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Asus Maximus Z790 Extreme and Intel i9-13900k - A tuning guide for beginners.

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A tuning guide for beginners.


Asus Maximus Z790 extreme & Intel i9-13900k.

Introduction:

Once again Asus and intel surprise us with an extremely robust, powerful and efficient platform.

In the past, when we overclocked the CPU, the performance gain reflected significantly in productivity gains.

These days, processing power is at such a high level that overclocking the CPU doesn't contribute significantly, but it always yields some FPSs.
The fact is that a perfect tuning of the system guarantees good temperatures and the possibility of high impulse clocks.

When a customer buys a computer from a specialized company, it is assumed that all adjustments have already been made at the factory. On the other hand, when we decide to build our own system, it will be up to us to make all the adjustments.

Imagine that you decided to build a turbo engine for your car. It is not enough to buy a turbine, a new ECU, make all the connections and start accelerating. It is necessary to think about the air/fuel ratio, the turbine pressure, the relief system, the cooling system, and do many, many tests to arrive at a satisfactory and safe adjustment. So it is with computers.

When we buy a motherboard, memories, processor, cooler, VGA card, etc... when we connect all the components together, the first thing that happens is a message from the system BIOS warning that nothing is configured.

It is from this point that I intend to help first-timers. For experts in breaking overclocking records this guide may seem basic, but I assure you that it is always possible to learn something new.

The intention of this guide is to provide basic information to start tuning the Asus Maximus Z790 MB and Intel i9-13900k CPU using all the CPU and MB boost technology and power management features.


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* * * This procedure can be applied to the Z490 / Z590 / Z690 / Z790 Maximus and Strix MBs with some adjustments. * * *
Computer hardware Electronic instrument Audio equipment Circuit component Font


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Thanks:

My thanks to Shamino, Falkentyne, Cstkl1, Nizzen, Sugi0lover and the entire Asus team.



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Considerations:

People who know me know that I'm not a brutal-force overclocker, and that I don't mind a few FPSs. And to be honest, I also don't like testing software that demands something from the system that is not compatible with the real world.
My goal is to achieve the best possible result, without major changes, aiming high single-core boost clocks while maintaining stability, with a decent full load frequency and good temperatures, something within everyone's reach.

And for that I prefer to adjust the system using tools that approximate the reality of the common user, so that in these conditions the best possible performance is obtained.

The tools I usually use are:
Cinebench_R23 for full load adjustment (3 to 5 minutes is more than enough if you don't have a custom water cooler with more than 1L of water inventory).
Realbench_2.56, GeekBench_5 and 3DMARK Fire Strike (DX11) for load transients.
AIDA_64 and OCCT for memory tests.
To monitor the whole system I use HW-info.

It is worth mentioning that the intention of this work is not to provide an overclocking recipe, but to help the end user to understand and adjust the marriage between the MB and the CPU.

Asus has great features in their MBs that allow for optimization and overclocking, and they also provide a unique tool called "AI Overclocking" that helps you get the most out of your MB/CPU set.

What we'll do here is put the final touch on these adjustments in order to optimize the entire set.

To this end, I will objectively approach the concepts of voltages, frequencies and temperatures, and how all this influences the TVB configuration. In addition this guide will cover the basics of Load Lines, Usage by Core, VF Curves, TVB and OCTVB.

This guide is divided in 4 parts.
This is the first part, with some theory.
The second is about the startup process and more practical.
The third is the advanced module.
And the last is about testing.
And all this content will be constantly updated over time.

If you think that's a lot to read and learn, think about how hard it was to write all of this, and know that the best you can get from this reading is not a higher XYZ_bench score, but the knowledge that no one can take away from you!

So, enjoy reading!





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Before starting:

If you've already bought an Asus Maximus Z790 card and an intel 13900K processor, I assume you already know what you want:
The best available on the market!
So it got off to a good start!

Now comes the next question:
What kind of user are you?

There are 3 types of users:
- Enthusiast: Is the one who doesn't stop fiddling with the settings and his goal is to learn more and more, always trying to get the most out of the system.
In this case, this guide will help you start the process, and your experience will probably never end. Once you've mastered one subject, you'll soon move on to another, and by the time you get the most out of one platform, you're probably already considering buying a newer MB and a newer generation CPU.
Your game is overclocking, and gaming is a way to test the system.

- Commercial user: It is the one who uses the equipment in some business to earn money. In this case, it is best to find a very stable and energy efficient configuration. The best thing would be to keep the default clocks (or even reduce them a little) and make an undervoltage without compromising system stability.

- The Gamer: Aim for fun. The gamer usually looks for a configuration with the best possible performance, but does not want to keep tweaking the system indefinitely.

Once you've defined what kind of user you are, let's start by breaking some paradigms and myths. If you are really a first-timer maybe what I'm about to tell you is easier, however if you already have some experience setting up and tuning computers it may be that some paradigms have to be broken.


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Breaking paradigms:

Let's now clarify some points that many people have doubts and that are somehow controversial.

  • Does the I9-13900K consume more than 300W at full load?
  • The answer is NO!
If you are running cinebench_r23, and you are getting readings above 250W, with the system in stock, something is probably wrong.
Always compare the CPU power reading to the VRM power reading. They must be compatible. For that use the HW-Info.
Although manufacturers provide motherboards and processors operating at higher voltages than necessary (to ensure system stability under adverse conditions).
If the power reading at full load (r23) is above this limit, it is very likely that an adjustment in the load lines is needed.
The 13900K operating at stock frequencies, as long as the load lines are minimally adjusted, will present a consumption of less than 250W on full load (r23).
Later we will address the load lines and everything will become clearer.

  • Do I need a custom cooling system for the 13900K?
  • The answer is no!
A custom cooling system is only needed if you intend to push the system to the limit (or beyond). A 360mm water cooler and good thermal paste will probably do the cooling, keeping temperatures in the mid-90s for extremely heavy tasks. I venture to say that if you live in a cold place, even an air-cooler might be enough.
There are several air-coolers that handle this level of power, such as the AK620 (maximum heat dissipation power of 260W).
What we have to keep in mind is that no everyday application will put a load on the CPU like the R23 or P95. Obviously there are exceptions, as in the case of Flakentyne which uses stockfish, which is an “Open Source Chess Engine”, and which is extremely CPU-heavy. In these cases, it is recommended to adjust the MB/CPU set for your daily reality.

  • Do I need to do long tests at full load to ensure system stability?
  • It is not necessary.
The test duration should be long enough for the temperature of your cooling system to come into equilibrium. Once equilibrium has been reached (water temperature has stopped rising) the test can be terminated. I particularly don't like this type of test that puts all cores on 100% load for long periods. Many times your system can withstand more than 30min in this condition and fail in a simple processing load transient.

  • Will voltages above 1.5V deteriorate my CPU?
  • Once again the answer is NO! But be careful !
Just like a car engine, where wear is due to excess power, temperature, and torque, CPU wear comes from excess power, temperature, and electrical current.
Intel's data sheets put the maximum allowable voltage at 1.72V. So once the power and temperature are controlled, there's nothing wrong if Vcore reaches 1.65V at light loads. But be care. One thing is a voltage spike or a high voltage at a very, very light load, the other is trying to run a heavy load at a high voltage. If you try to run a heavy load with a voltage that exceeds the CPU power capability, you will have problem. For instance, 1,2V (a relative small voltage) with 250A will be enough for throttling or even a degradation.


  • If I do the delid, use liquid metal or change the IHS will I degrade the CPU?
  • The answer is YES and NO. I'll explain...
If the changes are only made to lower the temperature, there is no harm. The problem is when we take advantage of this modification to increase the CPU voltage to reach higher frequencies at full load. In this case, the CPU power will increase, and its temperature will still be low. As CPU protection is done thermally, there is a chance of degrading the CPU due to excess electrical current and/or power.
It is worth remembering that applications that put all cores operating at 100% load constantly are rare. Rest assured that 30 minutes of r23 or P95 will wear out the CPU infinitely more than Vlatch reaching 1.60V at “idle”.
The fact is that it is uncomfortable to see that the voltage (VLatch_max) has reached 1.60V. But people don't feel any discomfort when the CPU reaches 300W of power. Very strange, don't you think? What you need to know is Ohm's law won't forgive you if you do something wrong.


