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Maximus IV GENE-Z BIOS Guide - Overclocking

Raja
Level 13
The Maximus IV Gene-Z is the smaller sibling to the flagship Maximus IV Extreme and Maximus IV Extreme-Z motherboards. Many of the overclocking features found on the bigger siblings make their way onto the Gene-Z.



We’ve also managed to provide you with a 250 amp capable VRM on the Gene-Z to supply CPU Vcore. That means the Gene-Z should be capable of keeping up with its full sized ATX counterparts when it comes to processor overclocking!


We’re going to walk you through key BIOS overclocking features and break down their usage, to help you get the most from this exciting little motherboard.


Upon entering UEFI BIOS, we navigate to the AI Tweaker menu:

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CPU Level Up: Allows us to select a pre-set profile that contains voltage and bus adjustments to apply a mild overclock to the system. Use this setting if you do not wish to overclock the system manually.

Load Extreme OC Profile: For extreme overclocking only. Contains a pre-set that sets all processor and system current thresholds to maximum – in order to facilitate quick setup when overclocking the processor under sub-zero cooling.


Ai Overclock Tuner: Options are Auto, Manual and X.M.P.


Auto: This is the default setting, and needs to be changed to Manual if you wish to change BCLK (BCLK is the base reference frequency from which processor and other system bus frequencies are derived).


X.M.P: Extreme memory profile, use this option if you have Sandy Bridge qualified XMP memory. X.M.P. profiles contain pre-sets for system buses and in some cases voltages. If the specified speed of the DIMMs is greater than the supported memory frequency of the platform, a platform specific X.M.P. profile option becomes mandatory because processor core and memory controller voltage requirements vary from architecture to architecture. High-speed enthusiast memory kits manufactured before the inception of the Sandybridge platform may not contain the necessary/adequate voltage offset settings for the system to be completely stable. In such instances, manual adjustments of memory controller voltage and memory timings may be necessary.


Selecting the X.M.P setting opens up options for X.M.P profile selection (the kit may contain more than one X.M.P profile), and also opens up the BCLK option for changing system bus frequency. Note that memory operating frequency and maximum CPU operating frequency are shown towards the top of the Ai Tweaker menu, while memory timings and voltage are displayed next to the XMP profile selection box.




BCLK/PCIe Frequency: This function becomes available if X.M.P or Ai Overclock Tuner “Manual” are selected. The base BCLK frequency is 100MHz. As the name implies, changing the BCLK frequency will also change PCIe frequency. The maximum CPU core frequency is derived via multiplication with the Turbo Ratio setting (final frequency is displayed at the top-left of the Ai Tweaker menu).


Bear in mind that the adjustment margin for this setting is not large - most processors have a range from 95~107 MHz. Changes to BCLK and stable operation of high memory frequencies (DDR3-2133+ for example) may benefit from manipulation of clock skew settings (more on that subject later in the guide).



Turbo Ratio: Options are “Auto”, “By All Cores” and “By Per Core”. A description of these settings is provided in the right-hand column of the UEFI BIOS and can be seen when the Turbo Ratio setting is selected.



By All Cores: This sets the CPU core frequency multiplier; multiplied by BCLK to give the target CPU frequency (under full load conditions if SpeedStep is active). “Auto”: Stock CPU multiplier Ratio used. Manual numerical entry of the desired Turbo Ratio is accepted.

Per Core
: Allows setting the maximum Turbo multiplier of each physical processor core.
The available multiplier range is limited by both processor model and the ability of each CPU.



Internal PLL Overvoltage:
Options are “Auto”, “Disabled” and “Enabled”. A manual setting of “Disabled” is recommended within the bounds of moderate overclocking. Using Core frequency multipliers in excess of 45X may need a setting of “Enabled”. The requirements of the “Enabled” setting will vary from processor to processor. The unfortunate side-effect is that resume from S3 sleep states is not possible when Internal PLL Overvoltage is set to “Enabled” - this is a hardware limitation, and only fixable by Intel.




Memory Frequency: “
Autowill automatically select a memory multiplier ratio according to memory module SPD (Serial Presence Detect). Manual selection of the available memory frequency multiplier ratios is possible and works according to the abilities of the DRAM and processor. Granular control of memory frequency is available by manipulating BCLK (within functional limits).




Memory Bandwidth Booster
: Uses a tighter set of memory timings for benchmarking purposes. Use only with enthusiast oriented memory kits. Keep disabled when using 4GB DIMMs or when gunning for maximum memory frequency.


iGPU Max Frequency: Sets the maximum iGPU frequency in 50MHz steps (implied).





