One of the great features of GA-x79-UD3 is the 3D BIOS. Not many consumers know what is a 3D BIOS so I think we owe an explanation. 3D BIOS is a graphical interface for managing your BIOS of GA-x79-UD3. So in short, you no longer need to use that ugly blue and black screen to tweak something. This particular utility ran from the actual BIOS and offers all same tweaking and overclocking features as a traditional BIOS. Once the changes has been applied the 3D dual UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) gets synchronized with BIOS and changes are saved. This technology is relatively new and so Gigabyte calls it a 3D BIOS. I am not sure what is the correlation between 3D and UEFI here but it does exactly what it supposed to.
There are way too many options to go over in the 3D BIOS so I thought it would be better to give you a general understanding on what you can expect from 3D BIOS. As you can clearly see 3D BIOS offers all same features as traditional BIOS would offer. The first tab in 3D BIOS is dedicated towards M.I.T (Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker) Here a lot could be adjusted and tweaked to get best optimal performance with GA-x79-UD3.
Second tab is dedicated towards System Information. Here is where you can find all the information about the system and its up state. We are using out i7-3960X CPU and you can see all the stats along with the motherboard and BIOS version information. BIOS Features tab is allows users to tweak BIOS settings like boot options and PCI ROM priority. One of the features offered in 3D BIOS is Intel Virtualization Technology. This option is important if you are planning to use this system as virtual machine host.
In Peripherals tab we found a lot of switches for some of the on board features. What is worth to mention here is the Marvell ATA Controller Configuration. This controller could be used to set up RAID function in your new build system. Again if you are not sure what RAID is or how to set it up, please address your questions to the handy user guide. Power management section in 3D BIOS is easy to understand and easy to configure as well. Please pay attention to what you are doing:)
Save & Exit
CPU Clock Ratio and Memory Timing
After editing your settings in 3D BIOS you would need to save them, and there is no better place to do that but Save and Exit screen. Also here you can specify the boot priority of your system. Just as an example I took a shot of CPU Clock Ratio and Memory Timing screens to show you what you should expect from 3D BIOS. As you can see from the images above the 3D BIOS is very detailed and at the same time easy to use.
Overclocking / Expectations
GIGABYTE GA-X79-UD3 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
SAPPHIRE 11201-02-20G Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card OC Edition
OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
Cooler Master 1200 Watts Modular Power Supply
Overclocking on GA-x79-UD3 is relatively easy. This particular model has couple of ways you can use to overclock your system. Let face it, if you are buying a x79 motherboard you should expect your components to be overclockable and give you 110% of their true powers. There are two ways you can OC GA-x79-UD3, trough 3d BIOS or from the OS by using Easy Tune 6. Both of the methods are good for overclocking but if you are a beginner, I would definitely recommend to use Easy Tune 6 program which is provided by Gigabyte as there is no automatic overclocking options in 3d BIOS.
Using Easy Tune 6 is very easy however, it does have section for manual setting. Looking at Easy Tune 6 we found 3 automatic overclocking settings, 4.1GHz, 4.3 GHz and 4.5 GHz. These setting has been preset so there is no need to worry about the voltages on CPU or ram or both. However, if you are looking for more advanced customizations of the multiplier and voltages, Easy Tune 6 has a section for that as well. When you click one of these "turbo" modes, the system asks you to restart as changes are applied to the BIOS and that's pretty much it. I have tried to use manual settings from Easy Tune 6 and had very little luck. The way I approach overclocking is by using automatic overclock mode first to make sure my hardware performs well and being stable, only then I go back and manually change multiplier settings and voltages.
With automatic overclocking our Multiplier was at x45 and max peak load voltage was set to 1.392V. To get general idea on how stable the system would be I ran Prime 95 and just let it cruise for 20 minute to properly burn in CPU and see some solid numbers. Temperature of CPU has reached 77C but stabilized at 70 after few minutes (using Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus). Going higher on multiplier would BSOD my system and well, I would had to start over again and see what I can do once again. Going to 3d BIOS and raising max voltage to 1.4V did the trick at x46 multiplier, however when windows loaded, the system became unresponsive and I had to revert back to x45 multiplier with 1.392V. So if you are looking for a stable settings x45 with 1.392V is probably a best way to go. Playing around with memory timing and voltages I had little luck as well (GSkill DD3-1600 9-9-9-24). This ram is rated for 1.5V and giving it just a little more .5V would cause system instability. I am not sure what the problem was here but returning back to 1.5V fixed all problems.
My advice for advanced users would be to use 3d BIOS and tweak your system from there if you do not want to give an automatic overclocking by Easy Tune 6.
Content in this article is used to educate and create discussions on the subject. All images and data used in this article are subject to copyright to its rightful owners. Full credit/reference goes to creators of the content and information with in.This article contains information, intended for general public viewing. Any use, distribution, copying or disclosure by another entity of this article if strictly prohibited unless gained of an approval of proper owners of the content. For full acknowledgement of these rules please refer to legal disclaimer.