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Gigabyte’s UEFI

Ultimate X79? Five $320+ LGA 2011 Motherboards, Reviewed

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.

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