How to build a computer
MY SUPER PC
How To Build A PC - A Computer Building Guide
Rob Williams - contact via the forums
Last Updated: 10/22/2014
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BIOS Settings

The table below shows the BIOS settings and values that I am using on the Gigabyte P55A-UD4P motherboard. Italics indicate settings and values that are not updateable, although they might be under different BIOS settings.

MIB Intelligent Tweaker (M.I.T.)

The settings in this menu are for overclockers and other advanced users, allowing clocks, frequencies and voltages to be adjusted and tweaked. It is not necessary to modify them at all. In many cases, adjusting a setting within this menu can cause the computer to be unstable or fail to boot. It's handy they have been grouped like this so they can be more easily ignored.

Standard CMOS Features

Date
Time
The date and time, with the time expressed in military hours.

IDE Channel 2 Master WDC WD1001FALS-007B
Shows the device connected to the SATA 1 connector on the motherboard. The Western Digital 1000GB SATA hard drive is on SATA 1. Press Enter on the device entry to bring up the sub-menu for the device.

Extended IDE Drive Auto
Access Mode Auto
Set to Auto to allow the BIOS to automatically detect the SATA drive. If a drive is detected then the physical characteristics of the drive are filled in.

Capacity, Cylinder, Head, Precomp, Landing Zone, Sector
Shows the physical characteristics of the Western Digital 1000GB SATA hard drive.

IDE Channel 1 Master Optiarc DVD RW AD-72
Shows the device connected to the SATA 2 connector on the motherboard. The Sony Optiarc dual format DVD RW optical drive is on SATA 2. Press Enter on the device entry to bring up the sub-menu for the device.

PIO Mode Auto
UDMA Mode Auto
When the interface has a drive then set the value to Auto and let the BIOS determine if each drive is capable of DMA support, and its respective PIO mode.

Primary IDE Master/Slave Auto
Access Mode Auto
Set to Auto to allow the BIOS to automatically detect devices on the IDE. If a device is detected then the physical characteristics of the drive are filled in.

Capacity, Cylinder, Head, Precomp, Sector, Transfer Mode
Shows the physical characteristics of the Sony DVD RW drive, but don't be concerned if most values simply show as zero.

Drive A None
Use a value of 1.44M, 3.5" if you have a floppy drive installed.

Halt On All, But Keyboard
Halt on all errors except Keyboard Absent error. This enables the computer to boot without the keyboard plugged in.

Base Memory 640K
Standard.

Extended Memory 8187MB
The BIOS reserves 5MB.

Installed Memory 8192MB
A total of 8GB of system memory is installed in My Super PC.


Advanced BIOS Features

Hard Disk Boot Priority
Specifies in what order the computer try hard drive type devices in order to boot. Many computers, like My Super PC, typically have just the one hard drive actively available.

Quick Boot Enabled
Skip Power On Self-Tests (POST) for faster boot.

First Boot Device
Second Boot Device
Third Boot Device
Specifies in what order the computer try devices in order to boot. Normally I have the first boot device set to the Hard Disk and the others don't matter, they may be set to Disabled or also set to Hard Disk. At times it's necessary to boot from a CD or DVD, so in that case the first boot device gets set to CDROM.

Password Check Setup
Values are Setup and System.

HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability Disabled
It's no use having it set to Enabled unless you're also running software that monitors the S.M.A.R.T. status, and who does? Setting to Disabled will give best performance.

Limit CPUID Max. to 3 Disabled
Should be set to Disabled for modern operating systems, including Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

No-Execute Memory Protect Enabled
Provides protection by controlling whether or not the processor is allowed to execute instructions that reside in data areas. Should always be set to Enabled to activate the protection.

Delay For HDD (Secs) 0
Certain hard disk drives require some extra time to spin up in a cold boot. If the system does not start after the memory test, try adding time in this field.

Full Screen LOGO Show Disabled
Splash screen.

Backup BIOS Image to HDD Disabled
Allows a backup copy of the BIOS to be made to the hard drive.

Init Display First PEG
Usually this is set to PEG to indicate the video card in the PCI Express x16 slot is being used for the monitor. Other values are PEG2 if the PCI Express x8 slot contains the video card, or PCI for a video card in a PCI slot.


Integrated Peripherals

eXtreme Hard Drive Disabled
A form of RAID.

PCH SATA Control Mode AHCI
Other values are IDE and RAID. A value of IDE operates the SATA hard drive using IDE legacy mode, which is fine and less troublesome under Windows XP. Under an operating system that supports SATA without installing additional drivers, such as Windows Vista and Windows 7, a setting of AHCI allows the full capabilities of the SATA hard drive to be used, such as Native Command Queuing (NCQ) and hot-plugging. However, don't expect a noticeable performance difference. The RAID setting is for hard drives configured in a RAID configuration.

SATA Port0-3 Native Mode Enabled
With the Disabled setting, the SATA devices operate like legacy IDE devices, which is fine and even best under Windows XP. Operating systems with native SATA support, such as Windows Vista and Windows 7, are fine to use a setting of Enabled.

USB Controllers Enabled
Enables the integrated USB capabilities.

USB Legacy Function Enabled
Allows USB devices, such as a USB keyboard, to work in non-USB environments, such as MS-DOS.

USB Storage Function Enabled
Indicates whether or not USB storage devices such as thumb drives should be detected on boot.

Turbo SATA3 / USB 3.0 Disabled
If using SATA3 or USB 3.0 devices then set appropriately to Auto, Turbo SATA3 or Turbo USB3.0. Doing so reduces the maximum possible bandwidth to the video card, but practically speaking there will be no decrease in video card performance.

