Tag Archives: Overclocking

AMD Clarifies Last-Minute RX 5600 XT Power-Up!

AMD Clarifies Last-Minute RX 5600 XT Overclocking!

We reached out to AMD about the last-minute Radeon RX 5600 XT overclocking, and here are a couple of things we found out…

 

Last Minute Radeon RX 5600 XT Overclocking : What Happened?

The AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT launched with a TGP of 150 watts, a 1375 MHz game clock, a 1560 MHz boost clock and 12 Gbps GDDR6 memory.

But less than a week before it was made available for sale, AMD gave it a big boost in these respects :

  • Up to 20.7% higher game clock
  • Up to 12% higher boost clock
  • Up to 16.7% higher memory clock
  • Up to 10W higher TGP

All that overclocking makes the Radeon RX 5600 XT quite a different beast from what was initially announced, and better positions it against the discounted NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 cards.

Recommended : Yes! AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Gets SUPER Power-Up!

 

AMD On The Last Minute Radeon RX 5600 XT Overclocking

We reached out to AMD about this last-minute overclocking of the Radeon RX 5600 XT, and here is what we found out :

No Change In Specifications

Officially, the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT never received a power-up, and the official specifications will not change.

Like the RX 5500 XT, the RX 5600 XT does not have a reference card, and can only be purchased from an AMD AIB partner.

AMD only provides a minimum set of specifications for the RX 5600 XT and it is up to their AIB partners to configure their cards as they see fit.

As far as they are concerned, the official specifications are what their partners “start from”, and this last-minute Radeon RX 5600 XT overclocking is nothing more than a decision by their AIB partner.

No Change In Price

AMD also clarified that there will be no change in the SEP of US$279, even though NVIDIA recently slashed the price of their GeForce RTX 2060 down to US$299.

Again, that is their recommended e-tail price – “starting from“, which means their AIB partners are free to charge whatever they want.

Recommended : SAPPHIRE PULSE RX 5600 XT In-Depth Review!

 

Our Opinion

Now, that’s AMD’s official word.

Unofficially, we understand that there is a scramble to reprogram cards that have already been shipped, so they will be sold with the power-up BIOS for higher clock speeds and TGP.

When it comes to the SAPPHIRE PULSE RX 5600 XT we have over here, it is notable that even though it was an overclocked part, it launched with a 150W TGP and 12 Gbps memory.

Yet, just days before it’s available for sale, they greatly boosted its clock speeds and increased its TGP… and changed their website to reflect the new specifications.

It is unlikely that SAPPHIRE would have done so without AMD’s “recommendation”, because if they wanted to launch the PULSE RX 5600 XT with the supercharged specifications, they would have done so from the get-go.

It is insane for them to pull a last-minute change like that, because it would mean getting their distributors to manually update the cards that had earlier been shipped.

But whatever the reasons, this makes the SAPPHIRE PULSE RX 5600 XT a far more exciting card than it would have been. And certainly, much better value for the money… if Sapphire does not charge more for the power-up!

Fingers crossed!

Update : All other AMD AIB partners have also released their Radeon RX 5600 XT power-up BIOS updates!

 

AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT Specifications Compared!

By overclocking the Radeon RX 5600 XT so much, it is better positioned against the GeForce RTX 2060, which received a $50 price cut to $299 just a few days ago.

Even without the boost, the RX 5600 XT already delivers higher texture and pixel fill rates than the RTX 2060. But the boost gave it parity in memory bandwidth, which we think will matter a lot.

Specifications GeForce
RTX 2060
Radeon RX
5600 XT
(160W)
Radeon RX
5600 XT
(150W)
Radeon RX
5600
Transistors 10.8 billion 10.3 billion 10.3 billion 10.3 billion
Fab Process 12 nm 7 nm 7 nm 7 nm
Total Graphics Power 160 W 160 W 150 W 150 W
Stream Processors 1920 2304 2304 2048
Game Clock 1365 MHz 1660 MHz 1375 MHz 1375 MHz
Boost Clock 1680 MHz 1750 MHz 1560 MHz 1560 MHz
TMUs 120 144 144 128
Max. Texture Rate 201.6 GT/s 252.0 GT/s 224.6 GT/s 199.7 GT/s
ROPs 48 64 64 64
Max. Pixel Rate 80.6 GP/s 112.0 GP/s 99.8 GP/s 99.8 GP/s
Memory Size 6 GB 6 GB 6 GB 6 GB
Memory Type GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6
Memory Speed 14 Gbps 14 Gbps 12 Gbps 12 Gbps
Bus Width 192-bit 192-bit 192-bit 192-bit
Bandwidth 336 GB/s 336 GB/s 288 GB/s 288 GB/s
PCIe Interface PCIe 3.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16 PCIe 4.0 x16

Once the NDA expires, we will take a closer look at how the overclocked Radeon RX 5600 XT compares against the GeForce RTX 2060!

