Overclock.net › How To's › Dummy's Guide to X79 OC (ASUS)

Dummy's Guide to X79 OC (ASUS)

Heya folks, 
I'd like to add a small addendum to an already quite extensive list of OC setups and methods available here and the forums. 



I've had a fair bit of struggle trying to get into overclocking, and have been scouring the web including this community site to learn about the steps involved in a successful configuration, which in my impatience means a stable OS environment that can withstand one cycle of Intel Burn Test. After a while, my search narrowed to just identifying and inputting values into respective bios entries, to ascertain that the base set of settings for a simple overclock is sound before attempting anything more complicated.


Then I have come upon this Youtube video of a ROG representative going into depth explaining overclocking setup for their X79 boards.


ASUS: How to Overclock an Intel X79 SandyBridge-E Motherboard


At the very least, it allowed me to get past the dreaded cold boot problem that I was having, and I would like to deliver the settings that were tweaked for those who would just want to try the values without watching the entire hour of video. But I'd suggest you do if you want the background info on what each entry means.  


I'd like to mention the board I'm using is Sabertooth X79 motherboard with recent 3009 bios update. The CPU overclocked is i7 3820. 
First order of things is to make sure the initial setup of your PC goes smoothly, with all settings as they are at default. I'd run a few benchmarks and even some games to ascertain whether there is any problem before delving into any overclocking tweaks. 
If your PC system is stable, then it is time to enter into the bios. Restart the computer and press DEL or F2 at the splash image to enter into bios interface. 
The default BIOS screen will be set to simplified interface. Press F7 to enter into Advanced Mode. 


In Advanced Mode, you will notice the tabs on the top of the interface. They are, from left to right, Main, Ai Tweaker, Advanced, Monitor, Boot, and Tool. Click on Ai Tweaker. 


Ai Overclock Tuner:  

set to 'Manual' 

XMP allows automatic settings to memory timings, but may be too aggressive 


set to default, which is 100.000. Do not raise this value over 103.00 


CPU Strap:  

set to 125MHz 


Memory Frequency:  

It is recommended to keep the memory at its rated speeds, especially for denser  memory modules. 

You can go into shortcuts by pressing 'F3' and check out the SPD information on your memory modules 


Turbo Ratio: 

Per Core option allows overclocking flexibility for applications that use few cores but for my purposes, I left it at 'By All Cores' 




DRAM  Timing Control 


I have used the default setting for the RAM specifications here. One can also set these settings on 'Auto'. 




DIGI+ Power Control 


CPU Load-line Calibration: 

Counters Vdroop on CPUs, set it to Medium or High 


CPU Current Capability: 

Set it to 130% 


VCCSA Load-line Calibration: 

Set it to 'Regular' 


VCCSA Current Capability: 

Set it to 120% 


VCCSA Boot Up Voltage: 

Leave it 'Auto' 


CPU Voltage Frequency: 

Set it to 'Auto' 


CPU Spread Spectrum: 

Set it to 'Disabled' 


CPU Power Duty Control: 

Set it to 'T. Probe' 


CPU Power Phase Control: 

Set it to 'Optimized', good for overclocks from 4.6 to 4.8GHz 


DRAM -AB and DRAM -CD Current Capability: 

Set it to 120% 


DRAM -AB and DRAM -CD Voltage Frequency: 

Set it to 'Auto' 


DRAM -AB and DRAM -CD Power Phase Control 

Set it to 'Optimized' 





CPU Performance Settings 

Leave all settings on 'Auto' 




Now back to Ai Tweaker: 


CPU VCORE Voltage: 

This differs from CPU to CPU. I honestly think for my i7 3820, 1.370V seems to work okay, but I  

may feel safer with 1.380 ranges. I would not exceed 1.410 on overclocks between 4.6 to 4.8GHz 

The ASUS rep also suggested to go for Offset of +0.200 if one wants to opt into power saving states 


CPU VCCSA Voltage: 

Manual Mode 


CPU VCCSA Manual Voltage: 

Set it to 1.100, do not go above this figure 


DRAM Voltages: 

Leave it at specified voltage ratings for your RAM 


CPU PLL Voltage: 

Set it to 'Auto' 


VTTCPU Voltage: 

More or less matches CPU VCCSA voltage, set it to 1.100 





At the bottom of Ai Tweaker section: 


CPU, PCIE Spread Spectrum: 

Set it to 'Auto'. Other guides recommend leaving them 'Disabled' for better overclocking. I  

guess for overclocks below 4.8, it may or may not help. 






