How To: Separate CPU PLL Voltage on MSI’s Z270 XPOWER Gaming Titanium

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MSI Z270 SMD Removal PCB

How To Enable Core PLL on Z270 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM

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Have you purchased a new, shiny MSI Z270 XPOWER Gaming TE and are about to set off on your overclocking adventure? Perhaps the astute among you have noticed that there’s an option missing in your UEFI list. You haven’t? Well, perhaps this isn’t an article you will require; but this is for the extreme power user seeking an answer to the question: where is my CPU PLL voltage?! I am unsure as to why MSI decided it would be a good idea to block this voltage from the consumer, aside from the fact that it can destroy a CPU without the correct knowledge. Perhaps this is a case of ‘better safe than sorry’ to spare the CPU and/or motherboard in the event of a failure due to too much voltage.

MSI gave us this info by request, so please be assured that it comes from a credible source. However, the mod still carries the risk that you’ll destroy your motherboard and possibly your CPU as well. Here’s an explanation from MSI gurus themselves as to why it isn’t in the UEFI by default;

“The retail board links CPU PLL Voltage, CPU ST Voltage, and CPU ST v6 Voltage together, therefore there’s only CPU ST Voltage shown in BIOS. And the value of CPU ST voltage applies to CPU PLL Voltage and CPU ST v6 Voltage.”

Requirements:

Anyway, we are here to discuss how to regain control of the PLL voltage on your MSI motherboard. It goes without saying that the following three things must be understood entirely;

  1. Neither Play3r.net nor MSI are responsible for this mod going wrong in any way, shape or form;
  2. You will absolutely void your warranty immediately, and;
  3. This must be done at your own risk.

So what will you need in order to complete this mod? The answer is not very much at all…

  1. 1x MSI Z270 XPOWER Gaming Titanium Edition with BIOS O1T or newer;
  2. 1x 30w precision tipped soldering iron (can be more powerful if desired),
  3. 1x Fine-tipped tweezers, and;
  4. A steady hand!

What to do:

There are two steps to getting this to work properly. There’s a requirement to remove an SMD, as I mentioned previously, and to short circuit two others. Don’t worry, I know which ones they are!

With regards to the short-circuiting, all you need to do is solder over the top of it in order to effectively nullify its existence on the motherboard. It can be done with a silver pen, but soldering is the best solution to make it more permanent.

Step 1:

Remove the resistor marked in the yellow box.
Short circuit the resistor marked in the red box.

MSI Z270 SMD Removal PCB

Step 2:

Flip the motherboard over and look towards the PCH area of the board. Locate the transistor that is marked in white, and make sure (quadruple check!) it is the correct one.

Short circuit the transistor marked in the white box on this PCB schematic:

MSI Z270 SMD ehind PCH

Here is a PCB shot of which resistor to remove:

MSI Z270 SMD Behind PCH PCB

Step 3:

Pray that you’ve done it correctly, and attempt to boot the system with the necessary bits installed to the board. If all has gone well, you should be able to get into the UEFI and now notice a few more options in the voltage control segment. If you can’t see them, you will need to update to the O1T BIOS as I mentioned earlier, which can be downloaded here.

MSI Z270 CPU PLL Voltage Modification UEFI

That just about concludes the guide. We hope that it was of use to you and that your motherboard survived the soldering iron.

Tips and Tricks for LN2 Overclocking:

These tips and tricks come directly from the MSI OC guru team, so we hope that they will be of assistance to you as well.

You must use BIOS O1T (build 2017/01/03) or newer.

1. CPU IO voltage: more than 1.8v may stop at E0 when POST. Higher IO voltage is helpful for late CBB. 1.5v~1.8v can lower CBB from -130 to around -170 degree.

2. DMI voltage: helpful for lower CB and CBB. It needs 2-step adjustment for more than 1.65v. Don’t jump directly from below 1.65v to above 1.65v.

For example: If you boot with 1.5v and you need 1.9v. In Windows, use CCL to increase to 1.65v first, and then try higher voltage. Do NOT jump to 1.9v directly from 1.5v.

3. PLL voltage: Helpful for lower CB. Booting at 2.7v is OK, but if you add PLL voltage in Windows, the system may freeze. 1.9v is safe for 7700K.

4. ST/ST V6 voltage: not recommended to boot with more than 1.25v. Over 1.25v may stop at 00 during POST. In Windows, 1.65v~1.7v is recommended.

For late Cold Boot Bug:

a) Higher IO voltage is helpful. 1.5v~1.8v can lower CBB down to -170 degree. However, higher than 1.8v may cause some problem such as stopping at “E0” during POST.

b) DMI voltage is helpful too, but not as important as IO voltage.

For late CB:

a) Higher PLL voltage is helpful. Please refer to 3. for possible problems.

b) Higher DMI voltage is helpful. Please refer to 2. for possible problems.

Problems known so far on Z270 XPOWER GAMING TE:

1. PLL voltage adjustment causes “E0”

After Clearing CMOS, if 1 st LAN port is disabled, and you adjust PLL voltage to any voltage, save and exit BIOS, the POST may stop at “E0”. The temporary solution is: don’t adjust PLL voltage at the 1 st boot after clearing CMOS (adjusting other voltage is OK). Instead, boot with PLL voltage untouched, and then go to BIOS again to adjust PLL voltage.

2. Trick that may help to avoid Cold Boot Bug

If you have CBB at around -130 degree, you should keep your finger near RESET button on the board. Once your bench is crashing, you must press RESET button immediately, as quickly as possible. The purpose is to reset Windows before the system get full freeze and you have to press Power button to do a cold start.

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