Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 - The Overclockers Dream - An Overclocking Friendly BIOS

Article Index
Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 - The Overclockers Dream
Board Layout - Up Close
Board Features and Specs
An Overclocking Friendly BIOS
Overclocking the DQ6
Synthetic and Real-World Benchmarks
Game Benchmarking Begins
Wrapping Things Up - Conclusion

BIOS:

Gigabyte uses the standard issue Award BIOS that has all the good features hidden behind the CTRL-F1 keystroke.  The Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.) part of the BIOS remains very bland until you press the key combo once you've entered the BIOS.  We'll briefly cover the BIOS with some pictures below and point out some interesting features.

Main BIOS
Main BIOS

Many of the BIOS features are quite common across many motherboards.  They are pictured below.

Standard CMOS
 Standard CMOS

Advanced BIOS
 Advanced BIOS

   

Integrated Peripherals
 Integrated Peripherals

Power Management
 Power Management

Now we start to get into things that are a little more interesting.  The first thing we look at here is PC Health.  This section always interests me at first boot as it indicates how things are running.  It's interesting to see that the 965P-DQ6 case supports Chassis Intrusion Detection which can be monitored and reset here.  Also take a look at the warning settings available and the fan/noise control options.

PC Health
 PC Health

M.I.T. Simple
 M.I.T. Simple

On the tails of the PC Health section we jump into the M.I.T. section first in simple mode.  As you can see by clicking the thumbnail above on the right - there really aren't a lot of options available.  Once we hit CTRL-F1 at the main BIOS screen, things open up a bit for us as you can see below.

Once we enabled the advanced BIOS tweaking we no have a lot of extra options to choose from.  As we are looking at this board from an overclockers perspective, we'll take a look at a few of the fun features.

CPU Voltage
 CPU Voltage

FSB Voltage
 FSB Voltage

RAM Voltage
 RAM Voltage

In order to push the edge of your hardware, you need a stable board with good cooling, the ability to tweak and adjust multipliers and ratios, as well as the ability to turn up the voltage to really push things.  Gigabyte has outdone themselves with this board.  There are many voltage options available and with ranges that will certainly fry your hardware if you adjust them carelessly.  For instance; you can select CPU voltage as high as 2.375.  It can be adjusted in 0.0125 increments which allows for fine adjustments to tweak stability.

FSB voltage can be tweaked and bumped up to an extra 0.35v in increments of 0.05.  MCH voltage can be adjusted to the same amount as well.  This brings up an interesting bug we noticed in the original F2 firmware that shipped with this board.  When we selected the MCH voltage control on the left, the "Item Help" stated that it was FSB voltage.  When we selected the FSB voltage control, the friendly help stated that we were adjusting MCH voltage.  Once we flashed the BIOS to the newest available at the time of testing (F5), this issue went away.  That's a good thing as I was confused as to what voltage I was really going to tweak.

Memory voltage can be adjusted way up to a chip blowing 2.575v - which I don't recommend under any circumstances.

CPU Speed
CPU Speed

As we wrap up the BIOS section, I thought I'd leave you with a look at the CPU Host Frequency.  You can key in a number anywhere between 100Mhz and 700Mhz.  Now I don't claim to be an idiot, but that is an amazing range.  Obviously I don't expect the board to reach anywhere near 700FSB, but it's great to see such a wide range - this is usually an indicator of a fair bit of overclocking headroom.  We'll see in on the next page.