The GIGABYTE Z97X Overclocking Guide

Discussion in 'Intel x86 CPUs and chipsets' started by Sin0822, May 21, 2014.

  1. Sin0822

    Sin0822 Member

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    GIGABYTE Z97X OC Guide
    [​IMG]
    While this guide focuses heavily on the Z97X-SOC and Z97X-SOC Force, the same principles can be applied to any GIGABYTE Z97 motherboard. All the results done by me in this guide are done on a closed loop AIO watercooler with above ambient temperature. There is a separate section from top overclockers such as Dinos22, and those are mostly done on LN2.

    Disclaimer: Overclocking can cause damage to your hardware components if done in correctly, this guide is there to help those who wish to do so knowing something might happen, you and only you are responsible if you damage your hardware.

    [​IMG]
    The figure above shows all the changes of the Z97X-SOC Force compared to the Z87X-OC, the Z97X-SOC is basically the same except it only has 4 phases of IR3553 and it has the same Intel 217v NIC that the Z87X-OC had.

    The Intel Z97 platform has many different devices which can be overclocked and are interlinked; to complete a system wide overclock you should tackle each device in the following order(for the sake of organizing this guide, BCLK will be covered last):
    • BCLK(Optional)
    • CPU
    • Memory
    • Uncore
    This video will explain GIGABYTE's SOC series OC features and show how to use the UEFI to overclock:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65BBrcmNdzo
    GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC and Z97X-SOC Force features:
    [​IMG]
    OC DIMM Switch: Allows the user to disable individual channels of memory, this is useful for memory diagnostics, especially when it is difficult to remove DIMMs because of the cooling apparatus installed.
    OC PCIe Switch: Allows the user to disable individual PCI-E slots, this is useful for PCIe diagnostics, especially when it is difficult to remove PCIe cards because of the cooling apparatus installed.
    OC Ignition: Provides power to DIMMs, PCIe and peripheral devices even when system is off. This feature is a GIGABYTE exclusive and provides many hidden benefits to users. First of all you can test not only the PSU to make sure it properly works, but also any voltage modifications on your graphics cards, water cooling systems, case mods and fans. Anything that requires the board or PSU to provide it power can be engaged. It is especially useful during cold bug situations when you need a fan to run 24/7 to keep condensation at bay. It also can be used to provide continuous power to PCIe/PCI based RAM cards that lose memory when they are powered off (so you won?t lose memory).
    OC Tag: Allows user to set specific BIOS profile which is engaged when OC Tag is engaged, this is useful because you can save your OC profile for benching to TAG, and use TAG instead of inputting your settings. This makes it easy to remove the settings if you need to troubleshoot and even easier to re-apply them when needed.
    OC Turbo: Easy one touch auto-OC feature from GIGABYTE (~4.2ghz OC depending on CPU SKU).
    OC BCLK/Multiplier +/- buttons: Real-time overclocking of BCLK and multiplier
    OC Gear: Reduces BCLK +/- button steps from 1mhz to ~0.1mhz
    OC Trigger Switch: When engaged can reduce system uncore and CPU ratio to 8x on the fly, this is useful for maximum validations for CPU speed. An example of getting to 7 GHz; you boot in at 6.5 GHz, then increase the multiplier by 1x with OC Touch, but your system becomes unstable quickly. Instead of waiting for instability, you can instead engage the trigger switch (CPU now at 8x), increase the multiplier with OC Touch, and then re-engage high multiplier(dis-engage TRG switch), and you will get to your top multiplier, save a validation, and then engage trigger switch again and complete the procedure again.
    Dual BIOS Switch: Select between main and backup BIOS, you can flash one with an official build and the other with an OC BIOS.
    Single BIOS Mode switch: Disables dual BIOS when enabled to allow faster boot-up and OC recovery, since the main and backup are both checked on boot up, disabling dual BIOS will disable this checking and link between the BIOS ROMs.
    GIGABYTE Settings Lock: Will restore previously known good values to CMOS settings, this can be used in lieu of clear CMOS.
    DTB: Direct to BIOS button allows users to bypass pressing delete to enter the UEFI setup, it can save time.
    GIGABYTE Memory Safe: Will engage fail-safe memory settings in case you think your memory settings are causing issues.