 

Recommended Reading

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PCI Clock Synchronization Mode – The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

PCI Clock Synchronization Mode

Common Options : To CPU, 33.33 MHz, Auto

 

Quick Review of PCI Clock Synchronization Mode

The PCI Clock Synchronization Mode BIOS feature allows you to force the PCI bus to either synchronize itself with the processor FSB (Front Side Bus) speed, or run at the standard clock speed of 33.33 MHz.

When set to To CPU, the PCI bus speed is slaved to the processor’s FSB speed. Any change in FSB speed will result in a similar change in the PCI bus speed. For example, if you increase the processor’s FSB speed by 10%, the PCI bus speed will increase by 10% as well.

When set to 33.33 MHz, the PCI bus speed will be locked into its standard clock speed of 33.33 MHz. No matter what the processor’s FSB speed is, the PCI bus will always run at 33.33 MHz.

The Auto option is ambiguous. Without testing, its effect cannot be ascertained since it’s up to the manufacturer what it wishes to implement by default for the motherboard. But logically, the Auto setting should force the PCI bus to run at its standard speed of 33.33 MHz for maximum compatibility.

It is recommended that you set the PCI Clock Synchronization Mode BIOS feature to To CPU if you are overclocking the processor FSB up to 12.5%. If you wish to overclock the processor FSB beyond 12.5%, then you should set this BIOS feature to 33.33 MHz.

However, if you do not intend to overclock, this BIOS feature will not have any effect. The PCI bus will remain at 33.33 MHz, no matter what you select.

 

Details of PCI Clock Synchronization Mode

The PCI Clock Synchronization Mode BIOS feature allows you to force the PCI bus to either synchronize itself with the processor FSB (Front Side Bus) speed, or run at the standard clock speed of 33.33 MHz.

When set to To CPU, the PCI bus speed is slaved to the processor’s FSB speed. Any change in FSB speed will result in a similar change in the PCI bus speed. For example, if you increase the processor’s FSB speed by 10%, the PCI bus speed will increase by 10% as well.

When set to 33.33MHz, the PCI bus speed will be locked into its standard clock speed of 33.33 MHz. No matter what the processor’s FSB speed is, the PCI bus will always run at 33.33 MHz.

The Auto option is ambiguous. Without testing, its effect cannot be ascertained since it’s up to the manufacturer what it wishes to implement by default for the motherboard. But logically, the Auto setting should force the PCI bus to run at its standard speed of 33.33 MHz for maximum compatibility.

Synchronizing the PCI bus with the processor FSB allows for greater performance when you are overclocking. Because the PCI bus will be overclocked as you overclock the processor FSB, you will experience better performance from your PCI devices. However, if your PCI device cannot tolerate the overclocked PCI bus, you may experience issues like system crashes or data corruption.

The recommended safe limit for an overclocked PCI bus is 37.5 MHz. This is the speed at which practically all new PCI cards can run at without breaking a sweat. Still, you should test the system thoroughly for stability issues before committing to an overclocked PCI bus speed.

Please note that if you wish to synchronize the PCI bus with the processor FSB and remain within this relatively safe limit, you can only overclock the processor FSB by up to 12.5%. Any higher, your PCI bus will be overclocked beyond 37.5 MHz.

If you wish to overclock the processor FSB further without worrying about your PCI devices, then you should set this BIOS feature to 33.33 MHz. This forces the PCI bus to run at the standard speed of 33.33MHz, irrespective of the processor’s FSB speed.

It is recommended that you set the PCI Clock Synchronization Mode BIOS feature to To CPU if you are overclocking the processor FSB up to 12.5%. If you wish to overclock the processor FSB beyond 12.5%, then you should set this BIOS feature to 33.33 MHz.

However, if you do not intend to overclock, this BIOS feature will not have any effect. The PCI bus will remain at 33.33 MHz, no matter what you select.

