ADFS 2011 Wrapup & AMD Lynx Platform Tests



Company: AMD
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: July 18th, 2011

BIOS Options and Gigabyte Software

We used BIOS version F3B, a recently released beta bios that is supposed to increase overclocking support and improve memory compatibility. Gigabyte offer several applications on their included setup DVD, which handily offers an 'update drivers and install software' option to get you started. Also included is EasyTune 6, DMI Viewer, Face Wizard, @BIOS, Q-Share, Smart Recovery, 3TB+ Unlock, Update Manager, Splashtop Connect, Gigabyte Online Manager, GoGreen and Cloud OC. Combined, these applications provide a basic set of overclocking and performance tools for enthusiasts, and utilities for value-added resellers and system builders to support their machines.

EasyTune 6

EasyTune 6 is the Gigabyte's overclocking software, allowing you to change BIOS parameters from the desktop. However, these are not real time adjusted, but instead committed once you reboot. Cloud OC builds on this to allow you to overclock the platform via the Ethernet port, using a web interface on another computer. This would be useful for headless tuning, perhaps of multiple machines at once, over a local network. DMI Viewer is a management tool for viewing hardware info, and displays startlingly little useful information.

@BIOS Desktop Updater

@BIOS allows you to save and update the BIOS from Windows, no need for USB or CD booting or [shudder] floppy disk. Face Wizard is a utility for customizing the boot splash screen, to your own liking. Gigabyte Online Manager allows all the utilities to updated simply and easily, but requires SNMP to be installed - simple to do via 'Turn Windows Features On or Off' but something to be considered twice if you are on a public or not completely trustworthy network. Q-Flash is a hot-key at POST that allows the BIOS to updated by pressing the End key at POST and loading it from SATA hard drive or USB flash drive.

List of Supported APU's on A75M-UD2H

The A75M-UD2H's CPU support list gives us a peek at some future APUs coming, in addition to the launch A8-3850 and A8-3650. The A8-3800 and A8-3600 are 65W TDP APUs with Turbo CORE, and appear to have the same Vision Engine configurations as the 3850 and 3650, using 6550D and 6530D respectively. The E2 series is new, with the E2-3200 featuring a dual core with 65W TDP and Radeon 6370D, which is likely to be between 180 and 240 Radeon Cores at intermediate clock (~500MHz).

Xpress Recovery 2 creates compressed backups of your system drive, and requires a dedicated partition space on a hard drive, NTFS filesystem, and no RAID arrays. Gigabyte recommend 10GB or more for back-up space. Smart Recovery 2 uses Microsoft Volume Shadow Copies technology to back up or restore your personal and system data, for Windows Vista/7. Q-Share is a file sharing tool for local area networks, seems to have no special function you can't do already. The 3TB+ unlock utility enables 32-bit systems without Hybrid EFI technology to access the remaining space after the 2TB limit is reached, under MBR and GPT partition styles. This takes the form of a pre-install driver, loaded at F6 storage driver install time. The BIOS has an EFI mode for installing a compatible OS on to a GPT partition sized greater than 2.2Tb, configurable on the Advanced page.

SplashTop Connect is an Internet Explorer and Firefox plugin that adds social media functions to your browser. By social media, it means Facebook, and by functions they mean gain access to your basic information, ability to post to your wall, access your inbox, access your news feed, access your friend requests, and access your data at any time, even when you're not using the service. Hmmm. Once you allow this, you get a sidebar in your browser that allows you to use Facebook. After signing in, we looked at the applications access details, and only your basic information is listed as required for the app - the rest of the settings can be removed. We uninstalled Splashtop Connect quickly.

AutoGreen is an interesting concept, where a Bluetooth connected phone is used to indicate your physical presence to the machine. Walk out of range and the machine goes to S3 (standby, suspend to RAM) or S4 (hibernate, suspend to disk). What happens when you turn your cellphone Bluetooth off? It's supposed to poll for a customizable interval and then enter the designated power state, but we have no idea what it really does as we couldn't get it to recognize a paired phone.