    [​IMG]
    CBAT Switch: Is a hardcore CMOS reset which will reset the CMOS as if the battery and all power were removed from the motherboard. If you have trouble clearing the CMOS you can hit this button, but beware you will probably have to unplug the 24-pin and plug it back in to be able to start the system, that is how intense the CBAT button is. It?s best to use the clear CMOS button first.
    OC Connect: Two internal USB 2.0 ports provide easy access for USB devices for overclockers.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    HDD LED: Lets user know when the HDD/SSD is being written too, this can help with benchmarks such as SuperPI where it is beneficial to know when the disk is being written too.
    OC Dual BIOS: Dual 128Mbit BIOS ROMs designed so that you are in total control over BIOS mechanisms in case of flash failure or OC failure.

    Voltages:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Note1: Voltages 3,5, and 7 are offsets and can be changed only if the manual voltage control is set to ?normal?
    Note2: Voltages for iGPU overclocking aren?t covered in this guide.

    Advanced Power Settings:
    [​IMG]
    CPU VRIN Loadline Calibration (1): This is the LLC for the VIN and has many levels, but Extreme is recommended for most OC scenarios:
    [​IMG]
    CPU VRIN Protection(2): Overvoltage protection for the VRIN, set to highest amount of overvolt, or just leave auto.
    DDR VRIN Protection(3): Overvoltage protection for the VRIN, set to highest amount of overvolt, or just leave auto.
    CPU VRIN Current Protection(4): This is overcurrent protection for the VRIN, set Extreme (which means least protection and highest current).
    DDR Current Protection(5): This is overcurrent protection for the DDR, set Extreme(which means least protection and highest current).
    Over temperature protection for CPU VRIN and DDR(6,7): Not currently available right now.
    CPU and DDR Switch Rate(8,9): This is the switching frequency of the CPU VRIN and DDR VRMs, this setting has minimal effect on performance or power delivery, that is because you can only change it between 300-400KHz, which is very minimal (to protect from user damage). Lower will produce cooler running VRMs, higher will produce higher performance VRMs, just leave auto.
    PWM Phase Control (10): This controls the balance of temperature and current in the VRM, Extreme performance will give you the best performance, and that is what you want when overclocking.

    CPU Overclocking:
    CPU Frequency = BCLK * BCLK Multiplier *CPU Multiplier

    [​IMG]
    Performance Upgrade(1): Auto CPU and Memory OC Presets
    CPU Base Clock(2): BCLK setting, set manual for more options
    Host/PCIe Clock Frequency(3): Actual BCLK
    Gear Ratio(4): The BCLK Multiplier
    Spread Spectrum Control(5): lower percentage is a lower amount of spread spectrum which is known to cause instability, leave this on auto unless you want lower EMI(worse stability) in that case increase it.
    Processor Graphics Clock(6): Controls the clock of the iGPU in the CPU.
    CPU Upgrade(7): CPU auto overclock presets
    CPU Clock Ratio(8): The CPU multiplier
    XMP(9): Will enable or disable memory XMP overclock

    Note: If you decide to go with a memory frequency higher than 2933MHz, first find out your target BCLK and attain stability with a low CPU multiplier, then start increasing your CPU multiplier.

    Steps for CPU OC:
    #1 Calculate what frequency you want (this step matters if you use higher BCLK than 100MHz), then set the following advanced CPU features to disable: C1, C3, C6/C7, EIST. Leave turbo and turbo settings on auto.

    #2 Set Multiplier and test for stability, if the system is unstable or refuses to boot, then increase voltages. Try 42x as a starting point, and go up one multiplier from there, a good starting point for the VRIN is 2.0v to 2.2v (higher can provide more stability but higher temperature), a good starting point for VCore is 1.15v-1.25v (higher can provide more stability but higher temperature). Increase Ring Voltage as a last resort when you cannot increase the VCore or VIN anymore because of high temperatures but you need a bit more stability, the Ring Voltage is mainly used to stabilize the uncore, however it can aid CPU overclocking.