  • What can degrade my CPU?
  • The answer is POWER!
Power (Watts) is the product of Voltage*Ampere, and it generates heat. So, power and heat will degrade your CPU.
If you have a high voltage at light load, you will have no problems. Imagine your CPU is running a load at 1.48V and consuming 40A, this means you have less than 60W of power to dissipate.
Now let's do the same, running a heavy load at 1.2V that draws 250A. Now we have 300W to manage...
Can you imagine running a load from 250W to 300W for 30 minutes on a CPU designed for 125W TDP?
It is worth remembering that the maximum power allowed by intel is 253W.

This is from intel datasheet:
Maximum Turbo Power: 253W
The maximum sustained (>1s) power dissipation of the processor as limited by current and/or temperature controls. Instantaneous power may exceed Maximum Turbo Power for short durations (<=10ms).


So, there is no problem to overclock the CPU. An overclocked CPU in real world (like gaming) will draw less than 200W for sure.
The major issue is submitting the CPU for a long period of testing that will test more your cooler solution than the stability of your overclock.
"It's not worth blowing up the engine to know its limit".

One thing I would like to make clear here. Intel has taken the 13900K to the extreme, which can be verified by the temperatures of the CPU running in stock. Therefore, this processor will not allow an overclocking margin like the previous ones. With a normal cooler and without big gimmicks, like the delid, full load frequencies of 55x to 56x are to be expected.




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Some conventions:

Let's face it, when we follow a pattern things get easier...Imagine two people talking about a subject where one insists on referring to temperatures in Fahrenheit and the other in Celsius. Or one referring to the opening time of an injection nozzle (informing the volume of the cylinders and the air pressure) and the other talking about the air/fuel ratio. The same goes for the CPU and MB.

It doesn't make any sense to inform minimum voltage VID (telling which LLC is being used) if we want to know the minimum voltage of Die-Sense for a given frequency.

So we'll do some conventions:

- Whenever we want to know the minimum voltage for a given frequency, we will refer to Vcore (Die-sense).
No matter what your LLC, AC-LL or DC_LL configuration, for minimum voltage we will always use VCore voltage. (eg.: Full load P55x/E43x: Vcore=1.137v)

- Whenever we refer to a core frequency configuration we will use the following nomenclature:

12900K (Stock):
Max turbo - 5.2GHz
P-cores - 3.2GHz/5.1GHz
E-cores - 2.4GHz/3.9GHz

P: 52x1 – 51x2 – 50x4 – 49x8
E: 39x4 – 37x8
Full load @ P-49x/E-37x - VCore=1.18V

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13900K (Stock):
Max turbo - 5.8GHz
P-cores - 3.0GHz/5.4GHz
E-cores - 2.2GHz/4.3GHz

P: 58x2 - 54x8
E: 43x16
Full load @ P-55x/E-43x - Vcore=1.137V




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Some concepts:

So we can talk and understand each other, let's make sure that some concepts are known, they are:

  • “By Core” and “Sync all cores”:

The 13900K has 8 performance cores (#0 to #7) with independent frequency controls.
This means that we can assign each core a completely independent frequency limit, and they can each operate at different frequencies, depending on the processing demand.

On this page below, you can set the frequency and the number of cores that can run at the same time at that frequency.
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Above we have the following configuration:

P-61x2 - 59x4 - 57x6 - 55x8.

This means that if all cores is loaded the frequency will be 55x.
If 7 cores are loaded the frequency will be 55x
If 6 cores are loaded the frequency will be 57x
If 5 cores are loaded the frequency will be 57x
If 4 cores are loaded the frequency will be 59x
If 3 cores are loaded the frequency will be 59x
If 2 cores are loaded the frequency will be 61x
If 1 cores are loaded the frequency will be 61x
*Later we will see how to limit the frequency of a specific core.

Similarly, efficiency cores can also receive independent frequency assignments, but in groups of 4 cores.
Cores #8 to #11 form the first group.
Cores #12 to #15 are the second group.
Cores #16 to #19 are the third group.
And finally, cores #20 to #23 form the fourth and final group.

So you'd better set frequencies for a group of four cores.
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Above we have the following configuration:

E-48x4 - 47x8 - 46x16

And we have the same logic for the number of cores loaded.


If you set all performance and/or efficiency cores to the same frequency value, this setting is called “sync all cores”.
Then we can synchronize all performance cores to the same value (eg. 55x) and all efficiency cores to another value (eg. 43x).
This setting can be expressed as “Synced-P-55x/E-43x”.

Below we have all P-Cores synced to 55x.
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This setting (sync all cores) is still widely used today, although it no longer makes sense. When we do that, it's like we have one big performance core and another big efficiency core, each locked to a specific frequency. This configuration is valid to try to get a high score in some benchmark software. For everyday use, it's like locking your car's engine to a fixed RPM.

On the other hand, the “by core” configuration allows the CPU's internal algorithms, together with the operating system, to decide which core to assign the processing load to, as well as and control their frequencies within limits that we can stipulate. This setting is valid for both performance cores and efficiency cores.

The 13900K in stock configuration operates at:
P-58x2-55x8
E-43x16
In this configuration above, if the workload requires only 2 performance cores, they can run at 5.8GHz.
If all cores are required, the frequency will be 5.5GHz.

The advantage of the “By core” configuration is that we can create different usage rules for the cores, depending on workload, temperature and frequency.

For example, we can change your configuration to work like this:

P-59x2-57x4-55x8
E-45x4-44x8-43x16

In this case if the demand for performance cores requires only 2 cores, these will run at 5.9Ghz.
If the workload requires 4 cores, these will run at 5.7GHz.
And if the load requires all cores, the frequency will be 5.5GHz.

The same reasoning applies to efficiency cores.
As your demand for cores increases, the frequency decreases.

Maybe it's still not clear, but if we think about processing load, the rule we created makes tasks with less demand to be executed with higher frequencies and consequently faster.

Did you see the advantage over “sync all cores”?

What if we create a configuration as follows?

P-63x1-62x2-61x3-60x4-59x5-58x6-57x7-56x8

No problem if your CPU quality allows it!
If all cores are demanded, the frequency will be 5.6GHz, and will increase by 100MHz for each core that is not being used, until a task that requires only a single core is executed at 6.3GHz.

  • “Adaptive voltage” and “fixed voltage”:

Once you understand the previous frequency dynamics, it becomes much easier to understand the difference between fixing the voltage and letting the voltage be applied adaptively.

Fixed voltage should be used when synchronizing all cores to a certain frequency. The adaptive will vary according to the number of cores used and the frequency applied.
The higher the frequency, the higher the voltage applied. There is a frequency/voltage table for this, the so-called “vf curve”.

  • “VF Curve”:

The VF curve is nothing more than a table internal to the CPU that determines the voltage that the CPU must request from the VRM according to the operating frequency of the cores.
This table has a series of offsets that allow us to make voltage corrections for each specific frequency, allowing us to calibrate the voltage for each frequency.
The interesting thing is to find the minimum voltage for each frequency, so that the cores can vary their frequencies using the lowest possible energy level, generating less heat.
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It is also this table that gives rise to the famous SP number.
CPUs that have a table where higher frequencies demand a lower voltage have a higher SP number.

The “AI Overclock” BIOS page indicates what voltage is needed for each core to operate at 5.8GHz, and it is this set of information that is compiled into the SP number.

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Another great advantage of configuring the CPU in “by core” and “adaptive voltage” is that we can configure an independent adaptive voltage for each core, according to the table mentioned above. This operating configuration allows us to put the best cores to operate at higher frequencies.

