Setting up and configuring the BIOS is easy although it is not necessarily intuitive.
We picked English.
After you pick your language you have a choice of setting everything to default, entering the Boot or Advanced menus.
Here is the Advanced Menu and we have highlighted the SATA configuration.
Of course, we picked ACHI mode.There aren’t a lot of options for the Chipset.
M.I.B.X is where the end user will do most of the overclocking. We changed the CPU ratio from Auto (35) to 42 for 4.2GHz and to 48 for 4.8GHz.
We had to add .13V to stabilize our overclock at 4.8GHz with 4GB (2x2GB) of system RAM. Using 8GB and twice the DIMMs (4x2GB), we had to add even more voltage to stabilize our overclock at 4.8GHz.Notice what happens when we disable Turbo Boost. All of our options for overclocking disappear and when we boot up, we will be stuck at 3.5GHz without any Turbo at all.There are three major settings for memory configuration, Automatic, and two XMP profiles.
Automatic is the lowest memory settings, or 1200MHz, but there are many options if you choose Manual.
With manual mode, you have quite a bit of control over the memory timings.
XMP Profile 1 corresponds to 1867MHz; Profile 2 is 1600MHz.
CPU-Z confirms that Profile 1 is accurate.
It’s time to exit and save.
Finally we have the exit screen with save and exit. Pressing “F4″ is the same as ‘Save and Exit’ while pressing “F3″ resets to default. And we have pressed both buttons by mistake because of their close proximity to each other.
The BIOS is a significant improvement over older ECS motherboards, but it ultimately fell a bit short when it came to some important options and we will continue to quest for 5.0GHz with our Core i7-3770K. We also found the voltage measurements were sometimes not accurate compared to the reporting and did not necessarily correspond to what the BIOS reported. The end user should monitor actual voltage if possible.
We were able to match the 4.8GHz overclock of our Gigabyte Z77 mTX board, but no higher – not even though there appeared to be no thermal reason for for being limited.
eBILs and automatic driver updates
We have never been happy with this feature as it rarely has worked for us. You are supposed to be able to automatically update your BIOS securely and safetly over the Internet. It promises much.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver although you always have a less convenient option to make a bootable flash drive to flash your BIOS.
As to the driver updates, if you click on it, you get taken to ECS’ web site where you can manually download the drivers. We would hope that they improve this section of their site and support to make it more automatic. Let’s look next at overclocking Ivy on the ECS Golden Series motherboard.