    #3 Most important voltages for CPU OC (in order): VCore(higher), VIN(higher), Ring Voltage(higher). You should note that the VCore and other voltages will increase automatically with CPU multiplier unless you manually set them or set them to ?normal?. You can also start from your VID as a base voltage (this will be the grayed out voltage near VCore setting around 1v when you load optimized defaults and restart), lower VID possibly means higher clocking CPU.

    #4 Determine if you want the CPU frequency to drop and/or if you want the CPU VCore to drop when the system is idle. If you want the voltage to drop then enable C3. If you want the frequency to drop then enable EIST. If you want both to drop then enable both.

    [​IMG]
    K OC(1): Unlocks multipliers on some multiplier locked CPUs
    CPU PLL Selection/PLL filer level(2,3): selection of the CPU?s internal clock generator and its filter level. (leave Auto, however LC PLL can provide better results for higher BCLK)
    Uncore Ratio(4): Uncore multiplier
    Turbo Boost Technology(5-12): Intel?s Turbo boost technology, leave most Turbo mode settings on auto, these will max out current and power automatically on auto.
    Number of Cores(13): You can disable CPU cores to reduce the heat and increase clocks, the CPU randomly shuts down cores if you select this option.
    Hyper Threading(14): Disabling this will reduce CPU temperature but might impact multi-threaded performance, if you are running benchmarks like SuperPI or going for max clocks then disable, otherwise leave enabled.
    C1E, C6/C7 and CPU Thermal Monitor(15,17,18): Disable in most cases
    C3 and EIST(16,19): C3 state will drop CPU voltage when there is less load, EIST will drop CPU multiplier in the same case, enable or disable both depending on whether you want voltage and/or frequency to drop during idle.

    Example of 4.5GHz OC with XMP and drop in CPU voltage and multiplier at idle (If you don?t see a setting below then assume it is ?Auto?):
    Frequency:
    CPU Clock Ratio: 45x
    XMP: Enable
    Uncore Ratio: 40x or 43x
    C1E: Disable
    C6/C7: Disable
    CPU Thermal Monitor: Disable
    C3: Enable
    EIST: Disable
    Voltage:
    CPU VRIN Loadline Calibration: Extreme
    CPU Phase Control: Extreme Performance
    VRIN Override: 2.2v
    VCore: 1.275v
    Ring Voltage: 1.1v

    Example for Max CPU Frequency:
    Frequency:
    CPU Clock Ratio: 45x (Then use OC Touch or GTL to increase to top frequency)
    XMP: Disable
    Uncore Ratio: 8x
    C1E: Disable
    C6/C7: Disable
    CPU Thermal Monitor: Disable
    C3: Disable
    EIST: Disable
    Voltage:
    CPU VRIN Loadline Calibration: Extreme
    CPU Phase Control: Extreme Performance
    VRIN Override: 2.3v to 3v on LN2
    VCore: 1.4v to 2v on LN2
    Ring Voltage: 1.1v to 1.5v on LN2

    [​IMG]

    Memory Overclocking:
    Memory frequency = BCLK * BCLK Multiplier * DRAM Multiplier

    A more advanced memory overclocking section with recommendations from top overclockers with the Z97X-SOC Force is provided later in this guide.

    [​IMG]
    XMP(1): Enable for XMP profile for your memory, XMP settings are override by any changes done to memory. If you select XMP and then select a multiplier for the memory, then you will lose XMP timings. To properly engage XMP just enable XMP and do not touch any other memory settings, except DRAM voltage (which has no effect like DRAM multiplier setting).
    Memory Overclocking Profiles(2): Shown Below.
    Memory Multiplier(3): Selects memory speed
    Memory Enhancement(4): Chose between performance, stability, and balanced. Leave auto most of the time, this setting doesn?t have a big impact.
    Memory Timing Mode(5): Select to change both channels at once or individually, you need to change individually if you change RTLs/IOLs for super advanced memory OC. That means if you choose advanced manual you need to set your timings twice, once for each channel.
    Memory Boot Mode(6): Select whether to train memory on boot up, this can be useful because some types of memory like to be trained on every boot, and some do not, so this allows you to choose.
    Channel and Rank Interleaving(7,8): Do not bother messing with these.

