990FX Extreme9 Firmware
A simple menu structure allows experienced users to custom tune their 990FX Extreme9 without jumping through unnecessary steps. As always, inexperienced users are free to seek overclocking advice within our forums.
Shown at DDR3-2424, the 990FX Extreme9 only gets our DDR3-2666 memory to 2,411 MT/s before occasional errors begin to occur. This outcome, which we'd otherwise consider mediocre, is somewhat acceptable only because the CPU’s built-in memory controller doesn’t support higher ratios. The board’s 1.635 V setting approximates our desired 1.65 volts.
The 990FX Extreme9 also pushes this AMD FX-8350 sample to 4.44 GHz at a modest 1.40 V, though with even more anomalies in the process. For example, “Load-Line Calibration” is backwards, with 100% corresponding to full droop and the minimum setting providing maximum voltage increase. Full-load core voltage fluctuated between 1.39 and 1.49 V by default, and decreasing the CPU’s maximum voltage to the desired 1.40 V was accomplished by increasing load-line compensation to 75%!
The 990FX Extreme9 supports Intel's XMP technology and retains previous latency settings when switching from automatic to manual modes. This memory, for example, has tighter SPD timings for its slower DDR3-1600 default. So, disabling the XMP profile from the main page before picking manual timing controls would have caused those tighter defaults to be reflected in the firmware’s manual configuration boxes.
Anyone who doesn’t want to limit CPU voltage themselves is welcome to try ASRock’s automatic overclocking profiles. These are designed around manipulation of the reference clock, rather than the FX processor's adjustable multiplier, so that they can also support multiplier-locked CPUs.