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Old April 14th, 2007, 12:54 PM   #1
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DFI INFINITY 965-S DARK: Overclocking, Tweaking, and BIOS Setup Guide

***Last Updated: Sunday, 7/01/07***

Motherboard Maintenance - File Downloads:BIOS Setup/Optimization Guide TOC:Question and Answer (Q&A) / Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
  • Q: My board always cycles off and back on right after I try to cold boot, is something wrong? A: Here...
  • Q: Is this board 45nm-ready? What about the newer 1333MHz FSB processor due out late July 2007? A: Here...
Some initial board pictures for those that would like to see something other than the simple marketing picture. So far I am very impressed with the board, that's not to say that there aren't a few things that could have been done to make the board even better (what board can't you say that about...); everyone that has this board though needs to keep in mind that this is still the initial BIOS release...

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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:14 AM   #2
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Main Setup & Standard CMOS Settings

This is the main screen that you will be greated with upon entering BIOS. Not much to point out here. Most of your attention will be focused in the Genie BIOS Settings page (for overclocking). We will be covering all pages for complete explaination though.

Load Fail-Safe Defaults loads the troubleshooting default values permanently coded in the ROM chip. These settings are not optimal and turn off all high performance features. Use this feature only if you have hardware problems.

Load Optimized Defaults, followed by a save and reboot immediately after flashing the BIOS and manually clearing the CMOS by moving jumper JP4.

Set your date and time here under Date and Time. These don't need to be perfect as Windows (if you use it) will update these fields automatically sync next time your system connects to (default internet time syncronization server used by MS).

Selecting Integrated Peripherals -> OnChip IDE Device -> SATA Mode to RAID will results in the screen shown above (on subsequent reboot). Otherwise, Channel 2/3/4/5 Master and Slave settings will be available, meaning that the Intel AHCI and Matrix RAID BIOS Add-on modules are not active. You would then see your hard drives and optical drives listed here. We recommend you leave all settings at their default ("Auto") which will always auto-tune best performance.

Even though IDE Channel 0 Master (Slave) refer to actual IDE devices attached to the IDE header, provided by the JMicron chip, we recommend that you leave these on Auto in the submenu fields as disabling auto detection can cause the POST screen to fly by so quickly that it can be difficult to hit the DELETE key in time to enter the BIOS. If you have nothing attached to the IDE header you will see "None", as shown above.

Set Drive A to None if you have no legacy 3.5" floppy drive attached.

Leave Video set to EGA/VGA.

Set Halt On to No Errors unless you want the POST screen to pause (requiring you to hit F1 to continue or DEL to enter BIOS) for keyboard or floppy (disk) errors (essentially that they are not detected during boot up). Since I personally don't use a legacy floppy I set this to "No Errors" because my keyboard is USB and therefore hot-swappable in Windows. Tip: Keep an inexpensive USB floppy drive around; handy for the ocassional DOS-mode video card ROM or motherboard CMOS flash.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:51 AM   #3
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Advanced BIOS Features

The Hard Disk Boot Priority submenu allows you to select which hard drive will be used for booting. RAID devices intialized by AHCI will be enumerated as SCSI devices, even thought they are obviously SATA.

Virus Warning warns if potentially malicious code tries to write to the primary boot device's boot record. Set this to Disabled to prevent possible compatability issues, particularly when installing Windows.

CPU L1 & L2 Cache should always be set to Enabled. In fact, it is most likely impossible to disable the caches on Core 2 CPUs.

CPU L3 Cache has no affect when L3 cache is not detected. Leave this Enabled for compatability purposes.

Quick Power On Self Test (POST) reduces the time to boot by only checking minimum board devices at boot unless the previous boot was unsuccessful. Those that want the fastest time from power on the their desktop will want to leave this Enabled. Selected Disabled to force complete motherboard testing/diagnostics display every time the system cold boots.

First (Second/Third) Boot Device allow the user to select the boot order for devices such as floppy, CD-ROM, Hard Disk, ZIP, USB, USB-FDD, onboard LAN, etc. Select CD-ROM as the first boot device in order to force the system to boot off the CD-ROM drive prior to checking the hard disk (this is helpful if you want to re-install Windows when an image already exists on your primary hard drive). Once setup is done, selecting "Hard Drive" as the first device and disabling the second and third devices provides for the fast boot. Second and third boot device settings have no effect if Boot Other Device is set to Disabled.

