Supermicro H8QGi/6 and H8QGL Next Generation OC BIOS

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tear

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OCNG versions 4 and below have been obsoleted.

For your OC needs please refer to OCNG5: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1836265


 
After six weeks, way too many sleepless nights, two (temporarily) bricked boards
and with tremendous amount of work by extremely dedicated individuals... I present you:

Supermicro H8QGi/6 and H8QGL Next Generation OC BIOS

Some of you may have heard (or even taken advantage) of Supermicro OC solution
(called 'classic OC' from now on). It was cumbersome and time consuming to set up,
required manual intervention after every boot and had a limit of 12.5% OC.

OCNG (OC Next Generation) is a complete revamp of OC approach and, consequently,
is free of these drawbacks.

Important bits --
  • NO WARRANTY. Neither expressed nor implied. By flashing the BIOS you will void
    your board's warranty. Vendor will only service boards with original BIOS.
  • Make sure to flash ROM appropriate for your board! DO NOT use Gi/6 ROM with a GL
    board or vice-versa; doing so will brick the board
  • You MUST NOT use SATA ports 4 or 5 of the board -- their use is known to interfere with
    the OC
  • If you're currently using classic OC you'll need to revert all previously performed
    changes. I'm deliberately omitting details here -- we'll cover that in another thread
    or even keep it off the forum to avoid confusion.
  • No Interlagos/Bulldozer or Abu Dhabi/Piledriver support whatsoever.
    THIS BIOS WILL NOT BOOT W/IL OR AD CHIPS _AT_ _ALL_ and you will need
    a 6100 chip to recover shall you flash it while running IL/AD chips

    Opteron 6200/6300 support is under development, read more at http://area51dev.blogspot.com/p/ocng-oc-bios-for-supermicro-4p-g34.html

Usage instructions:
  1. If you're using H8QGL board and need IPMI, see this thread: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1728050
    If you don't absolutely need IPMI, disable BMC (IPMI) by means of a jumper;
    refer to motherboard manual for details.
    IPMI has been reported to work fine on H8QGi/6 boards.
  2. Prepare or otherwise round up bootable DOS USB drive. If you don't know how to make
    one, visit: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/46707-ms-dos-bootable-flash-drive-create.html (Windows required)
  3. Download OCNG BIOS ROM (IMPORTANT: pick appropriate ROM for your board)
      H8QGi/6: http://darkswarm.org/sm-bios/G60NG4.A11
      H8QGL: http://darkswarm.org/sm-bios/GL1NG4.511
  4. Download SM BIOS package. Package choice will depend on the board you own,
      H8QGi/6: http://www.supermicro.com/support/resources/getfile.aspx?ID=1283
      H8QGL: http://www.supermicro.com/support/resources/getfile.aspx?ID=1278
  5. Unzip SM BIOS archive contents (from step #4) to root directory of the USB drive (e.g. D:\)
  6. Copy OCNG BIOS ROM from step #3 to root directory of the USB drive
  7. Safely remove the USB drive
  8. Boot the 4P machine using USB drive
  9. Flash the ROM: type flash.bat followed by OCNG BIOS ROM name from step #3 and press Enter

          NOTE FOR ADVANCED USERS: if, for any reason, you decide to use
          AFUDOS.EXE, you MUST provide SM-mandated options at the end of command
          line, that is /P /B /N /C /R -- failure to do so will result in bricked board
     
