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Asrock B85 Anniversary BIOS issues

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Xaltar View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 May 2015 at 11:21pm
I have been trying to overclock my Pentium G3258 with this motherboard and have noticed some rather nasty failings in the bios for a board supposedly designed to overclock this CPU.

1. There is no VCIN setting, the board defines voltage input automatically, this makes overclocking past 4.2 very difficult for some people.
2. There is no BCLK setting, yet again this is set automatically, this should not be the case on any board slated as an overclocking board.
3. XMP profiles don't work, I managed to get the system to boot with my RAM@ 1600mhz a few times but after powering down the system and turning it back on again it had reverted to 1400mhz. It takes resetting the bios to defaults, re-entering all my overclock settings and then, maybe if I am lucky it will boot at 1600 again.

I seriously regret buying this board for overclocking at this point, its overclocking utility is terrible. As a general use board it runs great, its feature rich and does everything it says it does. Please fix your BIOS guys, I would love to give this board a glowing review but as it stands its just a budget board for budget CPUs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bog_xdan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2015 at 9:43pm
The B85 chipset was not designed for overclok in the first place.
It's limited on memory frecuency like all non Z chipset by Intel.
So the mothebords where not design for overclocking.
Until Pentium G3258 there was no overclocking Cpu for B85.
The overclocking of Pentium G3258 it's a bonus.
I've seen this on other B85 motheboards, Asus, Msi.
You should have bought Z97 Anniversary instead.

Edited by bog_xdan - 17 May 2015 at 9:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2015 at 10:25pm
I bought a cheap board for a cheap CPU and expected it to operate along the same lines as other cheap boards. Most other B85/H81 boards from other vendors have the features I noted. I should have bought a Z97 instead but I had to allow budget for my GPU. Here I provided information that I feel needs to be addressed in the B85 Anniversary board's BIOS.

The chipset is not limited, the CPU is. If I install an i3/i5/i7 which support 1600 RAM in this B85 board I will be able to run my memory at 1600 because the memory controller is built into the CPU not the Northbridge as it used to be. Z87/97 chipset boards properly implement XMP and thus allow for memory overclocking. This board is purported to support XMP 2.0 yet it does not function consistently.


Edited by Xaltar - 17 May 2015 at 10:31pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2015 at 1:18pm
The Intel B85 chipset does not support over clocking.

A BCLK adjustment in the BIOS is virtually worthless for over clocking, and has been that way since Sandy Bridge processors. Intel removed that method of over clocking at that time. The BCLK and PCIe clocks are the same on this board, increasing it to much will cause instability in video cards and other PCIe devices.

CPU Input voltage, Vccin, is set to high by many users that OC. It should be 0.4 - 0.6V above VCore voltage. If you get 1.8V automatically, that is plenty.

The XMP support specs for this board are: Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 1.3 / 1.2

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/B85%20Anniversary/?cat=Specifications

XMP is unrelated to memory over clocking. XMP is a convenience option for setting memory timings, speed, and voltage. There is nothing that XMP does regarding memory settings that cannot be done manually.

I have a G3258 in an ASRock  Z87 board, with Samsung memory that does not have any XMP profiles defined. I can run that memory at 2000 because the BIOS provides those speed selections, which have nothing to do with XMP.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2015 at 2:50pm
Thanks for the clarification Parsec. I am aware of the limitations of the B85 chipset with regards to overclocking my problem is that there are other H81 and B85 boards from other vendors that support VCIN and BCLK settings and these boards yield significantly higher overclocks on this CPU. Please forgive my ignorance regarding XMP I am coming from a Phenom II that obviously did not have the feature.

My VCIN defaults to 1.7 at best with occasional infrequent jumps to 1.78 so it is not adequate in my case, I would not have mentioned it if it defaulted to 1.8 ;) 

As for the BCLK, I have used BCLK overclocking extensively in the past and am aware of its inherent limitations, especially when it is not isolated however a 101 - 105 BCLK is perfectly stable in most cases and with the ridiculously high multi on these CPUs that can easily equate to an extra 100+ mhz, 200mhz if 105 is stable for you so I would hardly call it worthless considering most people purchasing this CPU did so to see how much they could squeeze out of it and ~200mhz is certainly not worthless, at least not to me.

Don't get me wrong, I am well aware that this is not an ideal chipset to overclock on, my point is purely that there are other boards with the same chipset that feature the settings I requested in the BIOS (sans XMP which I misunderstood) and I would love the opportunity to test them and see if I can squeeze a little more out of my G3258 before I swap it out for a Xeon E3 1241 which was one of my considerations when purchasing this board as the B85 chipset is ideal for Xeons and allowed me to save a few pennies to put towards my SSD and GPU. 

Failing a more comprehensive bios I suppose I will just have to purchase a board that has the features in the BIOS I want to try once the Xeon takes the G3258 out of commission. 

Thanks for taking the time to reply :)

[edit] on an interesting side note, I have noticed that when using A-tuning and enabling Advanced Turbo 20/30 then restarting, immediately entering bios the option to select memory speeds higher than 1400 are suddenly present, however, selecting them does not actually effect the RAM speed as it is still set to 1400 when you boot. Curiously, if you set XMP on and leave speed set to auto I have on multiple occasions been able to boot with 1600 speeds. After a reboot however it reverts to 1400. This is where some of my confusion came from regarding XMP as I had thought it was a bug with XMP not working correctly. It seems I was right but the bug was booting @1600 lol.


