Z390 AORUS PRO WIFI microcode mod

Hello,

As the title says, I would like to have a microcode modded BIOS for this motherboard for optimal performance. The version I am running is F11. I have a 9700k with the CPUID 906ED. If any more information is needed, please let me know. I am not too familiar with this.

Another thing: I know that Gigabyte says you are unable to downgrade your BIOS if you update to the ones with a capsule, but is there anyway to actually do it?

If anyone knows of other useful mods to be done to this motherboard BIOS please let me know as well.

Hi @t0rcke,

It is possible to change the microcode in the BIOS to whichever version you want, however if using Windows 10/11 you will likely need to rename/delete the file mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll as it will load a microcode that will override the BIOS microcode (if the BIOS microcode is an earlier version).

Note that this file will be restored if you run the system file check “sfc /scannow” or if a Windows update reinstates mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll.

If you are ok with messing with mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dl then I can make a BIOS for you with the microcode of your choosing (I would personally suggest AA or BE).

As for the capsule BIOS, yes it can be downgraded using Intel’s Flash Programming Tool (FPT) but you need to be careful as you can overwrite/erase the MAC address for the Intel Ethernet Adapter on the Z390 Pro WIFI.

I have posted a guide on how to use FPT to downgrade from the Gigabyte capsule BIOS here.

As for other mods, you can update the following BIOS modules;

  1. Intel iGPU VBIOS & GOP
  2. Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) OROM & SATA modules (if you use RAID)
  3. Intel ME 12 firmware

Note that none of these mods are essential and won’t effect performance much if at all.

however if using Windows 10/11 you will likely need to rename/delete the file mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll as it will load a microcode that will override the BIOS microcode (if the BIOS microcode is an earlier version).

Where is this file found?

If you are ok with messing with mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dl then I can make a BIOS for you with the microcode of your choosing (I would personally suggest AA or BE).

Whichever one is older. Also, if I brick my motherboard with this, how would I go about repairing it? I doubt this will happen as this motherboard has a dual BIOS, but just to be safe…

As for the capsule BIOS, yes it can be downgraded using Intel’s Flash Programming Tool (FPT) but you need to be careful as you can overwrite/erase the MAC address for the Intel Ethernet Adapter on the Z390 Pro WIFI.

Got it. I don’t plan on doing this, but it’s good to know.

I don’t think I want any of these. Is there a way to remove ME entirely or partially? Also, if you know how to unlock hidden settings in the bios that would be good as well.

mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll is found in C:\Windows\System32

You will need to take ownership of this file to rename/delete it.

If you brick your motherboard you will need a hardware programmer to fix it and while this motherboard does have dual BIOS there is no switch to manually select the backup BIOS, the motherboard may attempt to boot from the backup if the main BIOS is corrupted and fails to boot.

As for removing ME - I really don’t recommend this. The ME microprocessor allows overclocking and self monitoring among other things and as this consumer motherboard does not have the corporate features (such as remote access) it is safe to leave enabled.

You have not stated which BIOS you would like modified, F11 or maybe F12k?

Sorry for the late reply.

As for removing ME - I really don’t recommend this. The ME microprocessor allows overclocking and self monitoring among other things and as this consumer motherboard does not have the corporate features (such as remote access) it is safe to leave enabled.

So it doesn’t affect performance much to leave it?

You have not stated which BIOS you would like modified, F11 or maybe F12k?

F11

@t0rcke Here is BIOS F11 for the Z390 AORUS PRO WIFI with the following microcode changes;

CPUID 906EA B4 → 70
CPUID 906EB B4 → 72
CPUID 906EC AE → 84
CPUID 906ED B8 → AA

Z390PWF11_mod1.zip

You should be able to flash the modified BIOS using Qflash.

You can check which microcode is currently loaded in Windows using HWinfo and looking at the Summary section for MCU (Microcode Update) or AIDA64 and looking under Motherboard → CPUID → Microcode Update Revision

I am currently using this motherboard with a 9900K and have experience using modded BIOS on it.

If you have any question/issues let me know.

Hi, so sorry for the late reply, but I flashed this BIOS and it’s been working well, so thank you for that; however I want to ask another question: Is it possible to modify it in some way to let me run true CR1? If you don’t know what this means, check out this thread. Currently if I go into my BIOS and set Command Rate to “1”, in MemTweakIt, it shows N:1T, like in that thread. Thanks.

@t0rcke Hi, glad to hear it’s all working.

I’ve been looking into the ‘real 1T’ issue and can tell you what I’ve found out so far.

The Gigabyte Z390 BIOS do not have the gear mode/geardown option that Gigabyte Z490 (and later) motherboards have and I can’t add code that isn’t there.

For example, Z490UD BIOS has the option for “Gear1” gear mode (real 1T) :

Wheareas the Z390 Pro WIFI does not have the gear mode option:

I noticed that ASUS Memtweakit added the option to change the Command Rate to ‘real 1T’ with the Z690 release from Sept 2021 (and later versions).

I went into my Gigabyte Z390 Pro WIFI BIOS and set “Realtime Memory Timing” to enabled and booted with fake 1T (Memtweakit shows N:1T), then loaded Memtweakit and set the command rate to 1T and clicked apply.

When I ran AIDA64 memtest the bandwidth was higher and the latency was lower by around 5-7ns with ‘real 1T’ after testing several times and switching between ‘real 1T’ (Gear 1) and ‘N:1T’ (Gear 2) while the system was running.

So it is definitely possible to physically run ‘real 1T’ on a Gigabyte Z390 board.

I extracted the setup module from the Z490UD BIOS and can clearly see the option to disable ‘fake 1T’ (look for “Disabled” “0x0”):

0x4A1F6 			One Of: Command Rate Support, VarStoreInfo (VarOffset/VarName): 0x27B, VarStore: 0x16, QuestionId: 0x50D, Size: 1, Min: 0x0, Max 0x7, Step: 0x0 {05 91 5E 21 5F 21 0D 05 16 00 7B 02 10 10 00 07 00}
0x4A207 				One Of Option: Disabled, Value (8 bit): 0x0 {09 07 04 00 00 00 00}
0x4A20E 				One Of Option: 1 CMD, Value (8 bit): 0x1 {09 07 60 21 00 00 01}
0x4A215 				One Of Option: 2 CMDs, Value (8 bit): 0x2 {09 07 61 21 00 00 02}
0x4A21C 				One Of Option: 3 CMDs, Value (8 bit): 0x3 (default) {09 07 62 21 30 00 03}
0x4A223 				One Of Option: 4 CMDs, Value (8 bit): 0x4 {09 07 63 21 00 00 04}
0x4A22A 				One Of Option: 5 CMDs, Value (8 bit): 0x5 {09 07 64 21 00 00 05}
0x4A231 				One Of Option: 6 CMDs, Value (8 bit): 0x6 {09 07 65 21 00 00 06}
0x4A238 				One Of Option: 7 CMDs, Value (8 bit): 0x7 {09 07 66 21 00 00 07}

As the Z390 BIOS does not have the “Command Rate Support” variable there is nothing to modify or unhide.

Our only option is to request GIgabyte support for a BIOS with the option added and hope they will release one last beta BIOS (or use Memtweakit to enable real 1T everytime you boot which is a PITA).

Ah, ok, others were telling me to look for this option with SCEWIN, but i couldn’t find it; guess that was why. I also heard from the r/overclocking discord that version F9 is better for memory overclocking; however I don’t want to waste your time by asking you to mod me that bios (unless the process is easy, i wouldnt know)