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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.30.04]
Manufactured by: Abit, DFI, Foxconn, Gigabyte


Gigabyte CMOS

It should be noted that in order to reach all of the available settings in the Gigabyte CMOS, you are required to hit CTRL+F1 every time you enter. This is a P.I.T.A., and it shouldn't be on what is supposed to be a high end board that no n00b will touch.

All of Gigabyte's overclocking, memory, and voltage settings can be found on one page:

Gigabyte gets points for allowing the most memory tweaks of all the boards we have here today! Unfortunately they don't yet have a PCI-E clock lock, although it's likely that it will be added in a future BIOS update (this is an early board sample, after all).

I don't know what that "PCI-E OverVoltage" refers to, but I assume it's simply the Northbridge voltage setting.

CIA2 makes another appearance, although it doesn't seem to do a lot for performance for me. I'm sure you can play around with it to get the absolute most out of your system though.

Gigabyte offers warnings for the CPU temperature, and up to three system fans. There is also an intelligent fan control, which I guess overridesĀ the control that is integrated into the chipset itself (or in case you only have a 3 pin CPU fan, like in our example above).

CMOS Conclusions

After looking at the CMOS for each board, it's obvious that Abit is the clear winner. Thanks to the "uGuru" chip, they offer full control of basically every fan in the system, and warnings for every possible component in your PC.

The rest seem to fade way back, although I like DFI's profile system (Abit also has a profile system, but it didn't seem to work very well for me). Gigabyte is probably in second place overall though, thanks to the good fan monitoring capabilities and extra memory tweaks.

Motherboard Software

It used to be that the only software a motherboard came with was a virus scanner and maybe a Windows based BIOS update utility. Things are definitely changing though, as more and more software is being developed by each manufacturer. Let's have a look at the software for each board!

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