OCNG5: Introduction


OCNG5 (OC Next-Generation, version 5) is a firmware modification for most Supermicro G34 motherboards (complete list of supported motherboards below) that allows overclocking of all current AMD Opteron processors, that is 6100, 6200 and 6300 series.

OCNG5 works by altering motherboard's reference clock early at boot and tuning processor components for performance and stability.

Reference clock (referred to as BCLK in Intel processors) is used to derive a number of system clocks (including core clock, integrated northbridge clock, hypertransport clock and memory clock). Thus, in principle, increasing reference clock increases system speed.

Special care must be taken when increasing reference clock as certain components and interfaces don't operate well beyond their rated speeds. Specifically, DRAM modules may not be able to handle increased memory clock and memory interface tuning may not be possible for very high speeds (given lack of characterization data). Similar limitation applies to hypertransport interface.

OCNG5 takes care of these risks by ensuring that rated memory and hypertransport speeds are never exceeded.

Taking advantage of performance/enthusiast memory is, however, possible. OCNG5 fully supports XMP profile 1 and automatically uses it (if available) whenever OCNG5 features are enabled.

OCNG5 can currently be configured from Windows and Linux. Once configured, any operating system can be booted and take advantage of improved performance.

As overclocking translates to increased power draw, one needs to pay special attention to cooling the system (both, the motherboard and the processors). On one hand, additional heat limits attainable speeds and affects quality of voltage regulation. On the other, overheating power delivery circuits may lead to their destruction and render the motherboard inoperable. These make two good reasons to make sure that heat is transported away from your system.

Caring for power delivery circuits is especially important when using high power parts (carrying 140W TDP, including 6176 SE, 6282 SE, 6284 SE, 6386 SE). When using high power parts or whenever AC power (80% eff. assumed) starts to exceed 200W per installed CPU, providing airflow across the motherboard (front-to-back) is a must. Similarly, as PCB itself acts as a radiator, providing airflow underneath the motherboard is very important as well.

This is especially true for systems located in enthusiast cases or on open trays. Server cooling systems typically accommodate this recommendation so no special action (except, say, bumping fan speeds) is required.

OCNG5 also comes with a safety mechanism: if the board doesn't POST three times in a row, stock settings are restored. This eliminates the need to reset CMOS (a time-consuming process) during OC process.

As of today, OCNG5 supports following motherboards:

[QG63NG53.C16 image]
- H8QGi+-F
- H8QGi-F
- H8QG6+-F
- H8QG6-F

[QG73NG53.C09 image]
- H8QGi+-LN4F
- H8QGi-LN4F
- H8QG7+-LN4F
- H8QG7-LN4F

[QGL3NG53.C19 image]
- H8QGL-6F (*)
- H8QGL-6F+ (*)
- H8QGL-iF (*)
- H8QGL-iF+ (*)

[DG63NG53.B25 image]
- H8DG6
- H8DG6-F
- H8DGi
- H8DGi-F

[SGL3NG53.B25 image]
- H8SGL
- H8SGL-F

(*) incompatibility between OCNG5 and IPMI has been identified
  on H8QGL series boards (no boot when overclocked);
  if IPMI is not required, disabling IPMI (using jumper JPB1) is
  recommended;
  otherwise, the issue can be worked around by completely removing
  JPB1 jumper; doing so will still allow IPMI/KVM access but IPMI access
  from the OS will not be possible

Certain dual-socket G34 boards (H8DGU, H8DGT, H8DGG, etc.) are currently unsupported.

18 comments:

  1. Hello Area 51 Development and Team members,

    I would like to try out your BIOS OCNG I am at the moment running this system below and would like to overclock it a little

