. Not sure if this is worth the flash though. And better compatibility with SSD which I intend on adding in 4 months. Of course then I'll probably reintall windows on it so will be able to flash then and not now.

Not quite sure if To Flash or Not To Flash.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 2, 2011 6:09:07 PM

Well it's always safer not to flash. But I think most people here like to have the latest if they can.

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a b B Homebuilt system
October 2, 2011 6:49:26 PM
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Looking at Gigabyte's BIOS download page, there's no reason to flash. The new versions do nothing you need. Touch BIOS is for people who feel all naked without a mouse. Intel Smart Response allows you to overclock the onboard GPU. You don't have a 22nm CPU, do you? Dolby Home Theater is only found built into certain laptops. You will most likely have a SATA SSD and not a PCI-E one.

Nice board, though. I kind of want one now.
October 2, 2011 7:41:56 PM

Best answer selected by JackHarrer.
October 2, 2011 7:45:57 PM

Thanks again Petrofsky. Completely answered my worries and solved my problem.
I will refrain from flashing the Bios unless for some odd reason I will be required to (such as instability in the current version).

Can't wait for the shipment to arrive. I already have the HAF 932 still wrapped up in nylon - I'm doing my best from opening it up just to snoop around, as I'll be immediately disappointed in the inability to install anything as all other parts are on their way from France, after having taken a trip through Memphis following departure from New York :) .

My future PC has more traffic listen in its passport than I do.
October 2, 2011 7:53:52 PM

The only downside to the motherboard, that I just spotted for the very first time, is that it has only 1 PCIexpress X16 slot, and another PCIexpress X8 slot. so that if I ever want to crossfire, both cards will work only at X8, instead of X16.

Would you say this would significantly influence the performance of a crossfire setup?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 2, 2011 8:23:38 PM

BIOS upgrades add features and also sometimes have undocumented effects like more stable OC'ing. On a new build, I recommend upgrading to latest BIOS, on an older box, I agree, it may not be worth the risk.....that risk is noting tho on a new build.
October 2, 2011 8:28:31 PM

dont worry about x8 on both lanes ..not a big difference between x16 in both slots ..also if this is your first ..you might want to go ahead , and open the case and a do dry run of where everything is going to go , just to practice in your head , and , there be things like add'l fan slots you didnt fill yet , that you might want to go ahead use , while your building ..I dont mean put the fans in now ..just check out the case and see its full capabilities are ..you might have already coverd that , not sure.. maybe look at things like dust filters for intake fans ..stuff like that
October 2, 2011 8:35:21 PM

I've got all the fans i need, however none come with dust filters so I think I'll need to hop over to the hardware store and find something to serve as such a filter. Good call.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 2, 2011 9:52:43 PM

@ Jack-

If you're not having any problems, only flash BIOS that's several weeks old after checking on the net to see if any issues are being reported.

But once the new BIOS is old enough, it's always better to flash it if you ever intend to work in there for more support, compatibility, stability, security etc.

If all you're gonna be doing is play Farmville and watch netflix, then there's absolutely no pressing need for it, but you might still want to if you're as curious as some of us to get the latest and greatest of everything or you wanna personalize your PC by changing the boot logo or something :) 
October 2, 2011 10:30:31 PM

I can change the boot logo? into whatever I want? :)  Seriously, I did not know this.

And that's a major negative on the Farmville. I intend to run the most demanding and recent games, which is why I have been considering a moderate OC to 4.0 ghz. Though it would be my first.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 3, 2011 7:00:15 AM

Overclocking options on your board - hardwaresecrets.com

For your board - Overclock.net - Looks like 4.0 should not be a problem if not 4.5.

A 10-15% OC is easy on most 50 dollar mobos by just raising the clock without touching the multiplier or the voltages or adjusting the DRAM frequency or the FSB/DRAM ratio manually.

So a stable 20% OC - which is what you're looking to do - should be fairly easy on your board on a half decent HSF. A LCU won't hurt either, but you won't be needing it IMO.

Try and post your query on the "Overclocking " section of the forum for more relevant answers :) 
!