Go to Advanced Tab, then into CPU Configuration 


Intel Adaptive Thermal Monitor: 

Set it to 'Disabled' 




Go into CPU Power Management Configuration 


I left it all 'Auto'. If you use offset for CPU Voltage, then leave them enabled is going to help prolong the life of your CPU. Other guides recommend turning them off to prevent starving CPU of required power. 




As a last step, go to the Monitor section 


There is Anti Surge Support option at the bottom 

Set it to 'Disabled'  

I suggest you save the setting into a profile that can be done via the 'Tool' section. 


Restart the computer with changes to take effect by pressing 'F10'.  


With the settings above, I was able to boot into Windows without problem. I will have to run some benchmarks in order to gauge its stability, but I was surprised at how cold boot problem was gone. I suspect that it was primarily due to me conflating 'BCLK Frequency' and 'CPU Strap'.  


Well, that's it for now! Good luck on your overclocking (although I'm sure that all of you will certainly have more experience in this), and most importantly have fun!







ASUS: How to Overclock an Intel X79 SandyBridge-E Motherboard 


Comments (12)

Is there anything like this for Gigabyte's X79 boards?
I have both on 2 separate rigs so I would like to see one for Gigabyte also. Thank you for posting this guide though, Big help!
I found this guide thread while browsing the X79 board:
It is as helpful as it is in depth, and makes for an interesting reading. Plus, the board used as example is a Gigabyte X79 board. I hope it helps!
Thanks for the info Overpass!!!!!
Great info - thanks
Nice i look for the P9x79 Deluxe one can some one help ?
are you sure asus rep said use offset of +0.2v and not +0.02v? +0.2v seems a bit dangerous to start off with, specially if you've gone and just dropped some high multi in to see what happens.
Hey there, thanks for bringing this to light. I checked the video that's linked again to see if he mentioned that figure, and he did in fact mention 0.200, starting at about the 38:12 mark. I think this was done with the setup that he was showing up until that point, and he also added it would be ok for frequencies from 4.6 to 4.8Ghz (depending on quality of CPU), with Speedstep and C states enabled.
Why is you're BLCK set to 125mhz if you say it should go over 103? Sorry if it seems like a dumb question I'm new to the overclocking clan. Also I did follow you're tutorial but I set my Ram to 1666mhz,is it ok or I should set it down to 1333mhz? And last question, 1.38 v for the Vcore isin't a bit too hogh for my setup? i have the same cpu with a P9x79 Le mobo with 16 gb ram 1600. Thanks!
on x79, bclk of 125 uses cpu strap 125, which results in pcie and sata and other perihperals clock of 100mhz which is safe.
a bclk of 100 uses cpu strap 100, which results in a pcie and sata etc clock of 100mhz, safe.
There are other cpu straps on x79 which will also result in the 100mhz peripheral clock if bclk is set the same.
If you set the bclk to a different frequency than what is offered by the cpu strap, you will be either underclocking or overclocking the peripheral bus which will result in instability in devices attached to it (graphics card, hard drives/ssds etc).
Some sources will advise not varying your bclk more than +/- 3 from the strap, others say as much as +/-7.
But the point is to not overclock your peripherals, so that you don't have instability.
Alright thanks! Anyway I set my BLCK to 100.00 and multiplier to 42 wich gives me 4.2 ghz with 1.28 vcore, ram to 1600. I run cool,quiet and stable for now. Used to run 4.625ghz for almost a year with Asus Ai suite 2 but started to get blue screens.
Your 4.625 ghz overclock may have been unstable this whole time but you just never saw the instability due to what you were doing on your machine. Maybe you've got different programs running now that have revealed the instability or maybe the 4.625 ghz oc had high vcore voltage and the chip has degraded over time. Either way, best to test your current oc using prime 95 blend test for 24 hours and see if it crashes, otherwise u may see a bsod when you are doing something important and lose your work.
Overclock.net › How To's › Dummy's Guide to X79 OC (ASUS)