  10. Wait for flash process to complete
  11. Power the machine off
  12. Wait few moments
  13. Power the machine on (known issue: GL boards may not boot after warm reset; please power-cycle shall you run into this)
  14. BIOS should report incorrect CMOS checksum at this time
  15. Press DEL to Enter Setup
  16. Load BIOS' optimal defaults (F9 key) (very, very important)
  17. Save and exit (F10 key)
  18. Boot to Linux and open new terminal
  19. Download OCNG utilities
    Code:
    wget -O ocng-utils-4.6.tar.gz http://darkswarm.org/sm-bios/ocng-utils-4.6.tar.gz
  20. Untar OCNG utilities
    Code:
    tar -xzf ocng-utils-4.6.tar.gz
  21. Build OCNG utilities
    Code:
    make -C ocng-utils-4.6
  22. Install OCNG utilities (as root; prepend with sudo if running on Ubuntu):
    Code:
    make -C ocng-utils-4.6 install
  23. If you're running anything but [H] Ubuntu Folding Appliance, configure the system so appropriate modules are loaded boot-time (as root; prepend each line with sudo if running on Ubuntu):
    Code:
    sh -c "echo msr >> /etc/modules"
    sh -c "echo cpuid >> /etc/modules"
    sh -c "echo nvram >> /etc/modules"
  24. Load nvram module (as root; prepend with sudo if running on Ubuntu)
    Code:
    modprobe nvram
  25. Launch OCNG configuration utility (as root; prepend with sudo if running on Ubuntu)
    Code:
    ocng-cu
  26. Follow on-screen instructions; once set, changes persist across reboots (only need to do it once)
  27. Upon completing configuration, power-off the machine; need to shut it off completely, DO NOT reboot.
  28. Wait few moments and power the machine back on again.

Reference clock discussion (refclock) --
Default refclock is 200 MHz. Consequently, 220 gives you 10% OC. 225 -- 12.5% OC
and so on. See next post for good starting points (as they do depend on CPUs and
cooling).

NOTE: OCNG BIOS takes advantage of XMP memory profile, if available.
    You can disable usage of XMP profile in the advanced section of the configuration.

NOTE: IPMI (BMC) must be disabled on H8QGL boards

NOTE: Exceeding effective frequency of DDR3-1600 may not be possible with certain
    DDR3 DIMMs. This is IMC limitation.


Supported memory configurations:
  • DDR3-1333 or faster: refclocks 201 through 250 (effective DDR3-1072 through DDR3-1333, respectively)
  • DDR3-1600 or faster: refclocks 251 through 262 (effective DDR3-1338 through DDR3-1397, respectively)

Currently unsupported memory configurations that have been reported to work well (w/higher memory OC):
  • DDR3-1600 or faster (if enabled in advanced section of the configuration): refclocks 201 through 240 (effective DDR3-1340 through DDR3-1600, respectively)

Speaking of cooling. You will need very good cooling. Dynatrons are only good for mild
overclocks. 212+'s, Sunbeams CCF, Noctuas are all good picks. WC is, naturally,
welcome as well :)

When you hit a refclock that causes the board not to POST first thing to do is NOT
PANIC. Then reset CMOS per board's manual. Make sure to completely
unplug the machine, DO NOT remove the battery. Given amount of charge
high-end PSUs accumulate you may need to keep the contacts short for 10-15 seconds!

Once CMOS is reset you will need to re-set the time/date and (again) load optimal
defaults. Then you can go ahead and resume OC operation.

List of utilities in ocng-utils package:
  • clockspeed -- reports CPU's clock speed (run w/sudo)
  • ht-retries -- reports HT retry counts (run w/sudo)
  • ocng-cu -- OCNG configuration utility, used to configure the OC and related parameters (run w/sudo)
  • ocng-version -- reports OCNG version (run w/sudo)
  • voltcheck -- reports actual (measured) CPU voltages (minimal/maximal/average over 10 samples) (run w/sudo)

Credits -- none of this would have been possible if not for the following individuals,
listed alphabetically:
  • dreadwing
  • DSee
  • firedfly
  • mullet
  • musky
  • sfield
  • tear
  • tjmagneto

Enjoy!

════════════════════════════════
UPDATE: Mar 5, 2012

New ROM is available. A number of early adopters
reported HT-related issues with refclocks above 230.
This should be fixed now.

════════════════════════════════
UPDATE: Mar 26, 2012

GL series ROM is available. Functionally identical to
Gi/6 version 2. Enjoy!

════════════════════════════════
UPDATE: Jun 9, 2012

Version 3 ROM is now available.

All frequencies from 200-262 range are now set up properly
in the clockgen, including ones described there.

tFAW calculation (rounding issue in the original BIOS) is fixed as well.

