The Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P uses a Phoenix Award BIOS. The most current BIOS version for this motherboard is F5 (as of 6/15/09). There is a F3K beta version, but we chose to use the most current non-beta BIOS available for this motherboard.
Once you enter the BIOS setup program, the Main Menu appears on the screen. This screen has all the main features that can be configured on this motherboard.
This BIOS wastes no time in getting to the heart of what PC enthusiasts are looking for — overclocking options. The MB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) has every option consumers will need to overclock the CPU, memory, and chipset.
The first option to configure in the M.I.T. is the Advanced Clock Calibration. Once enabled, the Advanced Clock Calibration option can provide great performance for users with Phenom II Black Edition processors. The ACC enables high power delivers capabilities that exceed 140 watts to help users squeeze every MHz out of their unlocked CPUs.
The CPU Clock Ratio can be modified in .5 increments, which is pretty handy because sometimes a full clock cycle won’t give us a stable overclock, but half of one clock cycle proves to give us a little boost in performance and stability.
The CPU Northbridge Frequency can also be adjusted, but this is dependent upon the CPU being used.
The HT Link Width can be configured to auto, 8 bit, or 16 bit.
The HT Link Frequency allows users to manually set the frequency for the HT Link between the CPU and chipset.
The second half of the M.I.T. menu gives end users a variety of voltage options for overclocking the CPU, memory, Northbridge, and Southbridge. The DDR3 voltage control can be adjusted in .05v increments.
The Southbridget HT voltage controls can be configured from .1 to .3 volts to give it a small boost in power.
The Northbridge, PCI-E, and PLL devices can also get small increases in voltage through the M.I.T. menu.
The CPU PLL voltage controls are a bit odd as they can be increased in .04 volt increments. I guess they are a bit tricky to overvolt so be careful in this section unless you are an experienced overclocker.
The CPU voltages are where most moderate overclockers feel sem-comfortable increasing without risking the chance of frying their CPUs. The voltages can be modified in .025v increments to give end users pin-point accuracy to make the most stable OC’ed CPU possible.
The next main section of the BIOS includes the standard CMOS features. This section details all the IDE, SATA, and floppy devices being used in the system.
The Integrated Peripherals menu takes care of the on board IDE, SATA, USB, audio, Firewire, and LAN functions. This board also has extra support for onboard serial and parallel port devices.
The Smart Backup menu allows users to configure your SATA hard drives and build a RAID array.
The onboard LAN device section is pretty self explanatory. It is where you can configure different LAN properties for booting and other functions like Green LAN that dynamically turns the LAN chip’s clock off when enabled.
The power management section has the usual options and features. Nothing too interesting to discuss here.
The PC health status section is always useful, but rarely changes in the type of information that is available. Current CPU temps, fan speeds, and voltages are the usual suspects in this menu.
Okay, so what did we learn about this motherboard’s BIOS? For starters, the plethora of overclocking options are outstanding. I was really intrigued by all the different voltage options too. The Smart Backup system should really make setting up RAID arrays quick and simple. Once the AM3 platform matures a bit, I’m sure we’ll see more customizations to the BIOS in the future.