Gigabyte Z77 Overclocking Guide
Published: 26th February 2013 | Source: OC3D | Price: |
Yes we know we promised to stick to the important stuff, and this is very much important. Without vDroop adjustment you'll be banging your head against the wall, which isn't conducive to an enjoyable experience. The basics of overclocking are to attain the maximum speed for the smallest voltage. So there always reaches a point at which you have a system running at a certain speed at a certain voltage, which is just enough to keep it running but with less voltage the overclock will fail and the system freeze or reboot.
vDroop is when, under loading, the amount of voltage being delivered is less than required. Thankfully we can demonstrate vDroop perfectly. We have manually set the CPU voltage to 1.13 (we'll explain why on the next page) and then started OCCT, which will induce the voltage drop and show you clearly why vDroop is a very bad thing, especially for stable overclocks, and your forehead.
The stages of the loadline calibration are usually named differently on different brands so you'll have to adapt, but the end result is that you want as much loadline calibration as is available to you. If you're without the manual, or the manual is unclear, then by doing what we have done today which is set your voltage, adjust the loadline, run OCCT and view the Voltage-CPU-VCore image which help you narrow it down to the setting you require.
Of course you can always ask in our friendly forums too, but we recommend getting used to adjusting a BIOS option, saving, booting, running OCCT and adjusting. Largely because you'll be doing a lot of it on the next page, but also because this is the shortest sane overclocking guide around and we've already cut all the corners for you.
On our Gigabyte motherboard it's labelled Vcore loadline calibration. You'll usually find vDroop under loadline calibration if it isn't labelled vDroop already. Set to 'auto' you actually end up with no loadline calibration at all. With everything set as defaults except for the CPU Vcore set to 1.13v as noted above.
As you can see from the graph on the right, the moment the system comes under loading the CPU Vcore drops from 1.13v to 1.05v. For a standard CPU it's not the end of the world, but as we're not here for standard CPUs and by the end we'll be adding less than the 0.08v to attain our stable overclock, you can see how this drop would be fatal.
There are many options for controlling the vDroop with the UD5H, but as we'll soon see you only need one. Indeed we've often commented that loadline calibration should be on all the times by default and if there is a BIOS option it should only be on or off, rather than the multi-stage affair we normally encounter. With the loadline calibration set to 'Low' we drop from 1.13 to 1.08, which is better than before but not perfect.
High is getting much better, but there is still a hefty dropoff from 1.13v to 1.1v.
Finally we get to Extreme, which really is misnamed. Instead of Extreme it should be labelled 'How it should be done'. As you can see as soon as the system comes under loading the voltage remains rock solid. Exactly what we need for a stable overclock.