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CPU Power Management:

ASUS Z77 UEFI Power Control

Takes us to a sub-menu that allows configuration of non-Turbo ratio CPU multipliers as well as set power thresholds for Turbo multipliers. Information is provided within UEFI with regards to the usage of each option.

DIGI+ Power Control:

Each of the settings within the DIGI+ VRM section has an explanation listed in the right hand column of UEFI. All settings have been configured to scale on Auto in accordance with overclocking. We’ll highlight some settings below for clarification purposes.

Load-Line Calibration:

AKA LLC, sets the margin between applied and load voltage. For 24/7 use a setting of 50% is considered optimal, providing the best balance between set and load voltage in a manner that compliments the VRM for all loading conditions. Some users prefer using higher values, although this will impact overshoot to a small degree.

VRM Spread Spectrum:

ssigns enhanced modulation of the VRM output in order the peak magnitude of radiated noise into nearby circuitry. This setting should only be used at stock operating frequency, as the modulation routines can impact transient response.

All “Current Capability”settings:

ASUS DIGI+ Power Control

A setting of 100% on all of these settings should be ample to overclock processors using conventional cooling methods. If pushing processors using LN2 or other sub-zero forms of cooling then increase the current threshold to each voltage rail respectively. A setting of 140% should ensure OCP does not trip during benchmarks.

CPU Voltage:

There are two ways to control CPU core voltage; Offset Mode and Manual Mode. Manual mode assigns a static level of voltage for the processor. Offset Mode allows the processor to request voltage according to loading conditions and operating frequency. Offset mode is preferred for 24/7 systems as it allows the processor to lower its voltage during idle conditions, thus saving a small amount of power and reducing unnecessary heat.

The caveat of Offset Mode is that the full load voltage the processor will request under load is impossible to predict without loading the processor fully. The base level of voltage used will increase in accordance with the CPU multiplier ratio. It is therefore best to start with a low multiplier ratio and work upwards in 1X steps while checking for stability at each increase. Enter the OS, load the CPU and check CPU-Z to check the voltage the CPU requests from the buck controller. If the level of voltage requested is very high, then you can reduce the full load voltage by applying a negative offset in UEFI. For example, if our full load voltage at 45X CPU multiplier ratios happened to be 1.40V, we could reduce that to 1.35V by applying a 0.05V negative offset in UEFI.

Most of the information pertaining to overclocking Sandy Bridge CPUs has already been well documented on the internet. For those of you purchasing retail Ivy Bridge CPUs, we expect most samples to achieve 4.3-4.5GHz with air and water cooling. Higher overclocks are possible although full-loading of the CPUs will result in very high temperatures even though the current consumed by these processors is not excessive. We suspect this is a facet of the 22nm process.

iGPU Voltage:

Sets the rail voltage of the integrated GPU. Same function as CPU Vcore with regards to Manual and Offset Mode.

DRAM Voltage:

Sets voltage for the memory modules. 1.50V DIMMs qualified on Sandybridge and Ivy Bridge processors are recommended for use on this platform.

VCCSA Voltage:

Sets the voltage for the System Agent. It can be left on Auto for most overclocking.

VCCIO:

May need adjustment on Sandybridge processors if using 16GB of memory or memory modules that contain ICs that represent a tough load to the memory controller. 1.05V is base, if adjusting increase in 0.025V steps and check stability at each increment.

ASUS UEFI Voltage Settings

CPU PLL Voltage:

For most overclocking, the minimum voltage requirements will be centered around 1.80V. If using higher processor multiplier ratios or DRAM frequencies over DDR3 2200, then a small over-voltage here can aid stability. Don note that the processor will become increasingly sensitive to PLL voltage changes at sub-zero temperatures and when nearing the maximum frequency the CPU is capable of.

PCH Voltage:

It can be left at default values for all overclocking. We have not observed any relationship between this voltage rail and any other in our testing to date.

DRAM DATA and CTRL References for all channels:

Allow adjustment of the DRAM read/write reference voltages for the DATA and CTRL signal lines. A setting of Auto defaults to 50% of VDIMM which should be adequate for almost all overclocking. Adjustment can sometimes be required when benchmarking memory at very high operating frequencies. In such instances a small reduction or increase (one step) above or below 50% can help aid stability in memory intensive benchmarks. Also if processors are sub-zero cooled, there may come a point where the memory controller becomes unstable regardless of operating frequency. This is where fiddling with these voltages can sometimes help pass benchmarks that would be otherwise unstable.

CPU Spread Spectrum:

Modulates processor core frequency in order to reduce the peak magnitude of radiated noise emissions. We recommend setting this to disabled if overclocking the as the modulation can interfere with system stability.

BCLK Recovery:

When enabled, this setting will return BCLK to a setting of 100 MHz (default) if the system fails to POST. Disabling it will NOT return BCLK to 100MHz when OC Failure is detected.


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