    The following memory OC profiles are available:
    [​IMG]

    Memory OC Steps:
    #1 If you want the memory frequency to reach speeds higher than 2933MHz, you will need to figure out your target memory frequency and BCLK. So use the equation Memory frequency = BCLK * BCLK Multiplier * DRAM Multiplier to determine the BCLK you need. It is recommended to use the 1.25x divider with memory first and if really needed use 1.66x.

    #2 If using XMP settings only enable XMP, if you want to manually OC the memory to speeds or timings different than XMP, then disable XMP.

    #3 Set memory multiplier as well as timings you desire, if you set a timing such as RTl or IOL then you will need to use advanced manual mode and set each channel individually (copy all timings to both channels). Many times the board is pretty good at picking timings, for a 3440MHz clock with ADATA2800C12 memory, all that needs to be set is Cas Latency to 13, the board sets all the other timings accordingly.

    #4 If you encounter issues with memory training (advanced memory OC), then you can disable fast boot under memory boot options, which will force the board to retrain the memory every time.

    #5 Memory voltages: DDR Voltage, DDR VTT, System Agent(IMC), VCCIO Analog(IMC), VCCIO Digital (IMC). IMC voltages will differ for every IMC and memory IC type. In general you want to leave DDR VTT on auto, however if needed you can set it to whatever you like(around ? DDR Voltage). System Agent and VCCIO Analog and Digital will vary depending on the system. Usually you can raise all 3 together, like to +0.25, and then if you get issues, take one down at a time back to normal value. Be aware the motherboard will auto increase some of these voltages(when the voltage is set to ?Auto?) depending on memory frequency, to stop this you can set it to ?Normal?, however do not do this just because.

    Memory OC Tips:
    • Some dividers work better than others depending on the BCLK multiplier and modules and BIOS version. Sometimes 26x and 28x will work better than 26.66x, other times 26.66x might work better. Do try them all, just because 26.66x doesn?t work doesn?t mean 28x won?t work.
    • There is a DRAM Sync option in GTL which allows you to tune the DDR VTT (DDR Termination voltage) separately from the DRAM voltage.
    • Some memory might not like higher voltages, especially some of the IMC voltages like the VCCIOA and or VCCIOD.
    • Memory training is also important, some memory might be able to be trained at higher frequencies and some not, you can control whether or not training takes place through the memory boot option.
      [​IMG]
    • When OCing memory and BCLK very high, the board will train the BCLK first and then the memory, let the board cycle through, it might take a while to get the training right.

    All available memory timings:
    [​IMG]

    Quick Memory OC to 3400mhz using the following changes to UEFI settings (If a setting isn?t listed then assume it is Auto):
    Frequency:
    CPU Clock Ratio: 8x
    CPU Base Clock: Manual
    Host/PCIe Clock Frequency: 103.5
    Gear Ratio: 1.25
    XMP: Disable
    Uncore Ratio: 8x
    C1E: Disable
    C6/C7: Disable
    CPU Thermal Monitor: Disable
    C3: Disable
    EIST: Disable
    Memory:
    Memory Multiplier: 26.66
    Memory Timing Mode: Manual
    Memory Boot Mode: Disable Fast Boot
    Cas Latency: 13
    Voltage:
    CPU VRIN Loadline Calibration: Extreme
    CPU VRIN Protection: Auto or 400mv
    DDR VRIN Protection: Auto or 400mv
    CPU VRIN Current Protection: Extreme
    DDR Current Protection: Extreme
    CPU and DDR Switch Rate: Auto
    CPU Phase Control: Extreme Performance
    VRIN Override: 2.0v
    VCore: 1.25v
    Ring Voltage: Auto
    System Agent: +0.3
    CPU IO Analog: +0.15
    CPU IO Digital: +0.15
    PCH Voltage: Auto
    PCH IO Voltage: 1.05v
    DRAM Voltage: 1.85v
    [​IMG]

    Uncore Overclocking:
    Uncore Frequency = BCLK * BCLK Multiplier * Uncore multiplier
    For extreme overclocking it is best to match Uncore with CPU speed to get the fastest benchmark scores, however in a 24/7 machine the uncore frequency can be 300mhz-500mhz lower than the CPU speed without noticeable impact to performance. The issue with the uncore is that it puts out its heat in the same package as the CPU, so you can negatively impact your CPU OC by increasing the uncore too much, but also negatively impact your performance with uncore being too low.