 

Recommended Reading

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CPU Drive Strength from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

CPU Drive Strength

Common Options : 0, 1, 2, 3

 

Quick Review of CPU Drive Strength

The CPU Drive Strength BIOS feature allows you to manually set the drive strength of the CPU bus. The higher the value, the stronger the drive strength.

If you are facing stability problems with your processor, you might want to try boosting the CPU drive strength to a higher value. It will help to correct any possible increase in impedance from the motherboard.

It can also be used to improve the CPU’s overclockability. By raising the processor drive strength, it is possible to improve its stability at overclocked speeds.

However, this is not a surefire way of overclocking the CPU. Increasing it to the highest value will not necessarily mean that you can overclock the CPU more than you already can.

In addition, it is important to note that increasing the processor drive strength will not improve its performance. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not a performance-enhancing feature.

 

Details of CPU Drive Strength

The system controller has auto-compensation circuitry to automatically compensate for impedance variations in motherboard designs.

Now, the impedance is more or less fixed for each motherboard design. So some manufacturers may choose to pre-calculate and use a fixed, optimal CPU drive strength for a particular design.

However, due to variations in ambient conditions and manufacturing variances, there may be situations where the impedance compensation may not be sufficient.

This is where the CPU Drive Strength BIOS option comes in – it allows you to manually set the processor bus drive strength. The higher the value, the stronger the drive strength.

If you are facing stability problems with your processor, you might want to try boosting the processor drive strength to a higher value. It will help to correct any possible increase in impedance from the motherboard.

It can also be used to improve the CPU’s overclockability. By raising the processor drive strength, it is possible to improve its stability at overclocked speeds. Try the higher values of 2 or 3 if your CPU just won’t go the extra mile.

However, this is not a surefire way of overclocking the CPU. Increasing it to the highest value will not necessarily mean that you can overclock the CPU more than you already can.

In addition, it is important to note that increasing the processor drive strength will not improve its performance. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not a performance-enhancing feature.

Although little else is known about this feature, the downsides to a high CPU drive strength would probably be increased EMI (Electromagnetic Interference), power consumption and thermal output.

Therefore, unless you need to boost the processor bus drive strength (for troubleshooting or overclocking purposes), it is recommended that you leave it at the default setting.

 

Recommended Reading

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SDRAM Cycle Length from The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

SDRAM Cycle Length

Common Options : 2, 3 (SDR memory) or 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3 (DDR memory)

 

Quick Review of SDRAM Cycle Length

The SDRAM Cycle Length BIOS feature is same as the SDRAM CAS Latency Time BIOS feature. It controls the delay (in clock cycles) between the assertion of the CAS signal and the availability of the data from the target memory cell. It also determines the number of clock cycles required for the completion of the first part of a burst transfer. In other words, the lower the CAS latency, the faster memory reads or writes can occur.

Please note that some memory modules may not be able to handle the lower latency and may lose data. Therefore, while it is recommended that you reduce the SDRAM CAS Latency Time to 2 or 2.5 clock cycles for better memory performance, you should increase it if your system becomes unstable.

Interestingly, increasing the CAS latency time will often allow the memory module to run at a higher clock speed. So, if you hit a snag while overclocking your SDRAM modules, try increasing the CAS latency time.

 

Details of SDRAM Cycle Length

Whenever a read command is issued, a memory row is activated using the RAS (Row Address Strobe). Then, to read data from the target memory cell, the appropriate column is activated using the CAS (Column Address Strobe).

Multiple cells can be read from the same active row by applying the appropriate CAS signals. However, there is a short delay after each assertion of the CAS signal before data can be read from the target memory cell. This delay is known as the CAS latency.

The appropriate delay for your memory module is reflected in its rated timings. In JEDEC specifications, it is the first number in the three or four number sequence. For example, if your memory module has the rated timings of 2-3-4-7, its rated CAS latency would be 2 clock cycles.

The SDRAM Cycle Length BIOS feature is same as the SDRAM CAS Latency Time BIOS feature. It controls the delay (in clock cycles) between the assertion of the CAS signal and the availability of the data from the target memory cell. It also determines the number of clock cycles required for the completion of the first part of a burst transfer. In other words, the lower the CAS latency, the faster memory reads or writes can occur.