Boot Up Floppy Seek should be set to Disabled if you have no floppy installed. Selecting "Enabled" forces the system to determine if the floppy drive has 40 or 80 tracks (just about every unit nowadays has 40 tracks, the default).

Boot Up NumLock Status sets the default NumLock condition (On or Off). I find that "On" really means that NumLock is not toggled off if you reboot with NumLock enabled. In any case, "On" does not set NumLock on with a cold boot.

Gate A20 Option is provided for keyboard compatability purposes. Leave this set to Fast.

Typematic Rate Setting is not worth messing with unless you spend an inordinate amount of time in a pure DOS environment and feel the need to set values to best suit your preference for keyboard repeat rate, etc. Leave this Disabled otherwise as Windows provides it's own setting (and available for adjustment in the Control Panel under "Keyboard"). Note: Typematic Rate / Delay will not be available if this setting is disabled.

Security Option allows your to select whether the BIOS password (if set) must be entered at system POST or only when attempting to enter the BIOS. This setting has no affect if a password has not be established - leave as default at Setup.

APIC Mode should always be set to Enabled. Changing this setting may prevent Windows from installing, or may cause a boot failure if Windows is already installed.

MPS Version Control for OS should always be set to 1.4. This setting is provides only for compatability purposes when booting older operating systems (like Windows 3.1, in which case 1.1 should be selected).

OS Select for DRAM > 64MB should be set to Non-OS2, unless of course, you are installing OS/2 and need to access memory above the default 64MB boundary.

HDD S.M.A.R.T Capatability (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) allows SATA drives attached to motherboard headers to monitor their performance for possible early failure detection/error recognition. This setting should be always be Enabled unless you have some definative reason not to do so. Note: This setting MUST be enabled if you wish to monitor HDD temperatures using third-party Windows software such as MBM5, etc. Most user display function will be unavailable if your SATA drives make up part of a RAID array.

Report No FDD for For WIN 95 is obviously for Windows 95/98 compatability purposes. Leave at default value of No unless you do not want to prevent Windows 95/98 for detecting an installed floppy drive.

Full Screen Logo Show controls whether or not the INFINITY logo is displayed at system POST in place of diagnostics information. It is often more helpful to set this to Disabled to see what exactly is happening during system boot.

EPA Logo Select in fact controls whether or not the small INFINITY logo shown in the upper-right corner of the POST screen during system boot. LOGO-0 or LOGO-1, pick your poison. Note: This setting has no effect if Small Logo (EPA) Show is disabled.

Small Logo(EPA) Show - Enabled will show LOGO-0/LOGO-1. Disabled - no logo shown.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 09:51 AM   #4
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Advanced Chipset Features
and PCI Express Root Port Func

Notice: No items on these pages should be altered unless absolutely necessary.
The default settings have been chosen because they provide the best operating condition for all systems.

System BIOS Cacheable makes the BIOS settings, etc. addressable in the F0000h-FFFFFh memory range. Leave this set to Enabled to ensure maximum compatability for monitoring/diagnostics programs that might not otherwise have access to this data when the system is running in Protected Mode.

Memory Hole at 15M-16M should always be set to Disabled since this motherboard has no ISA slots which would require ISA resources. If more than 16MB of system memory is installed (that's you), this field must be disabled in order to provide continguous memory access across this lower memory range.

PEG Force x1 (PEG = PCI Express Graphics) can be used to force the second 16x PCI Express slot (16x mechanical, 8x electrical by default) to 1x speed. Note: Most PCIe video cards will not operate at less than 4x speed. Leave Disabled unless you are running a PCIe card in this slot which requires 1x for compatability reasons and is untrainable otherwise.

PCI Express Port 1 (2/3/4/5/6) allow you to manual steer PCI Express resource assignments. Note that you can not add additonal lanes to hardwired slots, you can only disable PCIe clock signals to unused ports. You should not change these values from Auto unless absolutely required.

PCI-E Compliancy Mode - leave set to v1.0a for best performance. v1.0a is backwards compatable with the v1.0 specification.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #5
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Integrated Peripherals
(and OnChip IDE Device, Super IO Device, USB Device Settings)

Azalia Audio can be Disabled here if you are using a PCI board for sound (Auzentech, Creative Labs, Turtle Beach, etc.). Enabled allows the OS to detect the Audio Codec and install drivers.