    Processor: AMD Opteron 6272 G34 processor cores 2x 16 cores = 32 cores @ 2.10 GHz 64-bit capable
    Motherboard: SuperMicro AMD Opteron 6272 H8DGI-F dual cpu
    Cooling: Air
    Memory: 18 gig installed (RAM) 16.00 GB usable ddr3 1333 fsb
    Video Card(s): ASUS R9 390 Direct CU II
    Hard Disk(s): all different sata 2 2gb Primary hard disk 139GB Free (442GB Total)
    Optical Drive: LG BLU-RAY COMBO CH12NS30 and usb caddy with 3 drives i change around
    LCD/CRT Model: Primary monitor resolution 1920x1080 DirectX 12
    Case: Thermaltake
    Sound Card: pcie hd
    Power Supply: dual power-- Cool power 850 watts / corsair 620 Watts
    Mouse: Logitech
    Keyboard: ASUS
    Software: Windows 7 64bit
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    BIOS: H8DG62.910 v2.0
    (100% stable on my system this BIOS)
    Note: All BIOS v3.0 H8DG63.*** crash my system after a few hours with no error reading to report.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    If there is anymore info I have to provide you please let me know

    ReplyDelete
  2. Also like to point out that [QG63NG52.C16 image] - H8QGi-F failed on Rom id so it did not flash my board with OCNG5.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The reason the flash failed is due to image mismatch. The image you tried to flash is meant for H8QGi or H8QG6 series boards (4-socket) whereas you're using H8DGi (2-socket) which is a very different hardware.

      Now, OCNG modification doesn't change fundamental operation of the board; that said, porting OCNG to H8DGi/H8DG6 series is unlikely to resolve your stability issue with 3.0/3.5 firmware.

      Let me ask you few things:
      1. Is there a reason you want to run 3.0/3.5 firmware? Are there downsides to sticking with 2.0?
      2. Have you contacted board vendor about this issue? They may be able to assist with greater insight.
      3. What kind of activity makes the machine crash? Is it running specific application? Is it compute-heavy? Or I/O-heavy? (disk or graphics)
      4. What are the symptoms of the crash? Does the machine reset or does it freeze? Does anything change in the display? Does the machine produce any sound via on-board speaker?
      5. Are you running Home Premium edition of Windows? (trying to understand 18GB vs 16GB discrepancy)
      6. What is your exact memory configuration? (What kind of modules are you using, what size are they and which memory slots are occupied?)
      7. Can you download TurionPowerControl (https://code.google.com/p/turionpowercontrol/downloads/detail?name=tpc-0.44-rc2.zip), run: TurionPowerControl -dram and capture the output?
      8. Have you run memtest and Prime95 to prove CPU and memory subsystems?

      Feel free to respond here or via e-mail, at your convenience.

      Delete
  3. Hello Tear thanks for your reply,
    let me answer and clear up a few of your questions
    Q 1. Is there a reason you want to run 3.0/3.5 firmware? Are there downsides to sticking with 2.0?
    A.
    Revision: 3.5a Restart every 2 to 3 hours (dose not seem to be on the site anymore just 3.5)
    Revision: 3.B25 3.5 Restart every 10 min (very unstable on my system)
    Revision: 3.726. 3.0a Restart Every 4 hours
    Revision: 2.910 * (100% stable on my system this BIOS) *
    Revision: 2.524 Not tested
    Revision: 2.301 Not tested
    I will be sticking to 2.910 until I can get a OCNG firmware so I can squeeze a little more out of this system
    and if possible could OCNG build from the 2.910 file ( I have copies of the BIOS's if needed as you can not find them onsite.

    Q 2. Have you contacted board vendor about this issue? They may be able to assist with greater insight.
    A. Yes I have been chating to them and doing some basic tests on my hardware but i knew it was firmware as the problem only started when I flash the BIOS to 3.5a and have been downgrading them till I found one that was stable.

    Q 3. What kind of activity makes the machine crash? Is it running specific application? Is it compute-heavy? Or I/O-heavy? (disk or graphics)
    A. It was funny how it crashed as there was error in the event viewer from software there was no blue screen error like if hardware had failed, it would just restart and I would have to run safe mode to get back into windows, but the BIOS i'm running at the moment has been going over 80 hours straight now without a glitch.

    Q 4. What are the symptoms of the crash? Does the machine reset or does it freeze? Does anything change in the display? Does the machine produce any sound via on-board speaker?
    A.Just resets no beeps or sounds from the speaker

    Q 5. Are you running Home Premium edition of Windows? (trying to understand 18GB vs 16GB discrepancy)
    A. Windows Pro 64bit I have 18 gig of ram 2gb is pagefile I'm sure and the other 16gb is usable by the system when in use.

