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Old April 15, 2019, 09:07 AM
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Default PSA - BIOS Updates

Just a little PSA for you all from my recent findings.

For the longest time, I was always of the mindset "If it works, leave it be" with BIOS versions. And usually that is a sound statement.

That being said, I've so far encountered an annoying thing with the newer generation of CPU's.

So far, all of the 9th Gen intel CPU builds I've built have required BIOS updates to get the CPU's to actually run at their advertised all core boost speeds. For whatever reason, everything works great on the base/factory BIOS, so there's no sign that a BIOS update is warranted, unless you know what to look for.

Case Study: Asus Prime Z390-P, i7-9700k, On BASE/Default BIOS:

Boosts to 4.9ghz as intended on a couple cores, system is speedy and responsive, no indication that something is amiss. However, when digging deeper and running synthetic benchmarks, all-core boost is only 3.6GHZ. XMP Enabled, makes no difference.

Changing "Asus Multicore Enhancement" from Auto to Force always on will actually help, however it actually overclocks the CPU over the factory spec, 4.7GHZ on all core-boost vs stock 4.6ghz. This could be OK for some people, but I also noticed higher temperatures than I would be comfortable with for a system that must be rock stable 24x7 in a client's environment.

Reset BIOS back to defaults, and updated to the latest BIOS release, completely fixed the all-core boost issue, running at it's spec 4.6GHZ with no additional tweaks in the BIOS, and perfectly acceptable CPU temps.

I'd like to point out that I've observed this on all the new 9th Gen CPU systems I've built and tested (excluding X299). I find it strange that we'd get this type of behavior from a chipset that was essentially designed and released alongside the 9th Gen CPUs as well!

So that's my PSA. Guess I'll be more vigilant these days with BIOS updates!
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Old April 15, 2019, 09:35 AM
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Honestly, I think this is an issue of "juicing" the bios to make the reviews look better. Then the newer bios also have adjustments made to accommodate the different type of memory and putting settings in the bios to account for these differences, ie compatibility.
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Old April 15, 2019, 10:09 AM
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the 9 series CPU's came out well after the 300 chipset...they were designed for the 8 series, so it's not a surprise they need to be updated.



no different than how my H170 needed a BIOS update for it to accept Kaby Lake.



granted, it is a frustration when you get gear that is supposed to work together, but you have a board with an out of date BIOS.
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Old April 15, 2019, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Friendly View Post
the 9 series CPU's came out well after the 300 chipset...they were designed for the 8 series, so it's not a surprise they need to be updated.



no different than how my H170 needed a BIOS update for it to accept Kaby Lake.



granted, it is a frustration when you get gear that is supposed to work together, but you have a board with an out of date BIOS.
https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/in...eks-later.html Z390 came out weeks before the 9th Gen.

And it is completely different from how you needed to update your BIOS BEFORE running the Kaby lake!

My PSA is to point out, that although everything may seem to be working great with your new system, chances are you could be in a "limp mode", and have a lot of performance left on the table that could be free'd up with a simple BIOS update. This also has nothing to do with "tweaking" the BIOS, but merely by default to get the most out of your stock un-altered, non-overclocked rig.
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Old April 15, 2019, 11:08 AM
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Thanks for the PSA Cptn! I wonder what I am getting on a Z370 board with an 8700K? Maybe the BIOS issue would not appear in that older config but worth me checking just in case.

And Mr. Friendly, maybe you misread and thought he said Z370 board, not Z390? I think my case, updating my BIOS on a Z370 to support a 9 series chip in the future would be more similar to what you describe.
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Old April 15, 2019, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lysrin View Post
And Mr. Friendly, maybe you misread and thought he said Z370 board, not Z390? I think my case, updating my BIOS on a Z370 to support a 9 series chip in the future would be more similar to what you describe.
ah...so my mis-read makes my point even more valid, an older chipset on a mobo that was manufactured before the 9 series came out.
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Old April 15, 2019, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Friendly View Post
ah...so my mis-read makes my point even more valid, an older chipset on a mobo that was manufactured before the 9 series came out.
Actually, what is most interesting is that the BIOS that shipped on these boards, is actually relatively new:

Version 2012
2019/03/20

That makes it all the more interesting!
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Old April 15, 2019, 12:05 PM
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There is barely any difference between z370 and z390. Mostly just the extra usb ports.
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Old April 15, 2019, 01:00 PM
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It could also be the various microcode and Intel ME updates for Spetre/Meltdown as well?

I think more so than ever it makes sense to update your BIOS, and hopefully your manufacturer is keeping it updated, as there's been so many security issues at the CPU/firmware level.
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Old April 15, 2019, 06:07 PM
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Agree with Cptn Vortex. You would expect that a fourth release BIOS dated less than a month ago would run the chip correctly at stock settings.....Asus flubbed that one.



[H] did a review of the -A version with a much earlier BIOS (different series numbers) that made no mention of such behaviour. There doesn't seem to be any real reviews of the -P on a quick search.
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