Onboard 1394 can be Disabled here. Enabled allows the OS to detect the 1394 device and make it available for use.

Onboard LAN can be Disabled here also. Enabled allows the OS to detect the PCI-e ethernet interface. I have mine disabled because I use a PCI-Cardbus adaptor and a notebook card to provide draft-N 802.11n wireless capability to my desktop system.

IDE HDD Block Mode allows attached hard drive to use block mode when transfering data - leave Enabled. The maximum block size that each individual hard drive is capable of transfering will be automatically read and set (unless this function is unavailable for some reason). Note: This setting is indeed for IDE devices, not attached SATA drives.

IDE DMA Transfer Access (DMA = Direct Memory Access) allows the hard disk controller (ICH8R) to transfer data to and from memory directly without requiring addional CPU cycles to coordinate the data movement. Leave on Enabled. Note: This setting is indeed for IDE devices, not attached SATA drives.

IDE Primary Master / Slave PIO (UDMA) should be set to Auto at all times. PIO is Programmed Input/Output, meaning that the BIOS remaps disk access interrupt requests to the disk controller IRQ function addresses. UDMA is Ultra DMA, which extends the capabilities of any UDMA enabled hard drives/optical drives (Mode 0 - 4) if detected. Do not change these values unless you know for certain that the BIOS has selected an incorrect transfer mode and is unduely limiting your system disk performance. You can view selected transfer rates by opening the Device Manager in Windows and viewing the "Advanced Settings" tab for each IDE channel listed under "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers". Note: These settings are indeed for IDE devices, not attached SATA drives.

POWER ON Function allows the user to set the method of powering on the system (Button Only, Password, Hot Key, Mouse Move, Mouse Click, Any Key for Keyboard 98). This is a personal preference. Note: KB Power ON Password and Hot Key Power ON are only available when the respective methods are selected for use.

Onboard FDC Controller (FDC = Floppy Disk Controller)...ahh, redundancy at it's best. Set this to Disabled if no floppy is connected, enabled otherwise.

Onboard Serial Port 1 (2) - Disabled unless you desire to have COM1 and COM2 port mappings available in Windows. Note that only 1 physical COM port header is available on the motherboard backplane, the other would be used by the device attached to the onboard IrDA connector. Note: IrDA Mode Select and UR2 Duplex Mode are only available when Serial Port 2 is enabled.

Onboard Parallel Port should be Disabled unless you plan on plugging a device into the connection located on the motherboard backplane. Note: Parallel Port Mode (SPP = Standard Parallel Port, ECP = Extended Capabilities Port, or EPP = Enhanced Parallel Port) and ECP Mode Use DMA (selected DMA channel) are only available when the Parallel Port is enabled.

USB 1.0 Controller (UHCI = Universal Host Controller Interface) / USB 2.0 Controller (EHCI = Enhanced Host Controller Interface) should both be normally Enabled. These settings enable USB and USB2 controllers to show up in Device Manager. Trivia for you: USB and USB2 exist because MS and Intel couldn't agree who's specification was best. Thanks guys!

USB Operation Mode sets either Full (Low) Speed operation or High Speed operation for USB 2 devices attached to USB2-capable headers. High Speed is faster.

USB Keyboard Function and USB Mouse Function sets whether or not the pre-boot, BIOS and DOS environment support USB input devices (the BIOS emulates standard KB/mouse interrupts). The mouse setting most likely means very little to you but if the keyboard setting is made disabled you will more than likely have problems accessing the BIOS again without a PS/2 keyboard or a PS/2<->USB adaptor for your KB. Be warned - leave these Enabled.

USB Storage Function controls whether or not attached USB devices can emulate storage media (flash drives, USB-attached ZIP drives and floppy drives, etc.). Leave this Enabled unless you have a good reason not to.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 11:23 AM   #6
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Power Management Setup

ACPI Function should always been Enabled for Windows.

ACPI Suspend Type should be set to S3(STR). STR, or Suspend to RAM, allows the system to enter a low power state when unused.

Run VGABIOS if S3 Resume should be left set to Auto in order to ensure proper resume from S3.

Power Management should be set to User Defined in order to set the length of idle time before the HDD powers down. "Min Savings" sets 15 minutes / "Max Savings" sets 1 minute (which may unecessarily cycle power to the HDD, increasing wear and tear and potentially causing premature failure).

