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Experience with STRIX Z490-E Gaming / Maximus XII Hero / i9-10900k / 4000 MHz DDR4

Level 7

Here we go..


  • For OC value, stick with the Strix and pass on the Maximus.
  • If you want 4000 MHz get 2 sticks, not4

A bit more detail based on the past week or two:

The STRIX Z490-E Gaming was a better overclocker than the Maximus XII Hero (board silicon lottery?). The Strix was stable at 5.2 GHz at 1.35V and the Maximus needed 1.38 V (chip, cooler, and memory).

4 sticks of 4000 MHz is not a good idea with these boards. May be a chipset thing -- someone mentioned something something "daisy chain" in another forum. The Strix, with the timings and settings from XMP2, MCH Fast Boot enabled, Round Trip Latency enabled, and BIOS 0707 managed 3600 MHz -- DRAM, VCCIO and SA voltages had no effect (went up to 1.45, 1.25, 1.25, then backed down to 1.39375, auto, auto). The Maximus with timings 14-14-28, 1.39375, and BIOS 0607 managed 3400 MHz (that also worked for the Strix). I did not try the Maximus 0707 BIOS because when I did that with the Strix, coincidently(?) I had an SSD M2 crash (being RMA'ed). I do not know if the crash had anything to do with the BIOS, but I'll skip 0707 just in case.

I kept the Maximus on the case (differences did not justify to swap the strix back).

I lowered the voltage to 1.36 with LLC 6 for daily usage. The final settings are:

AI Overclock Tuner: Manual
ASUS Multicore Enhancement: Enabled
AUX Instruction Core Ratio Negative Offset: 0
CPU Core Ratio Synch: All Cores
All-Core Ratio Limit: 52
BCLK Aware Adaptative Voltage: Disabled
CPU Core/Cash Voltage: Manual Mode
CPU Core Voltage Override: 1.36 (down from 1.38 needed for Cinebench R20 stability)
DRAM Frequency: 3400
DRAM Voltage: 1.39375
Min. CPU Cache Ratio: 50
Max. CPU Cache Ratio: 50
CPU Core/Cache Current Limit Max.: 255.75
Long Duration Package Powe Limit: 4095
Short Duration Package Powe Limit: 4095
CPU Load Line Calibration: Level 6 (down from Level 7 needed for Cinebench R20 stability)
DRAM CAS# Latency: 14
DRAM RAS# to CAS# Delay: 14
DRAM RAS# ACT Time: 28
VMX: Enabled (not sure if it makes a difference, but I need it)

I could not get to 5.3 with AUX -1 and CPU voltage up to 1.38. R20 would freeze in the first iteration and HWInfo was showing voltages that seemed high for a daily driver -- don't recall exactly what they were.

R20 score is now 6834 -- though it is always a PITA to figure our which process to kill and services to disable. Both ASUS and NZXT-CAM software affect the score significantly. CAM must be on for the pump/fans to ramp up... so you kind of have to run a pre-test to rev things up then kill CAM to keep the cooling to the max while you run the actual benchmark.

My data points with the Maximus XII Hero below. I was only looking to get under 1520 - 1.1 IOUT, so I did not bother to record all the data

L7 increases the voltage aggressively with load -- I wonder if anyone has plotted this spike when the load hits?
. . . VCore set: 1370 mV
. . . VID at load: 1580 mV
. . . Current at load: 182 Amps
. . . All core frequency: 5.2 GHz
. . . Temp at load: 90-91 C

L5 still up substantially
. . . VCore set: 1380 mV
. . . VID at load: 1503 mV
. . . Current at load:

L4 is nearly flat -- spike still out of spec
. . . VCore set: 1310 mV
. . . VID at load: 1339 mV
. . . Current at load:

. . . VCore set: 1330 mV
. . . VID at load: 1339-1344 mV
. . . Current at load: 147 Amps

. . . VCore set: 1350 mV
. . . VID at load: 1344 mV
. . . Current at load: 151 Amps
. . . All core frequency: 5.1 GHz
. . . Temp at load: 70-71 C
. . . . . VID at idle: 1275 mV
. . . . . Current at idle: 43 Amps
. . . . . Temp at idle: 35-36 C

Load is Cinebench R20. Idle is me typing this post with whatever else the thing is doing in the background (4% utilization). The AIO is a Kranken Z63 and the CPU a 10900K. It took a 42% increase in power (203W to 288W) to go up 100 MHz (5.1 to 5.2 GHz) -- kinda crazy.

I did not try L1 or L3, but I presume that L3 will start to drop voltages instead of bumping them up.