UEFI and Overclocking …
Get fast to the right UEFI settings …
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend BIOS and Overclocking
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend UEFI BIOS Update
Backup BitLocker key before BIOS update
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend overclocking
ASRock BFB – Base Frequency Boost
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend memory settings
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend voltage settings
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend overclock even easier
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend BIOS undervolting
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend Fan control
BIOS and Overclocking …
Now we come to the BIOS or UEFI setup options and the UEFI overclocking. After switching on the PC, the UEFI setup can be accessed via the Del or F2 key.
The ASRock Z790 Steel Legend WiFi UEFI BIOS has a graphical interface that allows intuitive operation with a mouse or can still be operated conventionally with a keyboard.
There is, as usual with the current ASRock Intel motherboards, the ASRock EZ Mode – so Easy Mode – which offers a clear entry page with a lot of important information and yet does not look overloaded. Basic information like time, date, CPU temperature, motherboard temperature, CPU voltage, first details about the hardware, fan speeds, hard disk configuration, RAID mode and fan settings are just a click away. In addition, the ASRock Z790 Steel Legend WiFi has an integrated CPU temperature display as a diagram on the ASRock EZ Mode input page in the UEFI.
Many other functions can optionally be operated via function keys, which can be called up with F1. For example, if you want to publish a screenshot in our PC forum, you can save it to a USB stick with F12 and then upload it to the forum.
The System Browser view is no longer found on the ASRock Z790 Steel Legend WiFi motherboard, but you will again find the Full HD UEFI selection and the Active Page on Entry selection, which allows you to decide which UEFI page you want to start on in the UEFI setup. On the ASRock Z790 Steel Legend WiFi, you can 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 first update the UEFI BIOS to the latest version. Since ASRock regularly integrates new features, better memory support and new processors, the BIOS update is recommended in most cases. ASRock offers a few options 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. Via the so-called ASRock Instant Flash option in the tool screen or via the F6 key at PC startup, you can access the ASRock Instant Flash utility. You can simply install a previously downloaded ASRock BIOS without a 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 the download.
Backup BitLocker key before BIOS update …
The BitLocker note should be observed, otherwise you can no longer access the content of the SSD after a BIOS update. So be sure to save the BitLocker key before the BIOS update, this can be done for example via Control Panel -> System and Security -> BitLocker Drive Encryption -> Save Recovery Key -> Save to File. Or first disable BitLocker, then perform the BIOS update and then re-enable BitLocker. Here again under Tips and Tricks is the Bitlocker Recovery Key Guide.
The My Favorite function is very helpful, since you can store frequently used menu items here to see them comfortably on one page and call them up faster. You start with an empty page – by the way, it is unfortunately also emptied after a BIOS update.
The My Favorite page is now filled with 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 tool side, by the way, this ASRock Z790 Steel Legend motherboard once again features the ASRock Polychrome RGB LED entry, which is almost identical to the ASRock Polychrome RGB software that we mentioned on the previous page.
And you can set in the Polychrome RGB LED menu whether the LEDs should shine continuously, should “breathe”, should be controlled randomly or even to music. So the user gets numerous possibilities how and how fast the LED strips should light up. And if you don’t need the lighting, you can of course deactivate it completely.
The handy SSD Secure Erase BIOS tool, which we first discovered since the ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9 motherboard, has also been integrated back into the ASRock Z790 Steel Legend WiFi.
Simply select the desired SSD and it will be quickly and safely erased – for example, for secure deletion before the SSD sale or in case of serious problems with the partitioning. Great thing, but definitely use with caution! How to safely erase an SSD without such an option, we explain e.g. here in the SSD secure erase post.
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend overclocking …
Now we come to the Intel LGA 1700 overclocking with the Z790 chipset on the ASRock Z790 Steel Legend WiFi motherboard. ASRock divides the OC Tweaker menu of the ASRock Z790 Steel Legend WiFi into CPU Configuration, DRAM Configuration, Voltage Configuration and FIVR Configuration. In addition, there is now the CPU Vcore Compensation option, the CPU Cooler Type selection and the Base Frequency Boost entry.