Video Off Method determines the manner in which the monitor is blanked. Almost every graphics adaptor now supports the more advanced DPMS (Display Power Management System) method. Select either "V/H SYNC + Blank" or Blank Screen if your system has problems asserting S3.

Video Off In Suspend should be set to Yes for maximum power savings (a standard LCD can consume more than 100W during normal display use and as little as 1-3W during standby).

Suspend Type should be set to Stop Grant for maximum power savings.

MODEM Use IRQ can be safely set to NA if you don't plan on installing a PCI modem (yuk!).

Suspend Mode and HDD Power Down (see Power Management setting above) are available if Power Management is set to "User Defined". Set these times if desired, which dictate the time the system will require before enable power savings modes for the CPU/onboard peripherals and the HDD(s). Otherwise set Disabled in order to let your system remain fully power and ready to go! Note: These settings have nothing to do with CPU power savings features such as EIST/C1E, etc.

Soft-Off by PWR-BTTN (Soft off by power button) allows the user to select if pressing the power button results in an immediate shutdown or if the user my press and hold the power button down for at least 4 seconds in order to turn the system off. Default is Instant-Off. Note: Windows provides an override setting (Power Options panel in Control panel, "Advanced" tab, "Power Buttons" section).

Wake-Up by PCI Card allows a PCI card (such as a LAN or MODEM card) to assert a wake-up signal using a PCI PME (Power Management Event) signal. Enabled is recommend for remote access purposes.

Power on by Ring should be Disabled usless an external modem is attached the COM port.

USB KB Wake-Up from S3 set to Enabled allows the KB to wake-up the system. Note: This option is available only when "ACPI Suspend Type" is set to "S3(STR)".
  • JP1 must be set to jumper setting 2-3 (On: 5VSB) in order for this setting to function properly when using a PS/2 keyboard.
  • JP2 and JP3 must be set to jumper setting 2-3 (On: 5VSB) in order for this setting to function properly when using a USB keyboard.
  • Refer to the DFI INFINITY User's Manual, page 42/43 for more information and the physical locations of these jumpers.
IMPORTANT: If you are using this setting for 2 USB ports, the 5VSB power source of your power supply must support at least 1.5A. For 3 or more USB ports, the 5VSB power source of your power supply must support at least 2A. When using this setting with a P2/S style keyboard the 5VSB power source for your power supply must support at least 720 mA. Refer to your power supply (PSU) Owner's Manual for specifications and ratings!

Resume by Alarm allows the user to set a resume time, either once on the date specified with the "Day (of Month) Alarm" field, or everyday, with the "Time Alarm" field. Note: The system must be in a suspended state for this setting to take affect. This setting will not power-on the system for a shutdown condition. Disabled is recommend unless you return to your office/system with such precision as to save the 10 seconds it takes to wake the computer.

Reload Global Timer Events allows the user to specify additional events that would cause the system to wake-up. Set to Disabled unless you need one of the listed devices to wakeup the system on IRQ event assertions.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 12:09 PM   #7
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PnP/PCI Configurations

Init Display First allows the user to select which video card is initialized as the primary display. This settings make no difference unless a PCI Express and PCI graphics adapter are installed at the same time. The recommended setting is PCIEx if a PCI Express graphics adapter is installed.

Reset Configuration Data forces the BIOS to reset and rebuild the Extended System Configuration Data (ESCD) and DPMI (DOS Protected Mode Interface) Tables next time the system restarts. This is a toggle setting, meaning that after the next sucessful POST this setting will revert back to Disabled. This option can be helpful in the case where a PCI card is added to the system (or the location of cards are changed) and Windows refuses to boot (or causes a BSOD during loading).

Resources Controlled By should be left to Auto(ESCD) unless you need to steer certain PCI cards to particular IRQs for compatability purposes. Contrary to popular belief there is no performance gain to be had attempting to prevent cards for 'sharing' IRQs. Windows XP/2003 PnP and the ACPI BIOS brought about a big shift in the way these resources are controlled - you are best leaving these alone unless you absolutely need to change something. Note: IRQ Resources are unavailable if this setting is set to "Auto(ESCD)".

PCI/VGA Palette Snoop should be Disabled. This setting only applied to PCI graphics cards, some of which this setting must be enabled for proper video buffer display.

INT Pin 1 (2/3/4/5/6/7/8) Assignment should be set to Auto.

