Complete BIOS Tuning Guide - "CPU Configuration"

CPU Configuration

CPU Internal Thermal Control - [Auto, Disabled] Always leave this on Auto as disabling internal thermal control can have unknown affects on system operation. According to sources at Intel, thermal control is required to be active if the CPU is expected to correctly function within specifications.

Limit CPUID MaxVal - [Enabled, Disabled] Some legacy operating systems (i.e. Windows NT SP2 and older) are unable to properly deal with the CPUID x86 opcode when called using operands greater than 3. The problem is that the boot code for these older system was written to query the CPU for the highest supported value and then to call a routine using this value. Unfortunately, the programmers did not have the foresight to account for future processors with higher values and the OS crashes with a BSOD due to the unhandled exception in a routine running with kernel mode privileges.

The result is a general incompatibility between these newer CPUs (with a maximum supported CPUID value of 4) and these older operating systems. Set this to Enabled if you experience just such a problem, otherwise leave this Disabled. Beware that improperly enabling this setting with Windows 2000, XP, or any flavor of Vista can cause serious performance problems.

Enhanced C1 (C1E) - [Enabled, Disabled] C1E functions to reduce the CPU multiplier to 6.0x when idling or running in load-load conditions. This can sometimes provide a small degree of power savings, especially if the system is highly overclocked to begin with. Most users find the constant switching between the idle and load frequencies annoying, besides which a small performance penalty is experienced during each transition. We usually disable this setting and recommend you do the same if you are building your system for gaming purposes.

Execute Disable Bit - [Enabled, Disabled] The Execute Disable (NX) Bit is typically used as a form of hardware protection against the execution of malicious code. This bit is part of the page table descriptor used to mark the memory page table as executable or not. This way programs that purposefully cause buffer overflows that end up spilling into the memory address space of other processes cannot execute injected data unless the page is specifically marked as containing executable code. Enabling this feature will force Physical Address Extension (PAE) Mode when running a 32-bit Windows OS regardless of the amount of system memory installed. This is because the NX bit resides at bit 63 of the page table entry and page table entries are only 32 bits in length with PAE disabled. 64-bit operating systems always run in PAE Mode. Enabling this feature has never negatively affected our ability to overclock.

Virtualization Technology - [Enabled, Disabled] This setting controls whether or not the BIOS masks requests sent to the CPU in determining whether or not Virtualization Technology (VT) is supported. Disabling this setting ensures the system cannot run any code pertaining to system virtualization. We usually leave this Disabled unless we have a good reason to enable it.

Enhanced Intel SpeedStep(tm) Tech. - [Enabled, Disabled] Although some BIOS releases may allows this features to be alternately Disabled or Enabled, it has no affect unless the installed CPU is capable of conducting power state transitions and no desktop chipset contains this feature set (yet). This option should be grayed out unless you have some special CPU have not encountered.

CPU Core 2/3/4 - [Enabled, Disabled] This setting merely controls a mask used by the BIOS in determining which cores are advertised as available for use by the host systems. Disabling cores can sometimes allow a quad-core CPU to function more like a dual-core CPU when it comes to FSB clocking. Numbering the cores from 1 is a mistake in our opinion; this option should really read "CPU Core 1/2/3".

Complete BIOS Tuning Guide - "Over Voltage" (Cont'd) Complete BIOS Tuning Guide - "Spread Spectrum Control"
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  • takumsawsherman - Saturday, April 12, 2008 - link

    But for $400, you only get Firewire 400. Is that like a key, or something? If we pay $800 for a board, will they finally feel as though they can afford to add Firewire800, as Gigabyte did on their $200 boards like 3 or 4 years ago?

    When they talk about adding firewire itself to a board, does it never occur to them that a faster variation has existed for 5 or 6 years now? How insulting.
  • Grandpa - Saturday, April 12, 2008 - link

    It doesn't matter what the price, performance, make, or model. If the board is unstable I don't want it! I had an Abit board once with a VIA chipset. It corrupted data when large files were transferred between drives. Several BIOS updates later, with the performance down to a crawl, it still corrupted data. Because of that ugly bad memory, stability is number one important for me. So this review is very relevant to others like myself.
  • Super Nade - Friday, April 11, 2008 - link

    As far as I know, the capacitors you mention are made by Fujitsu's Media division (FP-Cap series), not Fairchild semiconductor. Fujitsu did try to gobble up Fairchild in the 80's, but the US government killed the deal. Apart from this, I am not aware of any connection between these two companies.

    Here is the link-->">

  • Stele - Saturday, April 12, 2008 - link

    Super Nade's right. The vendor marking on the capacitors - which have been the same for almost all such solid electrolytic polymer caps used on Asus boards for some time now - is very much that of Fujitsu: a letter 'F' in Courier-esque font between two horizontal lines.

    Interestingly - and confusingly - however, once upon a time this logo was indeed that of Fairchild Semiconductor... the deal that almost happened in the 80s may have something to do with Fujitsu's current use of the said logo. Either way, Faichild Semi have long since changed to their current logo (a stylised italic 'f') so today, any current/new electronic/semiconductor component carrying the F-between-bars logo is almost certainly a Fujitsu product.
  • jojo29 - Friday, April 11, 2008 - link

    Just wondering how the Anandtech's Choice P5E3 Premium ( which i plan on buying) stacks up against this Striker? Any comments? Or did i miss something in the aricle as i was only able to skim through it, as im at work atm, and dontcoughwantcoughtogetcaughtbymybosscough...
  • kjboughton - Friday, April 11, 2008 - link

    We used one X48 motherboard in this review and it was the ASUS P5E3 Premium. Enjoy the full read when you make it home. ;)
  • ImmortalZ - Friday, April 11, 2008 - link

    You mention that overclocking the PCI-E bus provided tangible performance benefits on the EVGA board.

    Did you read about the rumblings around the net about some G92 based cards overclocking their GPU with the PCI-E bus? There are supposedly two clock sources for these type of cards - one on board and the other slaved to the PCI-E bus.

    Are you sure that the performance improvement is not because of this anomaly?
  • CrystalBay - Friday, April 11, 2008 - link

    Hi Kris, while UT3 does scale very well with multi-core. The game it self has no DX10 support as of yet. Hopefully EPIC will will enable it in a future update...
  • Glenn - Friday, April 11, 2008 - link

    All the benchies and comparisons are great, but how does it compare to a P35 board? A 965 or X38 board? I doubt you will convert those that already own an X48 and I (P35) have no point of reference within this article to see if I'm 5, 10 or 25% behind the preformance curve?
  • Rolphus - Friday, April 11, 2008 - link

    Interesting review... only one question though. Why use the 32-bit version of Crysis on Vista x64? Is there an issue with the 64-bit version that I don't know about?

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