EPU Power Saving Mode
: When “Enabled” is selected, utilizes power phase management based upon system loading to reduce system power consumption. A setting of “Disabled” is recommended for heavy overclocking.
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104 REPLIES 104

zlojack
Level 7
I've been tinkering with my board the past few days and trying to get it to overclock, which is more of a challenge than I thought.

I had to do more than just set it to 4.6 in bios, since that just netted me blue screens.

First thing was to get myself LinX and OCCT, as well as Prime95.

I'll preface by saying that I've never been a fan of using "Auto" on any bios setting, as they sometimes can be finicky and give weird results. I've overclocked Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte and other boards many times in the past 5 years and I've never been a fan of using Auto.

I used the 4.2GHz preset voltages in the bios as a guide and then went into Windows, using LinX to test my overclock for 5 passes at 1.3v.

For these tests, I leave my RAM at 1333 and AUTO timings, which allows me to focus on overclocking the CPU speed.

Once that passed, I went back into my bios and bumped the multiplier by one, keeping voltage set the same. I did this and found that, at 4.3, LinX failed, so I bumped the voltage up to 1.32v in bios and tried again. This passed, so I bumped to 4.4, which failed. After that I went to 1.34 and ran my 5 passes at 4.4, which passed. I moved on to 4.5GHz, which did pass at 1.35, so I bumped to 4.6GHz, which didn't pass.

At this point, I am not too concerned with going over 1.35v and 4.5GHz is a satisfactory overclock for me, so I decided to do more testing. I put the 4.5GHz through 25 passes of LinX and 12 hours of OCCT, both of which passed, which is satisfactory for me as a solid overclock.

Having completed the CPU overclock, I tested my RAM, which is Mushkin Ridgeback Redlines rated to run at 2133 9-11-10-28 1T at 1.65v. I can get them to run at their rated speed, but I need to drop the CPU down to 3.7GHz. As soon as I try to change my RAM from anything other than 1333 9-9-9-24 1T with my CPU at 4.5GHz, my system won't post.

My question is: does anyone have any experience with overclocking the RAM on this board with an i5 2500k? Am I expecting too much from the memory controller? Should I just stick to lower rated RAM?

Any advice on which settings to tweak to get more out of the RAM?

Thanks in advance!

System specs:

Maximus IV Gene-Z Bios 0902
i5 2500k
Mushkin Ridgeback Redlines 2133 9-11-10-28 1T @ 1.65v
Intel SSD X25-M 80GB x2 RAID0
EVGA GTX 480
Corsair AX 850
Win7 64

Raja
Level 13
Try increasing VCCSA/IO to 1.15V and see if this encourages POST past DDR3-1333 at higher CPU frequency.

-Raja

CodeRush
Level 9
Raja@ASUS, i have questions about MB temperature sensor. Where is it? Is that PCH chip temperature or iROG chip temperature or special sensor somewhere on MB? I didn't find any info about that in manual. Have we a datasheet with all componets sizes and locations for Gene-Z somewhere in Internet? Or is it property of ASUSTek and not to be disclosured?

Raja
Level 13
AFAIK it is located near the PCH to facilitate chassis fan temp control. No need to go crazy about temps.

Retired
Not applicable
Hi, I'm having trouble getting my Gene-Z to recognise the RAM sticks when they are in Channel A. I have tried increasing the VCCSA/IO to 1.10V and 1.15V but it hasn't made an iota of difference. At first, I thought it was my ram sticks (Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB @ 1600) but I had these replaced by another set and the problem is identical. These are my results of putting different configs in different slots.

1 DIMM (tried each memory on its own, same results for either)
Slot A1: Stuck on Error Code 38
Slot A2: Stuck on Error Code 38

Slot B1: Boots normally
Slot B2: Boots normally

2 DIMMS
A1+B1: Stuck on Error Code 58
A2+B2: Stuck on Error Code 58
A1+A2: Stuck on 58

B1+B2: Boots in single-channel mode

Other specs:
Maximus IV Gene-Z
Intel Core i7 2600K
Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB @ 1600 MHz
XFX Radeon HD 5770
WD 1.5TB Black + WD 1TB Black
Sony Optiarc Disc Drive

Thanks for your help in advance.

Kodongo wrote:
Hi, I'm having trouble getting my Gene-Z to recognise the RAM sticks when they are in Channel A. I have tried increasing the VCCSA/IO to 1.10V and 1.15V but it hasn't made an iota of difference. At first, I thought it was my ram sticks (Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB @ 1600) but I had these replaced by another set and the problem is identical. These are my results of putting different configs in different slots.

