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 (disabling C states and EIST in the GIGABYTE UEFI). I then proceed into Windows and use software to increase the multiplier; in this case I opted to use GIGABYTE Tweak Launcher (GTL), which is a slim program only meant for changing overclocking parameters in Windows.
5.1GHz is the maximum of our CPU on many boards; the Z97X-UD5H did as expected. Maximum AIDA64 Stable Overclock (BIOS settings are located further down):
I was easily able to pull off 4.8GHz on the CPU with 4.2GHz cache and a 2600MHz XMP overclock on my memory by manually tuning the UEFI. Later on I will cover GIGABYTE'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.
189.86MHz 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.
- Max Hynix(double sided) OC: 2996 MHz
- Hynix efficiency time: 44.351s
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.
- Max Samsung OC: 2731
- Samsung efficiency time: 44.631s
BIOS Settings for 4.8GHz Overclock with XMP
I just typed in the CPU multiplier here, enabled XMP (I didn't need to visit the memory page), and set the BCLK to 100.00, you can also set it to 100.02 to get 100.00 MHz even.
I disabled Turbo mode, but you can leave it on Auto, and then I disabled all the c-states and EIST. I also set the uncore ratio to 42x here as well. The memory tab doesn't need to be visited if all you set is XMP, however, there are many more options to tune if you desire. The one I find most useful for extreme overclocking on boards like the Z97X-SOC Force is the fast boot enable/disable option, so you can control memory training to some extent.
The advanced power menu is where you see all the options for the IR3563B digital PWM; I set VRIN LLC to "Extreme" and PWM Phase control to "eXm Perf" on all GIGABYTE boards I overclock, however, on the Z97X-UD5H, it is also a good idea to set the VRIN Current Protection to "Extreme" to make sure the CPU sustains a high current overclock such as that at 4.8GHz. I set the voltages as in the second picture above; there isn't a need to set the DRAM voltage as XMP takes care of that.
If you want to change your fan control settings, they are readily available here; the speed percentage however could be a bit tricky, basically 2.5x is more reactive to higher temperatures than 0.75x.
If you would like to save your BIOS profiles for later, you may do so in this menu.
OC Recovery Experience
I would say that the overclocking recovery on this board is pretty good for CPU and memory.
BCLK OC recovery took longer to occur than CPU or memory, possibly because of the dual BIOS function; however, that can be disabled by an onboard switch.
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