Intel D875PBZ - Page 7

..:: D875PBZ “Bonanza” BIOS & Overclocking ::..

Heading into this review, I was wondering whether or not Intel would allow the limited overclocking and memory tweaking options that we saw with the D845PEBT2. Given that the D875PBZ is going to be at the helm of the Intel line for performance motherboards, this is one item of major interest. Given the well known stability of Intel motherboards, many users may sway towards an Intel motherboard, and if a high performance motherboard offered some tweaking and overclocking, it would make it even more attractive to many users. The BIOS that comes with the D875PBZ is that of an OEM system in layout much like what we saw with the D845PEBT2, exactly the same in fact. The main window houses the information about the system such as RAM, FSB, CPU speeds, Hyper-Threading support, and other miscellaneous information such as this.

The first of two menus of great importance to us would be the Advanced menu. This is the main menu that we’ll be working with as it is home to the limited overclocking options, tweaking settings for memory timings, and other items such as these. When we enter this window, we’ll see a nice listing of submenus such as peripheral configuration, boot configuration, chipset configuration, hardware monitoring, and fan control. We’ll primarily be interested in working with the submenus that I have listed above for today’s review.

The peripheral configuration submenu is where you’ll want to head in order to enable or disable the serial port, parallel port, and the onboard LAN. If for some reason you would need to enable or disable any of these items built into the motherboard, this is where you would need to go to do so. The hardware monitoring menu should be self explanatory. Here you can monitor your system temperatures, fan readings, and voltages to make sure they are within proper specifications for your system. The fan control menu is home to the system’s own fan RPM controlling system. Here you can choose to enable or disable the option to have your fans either slow down when the system is at low temperatures, or for the fans to remain completely off if temperatures are low enough. This is surely a welcome item for those of us who hate the noise several cooling fans can bring.

The main window that performance users will be interested in is that of the chipset configuration submenu. Here we come across some interesting options, the first of which can be found at the bottom of the menu that control the various main memory timings. As you can see we have control over the CAS Latency, RAS Act. to Precharge, RAS to CAS Delay, and the RAS Precharge. The settings viewed in the image above are the automatic settings for our test RAM. There is an option to set the memory timings to aggressive if you don’t know what you’re doing when manually configuring the memory timings. The other main item of interest would be the Burn-In mode submenu. This is my favorite portion of the D875PBZ’s BIOS and it allows for both minor overclocking and even underclocking. This will allow for up to a 4% gain in processor speed, and a 2% drop in speed.

Overall the BIOS that comes with the D875PBZ was what I had expected to see, especially from our previous experiences with the D845PEBT2. When we first reviewed the D845PEBT2 not too long ago, we were extremely pleased to see Intel taking a slightly more lenient stance towards the performance users with some of these new BIOS options. Granted, they are nothing near what you can adjust on some of today’s top motherboards, but it is nice to see Intel catering to the performance user who is looking for the well known stability of Intel brand motherboards. Now that we’ve seen the board, the features, and the BIOS, let’s get to the benchmarks and see just how well this board / chipset perform!