BIOS and Overclocking …
Get fast to the right UEFI settings …
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X BIOS and Overclocking
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X UEFI BIOS Update
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X overclocking
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X memory settings
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X voltage settings
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X Overclock even easier
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X BIOS undervolting
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X 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 Z390 Phantom Gaming X 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.
The System Browser view at the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X 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 Z390 Phantom Gaming X 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.
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.
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 you can set in the Polychrome RGB LED menu whether the LEDs should light up continuously, “breathe”, randomly or even to music. The user gets numerous possibilities how and how fast the LED Stripes or the chipset cooler should light up. And if you don’t need the lighting, you can of course deactivate it completely.
If you need technical UEFI support, you can even select the errors via the UEFI setup and even contact the ASRock Tech Service via a network connection.
ASRock doesn’t offer an Easy Driver Installer option for the Z390 motherboard, but makes the RAID driver installation very easy for the user by offering the Easy RAID Installer as an easy way to download the latest RAID drivers.
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 Z390 Phantom Gaming X Overclocking …
Now let’s get to Intel LGA 1151 overclocking with the Z390 chipset on the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X motherboard. ASRock splits the OC-Tweaker menu into CPU Configuration, DRAM Configuration and Voltage Configuration.
The BCLK/PCIE frequency can be set from 90 MHz up to an incredible 1000 MHz. Of course, Intel LGA1151-2 processors also use this frequency to calculate a large number of parameters that can quickly become too high. For this reason, the BCLK host clock should only be increased with caution. In the test, the board could be overclocked to over 200 MHz BCLK!
Intel K processors have an unlocked multiplier, so that the desired CPU frequency can be increased via the CPU multiplier. With the 9900K CPU (standard clock 3600MHz with a CPU ratio of 36x) the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X motherboard offered a multiplier range from 8x to 120x. Beside the CPU Ratio and BCLK Settings there are of course many more settings.
We tried out how easy overclocking is with the Intel Core i7-8700K CPU, and as reported in Intel OC Forum at Intel Core i9-9900K OC, we went from 3600 MHz to 5200 MHz. Here you can see the confirmed CPU-Z tool with 5226.68 MHz at +0.15V offset, so about 1.45Volt. However, the cooling for a longer operation under load should be improved significantly, because the air cooler quickly reaches its limits.
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X memory settings …
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X voltage settings …
At the CPU Core/Cache Voltage you can set the value Offset or Fixed Mode. With Fixed Mode the VCore of the Intel Core i9-9900K Test CPU via ASRock Phantom Gaming Tuning Tool can be set up to 2.000V or alternatively the offset. Furthermore, the Z390 motherboard has e.g. the 1.0V PCH Voltage, VCCIO Voltage, VCCST Voltage, VCCSA Voltage, CPU Load Line Calibration and some more, as we already showed on the second page in the technical details. The DDR4 voltage can also be set in the Voltage menu.
ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X 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. However not all processors are supported and so there was no selection with the Intel Core i9 Test CPU.
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).
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.
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, Chipset, Storage, Intel Thunderbolt, Super IO, ACPI and USB Configuration as well as Trusted Computing.
If you want to save power when running your Intel LGA1151 v2 PC or use Intel Virtualization Technology to support multiple, simultaneous operating systems, you should also check the CPU Configuration Menu under Advanced.
Fan control …
The UEFI Setup of the passive cooled Z390 Phantom Gaming X 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.
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.
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 Z390 Phantom Gaming X energy consumption …