1 DIMM (tried each memory on its own, same results for either)
Slot A1: Stuck on Error Code 38
Slot A2: Stuck on Error Code 38

Slot B1: Boots normally
Slot B2: Boots normally

2 DIMMS
A1+B1: Stuck on Error Code 58
A2+B2: Stuck on Error Code 58
A1+A2: Stuck on 58

B1+B2: Boots in single-channel mode

Other specs:
Maximus IV Gene-Z
Intel Core i7 2600K
Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB @ 1600 MHz
XFX Radeon HD 5770
WD 1.5TB Black + WD 1TB Black
Sony Optiarc Disc Drive

Thanks for your help in advance.


Check the LN2 mode jumper is not in the on postion if this board has one. If it is not that and you have checked for socket damage and updated UEFI then contact ASUS Support UK for further assistance.

-Raja

Retired
Not applicable
This is great information on the features. I have absolutely no experience with overclocking, is there an overclocking for dummies guide? I enjoyed reading zlojack's post but it points out how much I don't know. I don't have the programs to test with like LinX, Prime95 and OCCT that he mentions but I'll get them. Maybe someone could point me to a link to get started? Also, is there a place where people list their successful BIOS settings and what they achieved? Sorry for the noob post, I've always just bought faster hardware when I wanted more speed but the idea of overclocking has my interest. Thanks!

I absolutely LOVE this motherboard and all the possibilites it offers. The ability to grab screen shots of the BIOS is a fantastic idea too!

Raja
Level 13
On this platform you pretty much just change the CPU multiplier to set the target frequency and then change the processor voltage (Vcore) to accommodate.

-raja

Luciddream
Level 7
hey people, i just recently overclocked my brand new i5-2500k. at first i had it at 1.35v and 4.5ghz (for 2 days) and now im running at 1.3v 4.5ghz and i think its stable. do u think i might have pushed it too far with 1.35v ??

also i need some more explaining for some motherboard settings. what is the BEST way to overclock? i mean i had internal PLL overvoltage on AUTO, but now i have it on DISABLED, which i think its better. could this have done any harm at CPU??? i still have some settings at AUTO like PLL voltage or VCCSA/IO voltage et, and im not sure if my overclock is done the way it should be done. i don't plan to change this cpu for at least 2 years so i want it to last 🙂

also for 4.5 is it better to overclock using offset or i could still do it the traditional way?? 🙂

thanks and sorry for bad english! 😛

Spathi
Level 9
I suspect 1.35 will be fine for 10 years. I suspect Intel would say the limit is 1.38, but they have not as yet put this on the webpage. The smaller chips get the more the old rules of thumb go out the window, as these chips are designed to deteriorate over time depending on if you thrash it with a database or not.

As Raja said 1.4 or below is probably OK, but it is up to you. Some people had complete failures at 1.35 and 1.38, but they probably had other bad settings or unlucky chips.

once you go past 1.38V (or whatever it is) you are probably playing with Intels design half life. A certain increase will halve the life of the CPU, so if you care you really want to know what that increase is. People increasing to absolutely what works might be playing with fire or it might be fine depending on how they load it, hard to know who to believe ;oP. If someone has a huge OC though and it fails in a few weeks or a few months, they could then if they were lucky maybe reduce the OC and volts and it might then take twice as long to fail again... eventually they will degrade the CPU and OC to where it has a half life of more than two years and they will call it stable.

Internal PLL overvoltage it lets cores get up past 4.8 more easily (apparently), turn it off and don't worry about it. A PLL is a thing that stabilizes the clock signal from the bus and synchronizes it. I don't get why people say it needs to go higher, but it might have something to do with making the bus signal clearer in the CPU by amplifying the signal.

VccIO depends on your Memory Voltage and what works for your memory and CPUIO. VccIO relates to memory it has no effect on overclocking the actual cores I think.
1.5V ram 1.05 VccIO (or more may be needed for overclocked memory)
1.65V ram 1.15 VccIO (or more may be needed for overclocked memory)
1.25V ram 0.971-1.2 I tested as OK, but 1.05 or below would be it.

It really depends on the memory modules you have and may not even matter. There is a thingie in the CPU IO that sinks unneeded volts from the memory and that is specced at 0.5V.. So you would not want to run VccIO as 1.05 for 1.65V Ram.. but I might be wrong