Being an AWARD BIOS and possessing the M.I.T (Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker) section, overclockers will feel right at home. Skipping past the usual deluge of BIOS options we head straight for the jugular, in particular the M.I.T section itself.
The initial splash screen is attractive enough with a camouflage theme. This screen can be changed via windows software to any picture of your choosing though which is a nice feature. Personally, I prefer the standard boot up screen confirming your overclocked settings but for those who like a splash of colour the option is there for you.
Like all high end enthusiast motherboards, the first section in the BIOS is where you will usually find the overclocking settings, in the EP45 Extremes case, the M.I.T (Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker) section. From the top, you will find frequencies and clock ratios as well as C.I.A.2, which is Gigabytes automatic overclocking utility. Settings can be input either manually or via the scroll method. The sheer number of tweaks available will most likely force you to use the manual input though as it is less time consuming than scrolling down through the array of frequencies and voltages available.
Memory performance, can be enhanced either automatically via Standard, Turbo or Extreme or again you can configure the memory yourself using a massive settings list which covers every possible divider and CPU to Northbridge strap.
Onto the voltages, I was very pleased to see that there is almost every possible voltage setting you could wish for along with GTL (Gunning Transceiver Logic) reference voltages to fine tune those voltages in the hope of gaining stability at the highest frequencies available. Below are the maximum voltages available, which if you intend to utilise would no doubt kill your hardware without some extreme cooling. Still, it is nice to have that option available if you fancy a dabble with some liquid Nitrogen!
All in all, the EXTREME BIOS is a very thorough and well laid out BIOS from AWARD. Notable by its absence is the omission of Vdroop compensation setting. With our test Q6600 overclocked to 3.6Ghz and a Vcore of 1.5v set, the actual voltage reported in windows was 1.43v under 100% load which, while abiding by Intels specification may be a concern for those who like a stable Vcore.
Navigating the M.I.T section can also be a little frustrating as the page does not refresh smoothly and can make navigation a little jerky. This maybe resolved with an updated BIOS in the future (BIOS version F8 used for this review) but I felt it was noteworthy at the time of the review.
Lets see if we can put the EP45-EXTREME BIOS to some use in the overclocking tests...