    The uncore trade off:
    Increase in Uncore = decreased stability = increased voltages = increased CPU temperature = lower CPU stability = lower CPU speed at certain uncore frequencies.
    Steps:
    #1 Increase the uncore multiplier to 300-500mhz lower than the CPU multiplier, never set the uncore multiplier higher than the CPU multiplier as you won?t gain any performance.

    #2 Increase Ring Voltage to increase the stability of your uncore overclock

    #3 If you increased Ring Voltage to increase the stability of your uncore, and you CPU OC is not affected, then increase the uncore multiplier by 1 and repeat.

    Base Clock Overclocking:
    The BCLK can be overclocked on the Z97 platform to very great extents, the following settings are those not mentioned already and which can effect your BCLK Overclock.
    [​IMG]
    PCIe Slot Configuration(1): Set gen2 if using discrete GPU while OCing BCLK.
    DMI Gen2 Speed(2): Disable will set DMI bus to gen1 which will help with BCLK OC.
    3DMark01 Boost(3): Helps boost scores in legacy benchmarks.

    BCLK Overclocking on Z97 is totally optional, in fact its main use is for memory overclocking past 2933MHz as the maximum memory divider currently available for Haswell CPUs is 29.33x. While tuning memory is one of the most exciting aspects of the Z97 platform, most users won?t be overclocking their memory over 2933MHz, but for those who BCLK overclocking is very important.
    GIGABYTE has improved upon their Z87 BCLK overclocking mechanism (BIOS training), for the SOC by adding in an extra clock buffer for BCLK overclocking.

    Steps for max BCLK:
    #1 Down clock the CPU, Uncore, and Memory multipliers to 8x

    #2 Select divider and then set BCLK to get your target frequency

    #3 The most important voltages for BCLK are in the following order: PCH IO(low as possible), PCH Core(higher is better), System Agent(higher is better). Set the PCH IO voltage to 1.05v, this is a 0.45 decrease in this voltage and this will heavily impact your overall BCLK. PCH voltage should be increased to 1.25v or higher and System Agent to +0.3, and the board might do this automatically on most BIOS versions.

    #4 Reduce spread spectrum to as low as possible or leave auto, leaving on auto will let the board pick the best setting.

    #5 Use iGPU or a GPU in the last 4x slot connected to the PCH which always has a 100mhz PCI-E clock, if neither is possible change to PCI-E gen 2.

    #6 Change DMI to Gen 1

    Tips for BCLK OC:
    #1 The board will train the BCLK on a cold boot no matter the boot settings, it will cycle to 95 about 4-6 times and then go through POST again, this is normal especially on the 1.00x divider. The 1.25x and 1.66x dividers might not require this type of training, it depends on the BIOS version. Do not be afraid.

    #2 Try to boot as close to your target BCLK as possible if you plan on OCing BCLK in Windows.

    #3 use the last 4x slot on the board or iGPU, do not use the main 16x slots for BCLK OC as your GPU might not take it.

    #4 Once you train for example 115mhz BCLK, if you set 116MHz the board will retrain and might fail. However if you increase my 0.5mhz then the board will NOT retrain, and will most likely successfully boot. So train at 115MHz, then reboot and train at 115.5mhz, then 116mhz, then 116.5, 117, 117.5, 118, 118.5 and so on. You will be amazed by how high you can go without retraining on the DMI(BCLK) bus.

    #5. You might be able to get higher BCLK on higher dividers as opposed to the 1.00x divider.