On this page below we can limit each core frequency and assign it a unique adaptive voltage.
Font Screenshot Software Technology Electronic device

In this example above we have cores #0 and #1 limited to 60x with an adaptive voltage of 1.446V. We can do this for each of the 8 cores.


  • Load Line

Many like to tinker with their motherboard load-line settings to achieve better overclocking results. But how does this setting really work and how does the voltage output change with it? Check below to find out.

What is Load-Line?
The load-line setting, normally in mΩ (milliohms), determines how much the output voltage decreases when loaded.
This is derived from Ohm’s Law U = R*I. The drop in output voltage is calculated as load-line * Iout (output current).
For example a load-line of 1 mΩ and output current of 100 A, dU = 0.001 Ω * 100 A = 0.100 V.
At 1.300 V set-point output voltage, when loaded with 100 A the output would really be 1.300 – 0.100 = 1.200 V.
The primary reason for using a load-line in modern systems is to reduce voltage spikes (overshoot) when going from high to low output current and achieve a more predictable behavior.

Load-Line Levels or similar are profiles created by motherboard manufacturers to obfuscate and “simplify” different load-line values for users.
Another reason for these profiles is because additional VRM (Voltage Regulator Module) settings may need to adjusted along with the load-line value to keep it operating within spec.

The captures below show the output voltage transient behavior when loaded with about 70 A for ~150 μs.
The LLC1 capture illustrates ideal load-line behavior.
As the load-line value decreases (higher level), the line flattens and the under/overshoot spikes at start and finish become more pronounced.
The lowest voltage point at the beginning of the load transient does not improve much.
In this case, using a Load-Line Level of above 3 seems questionable.
The load voltage would increase meaning higher power consumption, but the worst case lowest voltage would stay the same.

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Credits: ElmorLabs


  • Understanding LLC, AC_LL & DC_LL:

Let's first understand load lines:

For this, didactically, we will exchange the electric current for a flow of water.
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Our goal is to adjust the circuit so that the tanks remain at the same levels at all times, regardless of LOAD.

The resistance to the passage of water in the “Load Line” piping is physical and intrinsic to its construction.
(This is the physical wire from the VRM to the CPU).

As the LOAD varies all the time, the CPU tank level tends to get higher or lower than the VRM tank in an uncontrolled way.

So let's take control !

For that we have 2 pumps: the LLC pump and the AC_LL pump.

The first thing to do is to choose an LLC pump that will compensate for losses in the load line pipe.
(This is the VRM impedance characteristic, which determines the voltage drop as current flows).
Ideally, the pump should be neither too strong nor too weak.

We have 8 LLC pumps to choose from.
Pumps #7 and #8 are very strong and are not viable for daily use. So we have six pumps left.
It seems to me a good idea to choose an intermediate pump, #3 for example, but we can choose any one of these 6 pumps, as long as we make adjustments in the control circuit.

All this control will be done by the CPU, so we must inform which pump we choose through the DC_LL parameter. This way, the value of DC_LL (milliohms) must match the value of LLC (milliohms) chosen so that the CPU does all the calculations correctly.

The next pump to choose is AC_LL.
(This is the load variation compensation component).

This parameter makes the CPU, upon perceiving an increase in the water flow to the LOAD, to increase the VID value sent to the VRM, in order to anticipate the losses that this flow increase could cause. Therefore, the VRM uses the LLC and AC_LL pumps to fulfill the CPU VID request.

So if we have a stronger LLC pump, we can use a weaker AC_LL pump and vice versa.

Some combinations are not recommended, for example: two weak pumps or two strong pumps.

All this game can be done according to the desired goals.

Comparison with fixed voltage:
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When we decide to use "voltage override" we turn off all this controls described before.
The selected LLC pump and the VID manually set will feed the level of the CPU tank without a control.
In this case, when the flow to the load rises, the level of the CPU tank goes down... And when the flow to the load decreases, the level of the CPU tank goes up...
So, bye bye level control.... 😂

You will need to run all the time with more voltage than you need, for that specific frequency, just waiting for when the heavy load comes.

If you think you can do a better job than the CPU algorithm, use fixed voltage, don't worry about AC_LL and DC_LL. Set an LLC #5, 6 or 7...
But I think it's a better idea to use this extra voltage to reach high frequencies...


  • The LLC, DC_LL and AC_LL numbers:
This Is the Board Maximus Z-790 Extreme LLC Impedance table*:

LLC1: 1.75 milliohms
LLC2: 1.46 milliohms
LLC3: 1.1 milliohms
LLC4: 0.98 milliohms
LLC5: 0.73 milliohms
LLC6: 0.49 milliohms
LLC7: 0.24 milliohms
LLC8: 0.01 milliohms (flat).
*Some adjustment may be necessary.

The impedance values of the DC_LL shall be used according to the LLC chosen, so that the CPU performs its internal voltage and power calculations accurately.

Impedance stake:

DC_LL=LLC: The CPU performs correct VID and power calculations;
DC_LL<LLC: The CPU performs higher than real VID and power calculations;
DC_LL>LLC: The CPU performs lower than real VID and power calculations.

So, rule is: ALWAYS TUNE The DC_LL according to the LLC chosen.

And here I have very good news for you !!!!
Asus linked the LLC impedance to DC_LL automatically in the Z790.
So when you set a LLC#, if you let the DC_LL in AUTO the BIOS will adjust it for you !!!


The LLC controls the output impedance of our VRM, and MB vendors allow us to change and control this impedance.

DC_LL is the parameter that informs the CPU the VRM impedance.
If you decide to use LLC #1, the impedance is 1.75mohm, then you need to inform the CPU of this impedance using the DC_LL parameter.
If you use LLC #4 then the DC_LL should be 0.98.

To find the LLC impedance, you need to test (under load) one by one LLC and change the DC_LL until the VRM power matches the CPU power and the VID matches the Vcore. Once they match, you found LLC impedance.

AC_LL is a parameter that compensates for voltage loss due to your load line impedance, and you need to guess and test a different number for each LLC.

If you use a high impedance LLC you will need a higher AC_LL, on the other hand if you use a low impedance LLC you will need a low AC_LL
Note that on Asus MB, LLC # high means low impedance. And LLC # low means high impedance.

So never use a low impedance LLC with a high AC_LL... This will result in a very high voltage....
That's why I recommend an IA VR voltage limit of 1700mv...
So if you commit an error, the voltage will have a limit.

Simplifying the formulas:

You have the VF curve VID... Let's call it raw-vid.
That VID you see in hw-info, let's call it VID
You have the LLC impedance, let's call it LLC#
You have the DC_LL impedance parameter, let's call it DC_LL
You have AC_LL impedance compensation, let's call it AC_LL.
You have the CPU current, let's call it Amp.
You have the offsets and temperature components that we're not going to use to make things easier right now.
You have the Vcore, and let's call it Vcore.

So....

VID = raw-vid + (AC_LL * Amp) - (DC_LL * Amp)

Vcore = raw-vid + (AC_LL * Amp) - (LLC# * Amp)


This is how I found the LLC impedance.
If DC_LL = LLC than VID=Vcore at full load.

The Intel recommendation is to use AC_LL = DC_LL and LLC#3 (for asus MB)
So the intel recommendation is:

LLC = 1.1 mhom
AC_LL = 1.1mhom
DC_LL = 1.1mhom

It's a very conservative setting that will work with any poor MB.
Using AC_LL = LLC #, the lost voltage caused by VRM impedance will be compensated by AC_LL.

But we want to UNDERVOLT the CPU, right?

So, we will use AC_LL < DC_LL

But how to find the correct numbers?
Testing the combinations.
Each CPU will respond depending on the silicon lottery.

This is the page where you set the LLC#
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And this is the page where you set tha AC_LL, DC_LL and IA VR Voltage Limit:
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  • C-State
C-states are states when the CPU has reduced or turned off selected functions. Intel processors support multiple technologies to optimize the power consumption.
C-States range from C0 to C10. C0 indicates an active state.
All other C-states represent idle sleep states where the processor clock is inactive (cannot execute instructions) and different parts of the processor are powered down.
We need to have C-States enable to use OCTVB.
I like to set the limit at C8, but you can let it ENABLE in AUTO.

