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ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide (Page 4)

Steven Bassiri | Aug 11, 2014 at 09:12 am CDT - 3 mins, 45 secs reading time for this page

Overclocking Results

In this section, I will go through overclocking this board. Overclocking (OC) is a strong indicator of overall tuning. I don't only OC the CPU, but also the memory, and even the base clock with the latter having more to do with board design and BIOS tuning.

CPU and BCLK Overclocking

Max CPU Overclock is found by setting the VCore to 1.4v, Input voltage to 2.0v, cache voltage to 1.2v, CPU multiplier to 45x, memory and cache multipliers to 8x, and disabling any features that would result in CPU frequency fluctuation (changing power mode to High-Performance in the control panel for ASUS boards). I then proceed into Windows and use software to increase the multiplier; in this case I opted to use ASUS's TurboV Core, which is a lite reduced version of TurboV.

ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 31 | TweakTown.com

5.1GHz is the maximum of our CPU on many boards; the Z97 Pro did as expected. Maximum AIDA64 Stable Overclock (BIOS settings below for this):

ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 32 | TweakTown.com

I was easily able to pull off 4.8GHz on the CPU with 4.2GHz cache and a 2600MHz XMP overclock on my memory manually tuning the UEFI. Later on I will cover ASUS's auto OC features and their overclocks.

Max BCLK is found at the 1.67x (if it's operational), with fixed PCH Core voltage of 1.25v and fixed PCHIO at the lowest the board will allow, I believe 1.05v here. All other ratios are tuned back to 8x to ensure they don't bottleneck the BCLK overclock.

ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 33 | TweakTown.com

189.64MHz was the maximum BCLK OC I could pull off with optimal settings.

Memory overclocking with Hynix (double sided 8GB modules)

Maximum clock on this memory was done by using the 1.00x divider for BCLK, and then using timings of 12-15-15-35 2T, with 1.700v for DRAM voltage, and +0.20v for VCCIOA, VCCIOD, and System agent. The CPU and cache ratios were reduced to 8x to make sure they didn't affect the overclock. An efficiency test is also run, since every manufacturer sets their sub-timings differently, this test can also be used for comparison, same timings are set (no XMP of course), and a divider of 28x was used.

ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 34 | TweakTown.comASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 35 | TweakTown.com

Memory overclocking with Samsung (double sided 4GB modules)

Maximum clock on this memory was done by using the 1.00x divider for BCLK, and then using timings of 9-12-12-25 1T, with 1.900v for DRAM voltage (Samsung likes voltage, and this is strictly for motherboard testing purposes), and +0.15v for VCCIOA, VCCIOD, and System agent. The CPU and cache ratios were reduced to 8x to make sure they didn't affect the overclock. An efficiency test is also run, since every manufacturer sets their sub-timings differently, this test can also be used for comparison, same timings are set (no XMP of course), and a divider of 26.66x was used.

ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 36 | TweakTown.comASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 37 | TweakTown.com

BIOS Settings for 4.8GHz Overclock with XMP

ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 24 | TweakTown.com

ASUS always includes a ton of options; to a novice it might seem a bit extreme and intimidating, so they have also included an EasyMode.

ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 25 | TweakTown.comASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 39 | TweakTown.com

The first thing I did to get my overclock was enable XMP, you can do this with the switch on the board itself or you can enable it in the UEFI BIOS. I then manually entered in my overclock of 48x on all cores.

ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 26 | TweakTown.com

I also entered in my Cache Ratio to 42x, this is a bit low, you can go a bit higher if you want.

ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 27 | TweakTown.com

I selected manual voltage control under the VCore and cache voltages and entered in 1.3v for the CPU VCore and 1.15v for the cache voltage.

ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 28 | TweakTown.com

For some reason, this particular CPU likes higher VIN to be stable under heavy stress tests, I selected 2.0v here.

ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 29 | TweakTown.com

If you want to change your fan control settings, they are readily available and quite impressive.

ASUS Z97 Pro (Intel Z97) Motherboard - Circuit and Overclocking Guide 30 | TweakTown.com

If you would like to save your BIOS profiles for later, you may do so in this menu, also clearing the CMOS won't necessarily get rid of these profiles.

OC recovery could be better on this motherboard, only once in a while does it pick up on a bad OC and then let me back in the UEFI; usually I have to manually flip the AC power on the PSU. Sometimes I have to clear the CMOS, which becomes an issue considering it's a jumper and not a button.

Last updated: Jan 30, 2019 at 10:26 pm CST

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Steven Bassiri

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Steven Bassiri

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

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