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Lesson 03 - BIOS Settings and Overclocking to 3.2GHz

BIOS Information Screen

I've just powered on the computer and before we enter the BIOS I need to point something out.  This is what is generally called a BIOS information screen.  The information goes by very quickly so I've pressed the Pause-Break key to pause it.  Pressing any other key will un-pause it.  It shows the CPU model, its actual speed in MHz, the speed of the memory and lots of other information that is useful when overclocking.  Most motherboard makers cover this information screen up with a logo screen.  There is a key to press, typically Tab, to hide the logo screen and show this information screen, but you have to hit Tab every time you want to look and a lot of the time the information you need is gone before the Tab command takes effect.  The first thing we're going to do in the BIOS is make sure that the logo screen is turned off.  I'll press any key to continue and on this computer I need to press F2 to enter the BIOS setup.  On some computers it's the Delete key to enter the BIOS setup. 

BIOS Layout

This is the BIOS main menu. It has several menu choices at the top that take you to different sections of the BIOS.  Here's another common main menu layout with its sections laid out on one common page.  Just about every motherboard maker uses one of these two layouts.  These videos are concentrating on overclocking so we're not going to get into most of these options.  The Home PC Builder videos have a video that covers the BIOS in general and it's Lesson 1 of the Computer Setup Lessons.

The logo screen setting in this BIOS is under Boot and Boot Settings Configuration.  It's called Full Screen Logo and it is Disabled so it won't come up.  On other BIOSs it can be found under Advanced BIOS Features, called Full Screen Logo Show.  The default is Enabled.  You can select it and disable it.

I'll hit Esc a few times to get back to the Main Menu.  In this BIOS the majority of settings that have to do with overclocking are in the AI Tweaker section.  Most BIOSs have a section like this.  Gigabyte calls theirs MB Intelligent Tweaker or M.I.T. You can find EVGA's version under Frequency/Voltage Control and MSI calls theirs Cell.  If your motherboard doesn't have a section like this or you can't find the options you see here in your BIOS then you won't be able to overclock the CPU.  This is fairly rare these days, but just to be on the safe side, before you buy a motherboard go to the maker's website, download the motherboard manual and look for these settings.

Disabling Power Saving Features and Turbo Mode

Next, we're going to find and disable the CPU's Turbo mode and power saving features so we have control over the speed of the CPU.  In this BIOS the Turbo and Speedstep settings are in the AI Tweaker, but most are in a different section.  We'll go there to disable them all.   They are in Advanced and CPU Configuration.  The power saving features include Turbo mode, C1E Support, C-State Tech and SpeedStep. These are dependent on each other so if you disable one a few others may disappear as well. It's the same as disabling them.  On a Gigabyte motherboard these settings are in the MIT and Advanced CPU Core Features. You need to disable Turbo mode, CPU Enhanced Halt, C State Support and CPU EIST Function.  On a EVGA motherboard these settings are in the Frequency Voltage Control and CPU Feature.  You need to disable Speedstep, Turbo mode and CxE Function. On an MSI motherboard the settings are in the Cell menu, CPU Specifications and CPU Technology.  You need to disable Intel Turbo Boost tech, Intel EIST and Intel C-State tech.

Frequency and Multiplier Settings

I'll hit Esc and switch to the AI Tweaker and Speedstep shows as disabled, turbo mode has disappeared meaning it is disabled. So let's move on to the overclocking related settings. Here we have the CPU Ratio Setting.  This is the multiplier which the stock setting on our CPU is 20.  In this BIOS I have to key in the setting directly which I will go ahead and do.  I don't see the base clock here.  In order for it to show up as an option to change I have to change the AI Overclock Tuner setting from Auto to Manual.  I can do this by pressing enter and selecting it or by press the minus key to scroll through the options. The Base clock is at its default of 133Mhz. If we multiply the base clock by the CPU ratio 133 x 20 we get 2660 or 2.66GHz which is the current speed of the CPU. To overclock the CPU we will increase the MHz of the base clock, but I will leave it at its stock setting for now.  To watch all of our complete video lessons with full written instructions you will need to purchase a login for the site. Buy Now.. 

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