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Because column activation occurs every time a new memory cell is read from, the effect of CAS latency on memory performance is significant, especially with SDR SDRAM. Its effect is less obvious in DDR SDRAM.

Please note that some memory modules may not be able to handle the lower latency and may lose data. Therefore, while it is recommended that you reduce the SDRAM CAS Latency Time to 2 or 2.5 clock cycles for better memory performance, you should increase it if your system becomes unstable.

Interestingly, increasing the CAS latency time will often allow the memory module to run at a higher clock speed. So, if you hit a snag while overclocking your SDRAM modules, try increasing the CAS latency time.

This is particularly true for DDR SDRAM memory since CAS latency has much less effect on performance with such memory, compared to the older SDR memory. The improvement in overclockability with higher CAS latencies cannot be underestimated. If you are interested in overclocking your DDR SDRAM modules, you might want to consider increasing the CAS latency. The huge increase in overclockability far outweighs the minor loss in performance.

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Sami Makinen : How To Overclock The 2nd Gen Ryzen

Are you trying to overclock your brand new 2nd Gen Ryzen processor? Let extreme overclocker Sami Makinen will show you how to overclock the 2nd Gen Ryzen processor!

 

Overclocking @ 2nd Gen Ryzen Tech Briefing

One of the most interesting part of the 2nd Gen Ryzen tech briefing and demo in Bangkok was the overclocking session. AMD set up seven Ryzen 7 2700X (Price Check) testbeds for us to try out.

They were all based on the ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WIFI) (Price Check) motherboard, with G.SKILL Sniper X DDR4 memory (Price Check), but with different cooling solutions.

 

Sami Makinen On How To Overclock The 2nd Gen Ryzen

Before we got started on our test rigs, extreme overclocker Sami Makinen from AMD’s Technical Marketing team showed us how to overclock the 2nd Gen Ryzen processor using the new AMD Ryzen Master 1.3 utility.

  • AMD Ryzen Master 1.3 will highlight the four fastest cores in each processor. This allows you to turn off the slower cores, so you can achieve a higher clock speed.
  • AMD Ryzen Master 1.3 will allow you to adjust the core clock individually, the CPU voltage, as well as memory voltage and settings.
  • Using LN cooling, Sami Makinen managed to overclock his Ryzen 7 2700X (Price Check) processor to 5.6 GHz, which cored over 2,500 in Cinebench R15.
  • AMD Ryzen Master 1.3 comes with a new Apply & Test feature. Clicking on it runs a stability test, so you can quickly know if your settings are good to save and use.
  • One of the new features in the AMD X470 motherboard is Enhanced XFR. This is a 2nd Gen Ryzen enhancement that allows for higher clock rates (automatically) with better coolers. The new AMD Wraith Prism cooler, for example, would allow the Ryzen 7 2700X (Price Check) to automatically achieve a higher clock speed through Enhanced XFR, than with a less capable cooler.

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Cooler Master MasterAir MA610P CPU Cooler Revealed!

Cooler Master just introduced a new RGB-enabled tower cooler with 6 heatpipes – the Cooler Master MasterAir MA610P. Check out the details below!

 

The MasterAir MA610P CPU Cooler

The Cooler Master MasterAir MA610P is directly descended from the MasterAir Maker 8. It is designed for gamers and overclockers who demand ultra-low temperatures, aggressive RGB lighting, and total control over their air cooling.

The MasterAir MA610P comes with the Cooler Master Continuous Direct Contact 2.0 Technology that increases the surface area of the copper base by 45%, while a total of 6 heatpipes efficiently conducts heat away from the CPU.

The push and pull configuration of dual MasterFan MF120R RGB fans allows high-pressure cooling at low dBA. With the Wired RGB controller, this cooler is ready for more than 16.7 million colors and effects combinations.

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  • Continuous Direct Contact 2.0 – Excellent heat dissipation with 6 heatpipes and Continuous Direct Contact 2.0 technology.
  • Dual MasterFan RGB – Push and pull dual MasterFan MF120R RGB fans to maximize CPU cooling with plenty of color while doing it.
  • Unique Top Cover Design – Creative RGB LED logo design with additional light strips on the top cover for aesthetic customization.
  • Wired RGB Controller – The Controller allows customizable colors and effects for the fans and top cover with just the touch of a button.

