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ASRock X99 OC Formula Motherboard Overview and Overclocking Guide

By: Steven Bassiri | Guides | Posted: Nov 13, 2014 3:07 am

Overclocking Features


I will now cover all of the overclocking specific hardware features this motherboard offers.




ASRock provides their more advanced OC features in the upper right hand corner of the board. This includes their OC buttons, which have many functions that can be switched with the menu buttons. They can control BCLK, Multiplier, and voltages like the CPU VCore. The only stipulation is that you must launch ASRock's software for the buttons to make them functional.


ASRock also provides switches for each yellow PCI-E slot, as well as an LN2 mode switch that will make the board friendlier to LN2 overclocking. A slow-mode switch is provided, which will drop the CPU and Cache ratios down to 12x if needed on-the-fly. Voltage read points provide voltage readings for the CPU VIN, VCore, VCCIO, DRAM, PCH, and PCH PLL.


Further down the board, you have the POST Code display, and a switch for switching between the main and backup BIOS. A direct to BIOS button is also provided to the right of the power and reset switches.




ASRock provides a Molex port for extra PCI-E power, and a clear CMOS button on the back panel.



CPU and BCLK Overclocking


Max CPU Overclock is found by setting the VCore to 1.5v, Input voltage to 2.1v, cache voltage to 1.2v, CPU multiplier to 45x, memory and cache multipliers to 12x, and disabling any features that would result in CPU frequency fluctuation.




5.0GHz is the maximum of our CPU on many boards, including the X99 OC Formula.



Max Stable Overclock (BIOS settings are located further down):




I was easily able to pull off 4.5GHz on the CPU with 3.0GHz cache, and a 2133MHz memory overclock (32GB) on my memory, by manually tuning the UEFI. I will cover auto OC features later on.


Max BCLK is found at the 1.67x (if it's operational), with fixed PCH Core voltage of 1.25v, and System Agent Voltage of +0.3v. All other ratios are tuned back to 12x (memory at 8x), to ensure they don't bottleneck the BCLK overclock.




176.29MHz was the maximum BCLK OC I could achieve with optimal settings. I learned that on this ASRock board, you type in "170," instead of typing in "102," and selecting the 1.67x divider to get 170MHz. I was a bit puzzled before I discovered that, so hopefully it will save you some time.



Memory overclocking with G.Skill 3200MHz 16GB Kit (Single sided Hynix modules)


Maximum clock on this memory is usually achieved by using the 1.00x BCLK ratio, and the 32x memory multiplier. If these don't work, then I use 1.25x BCLK and 24x, and higher multipliers instead. DRAM voltage is set to 1.5v, and system agent to +0.5v; timings were set at 16-16-16-36 2T, and the rest are on auto. These high voltages are for testing purposes. For the efficiency test, the 1.25x divider is used with 21.33x memory multiplier. The 24x multiplier is used for CPU and Uncore. HyperPI 32M is used for the efficiency test.




Max OC: 3293MHz

Efficiency time: 15min 25.879s


At this time, the X99 OC Formula supports dividers up to 26.66x. The higher multipliers from 28x to 40x aren't present, as Intel doesn't officially support them in the UEFI code. While I have used higher memory multipliers (such as 32x) on other boards, ASRock is sticking with the 1.25x BCLK divider as its way to get over 2666MHz. If you have a kit with an XMP higher than that, then you can select one of the profiles Nick Shih has provided, as they do work pretty well. I just manually typed in what I wanted, and I was able to OC the memory just as high as other boards that have the 32x multiplier working.



BIOS Settings for 4.5GHz Overclock with 32GB of 2133MHz Memory




I set the CPU frequency to 45x, and I did disable EIST, but you should leave it on make sure to max out the power limits for the short and long duration power bursts.




The CPU voltages are divided between the FIVR voltages, and the PWM settings page. I set the VCore to 1.3v, and the VIN to 2.0 volts, and maxed out the PWM settings above.




I selected the 21.33MHz DRAM multiplier. The image on the right shows all the available DRAM multipliers; to go higher, you should use the 1.25x BCLK divider.



OC Recovery Experience:


OC recovery was present, and seemed to work well. I had to use clear CMOS a few times, but in general, recovery from bad CPU or memory settings is easy enough. BCLK might require a clear CMOS.

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