ASRock X299 Creator Motherboard Review

BIOS and Overclocking …

Get fast to the right UEFI settings …

ASRock X299 Creator BIOS and Overclocking
ASRock X299 Creator UEFI BIOS Update
ASRock X299 Creator overclocking
ASRock X299 Creator memory settings
ASRock X299 Creator voltage settings
ASRock X299 Creator Overclock even easier
ASRock X299 Creator BIOS undervolting
ASRock X299 Creator Fan control

BIOS and overclocking …

Let us continue with the BIOS / UEFI Setup options and the UEFI overclocking. After switching on the PC, press the Del or F2 key to access the UEFI setup.

The ASRock X299 Creator UEFI has a graphical interface that allows intuitive operation with the mouse or can still be operated conventionally with a keyboard.

As usual at the latest ASRock motherboards, there is the ASRock EZ Mode – Easy Mode – which offers a clear input page with a lot of important information and still does not seem overloaded. It has Basic information such as time, date, CPU temperature, mainboard temperature, CPU voltage, first details about hardware, fan speed, hard disk configuration, RAID mode and fan settings with one click.Brand new in the ASRock X299 Creator is a CPU temperature display as diagram.

The original Tools page has been consolidated in the lower right area.

Of course you can also use the EZ menu to set the time and date.

Many other functions can be operated using function keys (like a BIOS screenshot), which can be called by pressing F1.

With the F6 key or the upper right button you get to the usual ASRock Advanced Mode, which you can also set as default.

The System Browser view at the ASRock X299 Creator motherboard can’t be found, but you will find the Full HD UEFI selection and the Active Page on Entry selection, where you can decide on which UEFI page you want to start in the UEFI setup. On the ASRock X299 Creator you will find the Active Page on Entry option and the Full HD UEFI selection in Advanced.

UEFI BIOS Update …

Before we start with UEFI overclocking, we update the UEFI BIOS to the latest version. Since ASRock regularly integrates new functions, better memory support and new processors, the BIOS update is recommended in most cases. For flashing the UEFI update ASRock offers several possibilities, e.g. the very simple Instant Flash or even the ASRock Internet Flash with a direct connection to the Internet. Via the so-called ASRock Instant Flash Option in the Tool Screen or via the F6 key when starting the PC you can access the ASRock Instant Flash Utility. You can simply install a previously downloaded ASRock BIOS without boot CD or similar by starting the ASRock Instant Flash Utility. Then select the BIOS Flash ROM from the desired drive, e.g. from a USB stick, which you have to unpack after downloading.

At the time of testing the UEFI BIOS version P1.20 was available as the latest download. Of course we installed it over the pre-installed P1.00 version.

The Secure Backup UEFI option can be used to transfer a working BIOS to the second UEFI IC, which is automatically selected if the boot process is repeated several times. A LED on the BIOS IC indicates which one is used.

After a reboot the new BIOS version will be available. Here you can see the Advanced BIOS entrance page with the Intel Core i9-10900X CPU.

The My Favorite function is very helpful because it allows you to place frequently used menu items here, so that you can see them easily on a page and access them faster. You start with a blank page – by the way, it will be emptied after a BIOS update.

The My Favorite page can now be filled with your own menu items by simply going to the respective menu item, then pressing F5 and the desired functions are already included in the My Favorite overview page. Here you can see a selection of possible favorites.

On the input side there is an option to switch the RGB lighting on or off.

Because with the ASRock X299 Creator there is no ASRock Polychrome RGB LED entry on the tool side anymore, because the motherboard has no integrated RGB LEDs. If you need technical UEFI support, you can even select the errors via the UEFI setup and contact the ASRock Tech Service via network connection. ASRock also makes the RAID driver installation very easy for the user by providing an easy way to download the latest RAID drivers with the Easy RAID Installer.

Very helpful is the integrated SSD Secure Erase Tool.

Simply select the desired SSD and it will be quickly and securely deleted – for example, to securely delete before a sale or in serious problems with partitioning – great thing, but of course use it with caution, because it irrevocably destroys the data on the SSD!

ASRock X299 Creator Overclocking …

Now let’s get to Intel LGA 2066 overclocking with the X299 chipset on the ASRock X299 Creator motherboard. ASRock divides the OC-Tweaker menu of the ASRock X299 Creator into CPU Configuration, DRAM Configuration, Voltage and FIVR Configuration.

A look into the CPU configuration shows numerous OC options for Intel LGA 2066 CPU overclocking.

Let’s start in the OC tweaker above – as soon as you change the overclock mode from Auto to All Core, for example, you can change the multi of the Intel Core i9 CPU. Intel Skylake-X processors have an unlocked multiplier, so you can easily increase the desired CPU frequency. With the Intel Core i9-7900X CPU (standard clock 3300 MHz with a CPU ratio of 33x) and with the Intel Core i9-10900X CPU (standard clock 3700 MHz with a CPU ratio of 37x), the ASRock X299 Creator motherboard has a multiplier range from 7x to 80x.

In addition to the CPU Ratio there are of course many other settings.

We tried out how easy overclocking is with the Intel Core i9-10900X CPU and, as reported in the Intel OC Forum under Intel Core i9-10900X OC, we were able to go from 3700 MHz to 5086.43 MHz.

With increased CPU voltage a lot more was possible. Here you can see the confirmed CPU-Z Tool with 5288.82 MHz at +0.20V offset, so about 1.465Volt. However, the cooling should be significantly improved for a longer operation under load, because the air cooler quickly reaches its limits.

