Review: MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X

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Memory overclocking:

If you are a regular overclocker, you know that memory overclocking is the most time-consuming and requires patience. The arrival of DDR5 is still very recent and mastering it will require many more hours of testing. Fortunately, you are in luck and can join our Discord community where many of our members have DDR5 but also different motherboards, so we can answer your questions. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bl4ckdot who gave me valuable advice and who also has a MEG Z690 Unify-X.

Choosing your DDR5 kit based on memory chips:

As was already the case for DDR4, if you want to overclock your memory, some chips will have a better potential. Currently, the kits announced by the different brands are equipped with Micron, Samsung or Hynix chips. The last two brands will be the most interesting. We have already had the opportunity to review several DDR5 memory kits and to test the potential of these three types of memory chips. We invite you to take a look at the « memory » section of our site.

The « key » voltages of DDR5 :

For memory overclocking, there are 5 key voltages. These are the voltages that will have an impact on overclocking and therefore on the frequency gain or the tightening of the timings. These are the CPU System Agent Voltage (SA), CPU VVDQ Voltage, CPU VVDQ2 Voltage, DRAM Voltage and DRAM VDDQ Voltage. Here is where these voltages are located in the BIOS of our MEG Z690 Unify-X.

Beware, depending on the type of memory chips (Micron, Hynix and Samsung), the balance between these different voltages is different. Don’t panic, we’ll come back to this in detail in our guide on overclocking Alder Lake and DDR5. We also wanted to draw a parallel between the voltages available on our ROG Z690 APEX and their equivalent on this Z690 Unify-X.

Now it’s time to share our tests with the Teamgroup Delta RGB 6400 CL40 memory kit.

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Let’s go for the overclocking of this DDR5 from Teamgroup :

As we hinted, we spent several days looking for stable profiles or profiles for benchmarks. As a reminder, our kit is equipped with Hynix chips. Here is a condensed table of the tests we performed and the performance we achieved.

We’ll be fine-tuning our memory overclocking in the coming days with the aim of being able to benchmark at 7000 MHz. We are also preparing a Kingston DDR5 Beast 5200 MHz CL40 kit with Hynix chips for a cold run.

In short, as you can see, overclocking DDR5 is going to be a lot of fun, maybe even more so than DDR4. You can also see how important and useful the profiles in the Asus BIOS are. Thanks to the team behind it who work on these different BIOSes and profiles.

Latest BIOS A.22:

Shortly before the closing of our article, MSI released the A.22 BIOS. We didn’t want to pass on the opportunity to test it. Three profiles appear in the Load Memory Presets section, but unfortunately none of them proved stable with our Teamgroup 6400 MT/s CL40 kit. So we applied our settings used with the A.12U4 BIOS with no issues, our configuration boots up without a problem. Not much difference except a better multi score at Geekbench 3 with 89758 points.

I’m still waiting for other memory kits that will also be tested on this MSI Z690 Unify-X. I’m also preparing a dry ice run of the 12900K, 12400 and 12100F for fun. More info in a few days 🙂

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