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Thread: Z87 Extreme 6 Board: No Way To Monitor CPU Vcore Voltage




  1. #1
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Z87 Extreme 6 Board: No Way To Monitor CPU Vcore Voltage

    I'm using an i5-4760K CPU with my Z87 Extreme 6 board.

    ASRock has not provided a way to view the CPU Vcore voltage in the UEFI/BIOS, or in the A-Tuning Utility.

    Yes, there is a listing for Vcore in the UEFI H/W Monitor screen, UEFI version 1.40, let's look at it:

    Z87 Extreme 6 Board: No Way To Monitor CPU Vcore Voltage-uefi-vcore-jpg

    So the CPU Vcore is 1.808V... of course it isn't.

    Haswell CPUs have on-CPU voltage regulators, and instead of being supplied the actual Vcore voltage (among others) from the mother board, the mother board supplies the CPU with a constant and default 1.8V, or CPU Voltage In/CPU In Voltage.

    So obviously what has been labeled "Vcore" on this screen is actually the CPU In Voltage. If the term "Vcore" on this screen was simply a mistake, that is not a big problem, and the name or label for the CPU core voltage is not critical.

    The problem is there is no value for the actual CPU core voltage shown anywhere in the UEFI screens, or in the A-Tuning utility (Version 1.0.36.)

    Displaying the CPU core voltage is among the most basic parameters that any UEFI/BIOS, hardware monitoring utility, or CPU over clocking program must provide to a PC user. Screenshots of the UEFI's of other manufactures Z87 boards clearly have the correct Vcore value displayed. I'm using two different third party PC hardware monitoring programs, and both of them display the real CPU core voltage, and show the same value.

    You can set a specific CPU voltage in this board's UEFI, but that is not at all a substitute for a displaying the CPU core voltage, since it can and does change dynamically.

    A-Tuning correctly displays and labels the CPU Input Voltage on the OC Tweaker screen, but does not display a CPU core voltage reading. The System Info screen has the "CPU Volt." reading, but again it is the CPU Input Voltage being displayed, 1.800V.

    If I have overlooked the CPU core voltage display in the UEFI or A-Tuning, please tell me where to find it.

    I must say that a mistake like this, in multiple places, does not inspire confidence, or makes me feel good about purchasing this board.

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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 6 Board: No Way To Monitor CPU Vcore Voltage

    Dear parsec,

    Thanks for the detailed explaination and test.
    We're working on it and will release BIOS to revise it.

    When the BIOS release, I'll upload it to our beta zone and inform you.

    Thanks!

    Have a nice day
    ASRock TSD
    Emily

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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 6 Board: No Way To Monitor CPU Vcore Voltage

    Thank you Emily, I appreciate that.

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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 6 Board: No Way To Monitor CPU Vcore Voltage

    Nice to hear the Vcore issue should be resolved. Though the need for it from UEFI is somewhat limited: you'd have to save changes, restart, and enter UEFI again to see the changes.

    Unfortunately though the A-Tune utility is still pretty "meh". It's slow to start up, it doesn't allow you to pick up the settings you have selected in UEFI and tweak those (it would override your current settings with its own settings), nor can it work with profiles in general. It would be nice if this utility would be much improved, though I don't have high hopes that would happen.

    Much (yes, much) nicer, though not fully functional on these boards (e.g. no memory settings) is Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility: Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility (Intel® XTU) ... absolutely worth a try for anyone overclocking with the Extreme 6 (and probably other boards, but I don't have other boards to test it with).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 6 Board: No Way To Monitor CPU Vcore Voltage

    Really, IXTU works for the most part on this board?!!

    In the past, it has been locked out on many platforms that did not arrange for support with Intel. I haven't used it on any platform since my ASUS X58 board.

    I'm downloading it now, I hope you are serious (no offense) since IXTU is nice.

    I must agree that A-Tuning needs a little... tuning of its own.

    One of the worst issues is in the OC Tweaker screen, the CPU Ratio (multiplier) field. If you have SpeedStep and other power saving options enabled, the core multipliers vary up and down (from 8 to whatever is set in the UEFI), to change the CPU frequency/speed, and reduce power usage. Completely normal, and nothing new, SpeedStep goes back to at least the Core 2 CPU's.

    If CPU power saving options are enabled, when you start the OC Tweaker feature, the CPU Ratio field will NOT necessarily be the maximum value set in the UEFI, but whatever the current core (core zero I think) multiplier is set to at that moment. Actually, the value is quite random, with the multiplier set to 40 in the UEFI, I've seen values of 17, 21, 30, and occasionally the correct value. You can click the Cancel button, and most of the time you'll get a new, random value for the CPU Ratio.