    6. What is your exact memory configuration? (What kind of modules are you using, what size are they and which memory slots are occupied?)
    A.
    2GB ECC DIMM Registered DDR3 9-9-9-24 4-33-10-5 4T
    Supported Memory Types : ECC DIMM Registered DDR3
    Channels : 2
    Width : 128-bit
    Memory Bus Speed : 2x 667MHz (1.33GHz)
    Multiplier : 20/3x
    Integrated in Processor : Yes
    Cores per Memory Controller : 8 Unit(s)
    Fixed Hole Present : Yes
    Maximum Memory Bus Bandwidth : 20.84GB/
    using P1-Dimm1a 1b 2a 2b 3a P2-Dimm 1a 1b 2a 2b 3a

    Q 7. Can you download TurionPowerControl (https://code.google.com/p/turionpowercontrol/downloads/detail?name=tpc-0.44-rc2.zip), run: TurionPowerControl -dram and capture the output?
    A. I uncompressed the zip and ran the Windows-amd64 program but only a Dos window flashed up ran some commands and went off again

    8. Have you run memtest and Prime95 to prove CPU and memory subsystems?
    A. Yeah have run them all seem to be OK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a Quick question: is there any plans to support the dual socket Boards OCNG firmware?

      Delete
    2. [switched to e-mail communications to continue troubleshooting]
      Briefly: it is an interesting problem (specific BIOS version yielding better behavior); isolating it won't be trivial but we'll give it a shot.

      OCNG port to 3.5 version of H8DGi/H8DG6 has been done but needs to be exercised on real hardware; for several reasons an EU tester is needed.

      Currently there are no plans to port OCNG to older firmware versions.

      Delete
  4. Tear, I should have a dual socket (H8DGi/H8DG6) on its way to me soon in the US. I plan to start with two 6172's and 4x4GB with Windows and Linux dual boot. Are you still developing the dual socket firmware? Will 2.910 or be available for me to test as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks to very generous donor, I have a board I can use for development.

      3.5 (3.B25, 2013/11/25) has been the base for development and eventually OCNG will be merged with 3.5b (5.925, 2015/09/25).
      As 2.910 is much older code, OCNG merge would virtually need to be custom work.

      Why do you think you need such an old firmware?

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the reply. I'm glad this project is still under development. Just from reading this page, it looked as if the newer versions were not working for SprinterOz, and I saw no mention of advances since then. I just saw your Dec. 4th update on H8DG progress and I'm excited for its release.

      Delete
    3. The firmware Works great I have the firmware on 2 motherboards now.

      Delete
  5. Hi, is there a more detailed documentation where I can try to overclock my MB?

    I have a SM H8QGi-F with four Opteron 6276, when I try to increase the multiplier I can't make it boot until loads the default and tried different frequencies...

    Advice please :)
    Riccardo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Riccardo, which settings are you changing in ocng-cu?
      Also, what is part number of your CPUs?

      Delete
    2. Hi, sorry for the late reply, I had an event in which perhaps I tried to push the clock too much and I was seeing (Ubuntu Linux) only one core of the 64, I still have no clue on how it happened, however to regain functionality I set the bios to load failsafe results, got my processors back, but not even an increase 200-->205 MHz works, I used to run it stable at 237MHz, I was at 244MHz with three bumped increase (steps up) in CPU voltage and two for ram when it happened. I'm just running it all at base 200Hz, do you think if I flash it again I could be ok, or I might have fried a component?

      Delete
  6. I installed bios file on a H8DGI-F board but can not get ocng5.3 to work in windows 7. not able to set cpu overclocking, does any body else have this problem.Is there a solution

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is the exact behavior? Is there a failure message (if so, what is it) ?

      Delete
  7. this firmware is awesome! I flashed my h8dgi-f last night and I am in dream city. I had 2.3's now they are all running 3.0GHz thanks to turbo locking!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi, i want to overclock on h8dgi-F rev 1.0. Áfter change speed sever after shutdown doesnt show any post. Please help me :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can do either of two things:
      1. Reset CMOS
      2. Try to boot three-times; after third time, OCNG will disengage any OC

      Delete