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Old October 17, 2008, 09:20 AM
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3oh6 3oh6 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Edmonton, AB
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Default Blue Martini's: BIOS Screenshots

Like all things 790i SLI FTW Digital PWM, the BIOS is very similar to its older brothers and sisters so those familiar with the 790i Ultra reference boards, this BIOS will make you feel right at home. Of course, there are a couple noted changes and a couple things I wouldn't mind changed further...but when was the last time I had everything I wanted in a BIOS?

Main Menu // Standard CMOS Features // Advanced BIOS Features
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There is nothing really out of the ordinary to discuss as the BIOS layout is pretty standard. Everything is labeled well and the sections hold exactly what they say with nothing getting lost in the mess.

Integrated Peripherals // Power Management Setup // PnP/PCI Configurations
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Everything in the Integrated Peripherals section can be disabled or enabled and it is quite clear what everything is.

PC Health Status // Frequency/Voltage Control
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The start of the overclocking sections of the motherboard is really the PC Health Status screen providing us with access to all of the sensors the motherboard provides. To be truthfully honest, the amount of data provided here is a little underwhelming. I would like to see more voltage readings like PLL and vFSB along with more temperature readings. It is a known fact that the NVIDIA 790i MCP does not have an internal thermal probe so this MCP55 temperature reading is at best, a surface mount probe near the north bridge. Being spoiled with internal diode MCH temps on the Rampage Extreme really makes the prospect of monitoring this board under use impossible. There isn't really anything EVGA can do about this, it is an NIVDIA related issue. The last section of the BIOS is the Frequency/Voltage Control section and obviously where all the overclocking parameters are housed. It is nice that a single section is home to all that we need to overclock, but I would like to see this section the first in the main menu list. Recent motherboards like the EP45T-Extreme and Rampage Extreme have made the overclocking section the initial menu option of the BIOS, this has proved to be very useful for clockers who spend a lot of time dipping into the BIOS.

Another acceptable feature but lacking in depth is the Load Timing/Voltage Set. It allows us to save BIOS settings but only the overclock settings. As the last screenshot above shows, it only provides three saving options and these options cannot be re-named. Providing the ability to save the entire BIOS settings and namable designators would be a very welcome addition.

System Clocks // FSB & Memory Config
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The System Clocks page is home to our spread spectrum options, as well as PCIe/chipset frequencies. NVIDIA runs on a default clock and multiplier system to generate PCIe and the SPP<>MCP link frequencies. The system defaults are what are being shown in the screenshots above. The FSB & Memory Config page is clearly our home to frequency adjustment of FSB and memory. NVIDIA continues to use the quad pumped value so you will have to have a calculator handy when clocking, like you always have. What is nice about this BIOS, however, is that when you adjust FSB frequency; we can see the direct changes to CPU clocks as well as memory clocks before saving & exiting. This comes in quite handy, especially since we have a vast amount of memory ratios available to us thanks to the un-linked memory option, we can always see what the outcome will be before having to save&exit. One change I would love to see is the ability to adjust CPU multiplier from the FSB & Memory Config page instead of just from the System Clocks section.

Memory Timing Setting // CPU Features // System Voltages
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The first screenshot above is a carryover of the last set and the Memory Timing Settings. This page is accessed from the bottom of the FSB & Memory Config section. The NVIDIA memory timing options are slim to none but they get the job done. Memory just clocks so well on this chipset that no one can complain about a lack of ability to "tune" the does it on its own damn near. The addition of tRFC to the memory timings is nice, but the options are very limited. Being able to set the tRFC to any value would be much more welcomed.

The system voltages are all provided in a single screen including 4 separate GTLVREF channels that are adjustable from -155mv to +155mv. The rest of the voltage settings are all at their maximums to give an idea of what kind of voltages we have at our fingertips. The addition of being able to enable or disable vDroop is another one of the nice touches EVGA has expanded on from the 790i Ultra reference design. vCore doesn't quite go as high as one would like to see, and the limited vSPP is going to definitely limit clocks if the 790i Ultra was any indicator but the memory voltage is just ridiculous. Trust me, I am not complaining about having too much voltage at my finger tips but 3v+ is a little excessive. Here is a chart of the voltage ranges and increments...
CPU Core    = 0.50000v ~ 2.00000v in 0.00625v increments
CPU FSB     = 1.100v ~ 1.625v     in 0.075v increments
Memory      = 1.500v ~ 3.075v     in 0.025v increments
nForce SPP  = 1.32v ~ 1.57v       in 0.05v increments
nForce MCP  = 1.500v ~ 1.750v     in 0.050v increments
CPU PLL	     = 1.5v ~ 1.8v         in 0.1v increments
GTL Ref	     = -155mv ~ +155mv     in 5mv increments
Overall, the voltage options are an improvement from the 790i Ultra options but a vCore and vSPP volt mod are going to be required to push this board...if a vCore mod is even possible. The one aspect of this section that is very much appreciated is the fact that the BIOS shows you what the values are already set to. This type of voltage adjustment page needs to be the standard, it is very nicely done.
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