These are the possibilities:
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This is the page where you set the C-States:
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  • TVB:
The typical CPU has a standard clock speed and a turbo boost speed. However, CPUs with Thermal Velocity Boost have two additional Boost speeds. Also known as Intel TVB, the feature is available on 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th generation desktop chips.

TVB is a technology that takes advantage of the processor's thermal "opportunity" to increase its working frequency.
Thermal Velocity Boost allows these CPUs to achieve even higher boost speeds than their typical turbo boost.

This means that in addition to its standard clock speed and Boost of all cores, an Intel CPU can have four additional speeds.

Turbo Boost 2.0 is a single-core Boost available if the CPU is running to your power, current, and temperature specifications.
The velocity of turbo boost max 3.0 applies to two favorite cores. It is only possible if the CPU is running below its power, current, and temperature specifications.
Thermal Velocity Boost takes the fastest of the two favorite CPU cores at a higher speed than it gets with turbo boost max 3.0.
This is only possible if the CPU is running below 70 degrees Celsius and if the CPU is running below its power, current and temperature specifications.

The thermal speed increase of all cores refers to the reachable speed if all cores are active and the CPU is operating under its respective temperature limit (70 degrees Celsius).

  • OCTVB:
The TVB overclock consists of changing boost patterns to achieve higher frequencies than standard when there is a thermal opportunity.

E.g. You can change the Boost of the 13900k to work this way.

Before +2Boost Profile:

P: 58x2 – 55x8
E: 43x16
Full load @ P-55x/E-43x

After +2Boost Profile:

P: 60x2 – 57x8
E: 43x16
Full load @ P-55x/E-43x

Note:
The Boost Profile will never be applied to the E-Cores.
The Full Load frequency will be the raw "By core" full laod due to temperature.



  • ASUS OCTVB:
This is the page where you eneble the Asus OCTVB
Here you can find some other features like:
  • Cache Dynamic OC Switcher - where you can define some rules for Cache Gear 1 or Gear 2 frequency;
  • Voltage Optimizations - which is used to decrease voltages as per CPU temperature;
  • Enhanced TVB - that use a especial algorythm to control the TVB voltage limit ;
  • Overclocking TVB - where you can define the boost level;
  • The TVB temperature offset - where you can apply a positive or negative temperature (in ºC) offset.
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  • Explaining Asus OCTVB:
I'll try to make OCTVB easy...
Let's use my 12900K manual OCTVB settings and Asus OCTool as an example:
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First line is for only 1 active P-core.
So this line will be used when only 1 core (anyone) is active, and the others are parked or not loaded.
In this condition, If Core temp is < 60 this core will run 57x.
If temp is 60 to 69 this core will run 56x.
If temp is >= 70 this core will run 55x

The second line is for when 2 cores (anyone) are active and the others are sleeping or not loaded.
If temp < 56 these 2 cores will run 57x.
If temp is 56 to 65 these 2 cores will run 56x
If temp is >= 66 these 2 core will run 55x

The third line is for when 3 cores (anyone) are active and the others are sleeping or not loaded.
If temp < 52 these 3 cores will run 57x.
If temp is 52 to 61 these 3 cores will run 56x
If temp is >= 62 these 3 core will run 55x

The fourth line is for when 4 cores (anyone) are active and the others are sleeping or not loaded.
If temp < 66 these 4 cores will run 55x.
If temp is 66 to 75 these 4 cores will run 54x
If temp is >= 76 these 4 core will run 53x

So let's go to the last line....

The last line is for when all cores are active and loaded.
If temp < 72 these 8 cores will run 53x.
If temp is 72 to 81 these 8 cores will run 52x
If temp is >= 82 these 4 core will run 51x


Once understood lets try some tricks:

You can use "8 Active Core tempB" = 100C to change the full load logic.
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This way your full load will be 52x, because when 8 cores are active and loaded, and temp hit 72 the freq. will drop from 53x to 52x... and the next temp step is the TJmax.


Another trick:

You can chage the BinA (or BinB) to force 2 drops:
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So when 8 Active cores are loaded and temp hits 72C, freq. will be 51x, and when they hit 82C, freq. will be 50x.

TempA is linked to BinA and TempB is Linked to BinB

You can change BinA and BinB changing the frequency more than 1 step in any position.


Adding few "º C" to the table:

This table below is an Asus +2Boost profile automatically calculated by the Asus algo for the following "by core" configuration:
56x2 - 55x3 - 53x5 - 51x8. (+2 Boost added)
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You can edit all the temps adding a few degrees..

+15C to the 53x8 (6,7,8 active cores)
+ 5C to the 55x5 (4 and 5 active cores)
And keep 57x3 and 58x2 untouched.
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And you can try any kind of combination that you can boot... LOLOLOL

I use to test with the Asus OCTool and when I find some nice setting I write to the BIOS.


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Here you can find all about Intel 13th CPU


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I believe we already have enough theory, what do you think?

Shall we move on to the practical part?
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Startup Process


A fresh Windows installation:

I'd like to start talking about a fresh windows 22h2 installation that can help you if you have the same problem I had.

It seems that the new windows 22h2 does not allow an installation without internet connection and windows does not recognize the MB wifi, nor the intel or marvell network cards in the installation.
So we need to add the drivers into the window's installation pen drive.

Just follow the procedure below.

  • Press Shift + F10 to open a Command Prompt window from setup.
  • In the command prompt, type pnputil /add-driver <USBDriveLetter>:\ *.inf, and then press Enter.
  • The full command should look like this: pnputil /add-driver d:\ *.inf
  • Replace <USBDriveLetter> with the drive letter for your USB flash drive, such as d:\.
  • You might need to scan for devices afterwards. To do this, at the command prompt, type pnputil /scan-devices, and then press Enter.
After that, I presume you have a new system installed and your system is running stock.


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Armory Crate:

Now it is time to install Armory Crate software.
I highly recommend installing it because it will help you to keep your system driver updated, and you can use it to control your RGB stuffs, the OLED display, MATRIX, and fans.
And make sure all driver updates have been installed.

After that, if you want to completely uninstall Armory Crate just download and run Armory_Crate_Uninstall_Tool



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Installing some software programs:


The following software programs are required to adjust and test your system.

* IMPORTANT: To use Asus OCTool it is necessary to disable memory integrity protection.
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Once you finished installing all software programs above, I highly recommend you to make an image of your system drive using the Macrium Reflect sofware.
(it's free and works very well).

Download the "Reflect 8 Free", inform your e-mail, and you will receive an exclusive free lifetime key.
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Just select your system drive and click "image this disk".
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Select the path to save the image to another disk or external USB device and click “finish”.
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Select "Run this backup now" and click "OK"
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It's done. Now you have a fresh image of your system with all drivers and software programs you need.
If something goes wrong, the only thing you need to do is to restore the saved image.


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Exploring the BIOS options:

There are many options in the BIOS, and I'll confess there are a lot of them I never touched, and some other will be very important for our guide.
Take a time exploring and familiarizing with the BIOS pages. With time, it will be easy to find what you want in a second.
Asus has one of the best BIOS interface in the market.

A great tip:
Every time you want to take a screenshot of the BIOS, just plug in a USB drive and press F12. A copy of the screen you are viewing will be saved on your flash drive.


Let's do the firsts steps together...

  • Main page
Here you can see the BIOS version; The release date; The EC (embedded controller) version; The LED and OLED version; The HYDRANODE version; The TI PD FW version; The ME FW version; and The PCH Stepping.
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Don't worry about these names.
If you take a picture of this page before updating the BIOS, you can have a look at what has changed from one BIOS to the next.
This page will also give you your SP number and a voltage forecast based on your LLC# and frequency.