BIOS now allows testing memory w/XMP settings but without OC.
To take advantage of it you first need to update (delete and re-download)
smocng.sh. Then, to test XMP settings use: sudo ./smocng.sh 200.
To revert to stock (JEDEC and no OC) use: sudo ./smocng.sh reset.

════════════════════════════════
UPDATE: Nov 18, 2012

Version 4 ROM is now available.

It supports memories with non-standard MTB values (notably Crucial
Ballistix DDR3-1866).

Also fixes tWR setup in certain configurations.

Additionally, OCNG4 allows relaxing memory timings a bit -- shall one
be at timings' "edge" (e.g. CL6/CL7 edge at 225 w/G.Skill DDR3-1333 CL7
memories). See respective option in advanced section of the configuration
utility.

Includes alternative HT tuning option. If you're running into HT
retries and have done due diligence w.r.t. cleaning CPU pads you
can try alternative HT tuning and see if it improves things.
See respective option in advanced section of the configuration utility.

And last, but not least; it features spanking new configuration utility
that's hopefully more robust and user-friendly.
 
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musky

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Recommenations

- For any of the H8QGL boards, you will need to disable BMC via jumper to use this bios. This means no IPMI. For the H8QGi/6 boards, you can leave BMC enabled.

- Install TurionPowerControl - instructions HERE

Troubleshooting

Problem: HT retries, performance significantly below expectations, HT Link Sync errors
- Visually inspect gold pads on the bottom of each CPU and the socket pins
- Blow some compressed air on both
- See how light reflects off CPU pads; you'll definitely see a difference if there's TIM residue
- Use rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs/q-tips to clean the CPU pads - wet, then dry
- No matter what, DO NOT touch socket pins!
 
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musky

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FAQ

Q: Will there be support for Tyan S8812 boards?
A: No, there will not. Unfortunately, Tyan has made certain things unaccessible, which prevents overclocking.

Q: When will this have IL support?
A: "When AMD makes a Family 15h CPU that doesn't suck" - tear

Q: Can I change/increase the CPU Vcore?
A: HE chips (6164, 6166) run slightly under their max Vcore, so they can be increased up to their max. You can not adjust Vcore on any other G34 chips.

Q: How can I view my current CPU frequency?
A: Install the OCNG utilities (steps 11 - 14 in the first post.) Once installed, type:
Code:
sudo clockspeed
You will see a result something like this:
Code:
clockspeed (OCNG4.1)
Family 10h
Running, please wait...
Refclock: 225.016 MHz
Clockspeed: 2812.696 MHz
Make an executable script call 95-cpuspeed in /etc/update-motd.d/ with the following code:
Code:
#!/bin/sh
clockspeed
When you boot up or log in via ssh, you will see the cpu speed:
Code:
Linux demon 2.6.35-22-server #33-Ubuntu SMP Sun Sep 19 20:48:58 UTC 2010 x86_64 GNU/Linux
Ubuntu 10.10

Welcome to the Ubuntu Server!
 * Documentation:  http://www.ubuntu.com/server/doc
New release 'natty' available.
Run 'do-release-upgrade' to upgrade to it.

Clockspeed (OCNG4.1)
Family 10h
Refclock: 225.015 MHz
Clockspeed: 2812.692 MHz
Last login: Sat Mar  3 15:31:04 2012 from 192.168.1.37
Q: Why am I not getting as much of a performance boost as I expected?
A: Several things can be in play here:
1. Are you comparing apples to apples, meaning are you running the same frames of the same unit for your before and after numbers you are comparing? Different units in the same project and even different frames in the same unit can have pretty large variations. If you aren't comparing the same frames in the same unit, you are guessing at performance gains. Dynamic Load Balancing makes a big difference as well - one test running with DLB and one without it is not a good comparison.