 

MasterAir MA610P Pricing & Availability

This new Cooler Master CPU cooler is available with immediate effect, priced at RM 229 / ~US$ 59. Here are some purchase links for your convenience :

  • MasterAir MA610P  on Amazon : $65.36
  • MasterAir MA610P on Lazada : RM 222

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Odd Divisor Correct – The Tech ARP BIOS Guide

Odd Divisor Correct

Common Options : Enabled, Disabled

 

Quick Review of Odd Divisor Correct

The memory clock speed of AMD Athlon 64 / Opteron processors is determined using this formula :

Memory Clock Speed = Processor Clock Speed / Memory Divisor

But instead of giving you the option of selecting any memory divisor you want, each Athlon 64 / Opteron processor has a fixed number of divisors designed to meet compatible memory standards. You can, of course, select any memory divisor you like even if you are using slower memory modules. However, it is still quite frustrating as each processor only comes with three memory divisors.

Perhaps with that in mind, AMD implemented a new feature called Odd Divisor Correct in all Athlon 64 / Opteron processors from Revision E onwards. It automatically rounds up any odd memory divisor to the next number, which is always an even number. It has no effect if the memory divisor is already an even number.

The odd memory divisor is always rounded up, thereby resulting in a lower memory clock speed. This rounding-up is done quietly in the background. So, you will not realize that your processor is using a higher memory divisor, unless you actually benchmark and compare your memory system’s performance.

While it may sound like a useless feature, it can be used to gives you additional memory divisors that would not have existed otherwise. In the example of the Athlon 64 X2 6000+, enabling this feature would give you an extra memory divisor of 10 (when you select a divisor of 9).

As such, Odd Divisor Correct is mainly a feature for overclockers. Judiciously enabling and disabling this feature will give you one or more additional memory divisors to play with. The number of extra memory divisors you can obtain using this feature depends entirely on the number of odd memory divisors in your processor.

However, if you do not overclock, you should disable this BIOS feature. Enabling it certainly will not improve performance. In fact, it will do quite the opposite.

 

Details of Odd Divisor Correct

The memory clock speed of AMD Athlon 64 / Opteron processors is determined using this formula :

Memory Clock Speed = Processor Clock Speed / Memory Divisor

But instead of giving you the option of selecting any memory divisor you want, each Athlon 64 / Opteron processor has a fixed number of divisors designed to meet compatible memory standards. Socket 939/940 processors come with divisors that allow them to support PC2100, PC2700 and PC3200 DDR memory, while Socket AM2 processors have divisors that support PC2-4200, PC2-5300 and PC2-6400 DDR2 memory.

If we take the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ processor with a clock speed of 3000 MHz as an example, it has memory divisors of 12, 9 and 8. These allow it to support the following memory speeds :

Memory Clock Speed = 3000 MHz / 12 = 250 MHz (500 MHz DDR)
Memory Clock Speed = 3000 MHz / 9 = 333 MHz (667 MHz DDR)
Memory Clock Speed = 3000 MHz / 8 = 375 MHz (750 MHz DDR)

As you can see, the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ processor’s memory divisors won’t allow you to achieve the full potential of PC2-4200 (533MHz DDR) or PC2-6400 (800MHz DDR) memory. This is because all Athlon 64 / Opteron memory divisors must be whole numbers.

The only way to reach the proper memory clock speed would be to overclock the processor. For the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ processor to run with a 400MHz memory clock, you will need to overclock the processor to 3200MHz.

You can, of course, select any memory divisor you like even if you are using slower memory modules. For example, you can use the memory divisor of 8 with PC2-5300 memory, essentially running them at 375MHz instead of 333MHz. However, it is still quite frustrating as each processor only comes with three memory divisors.

Perhaps with that in mind, AMD implemented a new feature called Odd Divisor Correct in all Athlon 64 / Opteron processors from Revision E onwards. It automatically rounds up any odd memory divisor to the next number, which is always an even number. It has no effect if the memory divisor is already an even number.

The odd memory divisor is always rounded up, thereby resulting in a lower memory clock speed. For example, if you select a memory divisor of 9 in the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ processor, this feature will automatically modify it to a memory divisor of 10.

Memory Clock Speed (Odd Divisor Correct disabled) = 3000 MHz / 9 = 333 MHz
Memory Clock Speed (Odd Divisor Correct enabled) = 3000 MHz / 10 = 300 MHz

This rounding-up is done quietly in the background. So, you will not realize that your processor is using a higher memory divisor, unless you actually benchmark and compare your memory system’s performance. Software utilities like CPU-Z will continue to report the odd memory divisor even when it has been “corrected” by this feature to an even number.