ASRock X299 Creator memory settings …

In the DRAM configuration menu you can find all important memory settings.

The DRAM Configuration Menu is very clearly arranged.

Thanks to Load XMP Setting support, XMP memory modules are already correctly set with a mouse click in the UEFI BIOS.

Alternatively you can select the settings manually. With the DDR4 memory clocking you can e.g. select values from DDR4-800 …

… to DDR4-4400, where the BCLK is then increased.

All DDR4 timings can also be adjusted manually.

The ASRock X299 Creator offers under Memory Information an overview with all SPD and XMP memory values, which are no longer available for direct selection as in the DRAM Configuration Menu.

ASRock X299 Creator voltage settings …

Let us now come to the different voltage values that can be set in the BIOS. On the X299 motherboard the voltage values are divided into FIVR and Voltage Configuration.

At the CPU Input Voltage you may set the value Offset or Fixed Mode.

With Fixed Mode, the VCore of the Intel Core i9-10900X Test CPU can be set with the ASRock A-Tuning Tool up to 2.000V and/or the offset. Furthermore, the X299 motherboard has e.g. the 1.0V PCH voltage, VCCIO voltage, VCCSA voltage, CPU Load Line Calibration and much more, as we have already shown on the second page in the technical details. The DDR4 voltage can also be adjusted in the voltage menu.

In the FIVR Voltage menu you will find further setting options.

There you can change the VCore for example. With Fixed Mode, a VCore up to 2.000V plus +/- 0.650V offset can be set on the Intel Core i9-10900X Test CPU or even +/- 1.000V offset via the A-Tuning Software. This is of course quite too high, but LN2 overclockers will be happy.

ASRock X299 Creator even easier overclocking …

If you don’t want to deal with overclocking anymore, you can try your luck with the so-called Load Optimized CPU OC Setting. There you can overclock the system performance automatically in different turbo steps – at least if luck plays along and it is possible with the components and the CPU. Simply select the desired increase and some components will be overclocked with the Load Optimized CPU OC Setting (or optional GPU overclocking) to a desired value e.g. Turbo 4.4 GHz, Turbo 4.5 GHz or Turbo 4.6 GHz, overclocking couldn’t be easier!

If you prefer to overclock in Windows, you can also use the ASRock A-Tuning Tool to adjust the above mentioned voltage settings and the CPU frequency or, as explained in detail in the Intel OC guide, overclock with the Intel XTU Tool (Extreme Tuning Utility). The installation is done quickly. The ASRock A-Tuning Tool offers on the input side a quick switch between Performance Mode, Standard Mode and Power Saving Mode.

Here you can see some settings of the ASRock Tuning Tool.

Even the voltage settings are possible in detail in the ASRock A-Tuning Tool.

Once the desired settings have been found, you can save up to five different BIOS settings with names in the UEFI under OC Tweaker.

For example, you could store balanced BIOS settings, Undervolting values, Office or Gaming settings as Undervolting, Balance, Gaming and Overclocking user profiles to be able to quickly reload these values at any time.

Also interesting is the Save User UEFI Setup Profile to Disk option. Just click it to save your own UEFI settings on the hard drive or an USB stick.

BIOS Undervolting …

The downclocking or undervolting is also tested in this review. It was not possible to lower the Intel Core i7-8700K CPU frequency over the BIOS. You can lower the voltage to reduce the power consumption. Of course, underclocking is like overclocking outside of the manufacturers specification, so it is necessary to have some luck. ASRock gives several options for easy PC undervolting / downclocking.

There are many other UEFI settings to choose from, such as CPU Configuration, IIO, Chipset, Storage, Intel Thunderbolt, ACPI, USB Configuration and Trusted Computing.

If you want to save power when running your Intel LGA 2066 PC or use Intel Virtualization Technology to support multiple, simultaneous operating systems, you should also check the CPU Configuration Menu under Advanced.

But also the settings in Advanced Chipset Configuration with the individual speeds of the PCIe slots, selecting the first graphics card, etc. are interesting.

In UEFI it is even possible to deactivate each USB port manually.

Fan control …

The UEFI Setup of the passive cooled X299 Creator motherboard also features an extensive temperature controlled fan control. The settings for the fan controller can be found in H/W Monitor directly below the temperature and voltage display.

Here are settings for the CPU fan, chassis fans or W_Pump switch. In total there are 7 fan connectors, which can be extensively adapted!

You have the choice between Customize, Silent, Standard, Performance and Full Speed.

In Customize Mode, several temperature steps are available to which the desired fan speed can then be assigned. The fan settings are changed immediately and can therefore be heard immediately.

ASRock has also integrated the graphical user interface for controlling the fans in the UEFI setup. The FAN-Tastic Tuning menu item can also be found in the H/W monitor and can be used for all settings. Simply select the respective fan connector on the left side and then select the mode on the right side: Silent, Standard, Performance or Full Speed.

In Customize mode, you can set all values directly in the chart and save.

For the chassis fan connectors you can even select, which source you want to use for temperature measurement – Monitor CPU or Monitor Motherboard. Then click on apply and save the values.

And even the control of the 3-pin chassis fans is possible with the DC/PWM mode switch.

Who would rather set the values in Windows 10, you can use also the ASRock Tuning tool.

You can usually get along without an expensive Fan Controller, because the fans are controlled with this fan control based on CPU or motherboard temperature.

If everything is set in UEFI, simply press the F10 key as usual and confirm with Z or Y on an English keyboard. A new feature of this ASRock X299 Creator UEFI is, that all changes made are shown to the user before saving – very handy!

ASRock X299 Creator energy consumption …