Maximum Payload Size should be as high as possible or 128 (bytes). Each TLP (Transaction Layer Packet) generates a 20- to 28-byte overhead creating inefficiency with increasingly smaller payload (or block) transfer sizes.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 12:46 PM   #8
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PC Health Status

Shutdown Temperature allows the user to set a temperature in which will cause the board to automatically power-off. The current value used is as read by PECI (and displayed below in this same page). Set this to Disabled unless you don't trust your ability to control your own system temperature. This functionality is a backup to the automatic shutdown feature of Core 2 Duo/Extreme/Quad CPUs.

CPU Fan Power sets the modulated power applied to the CPU fan. Auto allows for ACPI temperature control via BIOS. NB Fan Power and System Fan Power are similar, but do not allow for automatic control. 100% is 12v.

Note: CPU temperature as reported by BIOS will, in most situations, be significantly higher than at Windows idle as HALT commands are not asserted and the BIOS, surprisingly, loads the CPU quite heavily.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 01:16 PM   #9
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Genie BIOS Setting
(and CPU Feature, DRAM Timing, Voltage Setting)

CPU Feature selects the associated submenu [Press ENTER]. (see below)

DRAM Timings selects the associated submenu [Press ENTER]. (see below)

NB Strap Select selects the Northbridge (NB) strap setting. Choices are Default (default for the installed CPU), 133MHz, 200MHz, and 266MHz. 'Lower' straps have tigher internal NB latencies associated with them; these tighter latencies in turn will restrict the maximum Front Side Bus (FSB) achievable at that particular strap. For more performance select the lowest strap setting achievable for your target FSB. Note: 333 is not available and is in fact not implemented. 1333MHz FSB CPUs are not comptable with this board as of BIOS 623.

Exit Setup Shutdown determines how the board power cycles after a change to FSB (which in turn changes the selected strap), memory strap, or chipset strap. Mode1 causes a soft reset, Mode2 forces a hard reset (full power cycle). It may be best to set this to Mode 1 after you have finalized BIOS settings in order to prevent unecessary cycle wear on some components (HDDs, pumps, fans, etc.).

CPU Clock Ratio allows for multiplier selection (Core 2 Duo/Extreme/Quad) from 6x to the default for the installed CPU. For X6800 and QX6700/QX6800, greater than 11x (to 20x) is available if 'CPU Feature' -> 'Frequency Unlimit' is set to Enabled.

CPU Clock - set the Front Side Bus (FSB) in MHz. Note: Current CPU Speed is the product of CPU Clock Ratio and CPU Clock.

Boot Up Clock allows the user to set a lower CPU Clock (FSB) during the initial CPU POST only.

DRAM Speed selects the memory strap. Choices are Auto (800MHz), 533MHz (1:1), 667MHz (4:5) and 800MHz (2:3). Note: Current DRAM Speed shows the result of the current FSB and DRAM Speed selection. Example: For a CPU Clock of 400 and DRAM Speed of 667 -> 400 * (5/4) * 2 = DDR-1000

PCIE Clock allows the user to overclock the PCIe bus. Stock setting is 100MHz. Setting higher than ~120MHz will cause hard drives attached to the onboard SATA headers to fail to initialize. For extremely high FSB settings it may be best to limit this value to 100 - 105MHz.

Voltage Setting selects the associated submenu [Press ENTER]. (see below)

Auto Detect PCI Clk turns off PCI clock signaling to unpopulated (empty) PCI slots if Enabled.

Spread Spectrum often limits performance, particularly when overclocking. Leave this Disabled.

Thermal Management Control enables hardware-based thermal control for Core (2) Duo processors. Hardware-based thermal management is intended to handle abnormal thermal conditions and to protect the die from transient effects. When Enabled this setting should allow alternate lower-power C-state and P-state conditions (which are more than likely automatically disabled when overclocking anyway...)

Limit CPUID MaxVal should be enabled if running any Windows-based OS earlier than Windows 2000 SP4 where executing opcode CPUID with EAX = 4 can cause a BSOD or prevent the OS from properly loading. Set to Disabled otherwise. Note: Some programs may improperly use CPUID opcodes to return processor information that is then used to make loose assumptions on supported capabilities. Setting this value to enabled would then prevent these programs from gathering needed information which could result in runtime selection of non-optimized program software routines (ie. no SSE3, etc.).