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While it may sound like a useless feature, it can be used to gives you additional memory divisors that would not have existed otherwise. In the example of the Athlon 64 X2 6000+, enabling this feature would give you an extra memory divisor of 10 (when you select a divisor of 9).

As such, Odd Divisor Correct is mainly a feature for overclockers. Judiciously enabling and disabling this feature will give you one or more additional memory divisors to play with. The number of extra memory divisors you can obtain using this feature depends entirely on the number of odd memory divisors in your processor.

However, if you do not overclock, you should disable this BIOS feature. Enabling it certainly will not improve performance. In fact, it will do quite the opposite.

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Differential Current – The BIOS Optimization Guide

Differential Current

Common Options : 4x Iref, 5x Iref, 6x Iref, 7x Iref

 

Quick Review

The Differential Current BIOS feature allows you to change the amount of differential current produced by the clock driver pairs, effectively changing the voltage swing of the system clocks.

When set to 4x Iref, the current difference is four times that of Iref, the reference current source.

When set to 5x Iref, the current difference is five times that of Iref, the reference current source.

When set to 6x Iref, the current difference is six times that of Iref, the reference current source.

When set to 7x Iref, the current difference is seven times that of Iref, the reference current source.

By default, the Differential Current BIOS feature is set to 4x Iref. Unfortunately, it is not known what that translate to in voltage. Not even the Iref value is known. However, the higher the differential current, the greater the voltage swing.

As a higher voltage swing improves integrity of the clock signals and overall system stability, it is recommended that you set this BIOS feature to 7x Iref for a higher differential current. However, please note that this will increase the amount of EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) produced by the motherboard.

 

Details

In the Intel Pentium 4 platform, the voltage swing used by the system clocks is not derived from a common voltage source. Instead, it uses Iref or the reference current source to drive pairs of clock drivers that produce differential currents. These differential currents are used to set the voltage swing of the various system clocks.

This new clocking method reduces the effect of noise on the voltage swing of the system clocks. This results in better timing margins which can translate into tighter, faster timings or better stability.

The Differential Current BIOS feature allows you to change the amount of differential current produced by the clock driver pairs, effectively changing the voltage swing of the system clocks.

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When set to 4x Iref, the current difference is four times that of Iref, the reference current source.

When set to 5x Iref, the current difference is five times that of Iref, the reference current source.

When set to 6x Iref, the current difference is six times that of Iref, the reference current source.

When set to 7x Iref, the current difference is seven times that of Iref, the reference current source.

By default, the Differential Current BIOS feature is set to 4x Iref. Unfortunately, it is not known what that translate to in voltage. Not even the Iref value is known.

However, the higher the differential current, the greater the voltage swing. In other words, 4x Iref produces the lowest voltage swing while 7x Iref produces the highest voltage swing.

As a higher voltage swing improves integrity of the clock signals and overall system stability, it is recommended that you set this BIOS feature to 7x Iref for a higher differential current. However, please note that this will increase the amount of EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) produced by the motherboard.

 

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Speed Error Hold – The BIOS Optimization Guide

Speed Error Hold

Common Options : Enabled, Disabled

 

Quick Review

The Speed Error Hold BIOS feature prevents accidental overclocking by preventing the system from booting up if the processor clock speed was not properly set.

When enabled, the BIOS will check the processor clock speed at boot up and halt the boot process if the clock speed is different from that imprinted in the processor ID. It will also display an error message to warn you that the processor is running at the wrong speed.

If you are thinking of overclocking the processor, you must disable the Speed Error Hold BIOS feature as it prevents the motherboard from booting up with an overclocked processor.

When disabled, the BIOS will not check the processor clock speed at boot up. It will allow the system to boot with the clock speed set in the BIOS, even if it does not match the processor’s rated clock speed (as imprinted in the processor ID).

Although this may seem really obvious, I have seen countless overclocking initiates puzzling over the error message whenever they try to overclock their processors. So, before you start pulling your hair out and screaming hysterically that Intel or AMD has finally implemented a clock speed lock on their processors, try disabling this feature. 😉

 

Details

The Speed Error Hold BIOS feature prevents accidental overclocking by preventing the system from booting up if the processor clock speed was not properly set.