  • Asus user profile page
On this page you can save up to 8 preset profiles. Every time you find a stable setting give it a name that suggests the changes you've made and save it to one of the slots. This way you can organize version control and always go back to a previous configuration.
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It is also possible to save your settings to a USB drive in TXT format or in CMO format (Asus BIOS settings file).
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  • About BIOS Update and Dual BIOS:

The Maximus Z790 series comes with dual system BIOS. This makes it possible for two different (or two the same) BIOS versions to be stored in the MB.
Here it is necessary to make an observation. Different BIOS versions may use different versions of EC, OLED, or some other firmware. In this case, when switching from one BIOS to another, the firmware will be updated to a version corresponding to the selected BIOS.

We must never turn off the system during the update of these firmwares, otherwise we will render the MB unusable.

It is worth remembering that the correct way to use the BIOS SWITCH button is after turning off the system. In this condition, the MB will be powered by the PSU (RGB LEDs may be lit), but no other functions should be operational. At that moment, when we press the BIOS SW button, the BIOS indicator LED #1 will turn off and the BIOS indicator LED #2 will light up. When the system starts up, the system BIOS will check if it is necessary to update the firmware.

Particularly, I recommend that before using the BIOS switch button the user load the system back to STOCK, save and turn off the system, avoiding a failure due to overclocking. This procedure can save you a lot of headache. This is a practice adopted by me and that may help users of other platforms other than ASUS.
I would also like to suggest to you that, before performing the "Intel ME" update, a procedure that must be done by running the Intel update tool, in a Windows environment, this is done after a "load BIOS defaults" command. This way we avoid any kind of error due to a possible instability in your overclock.



It is worth mentioning that ASUS has improved this system, so that any firmware update is now done using the default settings.

The BIOS update can be done using a USB drive in a specific MB port, without having to enter the system, or using the BIOS system itself, through ASUS EZ Flash 3 Utility.
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The strategy:

For those who have worked with OCTVB on 10900K, 11900K and 12900K, you should already know which strategy I'm talking about.
We need to find a way to provide enough voltage for the CPU to run a few cores at high frequencies (when the workload is low), and limit the voltage when the CPU runs at full load.

That sounds easy, but it's not. But it's not out of this world either... LOL
I say this because when we talk about delivering power to the CPU, leaving its frequency free, we need to plan the load lines and define the VF curves.

The secret is to let the load lines do its work for us.
When we set a fixed voltage and frequency, we usually want the voltage we set to experience the smallest possible drop. This is a strategy that dates back to the 90s... But we are already in the 21st century and our current CPUs have several cores that can work completely separately, each core with its load and frequency.
So, let's leverage this technology!

We want and need the voltage drop! We need a weak load line where we will compensate with the AC_LL. Or a stronger load line with a smaller AC_LL factor.

In my 12900K CPU guide I did all the work using LLC#1 (the Asus weakest load line) and with an AC_LL offset of around 0.6 points. In this way, I managed to reach single core frequencies of up to 5.7GHz.


However, this time we will do it differently as intel has completely modified the way the VF curves work on the 13900K.
This time, we will use LLC#4.

It's worth mentioning that I'm sharing my personal experience with the CPU I have in my hands.
This means that it is possible that for another user the settings have to be different. And that it is possible that with a better CPU better results are obtained, and that with a lower quality CPU it is not possible to reach such frequency levels.



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So let's start tuning the beast !

If you followed this guide from the beginning, I assume your system is running stock, all you need is installed, and you have a backup image of the system drive.
If you are not running stock, go into the BIOS press F5, save, exit and enter BIOS again.

Now, I'm sure the first thing you want to do is remove all CPU limits and load XMP... But let's take it easy.
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The last thing we're going to do is mess with the memories.
To make sure we're doing the right thing in the CPU tuning, we need to do one thing at a time, and the last thing we want right now is wondering if we have CPU or memory instability. So we'll only mess with memory after all the CPU tweaks, OK?
So we will keep all settings above in AUTO for now.


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  • Tuning the CPU to run at standard frequencies with the lowest possible power and temperature.
We will try to do this using just the loadlines.
So let set the folowing:
  • Enforce All Limits (If you desire you can remove all limits) *
  • LLC#4
  • DC_LL = 1.02
  • AC_LL = 0.2
  • IA VR Voltage limit = AUTO (or 1700 if you desire) *
* Here I need to make an explanation:
  • Depending on your CPU quality (SP number for P-cores and E-Cores) Enforcing All intel Limits may cause your CPU not to reach the desired frequencies, since intel only guarantees the default frequencies.
  • The voltage limit of this processor is 1720mv and there is no problem in letting the CPU itself do this control.
  • As a security measure you can set a limit of 1700mv. Lower values will cause frequencies that require a value greater than the stipulated to be capped. This process, if not very well adjusted, can bring instabilities to the system.

This is the sequence you need to set in the BIOS:
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After that let's run R23 and take a look at VCore.
Most CPUs will need Vcore around 1.13V to 1.18V to be stable.
Take note of the VCore (Die-sense) while you are running R23.

If your system is not stable, incrase the AC_LL.
You can try 0.3. All depends on your CPU quality.


Now it's time to find the minimum possible Vcore where the system is stable.
Start decreasing the AC_LL to 0.19, then to 0.18 and so on until your system is no longer able to maintain stability.
After finding the minimum value of AC_LL so that it is possible to maintain stability, leave a safety margin by slightly increasing the AC_LL.
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Above we have the system running stock, full load (R23), with the folowing configuration:
P: 58x2 - 55x8
E: 43x16
R: 49x~45x
Full Load: P55x/E43x/R45x @ 1.146v

Okay, it's done. Simple isn't it?
Congratulations!!!!
You now have your processor running Stock perfectly tuned to the motherboard.


Now if you want to find out the minimum voltage to be able to run your performance cores at 56x (or more) just synchronize them and increase the AC_LL until the system is stable.
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By the way, "sync all cores" to 56x is the same as setting "By core usage" to the same numbers as you can see below.
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In particular, I recommend not going over CPU "full load" limits and keeping performance cores at 55x.

In my opinion the processing power of a 13900K is more than enough for any task, and the amount of heat generated to go beyond 55x is not worth it.

Exceeding the limits in "full load" means exceeding the maximum power indicated by intel (253W).


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  • E-core overclocking *
* Overclocking E-cores depends on their quality (E-core SP number).
This process may not be possible on all CPUs, or on some CPUs it may cause excessive power increase when in full laod.


In the image below the CPU is running at "full load" at stock configuration:
P-58x2 - 55x8
E-43x16
R-49x~45x
Full load @ P-55x/E-43x - Vcore=1.147V

Pay attention to the temperatures of the "P-cores" and the temperature of the "E-cores".
Did you notice a thermal opportunity?
E-cores are at full load with lower temperatures, and they are efficiency cores! This means that they will consume less energy if we raise their frequency compared to P-cores, but let's remember that we are talking about 16 cores.
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So what we'll do next is check how often we can go with the E-cores at full load.
For this we will create 3 frequency groups and as soon as we find the maximum frequency of full load for the E-cores we will test what is the maximum frequency that we can take them with light loads.

Let's do the following configuration:

Select "Efficient Core Ratio" as "By Core Usage" and set the E-cores as below.
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Above we created 3 groups all configured for the same frequency: 44x
The first group defines that 4 e-cores can run at 44x at the same time.
The second group defines that 8 e-cores can run at 44x at the same time.
And the third and last group defines that 16 e-cores can run at 44x at the same time.

Now, using the same AC_LL configuration (Vcore at full load) that proved stable to run the P-cores at 55x we will try to run the e-cores at higher frequencies.

If you can run the 16 e-cores at 44x at full load, just set them to 45x and try again.
Assuming the most you got was 46x to run the 16 cores at full load, now it's time to try to increase the frequencies of the previous groups so that they run at higher frequencies when the workload is not so heavy.