    BCLK Results using this same template but with different divider and host clocks (If a setting isn?t included then assume it is ?Auto?):
    Frequency:
    CPU Clock Ratio: 8x
    CPU Base Clock: Manual
    Host/PCIe Clock Frequency: 100-119(If boot fails, then set lower frequency until it boots, then increase by 0.5mhz each time(until it fails to boot, then boot into Windows at two 0.5mhz steps below that), then use OC Touch or GTL to increase BCLK in fine steps.)
    Gear Ratio: (1.00x, 1.25x, or 1.67x)
    XMP: Disable
    Uncore Ratio: 8x
    C1E: Disable
    C6/C7: Disable
    CPU Thermal Monitor: Disable
    C3: Disable
    EIST: Disable
    Memory:
    Memory Multiplier: 8x
    Voltage:
    CPU VRIN Loadline Calibration: Extreme
    CPU VRIN Protection: Auto or 400mv
    DDR VRIN Protection: Auto or 400mv
    CPU VRIN Current Protection: Extreme
    DDR Current Protection: Extreme
    CPU and DDR Switch Rate: Auto
    CPU Phase Control: Extreme Performance
    VRIN Override: 2.0v
    VCore: 1.25v
    Ring Voltage: Auto
    System Agent: +0.3
    PCH Voltage: 1.275v
    PCH IO Voltage: 1.05v
    Miscellaneous:
    PCIe Slot Configuration: 2.0 mode
    DMI Gen2 Speed(2): Disable

    Examples of max overclocks at all multipliers using the above settings.
    1.00x divider(118mhz):
    [​IMG]

    1.25x divider(149.88):
    [​IMG]

    1.66x divider(199.74):
    [​IMG]

    Advanced Memory OC Tips from Pro Overclockers:
    Dino?s PSC Tips:
    • PSC subzero tRCD 12 or 10 is more stable with current bioses (April 2014).
    • When benching subzero, you have to find the right bclock range in which the memory doesn't fail training on restart.
    • In the AM3 we did 101.5 and 101.7MHz bclock were a lot easier to bench with and loosening to tRCD 12 but will impact 32M performance.
    • If CPU is subzero best to try keep it around -40C (on CPU) for initial training on testing and memory around -90C
    • Note that 1T is broken on some PSC and may require 2T (on bioses tested from April 2014).
    • Also TWCL may require 7
    • One thing that helps when tuning tRCD subzero is loosening up tWRRD_dr and tWRRD_dd or leaving auto
    • Manually tuning RTL and IOL can also help
    • Start training with several profiles from 24.00 first
    • 2600 divider might be better with BCLK of 101 rather than 100, 26.66 can be more stable too.
    • I normally run DIMM VTT at half the value of VDIMM. With Samsung ICs I ran 1.1-1.2vtt to get stability at higher clocks
    Some screens:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Bullant?s PSC Tips:
    PSC air training
    1.So we start at 2400Mhz first if we start to high it seem rtls and iols are setting bit too tight and wont boot
    2.2400Mhz memory boot and train rtls,auto rtls are now 38-38 39-39 then save and reboot go back to bios
    3.2600Mhz memory boot and train rtls,auto rtls are now 40-40 41-41 iols 5-5-5-5, I then lock rtls and iols in manually 40-40 41-41 4-4 4-4 save and reboot go back to bios
    4.Then reboot still at 2600Mhz with the rtls and iols locked in,I then set 2666Mhz and reboot
    5.Back to bios and then can start adding blk if memory will allow it and reboot and go to windows and rtls 40-40 41-41 iols 4-4 4-4
    Screenshots:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Software:
    GIGABYTE Tweak Launcher:
    This is the best piece of software GIGABYTE makes for extreme overclocking; it is built to be light, fast, efficient, and respectable. This software works by changing the input values in real time either through integrated clock generators or through BIOS controlled voltage regulators to provide quick alterations to system parameters while in the Windows environment. GTL is currently available for XP as well as Windows 7 and 8, however in XP BCLK control might be tough since Intel discontinued Intel ME(management Engine) driver support for XP. You can still try to install Intel ME Drivers and find a hack.
    [​IMG]
    GTL Frequency: You can change the BCLK, CPU and Uncore parameters on the fly, (CLR Clk =Uncore Frequency)
    GTL Voltage: Typical voltages, however you might notice DRAM Sync option. Usually VDDR_T (DDRVTT or DRAM termination voltage) is ? of the DDR Voltage, however when overclocking it might be necessary to increase or decrease the termination voltage separately from the DRAM voltage. DRAM Sync allows you to choose whether the VDDR_T will increase and decrease with the VDDR or whether it will stay at what you set while you increase or decrease DRAM Voltage. This is a very cool feature to boost memory overclocking capabilities.
    GTL Hotkeys: Something new you might also notice is the Hot Key(HK) settings which allow you to choose hotkeys to load certain settings or increase or decrease certain parameters on the fly.
    Note: For GTL and/or EasyTune to work with BCLK and Multiplier adjustment in Windows, it is imperative to install the Intel ME Driver(intel Management Engine).
    EasyTune:
    [​IMG]
    EasyTune is GIGABYTE?s answer to in-Windows overclocking for those who are too scared to enter the BIOS and do it. You can control everything you need for overclocking, and EasyTune allows you to do something GTL doesn?t; your settings can be retained after reboot which means you don?t have to go into the BIOS to OC or redo your OC every time you reboot into Windows.