Edited by Xaltar - 20 May 2015 at 3:24pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2015 at 12:33am
Xaltar, I understand now about the memory speed situation you were able to deal with to some degree when using the XMP option. Your conclusion about using the XMP setting does make sense given the results you got, even if they were temporary. That is strange, I'm wondering if they can be made permanent.

Actually, I was forgetting that using the XMP setting in the BIOS can cause other changes to various BIOS options. That depends on the BIOS of a board, how it was coded. There is very little if any consistency in what other BIOS options (if any) are changed when XMP is enabled. It depends on the particular board/platform, which can be quite different as you know.

For example, on X99 boards, using XMP to enable high memory speeds can cause BCLK straps to be activated.

I agree about the small changes to BCLK on newer Intel platforms, up to ~105MHz is possible, depending on the board and the other hardware in the PC.

Ran out of time, more later!!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2015 at 12:50pm
Thanks for getting back to me again Parsec :) I thought the RAM speed was interesting, I did a lot of research before settling on the board I chose and one of the things I knew I would be sacrificing going with a B85 chipset was being limited to 1400 with the pentium G32XX so I was rather surprised when I was running benchmarks and noted my RAM was running at 800mhz (x2) in CPUZ. I rebooted and checked the bios and sure enough the hardware info page listed it as 1600 however as soon as I rebooted it reverted back to 700mhz in CPUZ. I naturally retraced my steps and after much trial and error was able to recreate the bug. It is however intermittent and does not work every time.

I used to be in IT but have been out of the game for about 8 years, since my daughter was born so I had a lot to catch up on. XMP, Uncore and a fair few other settings are all new to me coming from a Phenom II. 

I have my G3258 running at 4.3ghz @ 1.34v which is a little high for my liking but aside from that my B85 Anniversary has been running flawlessly since I put the system together 2 months ago. As a board for a Xeon or locked i5/i7 I think I made the perfect choice, it has all the features I wanted and is rock solid. I suspect it may also be possible that my G3258 is just not a good clocker. 


Edited by Xaltar - 27 May 2015 at 12:51pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 2:02pm
So I was able to replicate the RAM speed bug again and thought I should post up a CPUZ validation.



The bug is not possible to replicate without enabling Advanced Turbo under A-Tuning, I tried every possible combination of settings in the BIOS to replicate it without A-Tuning to no avail. Once I managed to replicate it however I saved the profile and it seems that if I restore defaults then load the profile the bug occurs again though not every time. I suspect that Advanced Turbo (not supported on the G3258) changes a hidden setting in the BIOS that allows for 1600 RAM.

So to get 1600:
A-Tuning: set Advanced Turbo 20 or 30 does not matter
BIOS: Set XMP on but leave speed set to auto

Additionally there are my overclock settings which may or may not make a difference

Aside from the standard non Z OC settings I set:
Filter PLL Frequency: High, SB
and a setting that is for overvolting that only has enable, auto and disabled I set to enabled.

I would take a pic of my bios settings but my phone camera is not great and tends to be too blurry to read the text. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

I hope this is of some use Smile



Edited by Xaltar - 30 May 2015 at 2:25pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2015 at 12:43am
A tip for you about pictures of your UEFI/BIOS settings. If you put a USB flash drive into one of the USB ports on the board's IO panel, when in the UEFI UI on any screen, pressing the F12 function key will cause an image of the screen to be saved to the USB flash drive. You'll only get what is displayed on your monitor, not the entire screen if it does not all fit on the monitor's screen.

I never doubted your claim that you could get your memory running at 1600, but thanks for posting the validation. I am surprised that your board has no UEFI/BIOS updates. If you set A-Tuning to auto run when Windows boots, and if you can configure it to apply the settings to get your memory to 1600, that would be a work around to get your memory at 1600. I know you said this seems random in actual use, but worth a try.

As you know, the G3258 actually needs Turbo enabled in order to OC. I'm not referring to the Advanced Turbo 20/30 feature. It sure seems as if the UEFI and A-Tuning are not coordinated, which may be a good thing in this case.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2015 at 1:39am
Yeah it is, I run my PC 24/7 so all I need to do is get it to work the once, then obviously repeat when I do driver updates etc. Thumbs Up

I have been keeping my eye on the product page for my board since I bought it waiting for a bios update but there hasn't been one. To be fair, stability has been great on the current bios. The only stability issues I have had have been graphics related and that I am fairly sure has come from immature GTX 900 series drivers. TDRs in certain games while running fine in others etc. Current drivers seem mostly stable with only the occasional TDR when I have either pushed my OC too far (GPU) or I am running DX9/10 titles which the drivers don't seem to like in some cases.

I have noticed that a lot of newer G3258 CPUs seem to be topping out at about 4.4ghz so obviously binning has degraded since the initial release encouraged hopes of 4.8 and beyond so I am starting to wonder if my CPU is just not able to give me anymore rather than it being bios related. The only setting I think may help is BCLK, if you look at my validation I am always under 100mhz so it would be nice to set it to 101 or so to keep my figures rounded as I hate seeing 4287mhz rather than 4300mhz. 

Input voltage would be nice too given that I am stuck at 1.7 with occasional upward jumps to ~1.75 which I think could be hurting my stability when trying suicide runs to 5ghz at 1.5 - 1.6 vcore which I will want to do more of when I get my Xeon. Before I swap out the g3258 I just need it to boot @5.0 and validate so my score is out there LOL
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