PPM Function (Pulse Phase Modulation) acts to control CPU VCC power line noise by shifting resonant frequencies to alternate values. Unfortunately this can often adversely affect an overclock when dealing with higher bus speeds (FSB > 500MHz). Set to Disabled unless you have a good reason otherwise.

C1E Function should normally be Disabled when overclocking. Enabling this option when running stock CPU/FSB settings can significantly reduce system power, especially at idle.

Execute Disable Bit (NX bit) provides limited hardware-level virus/malicious software protection by allowing the CPU to mark resident memory data pages as read- and write-only (no execute), thereby preventing methods primarily used in buffer overflow exploits. Windows XP SP1 and later support this CPU feature. This functionality also allows for PAE (Physical Address Extention) support, which makes running >4GB of memory an option in Windows 2003 SP1 (32-bit) and later. Set this to Enabled unless you have a good reason otherwise.

Virtualization Support enables Virtualization Technology support (not available in E4000-series Core 2 Duo CPUs). Set this to Disabled unless you desire to use OS software that makes use of this ability.

Frequency Unlimit allows Extreme-series CPU owners to select multipliers above the default CPU speed (11x for X6800/QX6800, 10x for QX6700) on the previous Genie BIOS Setting page.

IMPORTANT: As of BIOS 424 (beta) and earlier, enabling this feature and then manually clearing the CMOS (moving the jumper/removing and replacing the battery) may result in a condition where the board then attempts to POST using a 15x multiplier at default (stock) Vcore. This has no affect on locked/limited CPUs as they can not be forced to a multiplier above their default setting. This can however cause a problem for Extreme-series CPU users if their CPU is incapable of POSTing at this speed and voltage combination. Workarounds: 1) Replace the CPU with a non-Extreme CPU, POST the system, load BIOS defaults, then install the original processor, or 2) Hold down [INSERT] while powering on the board for a cold condition until you hear a beep, then quickly tap [DELETE] to enter the BIOS and correct the multiplier setting.

DDR Configuration Mode - options available: Auto, Mode1, Mode2 and Mode3. Not much is know yet about this feature setting. Setting higher number modes appears to have a positive effect when attempting higher memory overclocks. Try setting Mode2 when above DDR-1000 and Mode3 when above DDR-1200.

GTL+ Driving Strength is mainly intended for quad-core clocking (more of a CPU than a DRAM option). If you have a quad-core installed, try selecting Mode2 when setting FSB > 450MHz; otherwise leave on Auto (Mode1). More information on this as it becomes available. See this article for more information on GTL+ reference voltage levels.

Enhanced Data transmitting / Enhanced Addressing, when set to Fast, give massive bandwidth (BW) gains. Auto (Normal) may be required when attempting extremely high memory speeds. It is best to adjust these settings as a pair as they will either work together at the same time, or not at all.

DQ Calibration adjusts the DDR2 SMVREF (System Memory Voltage Reference) analog voltage level, improving the memory signal integrity by setting the I/O driver resistance to adjust the voltage to equalize pull-up/pull-down resistances. The result minimizes DQ-DQS skew and improves voltage overshoot and undershoot control, often allowing for a higher memory clock. SMVREF for DDR2 is analogous to VTT for the CPU/MCH, essentially making DQ Calibration for memory the silent partner of GTL adjustments for the CPU and MCH. Auto is 4, values from 1 to 7 are available for selection (3 in each direction either above or below default - believed to be -10mV, -20mV, -30mV, "4"/Auto being unaltered, +10mV, +20mV, +30mV). Try one or two values above and below 4 when overclocking to see if it makes a difference. Remember, this is as fine tuning as it comes; any change in memory type, memory position/ordering or motherboard memory settings/timings will require you to revisit and re-evaluate this value. See this article for more information on GTL+ levels in general.

Channel 1 (2) CLK fine delay allows the user to introduce a manual signaling offset for all memory operations. When operating in dual channel mode each channel contains 1 DIMM (if running a pair of memory modules); differences in their distances from the CPU and MCH are accounted for in trace length, equivalent line capacitance, and termination resistance values but sometimes component selection tolerances create worst-case scenarios that can adversely effecting memory overclocking. Try adjusting one or both channels when attempting high memory overclocks (DDR-1000 or greater).

