The Gigabyte Bios is a well laid out UEFI implementation. We received a new bios just before starting this review, which is a good way to test the onboard flashing system. The motherboard detected our flash drive and we pointed to the ‘F6’ bios update as shown above.
The flash procedure took around 3 minutes, ending with a verification process. All in all, a painless experience and a good first indication of a well designed bios.
We have looked at the Gigabyte 3D bios before. It offers a more intuitive option for less experienced users, who can simply click on a various section of the board to get access to settings. There is also a live readout top right of the CPU and memory speeds.
We clicked on the system tuning option and were presented with the following menu. While this is ideal for a new user to tweak settings easily, we prefer the advanced panels.
The M.I.T. section of the bios allows for all the overclocking options and fine tweaking of the settings. We will look at this in more detail shortly.
The System menu shows the newly flashed bios revision ‘F6’ with the relevant date and ID number. We can also change the system time in here.
The Bios Features panel is useful to configure the drive configuration, as well as enabling and disabling some features. We always disable the Full screen boot logo for instance.
The Peripherals menu is self explanatory which various settings for onboard devices such as the audio and USB 2.0 controller.
The Power Management panel gives control over alarm and wake up settings and the Save & Exit menu can store and load pre-configured settings. There is also an option here for boot override and for recovering to an optimised state.
The M.I.T. panel is well laid out, although there are too many individual sections for my personal tastes. Perhaps it is because im more used to ASUS UEFI configurations, but I prefer having everything listed in one place. Above, an image which allows us to change the clock ratio – we set 47, or 4.7ghz and changed the memory from 1333mhz to XMP profile 1, which is 2,400mhz for the Corsair GTX8 we installed.
It is also worth pointing out that Gigabyte have adopted the ASUS methodology of using a default state of 39 for all core activity states. 1,2,3 and 4 cores on the 3770k will operate at full turbo speeds of 3.9ghz, unlike other boards we have reviewed recently. This can lead to a significant performance increase in real world situations if you use the Z77X-UD5H at default settings.
There is a separate panel for memory settings as shown above. At 1,333mhz, the board automatically configures memory voltage to 1.5V, but when set to profile 1, this increases to 1.65V.
Again there is a separate menu for CPU Core Voltage Control as shown above. We could get the system stable at 4.6ghz with a cheap cooler at 1.25 volts, the same as the ASUS boards we have reviewed recently. We were also able to get the system stable at 4.7ghz with our 3770k with 1.3 volts. This needs a good cooler, so we used the Noctua NH D14 at these settings. We could also push higher to 4.8ghz but this requires 1.36 volts which can cause a dramatic temperature increase, even with a high end cooler.
We settled on 4.7ghz due to the lower temperatures. Validation at these speeds can be seen over here.