    System Information Viewer:
    [​IMG]
    The GIGABYTE system information viewer is part of GIGABYTE?s new software package, it basically is the fan control and hardware monitoring from EasyTune, moved into its own separate program. This program can be in a mode where you control the fans or in a mode where you can see system stats such as below. The System information Viewer is much better than CPUz for CPU VCore and even Frequency, which is very odd since CPUz is supposed to be the golden standard.

    GIGABYTE Memory Tweaker:
    [​IMG]
    A memory timing program which shows users all the timings of their memory modules on both channels, it is easy to use and shows everything on one page.

    To Test Stability and Get System info try:
    CPUz
    Prime95
    HWmonitor
    RealTemp
    LinX w/AVX

    BIOS Flashing:
    After any BIOS flash it is important to first shut down the system, remove AC power, remove the battery, clear the CMOS and then boot into the BIOS and load optimized defaults.
    Method #1 in BIOS Flashing with QFlash: Put the BIOS file only(something like Z97XSOCF.F5) on a flash drive formatted in FAT32 or 16 and enter qflash utility in the BIOS and follow the steps.
    Method #2 DOS BIOS Flashing using EFIFlash: Put the contents of the downloaded BIOS file such as this one (you need the BIOS file and the efiflash.exe file) onto a USB stick that is already formatted to be a DOS boot drive. When you see the cursor flash under the drive name once you boot to the USB drive, type(using the F5 BIOS for the Z97X-SOC Force as an example): "efliflash.exe z97xsocf.f5" without the parentheses.
    Method #3 Windows Flashing using @BIOS: This method isn't as good as the first two, but you can use the @BIOS program from GIGABYTE to flash your motherboard's BIOS with a few clicks of the button. Just open the program and decide which method(from server, from file, etc...) @BIOS provides that you want to use, and the program will guide you.

    You can get all the latest BIOS from this thread which Stasio always updates.

    Any questions or concerns can be posted here. This guide will be updated with more tips from the overclockers, and I will make a point to let everyone know when something gets added.
    OC Programs from GIGABYTE:
    GIGABYTE Tweak Launcher for 9 Series boards
    OC Touch Driver for 9 series provides BCLK button capability in Windows(Must also have Intel ME installed)
    GIGABYTE Memory Tweaker Program
    Z97 XP MEI, basically like an XP package for those guys benching and using XP:
    Z97 MEI for XP
    Major OC achievements with the Z97X-SOC/Z97X-SOC Force:
    GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC Force Breaks All Legacy 3D Records
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  2. OP
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    Sin0822

    Sin0822 Member

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  3. OP
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    Sin0822

    Sin0822 Member

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  4. dinos22

    dinos22 Member

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    nice one Steve-o, probably wrong section though as there is an Overclocking area further up :)
     
  5. zeropluszero

    zeropluszero Member

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    Oh good, I was just about to hassle Dino to ask if there was one of these forthcoming.

    Sin/Dino-
    The voltage guides listed, are these for the average retail chip? Last gen the suggested max voltages were very high, suggesting it was written with ES chips in mind, which could handle much higher voltages.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Sin0822

    Sin0822 Member

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    Those are mostly taken from the Z87 guide, with a few changes. Those voltages are fine for ES CPUs and retail, however on Ln2 watchout and take it slow with high VIN and VCore some of CPUs.

    With air cooling and water youll max out on high temps before you are able to damage heavily with voltage, as the CPu will just throttle the volts back.

    If you want to be ultra safe, stay under 1.3-1.35v 24/7 on the vcore max, but im not sure how you pull off 1.35v without a nice water loop and delidding
     
  7. zeropluszero

    zeropluszero Member

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    Yeh, Theres no way I'd put that much vccin into my cpu, even when it was on ln2. And 2.2 seems very high on air too I think.