It is very useful for novice users who want nothing to do with overclocking. Yet, they may inadvertently set the wrong processor speed in the BIOS and either prevent the system from booting up at all or cause the system to crash or hang.

When enabled, the BIOS will check the processor clock speed at boot up and halt the boot process if the clock speed is different from that imprinted in the processor ID. It will also display an error message to warn you that the processor is running at the wrong speed.

To correct the situation, you will have to access the BIOS and correct the processor speed. Most BIOSes, however, will automatically reset the processor to the correct speed. All you have to do then is access the BIOS, verify the clock speed and save the changes made in the BIOS.

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If you are thinking of overclocking the processor, you must disable the Speed Error Hold BIOS feature as it prevents the motherboard from booting up with an overclocked processor.

When disabled, the BIOS will not check the processor clock speed at boot up. It will allow the system to boot with the clock speed set in the BIOS, even if it does not match the processor’s rated clock speed (as imprinted in the processor ID).

Although this may seem really obvious, I have seen countless overclocking initiates puzzling over the error message whenever they try to overclock their processors. So, before you start pulling your hair out and screaming hysterically that Intel or AMD has finally implemented a clock speed lock on their processors, try disabling this feature. 😉

 

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GIGABYTE Z170 March OC Madness Competition

Taipei, Taiwan, March 4, 2016 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd. today announced its next competition for the overclocking community with the GIGABYTE Z170 March OC Madness Competition, to be hosted this March on HWBOT.org.

Kicking off March 12th, the GIGABYTE Z170 March OC Madness Competition will challenge overclockers to push their motherboards and 6th Gen Intel processors to the limit, in a two category, three stage competition that’s absolute madness. This competition is open to all skill levels, with Novice, Rookie, Enthusiast, Elite and Extreme category levels allowing anyone to participate.

There are a number of cash and hardware prizes up for grabs! The winner for each category will be awarded $500 USD. In addition, participants that submit a score in all stages of their respective categories are eligible to enter a lucky draw for one of three GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 motherboards as the grand prize.

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The GIGABYTE Z170 March OC Madness Competition

March 12 until April 9 2016, 23:59 (UTC +8).

 

Category 1: Enthusiast, Rookie and Novice Overclockers

Stage 1: XTU

  • Submissions open March 12
  • Submissions close on March 24
  • CPU frequency must be set at 4.5GHz max

Stage 2: HWBOT x265 1080p

  • Submissions open on March 24
  • Submissions close on March 31
  • No restrictions, such madness!

Stage 3: SPI 32M

  • Submissions open March 31
  • Submissions close on April 9
  • CPU frequency must be set at 4GHz max

 

Category 2: Elite and Extreme Overclockers

Stage 1: XTU

  • Submissions open March 12
  • Submissions close on March 24
  • CPU frequency must be set at 5GHz max

Stage 2: Maxxmem Read Bandwidth

  • Submissions open on March 24
  • Submissions close on March 31
  • No restrictions, such madness!

Stage 3: Geekbench Single Core

  • Submissions open March 31
  • Submissions close on April 9
  • No restrictions, such madness!

 

Contest Rules

  • This competition is limited to GIGABYTE Z170 Motherboards only.
  • Every submission must include the competition background and a picture of the rig.
  • To be eligible for the lucky draw, participants must submit in all stages of one category.
  • A participant is eligible to win only once. If a participant is a category winner, he will not be eligible for the lucky draw
  • In case of a tie, the tie-breaker is the best score in Stage 3. If there’s still a tie, the best score in Stage 2, etc.

 

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Team Group Dark Pro DDR4 Overclocking RAM Launched

Team Group Inc., the world’s leading memory brand, today announced the launch of the all new generation of overclocking memory for gaming – Dark Pro Series. Since every motherboard manufacturer is focusing on competing in Skylake platform, besides model for the mainstream Z170 motherboard, we also provide other advanced models for overclocking enthusiasts and gamers to test their passion.

Team Group is pushing the overclocking limit of our all new Dark Pro series for targeted overclocking enthusiasts & gamers. Combining extreme performance and stability that hardcore gaming required, we will provide gamers the finest gaming experience with our solid technology strength.

Dark Pro’s all new cooling design combines the low key style of the Dark series and the multi colors design of the Vulcan series. The reinforced aluminum heat spreader with a punched dots design concept is used to express the hidden strength within. It also matches with the word of Dark Pro printed on the black Tungsten steel heat spreader. No matter it’s for assembling or upgrading, gamers will be satisfied with the excellent performance and the overall visual design.

