Z270 Extreme4 Software, Firmware And Overclocking
ASRock App Shop finally includes a download for its Z270-compatible A-Tuning overclocking suite. Manual settings are fully functional from Windows, but overclocking profiles are firmware-based and require a reboot. Programmed overclocks include 4.6 GHz at 1.35V, 4.7 GHz at 1.35V with a 100 MHz reduction under AVX load (1x AVX offset), 4.8 GHz at 1.38V with a 2x AVX offset, 4.9 GHz at 1.42V with a 2x AVX offset, and 5.0 GHz at 1.45V with a 3x AVX offset. The 4.6 GHz and 4.8 GHz overclocks are also available under the Advanced Turbo “Gears,” with the 4.8 GHz “Gear 2” adding a DDR4-2400 setting.
The Auto Tuning feature uses an algorithm to determine stability, but only works when a Turbo or Gear setting is already chosen. When tested at the Turbo 4.6 GHz baseline, the final overclock was reduced to 4.5 GHz.
Aura RGB settings are available from both software and firmware. Even though the lower portion of the cover is selectable as a separate zone from the upper part of the cover, settings changed there don’t stick. The two zones include the full port and rear edge cover, and the PCH heat sink.
ASRock Z270 Extreme4 opens to an Easy Mode menu, which includes RAID and XMP functions.
The Optimized CPU OC Settings found in software are sourced from firmware. Starting with the 4.80 GHz setting, I dropped the CPU core voltage setting to 1.30V and the AVX offset to zero. Retesting at full AVX load showed a maximum stable frequency of 4646 MHz using a Core i7-7700K sample that routinely reaches full 4.80 GHz stability on higher model motherboards.
Memory overclocking was also a little disappointing, with G.Skill’s DDR4-3866 stable only to DDR4-3570 as a full 4x 8GB set, and DDR4-3708 as a two-DIMM half set.
Like most enthusiast market boards, the Z270 Extreme4 has a hidden +20mV DIMM voltage offset, producing a measured 1.353-1.354V at the motherboard’s 1.330V setting. This is most likely used by motherboard manufacturers to achieve a “compatibility advantage” when using super fast RAM such as our DDR4-3866, but it appears memory manufacturers have also come to rely on that extra voltage when rating super high data-rate sets such as our DDR4-3866. While I’d like everyone to be upfront about this, the fact that hidden overvoltage is now universal makes it impossible for me to blame a single manufacturer.