Page 1:Sandy Bridge-E And X79: The Best Intel Has To Offer
Page 2:ASRock X79 Extreme9
Page 3:X79 Extreme9 Firmware
Page 4:Asus P9X79 Deluxe
Page 5:Asus P9X79 WS
Page 6:Asus’ UEFI
Page 7:Gigabyte G1.Assassin2
Page 8:Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5
Page 9:Gigabyte’s UEFI
Page 10:Test Settings
Page 11:Benchmark Results: 3D Games
Page 12:Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 13:Benchmark Results: Productivity
Page 14:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 15:X79 Overclocking
Page 16:Which High-End X79 Motherboard Is Best?
Gigabyte uses the same UEFI design and performance adjustment ranges for both the G1.Assassin2 and X79-UD5. Though some of the menu layout is carried over from its earlier Hybrid UEFI, this is our first experience with a full UEFI from the firm.
We still start out with an M.I.T. main menu that carries over key information from its other monitoring menus, such as frequency, core, and DRAM voltage levels.
Gigabyte provides the CPU straps also present in Asus’ competing boards, but labels them “Gear Ratio.” It also lists “Host Clock Frequency” as the true host clock, but tuners can find the resulting internal clock rate in the “BCLK/PCIe Clock Evaluation” report two items down.
Overclocking to find the highest stable full-load speed demands that we set a fixed multiplier, but getting there with Gigabyte’s firmware requires us to set each Turbo Boost ratio to the same setting. The old trick of disabling Turbo Boost and relying on the firmware to actually use the fixed ratio we set no longer works.
In fact, not much of anything worked when it came to overclocking our C1-stepping CPU sample, unfortunately, as we couldn’t push the multiplier beyond 38x. Gigabyte’s only hope for any overclock whatsoever was for us to set the CPU base clock to 125 MHz and manipulate the multiplier from there. And even then, altering CPU clock beyond setting the 125 MHz strap made both of these boards unbootable. Hours of frustration ensued with these boards inexplicably not booting after even the tiniest change.
Gigabyte spreads its voltage controls across three submenus, stepping away from the idea of simplicity, though providing every required setting.
We reached our target 1.35 V at full CPU load by selecting this voltage from the CPU voltage menu and then setting Vcore Loadline Calibration to +6.00 in Gigabyte’s 3D Power Control menu. Is that 6.00 Volts? Millivolts? Though Gigabyte did not document the setting in time for this review, it appears to be 6.00 percent.
Setting DRAM Timing Selectable to Quick in the Advanced Memory Settings menu allows the user to program all channels simultaneously. Primary and secondary settings are present.
- Sandy Bridge-E And X79: The Best Intel Has To Offer
- ASRock X79 Extreme9
- X79 Extreme9 Firmware
- Asus P9X79 Deluxe
- Asus P9X79 WS
- Asus’ UEFI
- Gigabyte G1.Assassin2
- Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5
- Gigabyte’s UEFI
- Test Settings
- Benchmark Results: 3D Games
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- X79 Overclocking
- Which High-End X79 Motherboard Is Best?