* At this point, if the quality of your E-cores doesn't allow it you will see a big power boost to get them to run at 44x, or even a downclock in the full load frequencies of the P-cores and E-cores. If this happens you will know that it will not be advantageous to overclock the E-cores. If possible, just go ahead with the procedure.

At the end of the process you will have a configuration similar to this.
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Here it is necessary to make an observation. My CPU has E-Cores SP-102 which allowed me to go so far with the frequencies.
For me it is impossible to run any E-cores above 48x.

If you have a CPU with worse E-cores you might get something like:
E-45x4-44x8-43x16

Now that we know we have "full load" stability for both, P-cores and E-cores, it's time to verify that e-cores are stable at lighter loads.
Run GeekBench several times in a row and run your PC for a few days until it is completely stable.
And use 3DMark Fire Strike (VGA DX11) benchmark, it is great to test the CPU transient stability
You can find the download link for both at the beginning of this thread.

It's worth noting that 30 minutes of running R23 will be useless for testing the e-core groups you've set up at higher frequencies.



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  • P-core overclocking

As you've already noticed, I'm not in favor of overclocking P-cores beyond 55x at full load. So what we're going to do next is use the CPU's "thermal opportunity" to accelerate some cores to higher frequencies when the workload is lower.

This may seem useless, but if we think about the processing load, what we will do is make tasks with less demand run with higher frequencies and consequently faster.
And as we can imagine, our single core frequencies will also be higher.

To do this, we will start playing with Asus OCTVB.

So the first thing to do is enable the C-States
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Assuming you've been following this guide to the letter, your CPU should be running on stock P-cores and slightly overclocked E-cores.
So the first thing to do is enable the OCTVB +1Boost:
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+1Boost will cause your CPU to operate in the following configuration:

P-59x2-56x8

A series of temperature and load rules will now manage your CPU frequency.
Don't worry about the numbers above for now. The time had come to understand them perfectly.

Now it time to test the stability using GeekBench and 3DMark Fire Strike (VGA DX11) benchmark.

If you experience any instability with the transients generated by GeekBench and 3DMark, you will need to make a correction to the VF curve at point #10.
Start with a positive displacement of 10mv and increase until the instability disappears.
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Here things start to get a little complicated.
Intel has changed the way VF curves work to avoid Plundervolt, so that positive offsets are applied to VF#10, the processor protects itself and ramps up all voltages to the frequencies below.
That way, each time you set VF#10 with a positive offset, your full load voltage will also increase.
(I still can't tell if this will have a microcode fix or not)

So, Now we have a little problem to solve.
Remember that we had already found the value of AC_LL for full load?
So now it will be necessary to decrease the value of AC_LL as we increase the offset of VF#10.
In my case, with a positive offset of 82mv in VF#10, I had to decrease the AC_LL value to the minimum (AC_LL=0.01).
Each CPU will respond differently, as per its VF table. You will need to find the value for VF#10 and AC_LL that makes your CPU stable at high frequencies and low loads while maintaining full-laod voltage.

Once the logic described above is understood, it is time to move on to the next step.
When you feel your system is stable, it's time to test +2Boost.

With +2boost your CPU will be driven to operate at:

P-60x2-57x8

If you need to increase the offset of VF#10 even more, remember to decrease the AC_LL a little more.

Now it time to test the stability again using GeekBench and 3DMark Fire Strike (VGA DX11) benchmark.


  • Creating frequency groups for P-Cores

By default, your CPU is configured to operate at:

P-58x2-55x8
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This configuration driven by Asus OCTVB +2Boost will take us to the following frequencies:

P-60x2-57x8

Once you understand the dynamics of the VF#10 point and AC_LL you can test several other configurations, like the one below:
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This configuration with +2Boost will result in:

P-60x2-59x4-58x6-57x8

And now, once you understand how the OCTVB works you can test the set of configurations you want.


  • Adjusting the adaptive voltage
The icing on the cake now... After you set the impulse frequencies of the P and E cores, you can lower the peak voltages by setting a global adaptive voltage to further limit the "light load" voltage from your CPU.
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Start with 1.480v and go down until your CPU loses stability.
Once this point is found, it is reasonable to increase it from 5 to 10mv.


  • Overclocking the Ring
E-Cores, P-Cores and Cache all share the same power plane.
The voltage chosen for a particular "scenario" (ie, Cache, E-Core or P-Core freq) is based on the highest VID of each of those 3.

If you use a fixed voltage which means you are ignoring the VID, but you must supply sufficient voltage to satisfy stability.
In adaptive mode, if you increase the ratio of one of those parameters, unless it is already lower than a VID of the other 2 parameters, the voltage will rise.
You want all three VID's to be similarish to have a good chance of all 3 being stable.

The easiest way to overclock the ring is just to increase its frequency until the system becomes unstable. From there, decrease one point and you're all set.
Later we will see how to do this by adding voltage to the ring.
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Once you finished the CPU adjustments you can try to tune your memories, and you will know the CPU is not the cause off any instability.

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The next chapter will talk about advanced P-core settings and how to set a unique frequency threshold and adaptive voltage for each core.

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Advanced settings


Some recommendations:
I recommend that you use Macrium Reflect to keep a system image backup, just in case that some problem corrupts your operating system.
In the same way, I recommend that you always save the previous BIOS settings in some profile slot before doing modifications.
All these procedures are described at the beginning of the second part of this guide, here.

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Asus OCTool:

You can download the last Asus OCTool for Z790 here.
Just save and unzip. No installation is needed.
As we will now start using ASUS OCTool, make sure you have disabled memory integrity protection.
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This is the file that runs Asus OCTool:
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I recommend that you make a desktop shortcut for it and give it admin privileges.

Running the tool, you will see a page like below:

There are several functions in Asus OCTool, but we will focus on the most important ones for our guide.
It is necessary to emphasize that the changes we will make using Asus OCTool are not permanent.
Once the values are applied through this tool, they will take effect immediately and will remain valid until the next boot.
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This tool will be used for testing, and once the desired values have been found, they must be written in the BIOS so that they are permanent at each system boot.
Although it is possible to make changes to the LLC using OCTool, unfortunately, it is not possible to make changes to AC_LL and DC_LL with the system running.
So, for load lines tests, we will still have to make the changes directly in the BIOS, since all load lines must be changed simultaneously and must have their values conjugated.



  • VF Points
The "VF Point" function opens several pages.
Here you can set a positive or negative offset for any Ring or Core frequency.
Just write the desired value, click on the frequency line that you want to change the offset and click apply.
For negative values, just write with the negative symbol and the number in millivolts, i.e. [ -84 ]
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After defining the offset values that make the system stable, the values must be written in your BIOS in this section:
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  • Target Die Sense
This is a new functionality where you can set the voltage you want to a specific frequency, and the tool will calculate all the offsets needed to give you what you want.
Below I define a desired voltage from 1140mv to 5500MHz and when I click on "Apply" the tool generates the suggested values according to the load lines we are using.
These calculations are based on Cinebech R23's internal load database.

Set the desired value, select the line and click "Apply":
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Read the notes in the image above. They are self-explanatory.


After that, by clicking on "Generate", the suggested offsets will be displayed.
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And a graph with the voltage curve will be shown.
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After that you just need to set the suggested values in the VF curve as below.
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Once tested, these values can be written directly to the BIOS.
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  • Monitoring
The “monitoring function” is useful for showing us how the system is set up and how it is doing.
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I have highlighted some information that I consider important. But take the time to analyze all the fields, there may be information that you find useful for your level of learning, depending on which CPU system you are making changes to.


  • Controls
The "Controls" page allows us to make direct changes to how the CPU works.
This page is quite complex and has very comprehensive functions.
Unfortunately we will not cover all the functions of this page, otherwise this guide will not end. LOL
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I have highlighted some information that I consider essential, like Global adaptive voltage control, P-cores groups and frequencies, E-cores groups and frequencies, P and E cores frequency limits, and the adaptive voltage per core setting.