Azalia Codec Auto
This is for the on-board audio. Values are Disabled and Auto. Use a value of Auto if you're using the sound capabilities built into the motherboard. Use Disabled if you're using an add-on sound card.

Onboard H/W 1394 Enabled
Enables the built-in support for FireWire (IEEE 1394).

Onboard H/W LAN1 Enabled
Onboard H/W LAN2 Enabled
Enables the built-in LAN support to connect to the Internet.

Green LAN Disabled
When the Enabled setting is used, the LAN connections are automatically disabled when there is no cable connected.

SMART LAN1
SMART LAN2
Press enter on this setting to perform a diagnostic on the connection.

Onboard LAN1 Boot ROM Disabled
Onboard LAN2 Boot ROM Disabled
When set to Enabled, the computer can boot without a hard drive by loading the operating system over the network.

Onboard USB 3.0 Controller Enabled
Applies to the USB 3.0 capability.

Onboard IDE Controller Enabled
Applies to the IDE connector.

Onboard eSATA Controller Enabled
Applies to the six 3 Gb/s SATA connectors.

eSATA Ctrl Mode AHCI
Other values are IDE and RAID. A value of IDE operates the SATA hard drive using IDE legacy mode, which is fine and less troublesome under Windows XP. Under an operating system that supports SATA without installing additional drivers, such as Windows Vista and Windows 7, a setting of AHCI allows the full capabilities of the SATA hard drive to be used, such as Native Command Queuing (NCQ) and hot-plugging. However, don't expect a noticeable performance difference. The RAID setting is for hard drives configured in a RAID configuration.

GSATA Controller Enabled
Applies to the two 6 Gb/s SATA connectors.

GSATA Ctrl Mode AHCI
The other value is IDE. Ditto the comments for the eSATA Ctrl Mode setting.

GSATA RAID Configuration
For RAID support.

Onboard Serial Port 1 3F8/IRQ4
Standard.

Onboard Parallel Port 378/IRQ7
Standard.

Parallel Port Mode SPP
Set this to SPP unless you have a device or printer that specifically requires use of ECP/EPP modes such as a parallel port scanner, zip drive, etc.


Power Management Setup

ACPI Suspend Type S1(POS)
This setting controls how the PC goes into power saving mode (standby mode). S1(POS) is the safest setting. Other settings, such as S3(STR) and S1&S3 will save substantially more power, but may not work with older hardware and operating systems. If you don't let your PC go into standby mode that often then you may just want to stick with the safe setting. But if you do then another setting is worth a try.

Soft-Off by PWR-BTTN Instant-Off
It is standard operation for a computer that if you hold the power button on the computer down for more than 4 seconds it will power off. This setting controls what the computer should do if the power button is held down for less than 4 seconds. The other option is Suspend.

PME Event Wake UP Disabled
I've seen this setting called "Power Up On PCI/PCIE Devices" on other motherboards. Can be used to allow the computer to wake up via add-on cards or the built-in LAN support.

Power Up On Ring Disabled
I've seen this setting called "Power On By External Modems" on other motherboards. Can be used to allow the computer to wake up via the modem.

Resume by Alarm Disabled
Date (of Month) Alarm 0
Alarm Time (hh:mm:ss) 0 : 0 : 0
I've seen this setting called "Power On By RTC Alarm" on other motherboards. Wake up due to a real time clock event, specified by date and time.

HPET Support Enabled
For best performance. Microsoft describes this setting, the High Precision Event Timer, here.

HPET Mode 32-bit mode
The other possible value is 64-bit mode. Use the 32-bit mode value unless you're using 64-bit Windows Vista.

Power On By Mouse Disabled
Power On By Keyboard Disabled
KB Power ON Password
I don't use the keyboard to power on the PC.

AC Back Function Soft-Off
I've seen this setting called "Restore on AC Power Loss" on other motherboards. I don't want the computer re-booting on its own when I'm not there after power has been restored from a power loss.

EuP Support Disabled
A power saving function.


PC Health Status

Reset Case Open Status Disabled
I'm not concerned about case intrusions.

CPU Warning Temperature Disabled
Can be used to set a temperature at which the BIOS will beep if exceeded by the CPU.

CPU FAN Fail Warning Disabled
SYSTEM FAN2 Fail Warning Disabled
POWER FAN Fail Warning Disabled
SYSTEM FAN1 Fail Warning Disabled
When enabled, the BIOS will emit a beep if the fan is not detected or is not spinning.

CPU Smart FAN Control Enabled
A value of Enabled allows the CPU fan speed to vary depending on the temperature of the CPU. A value of Disabled means the fan always spins at full speed.

CPU Smart FAN Mode Auto
A value of Auto allows the BIOS to automatically detect how the CPU fan is connected.


Next: Build A Computer Like My Super PC - RAM



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  Introduction/Cost To Build A Computer
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  Case And Power Supply
  Processor
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  BIOS Settings
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  SSD - Solid State Drive
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  faq: Can I Use My Old Hard Drive With A New Computer?
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  Change The Front Panel On The DVD RW
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  Windows Operating System
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  CPU Cooler And Case Fans
  Overclocking
  How Fast Is It?
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  What Problems Were There?
  More About How To Get A Cheap Computer With Top Quality And High Performance
  Changes For A Game Computer And Enjoying Computer Games
  Changes For A Computer With MP3 Music As A Priority
  Media Center PC
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  faq: How Can I Tell What I Already Have In My Computer?

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