The GIGABYTE EP45-DS3R uses an Award BIOS with a familiar layout, that should be easy enough to navigate, even for the novice user.
The main BIOS screen.
The first submenu that we arrive at, is the “MB Intelligent Tweaker” (MIB) menu, where the majority overclocking and system tweaking settings are located. The page scrolls for some distance, and requires two screen shots just to display the majority of it. As you can imagine, this BIOS provides great flexibility for the hardcore enthusiasts, that which to tweak every aspect of their system. The options exist for selecting the Northbridge frequency, and the memory dividers and timings manually, or leaving them set to auto. With the latest BIOS, the board did a adequate job of correctly setting up our Q9550 CPU, and selecting the correct memory timings and memory bus dividers.
The CPU and its Termination and PLL voltages settings will allow you to set them high enough to kill your CPU. Some caution should be exercised if you choose to adjust those, as no warning indications seemed to be displayed when approaching dangerous levels, on those particular adjustments.
The “Standard CMOS Features” submenu contains the normal date/time settings and drive settings.
The “Advanced BIOS Features” menu contains the boot disk priority settings, CPU thermal throttling options, and other settings. To utilize the GIGABYTE Advanced Dynamic Energy Saver software, the “CPU EIST Function” (Enhanced Intel SpeedStep) must be enabled. Otherwise when you try and start the software a message box will appear, telling you to reenter the BIOS and enable this option. The system cannot change CPU ratios and tone done the CPU clock speeds under idle conditions without it. However, for benchmarks and overclocking, its probably best to disable it, as I found the CPU would not advance to full speed under most benchmarks, thus giving lower results.
The “Integrated Peripherals” menu is the place to enable or disable the various onboard components you wish to make use of. One note here, the “Green LAN” feature when enabled, will automatically disable any Ethernet ports not in use, and thus reduced power consumption.
A very standard power management screen.
A standard PnP/PCI menu.
The “PC Health” menu, is the menu where you can monitor temperatures and voltages, and also configure system alarms.
The “Security Chip Configuration” menu, is the menu where you can enable the GIGABYTE TPM hardware based security function. Which according to GIGABYTE consists of the following features:
“Ultra TPM – Industry’s highest level of data Security via onboard TPM
Maximum level of data protection with 2048 bit encryption
Security, manageability and flexibility that surpasses software-based encryption
Portable User Key to protect data when away from your system
Additional backup of user key in BIOS in case of misplaced key.”