On this control page, you can change the voltage of the IA Cores, GT, Ring, GT Media, System Agent and L2 Atom.
I recommend you use it just for the IA Cores (global adaptive voltage control of the P-cores).
Here it is also possible to change the "Ratio limit" of cores P and E and the act number.

WARNING!
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I expressly recommend that you do not use this function to change the P-cores "on the fly", if you are using any boost in TVB.
Any changes to the P-Cores configuration and the number of active cores must be done in the BIOS as the Asus algorithm will recalculate all thermal limits for the new groups of cores and frequency.
For E-cores there is no such concern, since they do not use the OCTVB temperature table.


The "specific cores" frequency limit for each of the cores can be changed "on the fly", as well as the "OC Voltage" (adaptive voltage for each core).

Every time you make a change to the frequency limit of "Specific Cores" or to the specific adaptive voltage (OC Voltage), it is important to check this box to ensure that the per-core usage of the cores will not change.
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Some BIOS advanced settings:

Asus Multicore Enhancement:

Here, you can select how the MB will limit the CPU power.
Particularly, I prefer to keep all intel limits [ Disabled - Enforce All Limits ].

I guarantee you that you can overclock your entire system within these limits. But it's up to you.
Asus has added a new option here that removes all CPU power limits and in return caps the core temperature at 90C.
It's a safe way to avoid unnecessary thermal stress to the CPU.
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This algorithm acts on each core individually, reducing the frequency of the core that reaches a temperature above 90C.
At this point, I would like to make a personal caveat. When we are on impulse overclock and a single core is suddenly capped, an instability can occur in the entire CPU. Particularly, if it is to do some thermal limitation to the CPU, I prefer to monitor and act on the core package as a whole.

Using the control below we can make the same type of limitation, however when the package temperature reaches this value all cores will be capped.
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Obviously, in this case, it is prudent that we use a lower temperature compared to the previous option.



Asus Global Temperature offset

Another innovation presented by Asus is the "OCTVB Global Temperature Offset".
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Once selected, whether the offset is positive or negative, the entire TVB table will be updated using this offset.
This function is extremely useful to take the OCTVB a little beyond the limits without having to enter these values individually at each point in the table.

I would like to make a point about how the 13900K works in relation to the 12900K.
On ADL CPUs, the "TVB voltage Optimizations" and "Enhanced TVB" (Also called VMax Stress) functions proved to be very useful as they reduce the voltage applied to the CPU when the working temperature is low.
Already in RKL, this function was not stable for overclocking the TVB. Anyway, you can test them and draw your own conclusions.

In OCTool these controls can be found here. Flag "1" disables this function and Flag "0" enables the function.
They can be changed "on the fly", but your system can become unstable, requiring you to add voltage to higher frequencies first.
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Boost Until Target

This function is new and, as its name says, makes the CPU try to increase a P-core to the target frequency.
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All of your "Per Core" groups are respected and the BIOS will opportunistically attempt to increase a core to the frequency you set.
Basically it's the same as setting a "by core" configuration with only one core with the highest frequency.



Manual OCTVB:

OCTVB manual configuration is used when you want to set a specific temperature threshold and a specific "down bin" (ratio offset) for each frequency/core group.
It is a laborious task as each of the fields in the table below must be transcribed into the BIOS.
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Below the first row of the table (above) is highlighted.
This is the process for setting up a single core.
This configuration will then have to be repeated 7 more times, each with its specific temperature for the group of cores.
The good news is that the Asus algorithm already loads the table in advance, so what we will have to do is just change the temperature value as we wish.
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Cache Dynamic OC Switcher

Another innovation from Asus is the Cache Dynamic OC Switcher.
With it is possible to determine the switching point from the high cache gear to the low cache gear based on current drawn, as well as frequency limits and voltages for each ring gear level.
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The sequence for use this resourse is:

1) Specify the current threshold to make the switch
2) Forces these many threads to sleep when high gear (if you want the ecores to sleep)

The OS will start sleeping from lowest priority threads to highest.

Lowest priority:
  • hyperthreads
  • ecores
  • pcores

Then you will need to specify:
If no HT enabled: number of ecores
If HT enabled: Number of pcores (for the hyper threads) + number of ecores

3) Ring ratio for high gear
4) Ring adaptive voltage for high gear -> value of 0 means use default ring vid
5) Ring ratio for low gear
6) Ring adaptive voltage for low gear -> value of 0 means use default ring vid

Note you can also employ this mechanism to force the OS to only focus on using a few cores when light loading.



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Specific core frequency limit and specific core adaptive voltage:

Now that we know a little about Asus OCTool and some advanced BIOS functions, let's use this knowledge to take OCTVB one step further.
For that, let's look at the BIOS page with the voltage values for each core to operate at 5.8GHz.
As you can see, in my case, the P-cores are divided into 3 levels of silicon quality.
I have 4 cores (#0 to 3) that need more voltage to run 5.8GHz, and the others that can do the same with less voltage.
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What we're going to do now is divide these cores into 2 groups, the good ones and the bad ones.
We could divide the cores into 3 groups, but as the silicon lottery bestows each one in a different way, we will only make 2 groups to facilitate understanding.
You can make this division into as many groups as you think is best for your case.

So, lets start...

I know I can run my CPU stable in the following configuration:

LLC# = 4
AC_LL = 0.01
DC_LL = 1.02

VF#10 +82mv
Adative voltage 1.446v

P: 60x2 - 59x4 - 57x6 - 55x8
E: 48x4 - 47x8 - 46x16
R: 55x~49x

Full Load P-55x/E-46x/R-49x @ Vcore = 1.137v

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Applying the +2 Boost Profile my system is running stable:

P: 62x2 - 61x4 - 59x6 - 57x8 (+2Boost profile)
E: 48x4 - 47x8 - 46x16
R: 55x~49x

Full Load P-55x/E-46x/R-49x @ Vcore = 1.137v

--------------------------------------------------------------------

So, as I know, the adaptive voltage is enough to run the bad cores at 62x, but can I run the good cores at 63x with the same adaptive voltage?

Let's try the folowing:

Let's limit the core #0 to #3 at 60x.

Lots of attention here.
I'm limiting them to 60X because with +2Boost they will go to 62x, and I know they can run 62x with 1.446V.


Below you can see the Core #0 and Core#1 limited to 60x and the adaptive voltage set.
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We will do the same for core #2 and core #3.
For cores #4 to #7 we will set the max frequency to 61x, keeping the adaptive voltage at 1.446v

Now we need to set the "per core" setting to reach 63x (with +2Boost)
So let's do as below:
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In this case only cores #4 to #7 are free to reach 63x. Cores #0 to #3 are limited to 62x.

The OCTVB will look like this:
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And Adaptive voltage per core will look like this:
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Now its time to test the system with GeekBench 5 and 3DMark.

And voilà, it's stable !!!!

From now on, what we can do is try to reduce the adaptive voltage of the good cores a bit (#4 to #7).
Or continue the same process trying to make cores #6 and #7 run at 64x.

Now it's up to you!!!

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I hope I have helped you to understand a little more about this beast and that you have been able to follow the whole process.
Next we will talk about tests.

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Testing


Some considerations:

I will tell you the truth...
If my PC was going to control a nuclear power plant, I should do everything I can to make sure it's stable...

But for regular use, I don't think we need to spend a week testing it...
And if you allow me a conservative opinion, don't leave your CPU running for hours at full load. That doesn't make any sense.
It is not necessary for your system to be 110% stable.

If we can test it in an easier way that assures us that the system is 90% stable, you can use your PC daily and if you have any crashes or BSOD the only thing you need to do is increase the voltages a little or decrease the frequency...
And after some glitches and tweaks, your system will be good enough.

Once you have the knowledge, and you know how things work, you can adjust your system over time...

I'm talking about a strategy that works for me... It's not a rule that everyone needs to follow... But it's easy...

I usually start my adjustments looking for the maximum frequency limit, on the verge of stability...
And over time I adjust the system so that it is stable 99.9%...

