BIOS & Overclocking
Registered users are welcome to download EVGA’s overclocking utility, but it’s not included on the disc. Intel has one too, called Extreme Tuning Utility but abbreviated XTU. We began our overclocks in firmware.
Simple menus allow users to quickly get comfortable with the Z370 FTW’s GUI, but they also have some limitations. One of these limitations is its use of Intel’s stock power limits when configured with a “stock” multiplier, including the selection of a 47x fixed ratio for all core loads, which is the default Turbo Boost max for our CPU with single core loads. Breaking out of the power envelope forced us to choose 48x instead, which should have been fine for a processor that typically reaches 4848 MHz max under 12-thread AVX loads.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a voltage configuration to reach 4848 MHz, due in part to this processor’s thermal constraints. It typically pushes around 96° core temperature at 1.30V core with our unusually high validation load, and a little more voltage pushes it past its throttle temperature. EVGA does not offer “levels” of “Vdroop” control, but instead threw around 80mV at our fully-laden core when set to “Vdroop Disabled,” and allowed core voltage to sag by nearly as much when set to “Vdroop enabled.” Setting 1.30V with “Vdroop Enabled” allowed the voltage to sink so low under stress that I couldn’t overclock whatsoever. Setting 1.235V with “Vdroop Disabled” allowed it to run at 1.305 to 1.315V at full load. With thermal limits still in play and the 47x multiplier hampered by the default power-limit throttling, the only fixed-frequency overclock I could get used a 48x multiplier at 99MHz.
The screen shots represent a slight slight-of-hand, as enabling XMP would reset the BCLK to 100 MHz. I was able to choose a higher mulitiplier however, and setting XMP plus a memory frequency of 4000 pushed our modules to DDR4-4000 at default XMP timings.
Users of M.2-based NVMe drives must enable the corresponding slot manually through the Advanced > Onboard Device Configuration submenu.
We don’t see any voltage-mode options for the PWM fan headers, nor do we see custom fan slopes. The factory slope kept our fans quiet under most loads, “Max” gave us a 100% duty cycle for thermal and overclocking evaluations, and the other options are fixed duty cycle between “Off” and “Max” in 1% intervals.
The Z370 FTW also allows users to save custom firmware settings as user profiles through both onboard ROM and USB flash drives.
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