A look into the CPU Configuration menu is also very pleasing, because you can overclock really extensively with the Z790 compared to the B760 or H770! If you use an Intel “K” CPU with an open multiplier like the Intel Core i7-12700K or Intel Core i9-13900K CPU, you get all important settings for the P-Core and E-Core multiplier and the BCLK.
The CPU power limit can be unlocked with an option in the UEFI in order to get more out of the CPU with appropriate CPU cooling (see CPU Cooler Test Comparison).
Thus, an Intel Core i9-13900K CPU could be overclocked wonderfully with this Intel Z790 motherboard. But even an Intel Core i7-13700 Intel Core i5-13500 CPU with locked multi could be overclocked somewhat. If we discover ways to unlock the multi in the future, we will post them as usual in the Intel OC Forum or directly with an OC guide in the PC Workshop. Until then, we’ll have to be content with BCLK overclocking for locked CPUs, but of course it will overclock all other components as well.
ASRock BFB – Base Frequency Boost …
On the OC Tweaker input page, there is also the so-called Base Frequency Boost option, which allows you to overclock even a CPU with a locked multiplier. You don’t get overclocking via multiplier, but you can influence the power limit with it. Normally, the Core i7-12700K CPU, for example, is given a power limit of 125 watts by Intel. That means, if the Turbo clock frequency requires more than 125W power limit over a certain time, Intel prevents this with the power limit throttling. We have already explained Intel Turbo Boost Short Power Max, Turbo Boost Power Max, Turbo Boost Power Time Window, Primary Plane Current Limit, Short Duration Power Limit, Long Duration Power Limit and similar power limits several times in our OC guides, because higher power limits play an important role in overclocking. Especially when it comes to maintaining higher clock rates over a longer period of time. ASRock now allows to raise this limit with the Base Frequency Boost option in the OC Tweaker UEFI to keep the Turbo clock frequency beyond the 125W power limit over a longer period of time, more precisely up to 280W. Of course, it is very helpful that ASRock has improved the VRMs even more in this Z790 Steel Legend WiFi.
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend WiFi memory settings …
The ASRock Z790 Steel Legend WiFi offers an overview with all SPD and XMP memory values under Memory Information, but they are no longer available for direct selection like in the DRAM Configuration Menu.
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend voltage settings …
And in OC mode, there are even higher voltages. The CPU Core/Cache Voltage can again be set to Offset and Fixed Mode. In the Intel Core i7-12700K test CPU, the Fixed Mode could be selected from 0.800 volts to 2.200 volts and the Vcore Offset from -0.100V to +0.300V.
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend even easier overclocking …
For example, you could save undervolting values, balanced BIOS settings, office or gaming settings as undervolting, balance and gaming user profiles to be able to quickly reload these values at any time.
BIOS Undervolting …
Underclocking was also tested again in this review. The Intel Core i7-12700K CPU could be underclocked to about 800 MHz via the multi. One can then lower the voltage and thus further reduce the power consumption. Underclocking with a low CPU voltage is of course outside of the specification, just like overclocking, so a bit of luck is always required here. However, ASRock at least provides the basis for an easy undervolting.
There are many more UEFI settings to choose from, including CPU Configuration, Chipset Configuration, Storage Configuration, Intel Thunderbolt, ACPI Configuration, USB Configuration and Trusted Computing.
If you want to save power when using an Intel LGA1700 PC, or if you want to use Intel Virtualization Technology to support multiple, simultaneous operating systems, or if you want to adjust the CPU state support, you should also definitely check the CPU Configuration menu under Advanced.
Fan control …
The UEFI setup of the passively cooled Z790 Steel Legend WiFi motherboard also has an extensive, temperature-controlled fan control. The integrated fan control can be found in the H/W monitor directly under the display of the temperature and voltage values.
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 to make all settings very clearly. Simply select the respective fan connection on the left side and then select the mode on the right side: Silent, Standard, Performance or Full Speed.
Since the fans are even controlled depending on the CPU or motherboard temperature with this fan controller, you can confidently do without an additional fan controller.
If everything is set in the UEFI, simply store the settings as usual with the F10 key and confirm with Z or on an English keyboard with Y. A new feature of ASRock is that all changes made are shown again before saving – very useful!
ASRock Z790 Steel Legend energy consumption …