Test Setup and BIOS Options
How we configured our test systems: Before testing, we visited each motherboard's product page to download the latest BIOS available. Then we flashed the BIOS to the latest revision and moved to the next step. When
configuring our test systems for this article, we set each board to its optimized defaults. After saving the settings, we re-entered the BIOS
and set the memory for DDR3-1600 with CAS 9 timings. The hard drive
was formatted, and Windows 7 Pro 64bit installed. Once
Win 7 installation completed, we updated the OS and installed the
drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows
Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking
software, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.
HotHardware's Test System Intel Inside
EVGA P55 SLI
EVGA P55 SLI
EVGA Classified P55 200
First up is the American Megatrends BIOS found on the Asus P7P55D Deluxe. We updated the board with version 1207, which came out December of 2009. It features several menu options found along the top edge of the screen, with modifiable settings logically displayed within each tab. Frequency and voltage changes can be done under the AI Tweaker menu as it provides a wealth of options for overclocking. This BIOS also allows users to store up to eight profiles.
EVGA P55 SLI BIOS
EVGA also uses an American Megatrends BIOS for their line of motherboards. We used BIOS version A39 which came out in October of last year. The P55 SLI offers a ton of overclocking options under the Frequency/Voltage Control menu and allows you to save up to four different configuration profiles.
EVGA Classified P55 200 BIOS
American Megatrends BIOS is also found on the Classified 200 motherboard. Version A39 was used for testing.
Gigabyte P55-UD4P BIOS
Gigabyte has made use of Award BIOS for quite some time and we've grown accustomed to the layout and menu options. Overclocking settings are found in the MB Intelligent Tweaker (MIT) menu. Within this area, there are sub-menus containing advanced settings and wealth of options for those who are practiced in the dark arts.
Gigabyte P55M-UD4 BIOS
The Gigabyte P55M-UD4 uses the same Award BIOS described above. For testing, we updated the board with BIOS version F6 which was released December 2009.
Gigabyte P55A-UD6 BIOS
The BIOS found on the Gigabyte P55A-UD6 also comes from Award Software, with similar options.
Intel DP55WG BIOS
Intel designs the BIOS for its motherboard line, so its unique and may take a little time to get used to. But like their boards, the BIOS is simple and intuitively laid out. For systems tweaks, we headed over to the Performance tab which enabled us to modify frequencies and voltages.
MSI P55-G65 BIOS
Like Asus and EVGA, another company utilizes American Megatrends for their BIOS. We updated the board with BIOS verson 1.6, which was released late in December 2009. Navigating within the menus was easy enough and categories were logically divided. Overclockers will head directly for the Cell Menu, where a wide range of system settings are available for modification. Users are able to save up to six overclocking profiles for later use.