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#1 [Request] Completely updated BIOS for Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 by ramon 21.02.2019 19:58

Hello!

I'm currently running BIOS 2.30 with RAID TRIM enabled and OROM 11.6.0.1702 on 2 X ASRock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3, moded BIOS that was kindly provided by members of this board, back in 2013. Fantastic performance and stability, to this day!

I'm asking for your help once again! Could someone be kind enough to mod version 2.30 *AND* version Beta L2.31A of ASRock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3, with RAID TRIM enabled, but also with with Spectre / Meltdown Microcode update fixes for Sandy Bridge 2500K CPUID 206A7 + all the latest other BIOS/OROM updates available / recommended (Intel VGA, Intel RAID, Broadcom, Marvell, Realteck, Etron etc...)

Original BIOS from ASRock for version 2.30 and Beta L2.31A included in attached files.

For reference, all special chips on the Asrok Z68 Extreme4 GEN3:

Nuvoton nct6776f Voltage, temp and fan info
Chil 8328 CPU Voltage regulator
Asmedia asm1083 PCI-E to PCI bridge
ASM 1442 PCI-E to HDMI 1.3
PLX PEX8608 PCI-E Switch
Broadcom BCM57781 Gigabit Ethernet
Marvell 88SE9120 SATA3 + E-Sata
Etron EJ168 USB3
VIA FIRE VT6315N/S FireWire 1394
Realtek ALC892 HD Audio
Lucid Virtu

This will be the definitive and final BIOS update ever for my server and workstation using this venerable motherboard. Unless a new undocumented Intel vulnerability is found... Thanks in advance, very much appropriated! :)

Ramon

EDIT by Fernando: Thread title shortened and customized to make clear, that it is a request and no offer

#2 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by Lost_N_BIOS 21.02.2019 20:13

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That's a lot of work, especially compiling/finding all the updated roms etc, and then two BIOS too. You can do all this yourself with UBU tool - [Tool Guide+News] "UEFI BIOS Updater" (UBU)

#3 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by ramon 21.02.2019 20:43

Hi,

Thank for the fast reply. I didn't realize how much work it was, my bad.

Could it be possible to then only update the 2 BIOS with RAID TRIM, Spectre / Meltdown Microcode update fixes and latest Intel RAID OROM? I'm not very good with those kind of things. I read ASRock BIOS has special offset not required by Asus BIOS and other stuff way beyond my understanding. I would like to avoid bricking my 2 boards, that's why I come here for help. There is no rush either, I can wait. Unless this forum do not accept personal modding request like in the past? If it's the case, I apologize, I was not aware.


Thanks again,

Ramon

#4 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by Lost_N_BIOS 21.02.2019 20:58

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@ramon - You're welcome. It's just collecting all the roms mainly that I was commenting about. I would update your RAID and add NVME compatibility, and do CPU microcodes for you no problem, but if you want all the other roms updated you need to collect all those and zip for me to put in UBU or mod in manually.

Why two BIOS though, aren't you only going to use one? Also, you need to research and let me know which is latest RAID rom that works for your chipset/BIOS, then I can select the proper one with TRIM mod to use

#5 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by ramon 21.02.2019 21:31

Oh, thank you sooo much! :)

I was being capricious will all the other roms update, thinking it was easy. In fact, except for the RAID TRIM and microcodes slowing my CPU, everything is working fine, so if it's not broken, why fix it, right? I do not know what is the latest tested working version of Intel OROM for my board, but back in the day, version 12.7.0.1936 was tested OK. Not sure about newer version, so 12.7.0.1936 would do just fine. As for NVME update, yes, please, I could one day be tempted to add one!

As for the BIOS, I'm using 2.30 now, but was planning to eventually try Beta L2.31A to have to ultimate latest BIOS, but afraid my CPU / RAM overclock and other stuff (stability) could be worse. So I was planning also having 2.30 as a fall back solution, that's why I'm asking for both. Then again, providing updates only for 2.30 would be fine, I doubt Beta L2.31A will provide any miraculous advantages / compatibility fix anyway, but who knows? Maybe my overclock would be even better!

Your help is very much appreciated, thanks again,

Ramon

#6 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by Lost_N_BIOS 21.02.2019 21:39

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Yes, you never know about the other BIOS until you test it If you want microcodes that aren't latest, then it wont slow down your CPU, but you loose protection.
I'll do this for you tonight

* Edit @ramon -


RAID
OROM IRST RAID for SATA - 11.0.0.1339 << Removed >> Replaced w/ EFI IRST RAID for SATA - 12.9.0.2006 TRIM Mod
OROM IRST RAID for SATA - 10.8.0.1303 >> Updated >> 12.9.0.2006 TRIM Mod

Video OnBoard
EFI GOP Driver IvyBridge - 3.0.1013 >> v3.0.1030 for HD4000 << Added
EFI GOP Driver SandyBridge - 2.0.1014 >> v2.0.1024 for HD3000 << Added
OROM VBIOS SNB-IVB - 2126 >> Updated to 2158