Dark Pro series have a total of three frequencies: DDR4 3,000/3,200/3,333. In addition to the standard 4GBx2 dual channel version, we also provide 8GBx2 Kits gaming package for advanced gamers. Besides the Dark Pro and the previous released Xtreem for Skylake, all series of Team Group’s DDR4 memory has all been on sale. If you are a gamer who want to experience an all new generation of Skylake’s extreme performance, then you must not miss the overclocking series of Team Xtreem / Dark Pro / Dark / Vulcan / Zeus.

This is a reminder that platform changing comes with risk. You might come across compatibility issues when investing on overclocking accessories. Please choose the easy overclocking, most stable and highly compatible Team Group Dark Pro series, for it will give you the best performance and smoothest gaming experience you ever have.

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ASRock SKY OC Overclocks Non-K Intel Skylake CPUs

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Intel® Skylake K series CPUs are on every hardcore overclocker’s wish list, due to the fact that they are the only ones with an unlocked multiplier that allows users to overclock the CPU frequency effortlessly. However, there seems to be a shortage of these ultra high performing processors lately.

Thankfully ASRock has prepared a nice Christmas present for the overclocking community named SKY OC, an alternative for users to overclock any Intel Skylake i7/i5/i3 or even Pentium non-K CPUs on their ASRock Z170 motherboard.

Engineers at ASRock picked up from where they left off last time, and decided that besides DDR4 memory modules, there might be a way to overclock Intel non-K CPUs without tinkering the multiplier. So here you have the game changing SKY OC which is obtainable simply by a BIOS upgrade from ASRock’s official website.

It’s not the same as overclocking an Intel K-series CPU, because it’s mainly changing the BCLK, but it will be an interesting alternative while people are still waiting for their K-series CPUs to come down the chimney. Lab tests show that the once not overclockable Intel Core i5-6400 CPU can now be overclocked up to a 60% frequency boost with SKY OC on ASRock’s Z170 Pro4!

One might wonder, “this is too good to be true, what’s the catch?” Well, if you had to ask, there are two almost unnoticeable limitations. The first one is the onboard Intel graphics will be disabled while ASRock SKY OC is applied, meaning that users are required to install a graphics card. The second limitation is that CPU Turbo Ratio and C-State will also be disabled.

While ASRock SKY OC breathes life into Intel non-K series CPUs, currently it is still exclusive to motherboards with Intel’s Z170 chipset. But have faith in ASRock’s skillful engineers, sooner or later more Christmas gifts from ASRock are going to be delivered.

List of BIOS versions that support ASRock SKY OC:

 

Model BIOS Model BIOS
Z170 OC Formula L1.92 Z170M Pro4 L2.23
Z170 Extreme7+ L2.16 Z170M Pro4S L2.23
Z170 Extreme6+ L1.82 Z170M-ITX/ac L1.83
Z170 Extreme6 L1.82 Z170A-X1/3.1 L1.31
Z170 Extreme4+ L2.01 Z170 Professional Gaming i7 L1.14
Z170 Extreme4 L2.43 Z170 Gaming K6+ L1.92
Z170 Extreme3 L1.61 Z170 Gaming K6 L1.92
Z170M Extreme4 L1.34 Z170 Gaming K4 L2.23
Z170 Pro4 L2.83 Z170 Gaming K4/D3 L1.51
Z170 Pro4/D3 L1.74 Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac L1.53
Z170 Pro4S L2.73

 

 

ASRock SKY OC Disclaimer

  1. Intel® iGPU, CPU Turbo Ratio, AVX and C-State function will be disabled when running SKY OC, a discrete VGA card is required.
  2. [adrotate banner=”4″]For Z170M PRO4S / Z170M-ITX/ac / Z170M Pro4 / Z170M Extreme4, the CPU temperature cannot be read when running SKY OC.
  3. The overclocking results may vary between different CPUs and hardware configurations.
  4. Due to future hardware/firmware updates or other reasons, the availability of SKY OC is subject to change without notice in advance.
  5. There are certain risks involved with overclocking, such as damaging the CPU, memory module, power supply unit, or destabilizing the system. It should be done at your own expense. If you are unsure about the risks of overclocking, please seek professional advice.