My 10900k has reached 5.7GHz and is now running at max octvb frequency of 5.6GHz 99.9%, stable...
My 12900k has reached 5.8GHz and it is stable at max frequency of 5.7GHz...
And my 13900k is reaching the max frequency of 6.3GHz...
But I know I'm in the phase of trying to go as far as I can with my RKL... I think the final adjustment will be like 6.1GHz or 6.2GHz...

The best part of all this is not the score or the frequency you can achieve, but the path you take learning all these things...
So enjoy the path and don't worry if your system isn't 110% stable...
You are not going to control a nuclear power plant with your PC nor are you participating in an overclocking championship.

For those who are perfectionists I would like to recommend this video about OCTBV testing. He is very good and very technical.
If you've made it this far, I'm sure you'll find this video very interesting!

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My Actual Settings

My actual settings are:
P-63x2-61x4-59x6-57x8 (+2Boost OCTVB)
E-48x4-47x8-46x16
R-55x~49x
Full Load: P55x/E46x/R49x @ 1.137V - 240W

Below, you can check out a full load test.
Follow the mouse point and take a look at the VID and Vcore.
If your system has the load lines perfectly tuned, you will see that your VID will be very close to the Vcore Voltage.
The same will happen with CPU power and VRM power, these values will be very close as well.


If you have some instability at high frequencies, you can try to rise VF#10,#9 and #8.
In my tests, I didn't touch the VF#11, and use the Adaptive voltage for the OC frequency.
You also can try to rise adaptive voltage or lower the frequencies.

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I use the OCTVB to make changes on the fly and when I find a stable configuration I write to the BIOS.
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I Use CPU-Z for medium-heavy test,
It is good to make some adjusts when you don't want to run a heavy load and when you want to stress just a few cores.




Aida64 I use to test the cores with a "light" load and test the cores progressively.



Geekbench5 is used to test the transient loads. It is a good test for OCTVB.


If you want to take a look at my GB5 results.


Cinebench r23 is used to adjust and test the full load frequency.



HW-Info is used to set some alarms and monitoring the system.
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This is one of the best ways to test OCTVB.
Take a look at the CPU Frequencies, CPU temperature and CPU power in the videos.
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Download Area


Here you can find all the Bios and Software that I receive in advance from ASUS.
All have been tested and some are trial versions or betas.​



You can also download from the Asus forum below:




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BIOS Changelog

  • BIOS-0801
New synchronization mode sets the best 2 cores 1 bin higher
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OCTool Changelog

  • OCPAK-1111
New DRAM RGB control and new Fan control
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I have watched JJ from ASUS OCing this combination and he makes it look easy. Can't wait to see what the experts here can do before I buy and try this combination. (y)
 

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I have watched JJ from ASUS OCing this combination and he makes it look easy. Can't wait to see what the experts here can do before I buy and try this combination. (y)
Me too, i like JJ videos.
All boards from strix up have these features.
 
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I hope I can finish all this before... :)
oooh you updated the first post, gotta finish reading it :)

Question: is TVB available only on the i9 or to all K cpus?
 
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If you would like me to address a specific issue or believe that a correction is needed, please let me know.
Can you explain why when IccMax (CPU current limit) is decreased to a relatively low value, CPU current as calculated by Ohm's law or even as provided by the VRM digital controller (e.g. the VR IOUT reading) will be significantly lower than the configured IccMax value?

My conclusion (I don't have access to internal Intel documentation, so this is based on testing and observations on my own systems) is that it's because IccMax operates on peak currents inside the CPU and not on time-averaged values. So, by not using Intel's IccMax from specifications, users would be actually allowing potentially long-term damaging current spikes into the CPU under load. On the other hand, Intel's specification IccMax values do not generally allow much overclocking margin.

How much do you agree with the above explanation?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Can you explain why when IccMax (CPU current limit) is decreased to a relatively low value, CPU current as calculated by Ohm's law or even as provided by the VRM digital controller (e.g. the VR IOUT reading) will be significantly lower than the configured IccMax value?

My conclusion (I don't have access to internal Intel documentation, so this is based on testing and observations on my own systems) is that it's because IccMax operates on peak currents inside the CPU and not on time-averaged values. So, by not using Intel's IccMax from specifications, users would be actually allowing potentially long-term damaging current spikes into the CPU under load. On the other hand, Intel's specification IccMax values do not generally allow much overclocking margin.

How much do you agree with the above explanation?
I understand your question... And its not an easy question... LOL
Its not easy to "read" ampers... Usually you need a shunt resistor calibrated for a defined range...

In my opinion, the main protection will always be temperature. (voltage x current = Watt.... and Watt means temperature)

That's why I think when we delid we remove the main CPU protection.

Once delided the temps go down we think its OK to give more power to the CPU...
If you are concerned to degradation, I recommend not to do long stress tests and keep temps low
A high current is a problem, but I think the worst degradation come from long duration stress tests...
 

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@RobertoSampaio

As I'm more used to set cores/volts I'm intrigued by all this adaptive OC, I did have a go on ADL using your guide but I still didn't get the hang of it.
Is there a simple approach??
Say if I know my CPU does 5.7ghz with 1.39v, 1.217 load LLC 4
I'm on the hero z790
Do you have a basic template and then tune to my CPU and would you tune memory before or after??
Thank you
 

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I understand your question... And its not an easy question... LOL
Its not easy to "read" ampers... Usually you need a shunt resistor calibrated for a defined range...

In my opinion, the main protection will always be temperature. (voltage x current = Watt.... and Watt means temperature)

That's why I think when we delid we remove the main CPU protection.

Once delided the temps go down we think its OK to give more power to the CPU...
If you are concerned to degradation, I recommend not to do long stress tests and keep temps low
A high current is a problem, but I think the worst degradation come from long duration stress tests...
I'm not saying that the CPU is reading current incorrectly, quite the opposite.

Some motherboards also provide an advanced setting called "IA TDC Enable". This is another form of core current limiting that operates on longer time scales than IccMax, and as the name suggests (TDC = Thermal Design Current) likely mainly for the purpose of limiting thermals rather than protection. When I tried that on a motherboard that had it, TDC Enable appeared to limit current exactly to the configured value, more or less in agreement with the VR IOUT reading provided by the digital VRM controller.

So, in my opinion the CPU knows accurately how much current it is using, and IccMax indeed limits instantaneous current (which in turn will lower the average current).

But then, this also implies that the use of higher IccMax values than specifications (virtually necessary for any significant overclocking over stock settings) might have to be reconsidered. Have you attempted overclocking with the specification IccMax? It should be 307A for the i9-13900k.


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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@RobertoSampaio

As I'm more used to set cores/volts I'm intrigued by all this adaptive OC, I did have a go on ADL using your guide but I still didn't get the hang of it.
Is there a simple approach??
Say if I know my CPU does 5.7ghz with 1.39v, 1.217 load LLC 4
I'm on the hero z790
Do you have a basic template and then tune to my CPU and would you tune memory before or after??
Thank you
When you get the hang its like the traditional core/volts... LOL
The second part of the guide I will suggest a starting point...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm not saying that the CPU is reading current incorrectly, quite the opposite.

Some motherboards also provide an advanced setting called "IA TDC Enable". This is another form of core current limiting that operates on longer time scales than IccMax, and as the name suggests (TDC = Thermal Design Current) likely mainly for the purpose of limiting thermals rather than protection. When I tried that on a motherboard that had it, TDC Enable appeared to limit current exactly to the configured value, more or less in agreement with the VR IOUT reading provided by the digital VRM controller.

So, in my opinion the CPU knows accurately how much current it is using, and IccMax indeed limits instantaneous current (which in turn will lower the average current).

But then, this also implies that the use of higher IccMax values than specifications (virtually necessary for any significant overclocking over stock settings) might have to be reconsidered. Have you attempted overclocking with the specification IccMax? It should be 307A for the i9-13900k.


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I'm going to test. I'm curious... LOL
 
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