The BIOS on the X58A-UD9 is the same Award layout that GIGABYTE uses on all of their motherboards. There are a few extras, but in general the BIOS is not much different from that found on the X58A-UD7.
One of the items I like about the GB (short for GIGABYTE) BIOS setup is the M.I.T. (Motherboard Intelligent Tweaker) page. Here you have one of my favourite pages, the M.I.T. Current Status page. This page is great for an "at a glance" look at your system. By using this I found a couple of instances where my memory timings slipped which caused my OC to fail.
The rest of the pages in the MIT are all concerned with squeezing the most performance out of your board and CPU.
The Advanced BIOS Features page is becoming something of a misnomer. While there are some useful options here, it is no longer anything that is very advanced.
The Integrated Peripherals page does contain some nice options. The XHD (eXtreme Hard Drive) option is a nice way to get a quick RAID setup going while the rest of the page lets you remove unused or unneeded items for the best stability.
The last two pages we will cover are the power management pages. Not too much to see here, but nice to cover.
This is what you came to see, I am sure. The GIGABYTE X58A-UD9 was not a disappointment when it came to overclocking. I was concerned about the lack of extra cooling on the two NF200 chips and the Northbridge, but in the end that did not appear to be a factor. We were able to get our Core i7 980X up and running at 4.368GHz without much trouble at all.
I am sure with better cooling and more time this speed would jump up dramatically. We ended up with a BCLK of 168 and a final CPU voltage of around 1.4V. Not too bad for only 45 minutes or so of tinkering.
You can see the validation for the GIGABYTE X58A-UD9 here.
EasyTune 6 is GB's Windows based overclocking software. We have played around with this before and while it is a good piece of software, there are some things about it that make it a little bulky.
The first two tabs in EasyTune 6 show the current state of the CPU and Memory (speed etc). The third tab is much more interesting; it is the Tuner page and has three distinct modes of operation.
The first is the Easy Boost. This mode allows you quickly ramp up your CPU to one of three predefined settings.
The easy mode of overclocking is simply an adjustment to the BLCK. The software and BIOS will do the rest for you to attempt to make that speed possible.
The Advanced mode contains almost all of the same overclocking options you have in the BIOS, with the exception of memory timings.
The last two pages handle the Smart Fan options and keep an eye on the system temperatures.
As all overclocking results are dependent on the hardware you use, your results may vary. Results of our overclocking tests are included in the performance section with the stock scores.
Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking or as new BIOS updates are released. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.