2. You will hear the term "HT retries" quite a bit if you hang around anyone who has been messing with 4p G34 overclocking. "HT" (Hypertransport) is how the different CPUs in a multiple processor system communicate with each other. An "HT retry" happens when this communication doesn't happen correctly and has to be repeated. When these happen, the system will not perform as well. The actual causes for these are still being investigated, but they can definitely become more prevalent with higher overclocks. Tear has developed a tool to view the numbers of HT retries that are happening in a system. To use it, you first need to install the OCNG utilities (steps 11 - 14 in the first post.) To run it:
Code:
sudo ht-retries
When running, you will see something like this:
Code:
ht-retries (OCNG4.1)
Press Ctrl+C to interrupt, refreshes every 60s. Only non-zero values are reported.

Cumulative, Fri Jan 11 22:22:03 CST 2013 (1357964523)
       L0S0 L1S0 L2S0 L3S0 L0S1 L1S1 L2S1 L3S1
Node 0
Node 1
Node 2
Node 3
Node 4
Node 5
Node 6
Node 7

Delta, Fri Jan 11 22:22:03 CST 2013 (1357964523)
       L0S0 L1S0 L2S0 L3S0 L0S1 L1S1 L2S1 L3S1
Node 0
Node 1
Node 2
Node 3
Node 4
Node 5
Node 6
Node 7
If you are getting ht retires, you will see some numbers in this table. As long as there aren't too many (1 per minute or less), you are fine. If one or more of these numbers are increasing rapidly, you will most likely need to back down your overclock to slow or eliminate them.

3. Are your expectations realistic? While it is fairly close, a 10% increase in clockspeed will not give you a full 10% decrease in frame times. To get an idea of where you should be, get a baseline frame time from a reference unit at stock clock speed. Multiply that by 200 and dive by your final clock speed to get an estimate of the frame time you should see with the overclock. You will not quite get there, but you should be close. For example, if your frame time on a particular unit is 10 minutes at stock speed and you want to overclock to a 220 system clock, your expected frame time after overclock should be 600 * 200 / 220 = 546 seconds = 9 minutes, 6 seconds. If your actual frame times are 9:10 +/-, you are running as expected.
 
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Kardonxt

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DAMN! If I would have known you guys were breaking the 12.5% oc limit i would have gone with the supermicro over the tyan lol. O well. Great work guys!
 

WOLF_TEAM_LEADER

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Glad I went for the SM board and the MC chips and that I am going to WC the rig.
Should OC nicely with some CPU-370 block on there :)
Good work on this BIOS, can't wait to see it in action!
 

DooKey

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Damn, I don't even have a 4p (yet) and this gave me some serious wood! You guys are really forcing my hand here..........

Please point me to where these boards can be found. Also, what would PPD be if populated with 6128s to start out with, and what would expected OC probably be with the 6128s?
 
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orion

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Nice work tear and gentlemen
grinning-smiley-003.gif
 

Kendrak

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Ohh such fun!

I'm looking forward to next weekend when I have a bit of free time.
 
D

Deleted member 12106

Guest
I am seeing a reference to linux on this, the clockref command is what drives the oc? Nothing internal to the bios then or?
 

tear

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smocng.sh only stores the configuration in CMOS. Core logic is in the custom ROM.
Stock ROM will not act upon smocng's config at all.
 

Desert_Rat

n00b
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I have the H bios that came with my board and the ram was flashed but in needs tweaking. Im not running any oc but would like to. How do I go about getting my stuff back to stock so I can use this guide?
 

Linden

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Holy moly!

Tear, expect this thread to become a shrine for 4P Supermicro Folders everywhere. They will make pilgrimages here.
 

Core32

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Excellent work on this project! Thanks for sharing.
I have this board: Link to H8QGi-F
I believe this one is compatible with the OC instructions give here, correct?
 

tear

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Please point me to where these boards can be found.

Wiredzone has them relatively cheap. Provantage is an option as well.
You're looking for H8QGi (any flavor, though you should probably check
them out on Supermicro's site).

DooKey said:
Also, what would PPD be if populated with 6128s to start out with, and what would expected OC probably be with the 6128s?
If you can run them at 250 (2.5 GHz) (and I ran two at 257) they should give ca. 320k PPD
w/P6904.
 

Core32

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Can the original BIOS found on the SuperMicro site be re-FLASHed if an RMA is necessary, or is this a one-way deal?
Thanks.
 

tear

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OCNG, as is, shouldn't prevent flashing stock BIOS.