    The issue is, say you adjust anything besides the CPU Ratio on that screen, even the PCH voltage, and click Apply. Whatever random value the CPU Ratio is displaying, will become the current, and maximum CPU Ratio/multiplier. We'll be seeing many threads in this forum by confused users about this.

    IMO, the CPU Ratio/multiplier field on this screen should be set to the value set in the UEFI, whether the standard multiplier for a CPU, or an increased value set by the user.

    I must say I can think of reasons why using the value from the UEFI may not always be appropriate. But, the current way the CPU Ratio value is set in A-Tuning is much worse, at least when using CPU power saving options. At the very least, the user should be warned to check the CPU Ratio value and set it correctly.

    For example, I have the multiplier set to 42 in the UEFI. In the A-Tuning OC Tweaker screen, it is set to 30. I then clicked Cancel, and it changed to 19. Just clicked Cancel two more times, and got 42, and then 17 for the CPU Ratio.

    Z87 Extreme 6 Board: No Way To Monitor CPU Vcore Voltage-atuning-octweak-error-jpg

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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 6 Board: No Way To Monitor CPU Vcore Voltage

    Update to last post, the version of CPU-Z I used does NOT display the correct CPU core voltage, the screenshot above is wrong. CPU-Z has been updated twice (in ~one week), and the latest version is correct, if you can find it. HWiNFO64 was also not displaying the CPU core voltage, but that may be fixed in its Beta.

    That does not change the fact the the Z87 EX 6 board does not display the correct CPU core voltage. Obviously, most hardware monitoring programs have also been wrong (AIDA64 is correct) so this issue is fairly common.

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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 6 Board: No Way To Monitor CPU Vcore Voltage

    UPDATE: After doing more research on this topic, and checking other CPU monitoring programs, I must say that providing a value for "Vcore" for Haswell CPUs is not simple or straightforward. So, a partial apology to ASRock for this thread, although using the CPU input voltage (standard value of 1.8V) is still not a CPU core voltage.

    Things to consider regarding this topic:

    Before Haswell, the mother board supplied the single Vcore (VCC in Intel documentation) voltage (among four others) to the CPU. That is the voltage we adjusted when we OC'd the CPU. Internally, the CPU (quad core) has four VID controlled voltages, one for each core.

    Haswell has two voltages into the CPU, CPU input, and DDR (memory) input voltages. We can adjust the CPU input voltage, but that is not directly adjusting the CPU core voltages.

    I've seen some information that the Haswell single "Vcore" voltage being displayed (and adjusted), is actually only one of the CPU core voltages (Core 0). A few Haswell boards display all four CPU core voltages. Adjusting one core's voltage likely adjusts all the cores voltage in some situations, in others maybe not.

    My point is that it seems in Haswell CPUs, there is not one single "Vcore" voltage output that is then further adjusted into four core voltages. The path seems to be CPU input voltage into the CPU VRM, and four core voltages as the VRM output.

    In that case, a single Vcore voltage for Haswell CPUs may not really exist. If all this is not correct, feel free to describe what you believe to be correct.

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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 6 Board: No Way To Monitor CPU Vcore Voltage

    I've not seen the same information you're speaking about. Nor have I seen any reviews of Haswell where 4 core voltages are visible (doesn't mean there aren't any boards that provide this, of course). Then again, what does it matter -- as long as the core voltage control controls the voltage on all cores at the same time? If it didn't you'd probably see a lot more crashes when overclocking.

    You do get control over Core Voltage (CPU Voltage Mode: CPU Override Voltage and CPU Voltage Offset), and the input voltage (CPU Input Voltage) which probably feeds the VRM on the chip. The Core Voltage seems to be the important one here, as that setting really determines how hot the CPU gets. The input voltage probably simply has to be high enough to be able to supply the CPU's needs, and that is what it seems to be anyway.

    The biggest gripe I have with all of this isn't Haswell or any particular company or manufacturer, but rather that there aren't really all that many authorative sources on what someone should set these values to and what they do exactly, or how they work. As you say, it's quite hard to find the right settings. :)

    All that said, I really would expect that "CPU Voltage Mode" and the two related settings decide how much voltage goes into each core, and that the BIOS and manufacturer provided tools (UEFI, A-Tuning) always report this important value correctly.

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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 6 Board: No Way To Monitor CPU Vcore Voltage

    I agree 1000% with your thoughts about the all the CPU power settings for Haswell CPUs, documentation for that is very difficult to find. The true source for that should be Intel, which may exist but is not obviously available AFAIK. Time to actually look for it...

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