*** These timings assume you are using high performance DDR2 or at least an under-rated set of quality memory. This is intended to be a guide, and will not substitute for individual testing and validation. ***

CAS Latency Time (tCL), DRAM RAS# to CAS# Delay (tRCD), DRAM RAS# Precharge (tRP), and Precharge dealy (sic) (tRAS) make up the main timing set. If your memory is rated at 5-5-5-18 then you would set these values as such, right down the line, unless you want to lower the values for improved performance (recommended). Lower is better with the exception of tRAS which should, in theory, be set at a minimum of tRCD + tRP + 2.

All Precharge to Act - Lower is better, this setting can make a big difference in memory performance. Try 3 at DDR-1000 and below, loosen to 4 or 5 when going higher. As always, individual memory performance may vary. Setting this value too tight will most likely allow for successful POST but will freeze the system right before Windows begins to load.

REF to ACT Delay (tRFC) - Good Micron-based memory will run in the range of 18-22 at around DDR-1000 (loosen when increasing memory clocks), while other memory may require this to be as high as 42! Large changes in this setting can improve memory BW, small changes make little to no difference.

MCH ODT Latency is best left on Auto so that it can automatically scale with the FSB. Two (2) is near absolute maximum performance from this setting, 3 or 4 show little change but setting 5 or high causes rapid memory performance latency increases. Try increasing vMCH while adjusting this value.

Write to PRE Delay (tWR), Rank Write to Read (tWTR) should be set as tight at 8 (DDR-800 and below) to 11-12 (DDR-1000). It may be necessary to loosen these timings to as high as 16 while attempting extremely high memory clocking.

ACT to ACT Delay (tRRD) should be set to 2 for up to ~DDR-1000. Higher memory speeds may require loosening to 3 or 4.

Read to Write delay (tRDWR) is one of the few values that is preset (which implies that FSB variation has little to no effect on system stability). Recommend keeping this value at 8; memory speeds at or below DDR-800 may see a small latency improvent by lowering the value to 7. Try slightly higher values for extremely higher memory speeds as needed.

Ranks Write to Write (tWRWR), Ranks Read to Read (tRDRD), Ranks Write to Read (tWRRD) are also preset at finite values of 6, 6, 5. Tightening these below 5 will most likely only cause stability problems.

Read CAS# Precharge (tRTP), All PRE to Refresh should be set to 4 for maximum stability. Lower will provide little to no additional performance at the expense of stability.

CPU Voltage Setting allows the user to set CPU Vcore (VCC) voltage above the default VID. Given in millivolts (mv); 225mv is equivalent to 0.225v. Core 2 Duo CPUs are pretty resilient, but I would do my best to keep this value to a maximum of ~1.65v. Read more about Vcore and Vdroop here.

DRAM Voltage Setting - as always, I recommend you do not exceed your memory manufacture's specified warrantied voltage level, unless you want to nullify said warranty. More voltage will generally allow for increased memory speeds or tighter timings (including some sub-timings) at rated speeds, or a combination of the two.

VTT Voltage Setting allows CPU VTT (Front Side Bus Termination Voltage) voltage adjustment. See this article for more information on this subject as well as GTL+ levels.

NB 1.25V Setting controls core voltage delivered to the Northbridge (vMCH). Much like a CPU, some MCHs perform at high FSB with less voltage than others. If you find that your board requires excessive vMCH for relatively low FSB speeds you might try adjust "DQ Calibration" to see if this allows you to lower this value at all.

SB 1.5V Setting does not usually need to be changed. Additionally, selecting a higher voltage here allows you to chose higher 'VTT Votage Settings' which will probably be unnecessary.

SB 1.05V Voltage Setting allows setting the Southbridge secondary voltage. Leave this at 1.05V unless you find that your Southbridge absolutely needs more voltage (unlikely).
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freecableguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 7th, 2007, 08:00 AM   #10
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Question: My board always cycles off and back on right after I try to cold boot, is something wrong?

Answer: Contrary to what you may believe, no! You're board is performing as expected. This feature is somewhat by design, more of a result of Intel chipset performance. At initial cold boot, BIOS initially programs the board for default settings, to include memory strap, Northbridge (MCH) strap, and any other strap-associated timings (Example: MCH-ODT Delay when set to Auto). After POSTing the BIOS then programs any changes to these settings, as well as overclock values. Since straps can only be latched once without cycling the board, there must be a hard power-cycle in order to program new values. Next POST is then at the overclocked settings and straps. These same settings retain their values at soft-reset, which is why this functionality is seen only during a cold boot.
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