+ all microcodes updated to latest versions
+NVME Mod


RAID
EFI IRST RAID for SATA - 11.5.0.1582 >> 12.9.0.2006 TRIM Mod
OROM IRST RAID for SATA - 11.0.0.1339 >> 12.9.0.2006 TRIM Mod

Video OnBoard
EFI GOP Driver IvyBridge - 3.0.1013 >> v3.0.1030 for HD4000
EFI GOP Driver SandyBridge - 2.0.1014 >> v2.0.1024 for HD3000
OROM VBIOS SNB-IVB - 2126 >> Updated to 2158

+ all microcodes updated to latest versions
+NVME Mod

All done by hand for both, UBU only used to show version info in images

http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fil...165567916632401

#7 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by ramon 22.02.2019 22:11

Hello again,


Wow, this is amazing! You really went above and beyond my expectations, I don't know how to thanks you enough for this! :)

As for the microcodes, protection over speed any day, but I was under the impression that once the microcodes are updated in the BIOS, Windows 7 would detect this and download new CPU drivers accordingly and avoid the slowdown AND being protected. I guess I misunderstood how this work.

Thanks again Mr. Lost_N_BIOS!

#8 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by Lost_N_BIOS 24.02.2019 22:03

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@ramon - You're welcome! If you do end up wanting older microcodes, or unlocked BIOS in any way let me know, I can do either of those too.
Once updated in BIOS, windows may still try to use some older version, or if it deems those are OK/newer and leaves microcode alone, then only slow down will be due to microcodes/protection

#9 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by ramon 26.02.2019 01:27

Fantastic, noted. Can't wait to see this Beta L2.31 with your mod in action! :)

#10 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by ramon 16.03.2019 02:09

Hello Lost_N_BIOS,

Just to report that I flashed my first workstation with L2.31 and it works great!

And you were right, InSpectre.exe from GRC (https://www.grc.com/inspectre.htm) report that I'm all protected for both Spectre and Meltdown, but my system performance is recognized as SLOW instead of GOOD. I was wondering, is there any way around that? Is it becasue I'm running Windows 7 (and therefor Windows 10 would fix this) or just because my CPU/motherboard is too old? My guess is it's because Microsoft did not issue CPU driver update for Windows 7 for the newer microcode that you put in the BIOS, but I'm probably wrong.


Thanks again! :)

#11 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by Lost_N_BIOS 16.03.2019 06:34

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@ramon - You're welcome, and thanks for report back, and good to know it's all working properly! On the Spectre/Meltdown, if you want good instead of slow, then you either have to disable protection (or use old microcodes), or upgrade to more modern OS and hardware/CPU/Board (May only need OS/Win10, I am not sure)
Good/slow explained a little here - https://www.howtogeek.com/339559/how-to-...g-down-your-pc/
Also explained some if you scroll down in the app itself, green text shows what's good and red text explains what's bad and what might slow things down etc.

#12 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by ramon 16.03.2019 07:34

Great, I'll look into this further! I did some digging on my side and the speed penalty seems to be almost indeclinable in most scenarios, 2-3% at most. I bet my overlook will go higher because of the under utilization of the branch prediction. I'm doing 4.7Ghz on air super stable. Maybe I'll reach 4.8, 4,9 or even the magical 5Ghz! :)

#13 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by Lost_N_BIOS 16.03.2019 21:03

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Nice overclock! Since you are already running very high speeds, I bet that is just general warning about Z68 being old, or trying to get you to update to Win10. I don't know for sure if others always get that same message on Z68 or Win7
I think most people see performance losses on disk speeds (SSD benchmarks), maybe a little CPU performance drop but I think most of the complaints I've seen were SSD benchmark related.

#14 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by ramon 20.03.2019 03:00

I'm running 2 X Crucial M4 128Gb In RAID 0 and still do over 800Mb/s sequential read, no problem there! This 2500K machine is still awesome after all those years. My GTX 660, even at 1.3Ghz, is starting to show its age. My 16GB RAM at 1600Mhz too. In fact, I will soon go for a 3770K to get hyper threading , 2MB more L2 cache and better IPC (delided and water cooled at 5Ghz would be nice!), a 1660 GTX and 32GB @ 2400Mhz for a nice overall boost. With your NVMe mod, I could be tempted to throw in a super fast M2 drive too to replace those M4! The ASrock Z68 already support PCI-E Gen 3 (the only Z68 board that can do that AFAIK) and my Corsair 500R case would be a breeze to upgrade to water cooling. The PSU Seasonic 650W Gold is over-engineered (practically military grade) and still perfect. Good for another 10 years! :) lol

NOTE: This 2.31L beta BIOS boot much faster that previous iteration and is less buggy with my extra SATA controller who would randomly stuck on BIOS screen at reboot. Thanks again! :)

#15 RE: Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3 RAID TRIM + Spectre / Meltdown Microcode + lastest updates by Lost_N_BIOS 27.03.2019 09:57

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I'm still on similar, well older than current stuff - Z87 (w/ Celeron ) and 1600MHz memory too. Those are good PSU, I've heard many mention before!

Great the new BIOS is much better for you now, you're welcome!!

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