If the board can POST, you should be able to flash stock ROM.

Side note -- in an event of unsuccessful OC one should follow Supermicro's
CMOS reset procedure (discussed in the first post).

Does that help?
 

R-Type

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - October 2011
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I propose we call this overclock the TearTurbo. :p Epic work guys!

"His username is enough to incite kernal panics, Boxes request root access from him, He once beat GROMACS... in a drinking competition.

He is... the [H]ardest folder in the world"

"I don't always create custom BIOS releases,

But when I do, I raise the PPD of the entire community"

"Stay folding my friends"
 

Vaulter98c

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Rtype, you almost got my vote for h dc'r of the year with that lol
 

cactus

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tear, what kind of bois do these boards have? Also, any chance of this working on any 2p boards?
 

tear

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Not quite sure what you're asking re BIOS...

The concept itself could work with Supermicro's 2p but migrating
the solution would still require reverse engineering skills and a backup
plan -- the question isn't "if" you'll brick the board but "when".
 

theGryphon

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A huge congrats to tear and the gang! :D

My first question on reversibility is already answered, so I'll shoot this one, if I may:
1) Does this method require any tweaks or spd flashing on the memory? I think not, otherwise you'd mention it tear, but then I'm curious how it handles the memory. :confused:

I'm anxiously looking forward to trying this on my H8QGL, whenever it becomes available.

Thank you guys for your contribution to the whole F@H community! :cool:
 

tear

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No need to touch the memory at all, just plug and play. BIOS will auto-tune timings
for optimal operation (will also use XMP1, if present).

Of course, if one had previously flashed SPDs for the purpose of "classic OC", this
will need to be reverted.
 
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Core32

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This is my first attempt at re-flashing the SM BIOS. I am using a USB drive with DOS. The drive boots fine and I can run the flash program using your new BIOS as the source.
At this point I get the "Error: File ROM ID incorrect" message, which SM says to use this command: flash BIOS_filename.xxx /X
I have tried this with the BIOS but get the same error as above.
The system still boots fine, it just appears that the flash command is not working.
Any other methods to do the BIOS flash or ideas how to bypass this?
Thanks.
 

enigma97

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Hi tear,

I see that XMP is used. Do I need to flash the XMP if I use Opteron 6100 with DDR3 1600 memory (XMP is set for 1600)? Thanks.
 

ChelseaOilman

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I see that XMP is used. Do I need to flash the XMP if I use Opteron 6100 with DDR3 1600 memory (XMP is set for 1600)? Thanks.

The new BIOS adjusts your memory speed down. My GSkill 1600 CAS 9 memory is running at 1066 CAS 7. Actually it's faster than 1066 because the memory speed is tied to the OCed FSB you use.
 

tear

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Core32, double check you're really using H8QGi or H8QG6.
This is a known issue when upgrading from 1.0a BIOS.
Once you're confident, add double quotes around filename /X part, e.g.
Code:
flash "G60NG1.A11 /X"


enigma97, no. No flashing required whatsoever (XMP is used automatically, if present).
Current design runs memory at 1066.66 * refclock / 200 at tightest possible timings.
 

Core32

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Thank you tear. The quotes are what was missing from the flash command.
Odd thing is, the SuperMicro flashing instructions do not mention that anywhere, that I could find.
The board is flashed and so far I am running a 10% OC successfully.
Checking temps before going any higher.
 
D

Deleted member 12106

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What has a typical OC been for the most of you?
 

R-Type

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What has a typical OC been for the most of you?

I think its going to depend greatly on the stock speed and voltage of the chip. Patriot and I have extra spicy chips that let us explore the voltage/clockspeed curve pretty thoroughly and on our silicon at least, the clockspeed limit at 1.2v (I think that is SE stock volts) is around 2.8ghz. If your chip has lower stock voltage it is going to top out below that for sure. I am very interested in seeing some real anecdotes though.
 
D

Deleted member 12106

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I remember back in the day people would put pots on cpu sockets to get more juice, nothing like that on the g34?
 
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