BIOS and Overclocking …
Get fast to the right UEFI settings …
BIOS and overclocking …
Let us continue with the BIOS / UEFI Setup options and the UEFI overclocking. By pressing F2 or Del during PC boot, you get access to the UEFI Setup.
The ASRock X99 TaichiUEFI has a graphical interface that allows intuitive operation with the mouse, or can be operated still as usual with a keyboard.
It offers basic information such as time, date, CPU temperature, motherboard temperature, X99 CPU voltage, first details about the hardware, fan speeds, as well as an adjustment possibility of the fan with one click.
And with the F6 key you can get back to the ASRock advanced mode after a short confirm, which you can also set as standard option. Overclockers start probably already with the Advanced mode or directly with the Tweaker menu or the favorite menu.
In Advanced Mode you can see at the first screen the UEFI version, the CPU used, the installed DDR4 memory with quad channel support, a language selection, the Easy Mode button and the My Favorite menu item.
The My Favorite feature is very useful, because you can add here often needed menu items. You start with a blank page – incidentally it’s also blank after a BIOS update. Simply select the desired menu item, then press F5 and the feature is contained in the my favorite overview page. Here you can see a selection of possible favorites.
The X99 motherboard has a selection to view the UEFI in Full HD and also offers the Active Page on Entry selection, where you can decide which UEFI page you want to see when you enter the UEFI Setup. This is very helpful mainly for overclocking, since one have to enter the second OC Tweaker menu very often to find the best OC settings. Or you just add all necessary points to the My Favorite overview and start directly to the My Favorite overview page. At the ASRock X99 Taichi you find the Active Page on Entry option and the Full HD UEFI selection now in Advanced.
UEFI BIOS Update …
Before we begin with the UEFI settings, we first update the UEFI BIOS to the latest version. To flash the UEFI update ASRock offers some possibilities, e.g. the very simple Instant Flash or the ASRock Internet Flash with a direct connection to the Internet.
By the so-called ASRock Instant Flash option in the tool screen or via F6 during PC start you get into the ASRock Instant Flash utility. You can easily flash a previously downloaded ASRock BIOS without a boot CD or similar by simply starting the ASRock Instant Flash utility. Just select the BIOS Flash ROM from the desired drive, like an USB stick.
The board is supplied with the BIOS P1.10. At testing date, the UEFI BIOS version P1.40 was available as latest download, which we updated of course immediately. Now you confirm the UEFI update. And already the new UEFI will be updated.
With the OMG – Online Management Guard, you can define the times and days for the Internet access. This is for example useful for parents who like to specify a fixed Internet time for their children and want to block access with a password secure in UEFI BIOS, or for companies that allow Internet access for their employees only during lunch or after regular working hours.
ASRock X99 Taichi overclocking …
One can set the BCLK/PCIE frequency in this menu from 96 MHz to 300 MHz. This frequency is very important for a lot of frequency values also with Intel LGA2011-3 processors, which can get quickly too high. For this reason, you should carefully increase the BCLK host clock and also adjust the BCLK ratio to 125 MHz, 167 MHz or even higher.
In our tests the board at 1.67 BCLK ratio could be stable overclocked to 173.14 MHz BCLK!
The Intel “K” CPUs have an unlocked multiplier, so one can overclock the CPU frequency very extensively over the CPU multiplier. With a 6900K CPU (default clock 3200 MHz with a CPU ratio of 32x), the ASRock X99 Taichi motherboard offered a multiplier range from 12x to 120x.
ASRock X99 Taichi memory settings …
ASRock has more very special to offer to overclock DRAM more easily. The so called DRAM Frequency OC Preset values. With this DDR4 OC preset it is possible for example to overclock to DDR4-4133 by automatic BCLK increasing.
With manual BCLK overclocking and the correct RAM modules, significantly higher memory clock rates are possible. The frequency of all memory modules is calculated and displayed after changing the reference clock to make it much easier adjusting to the right RAM frequency.
