BIOS and Overclocking …
Get fast to the right UEFI settings …
ASRock X299 Taichi XE BIOS and Overclocking
ASRock X299 Taichi XE UEFI BIOS Update
ASRock X299 Taichi XE overclocking
ASRock X299 Taichi XE memory settings
ASRock X299 Taichi XE voltage settings
ASRock X299 Taichi XE Overclock even easier
ASRock X299 Taichi XE BIOS undervolting
ASRock X299 Taichi XE 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 Taichi XE UEFI has a graphical interface that allows intuitive operation with the mouse or can still be operated conventionally with a keyboard.
Because the BIOS of the ASRock X299 Taichi XE is almost identical, we have adopted the BIOS settings from the previous X299 Taichi and will only go into the changes in this review.
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.
With the F6 key or the upper right button you get to the usual ASRock Advanced Mode, which you can also set as default. Overclocker will probably start with Advanced Mode or directly with the Tweaker or Favorite menu anyway, but later more about that.
The system browser view can’t be found (yet?) on the ASRock X299 mainboard, but you can find the Full HD UEFI selection and the Active Page on Entry selection again, which allows you to decide on which UEFI page you want to start with in the UEFI setup. This is especially helpful for overclocking, as you often have to go to the second OC-Tweaker menu in order to find the optimal OC settings. On the ASRock X299 Taichi and X299 Taichi XE you will find the Active Page on Entry option and the Full HD UEFI selection under Advanced.
UEFI BIOS Update …
Before we start with the UEFI overclocking, we update the UEFI BIOS to the latest version. Since ASRock regularly adds new features, better memory support and new processors, the BIOS update is recommended in most cases. ASRock offers several possibilities for flashing the UEFI update, e.g. the very simple Instant Flash or even the ASRock Internet Flash with a direct connection to the internet. The ASRock Instant Flash Utility can be accessed via the ASRock Instant Flash Option in the Tool Screen or via the F6 key at PC startup. 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.
Furthermore, there is also an option for the X299 Taichi and X299 Taichi XE, which we have already extensively tested in the previous ASRock X399 Taichi Mainboard review. It is the ASRock BIOS Flashback Switch, which we have also shown in ASRock X299 Video. You can transfer the BIOS without CPU, memory and graphics card from the USB stick to the motherboard and you can update it even with an old BIOS to a new CPU. You load the latest BIOS file into the main path on a FAT32 formatted USB stick and rename it to creative.rom. At the time of testing, the latest UEFI BIOS version P1.60 was available for download. The USB stick is then plugged into the lower USB 2.0 port on the PS/2 port. This is important because the BIOS update only works with this USB port. Now press the BIOS flashback switch for about 3 seconds and start the BIOS update (recognizable by the green LED flashing in the BIOS flashback button). As soon as the LED stops flashing, the BIOS has been updated.
The new UEFI version is available after the motherboard is fully loaded and can be checked directly on the entry side, as you can see here with the Intel Core i9-7900X CPU. In the Advanced Mode entry area you can now see the UEFI version, the installed CPU, the DDR4 memory used, a language selection and the My Favorite menu item.
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.
And in the AURA RGB LED menu you can set whether the LEDs should light up continuously,”breathe”, be controlled randomly or even to music. This gives the user numerous possibilities of how and how fast the LED strips or the chipset cooler should light up. Sure it is, as already mentioned on the Z270 killer, no “must have” feature, but definitely “nice to have”! And if you don’t need it, you can of course deactivate it completely.
Although ASRock does not offer an Easy Driver Installer option for the X299 motherboard (yet?), ASRock makes the RAID driver installation very easy for the user by offering with the Easy RAID Installer the easy way to download the current RAID drivers.
ASRock X299 Taichi XE overclocking …
Now let’s get to Intel LGA 2066 overclocking with the X299 chipset on the ASRock X299 Taichi or X299 Taichi XE motherboard. ASRock divides the OC-Tweaker menu of the ASRock X299 Taichi into CPU Configuration, DRAM Configuration, Voltage and FIVR Configuration.
Let’s start with the OC-Tweaker above – as soon as you switch 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 that you can easily increase the desired CPU frequency. With the Intel Core i9-7900X CPU (standard clock 3300 MHz at a CPU ratio of 33x) the ASRock X299 Taichi or X299 Taichi XE motherboard offers a multiplier range from 7x to 80x without increasing the bus frequency.
Thanks to the extra Hyper BCLK Engine II clock generator, the BCLK/PCIE frequency can be set from 90 MHz to 2000 MHz. Of course, Intel Skylake-X processors derive a lot of values from this frequency, which can quickly become too high. For this reason, the BCLK host clock should only be increased with caution, for example to overclock the memory modules even higher.
How easy overclocking is, we tried with the Intel Core i9-7900X CPU and are like in Intel OC Forum at Intel Core i9-7900X OC reported, from 3300 MHz to 5198.34 MHz. Not Prime stable, but it is 1000 MHz higher than the OC result of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X CPU! Here you can see the confirmed CPU-Z Tool with 5198.34 MHz at 1.071 Volt (Auto +0.2V).
With the ASRock X299 Taichi XE we have reached 5200.04 MHz in the test with air cooling. With a little fine-tuning and water cooling it would certainly be possible to do even more, because this is no limit of the MOSFET cooler.
ASRock X299 Taichi XE RAM settings …
ASRock Taichi and Taichi XE voltage settings …
In addition, the X299 motherboard has numerous voltage settings such as 1.0V PCH Voltage, PCH PLL Voltage, VCCIO Voltage, VCCSA Voltage, CLK VDD Voltage, CPU Input Voltage, CPU Load Line Calibration and more, which makes it very easy to overclock the Intel Skylake-X CPU. By the way, the DDR4 voltage can be increased from 1.100 to 2.000V in the Voltage menu subdivided into AB/CD, and there are VTTAM AB/CD as well as VPPM AB/CD voltage values, with which you can easily undervoltage or overclock DDR4 modules.
There you can change the VCore, for example. With Fixed Mode, the Intel Core i9-7900X Test CPU can set a VCore up to 2.000V plus +/- 1.000V offset. This is of course too high for usual overclocking, but LN2 overclockers will be happy.
ASRock X299 Taichi XE easy overclocking …
If you don’t want to study overclocking, you can try your luck with Load Optimized CPU OC Setting. There you can overclock the system performance automatically in different turbo steps – at least if the 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 optionally also GPU overclocking) to a desired value e.g. Turbo 4.2 GHz, Turbo 4.4 GHz, Turbo 4.6 GHz or Turbo 4.8 GHz, overclocking cannot be simpler!
If you prefer to overclock in Windows, you can also use the ASRock A-Tuning Tool to adjust the voltage settings and CPU frequency listed above or, as in Intel OC tutorial explained, it can be overclocked with the Intel XTU Tool (Extreme Tuning Utility).
BIOS Undervolting …
The downclocking or undervolting is also tested in this review. It was possible to lower the Intel Core i9-7900X CPU frequency down to approx. 700 MHz. 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.
Fan control …
The UEFI Setup of the passive cooled X299 Taichi or X299 Taichi XE 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.
In addition, ASRock has 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.
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.
ASRock X299 Taichi XE energy consumption …