Overclocking on our Z690 APEX:
Choosing your DDR5 kit based on memory chips :
As was already the case with DDR4, if you want to clock your memory, some brands will have a better potential. Currently, the kits announced by the various brands benefit from either Micron, Hynix or Samsung chips. The latter two brands will be the most interesting. Our Teamgroup Delta RGB 6600 MT/S kit is equipped with Hynix chips as you can see. A small but important note, our ROG Z690 APEX is a « new version » of 2022 which eliminates the problems encountered with memory overclocking above 6600/6800 MHz.
The « key » voltages of DDR5 :
For memory overclocking, there are 5 key voltages. These are the voltages that will have an impact on the overclocking and therefore on the frequency rise or the tightening of timings. These are the CPU System Agent Voltage (SA), DRAM VVD Voltage, DRAM VVDQ Voltage, Memory Controller Voltage and IVR Transmitter VVDQ Voltage. Here is where these voltages are located in the BIOS of our ROG Maximus Z690 APEX.
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. If your PMIC module is not locked, enabling « High DRAM Voltage Mode » will give you access to voltages up to 2 volts. Let’s go for overclocking this DDR5 from Corsair.
Step 1: Optimise XMP without touching the voltage
First of all, it is possible to activate the profiles available in the BIOS of our APEX. Be careful to select those that correspond to your type of memory chip. These profiles act on timings, subtimings and voltages.
But, for once, we chose to optimise the XMP profile without touching the voltage. We have increased the frequency to 6666 MT/s and tightened the timings to 32-39-39-28-2T. To boost performance, we also modified the secondary and tertiary timings. Here are our updated test charts so you can see the gains we’ve made with this new profile in the various benchmarks we use. Let’s start with AIDA64 to see the impact of overclocking our kit on bandwitdh and speed.
Performance is skyrocketing in all of the benchmarks. The profile is not fully stable but we didn’t have time to tune it perfectly. The idea is to show you the potential while keeping the voltage as low as 1.40 volts.
Now let’s get on with the part we’re most interested in, trying to get the most out of this Teamgroup Delta RGB kit by trying to reach 7400 MT/s.
Step 2 : Benchmark profiles at 7000, 7200 and 7400 MT/s
We’ve been testing DDR5 kits for several months now and we’re starting to get the hang of DDR5 overclocking. Importantly, we received a new ROG Z690 APEX dating from 2022. The 2022 versions have the advantage of not having to worry about memory overclocking reliability. The 2021 versions can be very limited in terms of frequency, especially on slot A of the board.
We were able to validate three profiles, the first at 7000 MT/s and the second at 7200 MT/s. The third one is at 7400 MT/s but will require further optimisation in the coming days. The voltages were 1.64 volts (VDD), 1.62 volts (VDDQ), 1.55 volts (IVR) and 1.35 volts (Memory Controller). Our i9-12900K is overclocked for the results below. The P-cores are at 5300 MHz, the E-cores at 4100 MHz and the cache at 4500 MHz, at 1.35v. The System Agent voltage is at 1.35v.
7000 MT/s 32-40-40-28-2T :
This profile is very interesting and performs well. It sure could be a bit more optimized but each kit is different and will require some time to find the best balance in terms of timings.
7200 MT/s 32-40-40-28-2T :
This new profile is quite similar to the one at 7000 MT/s but with some relaxed timings. We are on fairly similar performances. Don’t forget that the more we increase the frequency, the less we have to be greedy on the tight timings. For benchmarking, the idea is to find the best compromise in performance and stability.
7400 MT/s 32-42-42-28-2T :
The good news is that we were able to reach 7400 MT/s in 32-42-42-28-2T and secondary and tertiary timings in AUTO rule out quite easily. This is a very interesting foundation that we will use as a basis for overclocking in sub zero.
The idea of going up to 7400 MT/s allows me to evaluate the IMC of my i9-12900K as well as the potential of our ROG Z690 APEX.