ASRock X99 Taichi voltage settings …
Now we come to the voltage settings that can be adjusted in the UEFI.
The motherboard offers many voltage settings, like for example a VCore selection with the Intel Core i7-6900K Test CPU from 0.800 Volt up to 2.000 Volt and -0.500V to +0.500V offset, CPU Cache Voltage from 0.800 Volt to 2.000 Volt and -0.500V to +0.500V Offset, CPU Input Voltage from 1.200V to 2.300V and -0.600V to +0.400V Offset, CPU IO Voltage from 0.900 to 1.500 Volt, PCH (Chipset) voltage from 0.900 to 1.500 Volt, PCH PLL Voltage from 1.500 to 1.750 Volt, ME Voltage 0.900 to 1.500 Volt, System Agent Voltage Offset from -0.300 to +0.600 Volt, VCCU Voltage Offset -0.500 to +0.500V, Primary Plane Current Limit, Short Duration Power Limit, Long Duration Power Limit, CPU Load Line Calibration from 1 to 5, DRAM Activation Power Supply from 2.400V to 3.000V and more voltage boost settings to have more room for detailed overclocking.
The DDR4 voltage could be increased as seen above, between 1.000 and 2.235 Volt, which is an awesome DDR4 memory voltage range for high overclocking or low undervolting.
ASRock X99 Taichi even easier overclocking …
If you do not like to get deeper inside of overclocking, you can overclock either by the Load 4 GHz and XMP OC Setting or by the Load Optimized CPU OC Settings, to try overclocking with predefined OC settings. It can increase the system performance automatically by overclocking in different Turbo steps – at least with some luck and if it is possible with your processor. Simply select the desired Optimized CPU OC setting, then some components and the CPU are overclocked, e.g. to Turbo 3.8 GHz, Turbo 4.0 GHz or Turbo 4.2 GHz – overclocking could not be easier!
Highest overclocking should set manually for each value, to be able adjusting all values in detail for the installed hardware. We give you overclocking help in our PC Forum.
Once the desired settings are found, you can save up to five different OC Tweaker BIOS settings with names in the UEFI. For example, you can save balanced BIOS settings, overclocking settings and undervolting settings or Office and Gaming settings in an user profile of the UEFI to load them very quickly at any time.
The boot failure guard was also tested and started the PC even at too high overclocking settings without Clear CMOS at default frequencies. If it accidentally succeeds that the PC fails to boot, you can also press the Clear CMOS button and the stored values in the user profiles fortunately remain to load them quickly.
BIOS Undervolting …
The downclocking or underclocking is also tested in this review. It was possible to lower the Intel Core-i7-6900K CPU multiplier over the BIOS to 12x to underclock the processor with 100 MHz BCLK to approx. 1200 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 underclocking / downclocking.
Fan control …
The UEFI Setup of the passive cooled X99 Taichi motherboard offers extensive temperature fan control options for 4-pin or 3-pin CPU fans. The settings for the fan controller can be found in H/W Monitor directly below the temperature und voltage display.
There are several interesting novelties: Firstly the chassis fans are now divided in CPU_OPT / W_Pump switch, there is now also a selection of time to raise and lower the fan speed and last but not least the motherboard chassis now automatically detects if a 4-pin fan or a 3-pin fan is connected at the 4-pin chassis fan connector and fits the type of control (PWM or analog) accordingly to – exemplary solved!
Since the announcement of X99 motherboards, ASRock has even implemented a graphical interface in the UEFI setup for controlling the fans. You can find the FAN-Tastic Tuning menu also in the H/W monitor and thus can make all the settings very clearly. Simply select the respective fan connector on the left and select the mode on the right side – e.g. Performance.
You can usually get along without an expensive Fan Controller, because the fans are controlled with this fan control based on the CPU or the motherboard temperature. Especially since all FAN-tastic tuning values even can be set in Windows over the included A-Tuning tool.
ASRock X99 Taichi energy consumption …