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Overclocking With Easy Tune6

Seven Sub-$160 Z77 Express Motherboards, Reviewed

Gigabyte’s Easy Tune6 utility reflects both the usefulness and cumbersomeness of its firmware. The first menus, for example, contain no settings, though they are far more detailed than those in the popular CPU-Z application.

One of the added details that we’d like to see adopted by CPU-Z is the ability to read more than three SPD, XMP, and/or EPP registers. Easy Tune6 provides ten, though it does not tell us that one of these is XMP.

Quick Boost quickly got us to 4.18, 4.44, and 4.69 GHz at 1.32 to 1.33 V. While we still think that’s a little too much to protect the longevity of our Ivy Bridge-based CPU, it’s far less voltage than many of its competitors use for similar speeds. Perhaps ironically, the Auto Tuning option achieved worse overclocking results (4.49 GHz at 1.32 V), and we never successfully reset the program. After successfully altering several settings only to have the system revert to old Auto Tuning levels at the next reboot, we gave up and removed Easy Tune6 before reinstalling it to continue our evaluation.

The only visible difference between the Easy and Advanced overclocking tabs is the presence of memory ratio control. Base clock can be changed on the fly, but memory ratio changes require a reboot. That’s probably why Gigabyte wasted two tabs to separate these; a few words of warning would have sufficed.

Ratio and Frequency tabs are only active in Advanced mode. Per-core and all-core changes can be set, but a reboot is required to make the change. Given that memory ratios also require a reboot, that’s one more tab Gigabyte could have consolidated.

Easy Tune6 has enough voltage options that they actually deserve their own menu. Like base clock, voltages can be changed without rebooting.

Gigabyte’s Graphics overclocker worked with all of the GeForce GTX 580s in our test lab, though firmware customization could prevent its use with some brands.

Separate menus provide temperature-based CPU and system fan speed control.

Two menus under the HW Monitor tab provide extremely limited voltage readouts and status alarm controls.

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