    Just thought it might be a good idea for a disclaimer, since the people on this forum who will read this, 90% will be ambient coolers and 99.99% will have retail cpus.
     
  8. dinos22

    dinos22 Member

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    volts are very much chip to chip based man so for some chips they are OK and others maybe high but yeah you have to judge for yourself and see whether the chip likes low or high volts and what the temps are like
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Sin0822

    Sin0822 Member

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    Well you can always close the delta to reduce temperatures, its easier on the FIVR, but it hurts performance. Intel recommends 0.7-0.8v delta with a 0.4v delta minimum right? That is basically what is standard: VID around 1.0-1.1 most of the time and VCCIN of 1.8v, increase to 1.2v, goto 1.9-2.0v, goto 1.3v goto 2.0-2.1v, I have used VIN of 2.2v on air before for extended periods of time. I have a few CPUs here now and I did testing with them, higher VCCIN for higher voltages helps a lot. You can't even be very stable at 1.35v and 2.0v VIN like you would at 2.1v or 2.2v.

    but i see your point, however that VIN isn't that high(the 2.2v one).

    I recommended some decently high maxes on air for testing purposes, no one is capable of running 1.45v through their CPUs on air, they can for a limited time, but the CPU will throttle itself.

    You wouldn't use 2.4v vin on Ln2?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  10. Bullants

    Bullants Member

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    Nice guide Sin,I like the fact that not only you put together a great guide you also happy to help with any questions :)
     
  11. sskmercer

    sskmercer Member

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    Great guide again and thanks for the effort. For those that have used the board do you see much point/value in swapping now just for benching purposes over the Z87X-OC board?
     
  12. t8y

    t8y Member

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    i think he means the suggested max of 3v for ln2. though yeah, i get that its the "max", not the suggested average lol.

    still, would be pretty rare to see a retail using even close to that?

    i can only base this on the limited number of retails i tested though, none of my chips needed more than 2.5v on ln2, more saw no gain and made things less stable (retail CPUs).
    though i noticed the team.au guys with their ES never used below ~2.6v or so.


    either way its been said already to just test the chip gradually and see what it likes/doesnt like, dont just punch in a preset value, every CPU is different etc

    edit: good guide, shame the PSC performance hasnt improved significantly over the z87x-oc, that was one area i was looking forward to some gains on (32m), but its still early days for the BIOS i guess (with the timing quirks noted in the OP)
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2014
  13. zeropluszero

    zeropluszero Member

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    I suspect high (2.2-2.4) VCCIN is what's killed 2 of my retail chips, especially my first one which didnt last too long in Cairns. (all under LN2)
     
  14. jjjc_93

    jjjc_93 Member

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    No I don't think so, 2.2-2.4 is entirely normal on LN2. It needs to be up if you're pushing 1.5v or more. I use between 2.4 and 2.5 on my chips and haven't seen a death because of it.

    Nice guide Sin :thumbup:
     
  15. zeropluszero

    zeropluszero Member

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    maybe just "haswell-spontaneous-death-syndrome" then.
     
  16. RDT

    RDT Member

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    Such a good post/guide I've had my z97x-soc force set up for what feels like forever and haven't had a chance to really overclock it yet. I purchased a spare 4770K just in-case I push mine a little too far.
     
  17. dinos22

    dinos22 Member

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    whoa, you bought a spare chip as you're planning to go all hard core

    love it LOL
     
  18. sskmercer

    sskmercer Member

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    If he has my luck when i first started he'll need it LOL. It's also how i found my (possible) gem of a 4770k.

    Dino quick ? that hasn't been answered i think. For myself that is only using the board for benching is it worthwile putting the Z87X-OC out to pasture (or use as a back up).
     
  19. dinos22

    dinos22 Member

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    honestly mate, they are very similar. Z97 does have some improvements as per this guide. It's really up to you whether that is going to be worth it for you
     
  20. sskmercer

    sskmercer Member

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    Cheers Dino, I'll read the guide more in depth and go from there. The idea I had in my head is (assuming here) this will be better for Devils Canyon CPUs.
     

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