SkatterBencher #38: Intel UHD Graphics 730 Overclocked to 1800 MHz

We overclock the Intel UHD Graphics 730 up to 1800 MHz with the ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard and a Thermalright air cooler.

This video will be a less in-depth and shorter overclocking guide than usual as it’s more of a supplement to my Core i5-12400 non-K overclocking guide. As I still have the CPU and non-K Alder Lake overclocking is a thing, I wouldn’t be SkatterBencher if I didn’t also overclock the integrated graphics.

Alright, let’s get into it.

Intel UHD Graphics 730: Introduction

The Intel UHD Graphics 730 is the integrated graphics portion of the Intel Alder Lake Core i3 and Core i5 non-K processors. It is identical to the UHD Graphics integrated on the Rocket Lake Core i5-11400 processor and thus also features Intel Xe-LP microarchitecture. Well, nearly identical as Alder Lake uses a smaller process node and has slightly elevated graphics frequencies.

I already overclocked two Intel Xe-LP integrated graphics products before: the UHD Graphics 750 of the 11900K in SkatterBencher #28 and the UHD Graphics 770 of the 12900K in SkatterBencher #33.

uhd graphics 730 750 770 comparison

While all three models feature the Xe-LP graphics architecture introduced during Intel’s 2020 Architecture Day, some minor differences exist.

Most obviously, the UHD Graphics 730 only has 24 execution units instead of the 32 included in the “high-end” variants. The default power consumption of the UHD 730 is also about half that of the UHD 770. Also, the maximum boost clock for the Slice and Unslice is reduced by about 100 MHz from the UHD 770, though the Slice clock is 150 MHz than the Rocket Lake UHD 750.

Regardless, our expectations for performance are not very high.

In today’s video, we tackle overclocking the UHD Graphics 730. We will cover four overclocking strategies.

  1. First, we enable ASUS Multi-Core Enhancement and Intel Extreme Memory Profile 3.0
  2. Second, we increase the frequency with the conventional BCLK overclocking restrictions in place
  3. Next, we use Alder Lake non-K base clock frequency overclocking to further increase the graphics frequency without increasing the voltage
  4. Lastly, we push the integrated graphics as far as we can by increasing the voltage
uhd graphics 730 overclocking strategies

While I will try to provide sufficient context and information to help you understand how to overclock the integrated graphics of a locked non-K Alder Lake CPU, I will skip some of the more intricate details I covered in previous videos. I highly recommend you watch my previous videos, SkatterBencher #33 and SkatterBencher #37, if you want to know more about Alder Lake integrated graphics and Alder Lake non-K overclocking.

With that said, before we jump into the overclocking, let us quickly go over the hardware and benchmarks we use in this video.

Intel UHD Graphics 730: Platform Overview

Along with the Intel Core i5-12400 processor and its Intel UHD Graphics 730 integrated graphics, in this guide, we use an ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard, a pair of 16GB AORUS DDR5-6200 Hynix memory sticks, a Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB SSD, a Cooler Master V1200 Platinum 1200W Platinum power supply, and Thermalright Assassin Spirit 120 tower heatsink. All this is mounted on top of our favorite Open Benchtable V2. 

The cost of the components should be around $2,600.

  • Intel Core i5-12400 processor: $200
  • ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard: $1,400
  • AORUS RGB 16GB DDR4-4400 memory: $400
  • Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB: $70
  • Cooler Master V1200 Platinum 1200W Platinum power supply: $300
  • Thermalright Assassin Spirit 120 tower heatsink: $30
  • Open Benchtable V2: $200

I know the motherboard is not quite a price or segment match for the Core i5-12400 processor. The video’s primary focus is to explain how Alder Lake non-K integrated graphics overclocking works, not whether it makes sense from a value for money perspective. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.

Intel UHD Graphics 730: Benchmark Software

We use Windows 11 and the following benchmark applications to measure performance and ensure system stability.

uhd graphics 730 benchmarks

As you can see, the benchmarks are pretty different from what we usually use. I already covered how I use AI Benchmark using TensorFlow-DirectML and Handbrake using QuickSync in SkatterBencher #28, where I overclocked the UHD Graphics 750. I use the same methodology for this guide.

Intel UHD Graphics 730: Stock Performance

Before starting any overclocking, we must first check the system performance at default settings.

Please note that the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme enables MultiCore Enhancement out of the box. So, to check the performance at default settings, you must go to the BIOS and

  • Enter the Extreme Tweaker menu
  • Set ASUS MultiCore Enhancement to Disabled – Enforce All Limits

Then save and exit the BIOS.

Here is the benchmark performance at stock:

  • Geekbench 5 OpenCL: 8,135 points
  • Geekbench 5 Vulkan: 8.092 points
  • Furmark 1080P: 640 points
  • FluidMark 1080P: 1,539 points
  • AI Benchmark: 1,072 points
  • 3DMark Night Raid: 10,456 marks
  • Unigine Superposition: 4,837 points
  • Spaceship: 11.8 fps
  • CS:GO FPS Bench: 41.01 fps
  • Final Fantasy XV: 11.91 fps
  • Handbrake: 618.206 fps
uhd graphics 730 stock benchmark performance

When running Furmark GPU Stress Test, the average GPU Slice clock is 1450 MHz, and the GPU Unslice clock is 1250 MHz with 0.930 volts. The average memory clock is 2400 MHz. The average GPU temperature is 38 degrees Celsius, and the average GPU power is 7.48 watts.

uhd graphics 730 stock furmark

OC Strategy #1: MCE + XMP 3.0

In our first overclocking strategy, we take advantage of ASUS MultiCore Enhancement and Extreme Memory Profile.

ASUS MultiCore Enhancement

ASUS MultiCore Enhancement is a single BIOS option that removes all limits constraining the Turbo Boost 2.0 algorithm. Effectively, it allows the CPU to run at maximum turbo boost frequencies indefinitely.

Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology allows the processor cores to run faster than the base operating frequency if the processor is operating below rated power, temperature, and current specification limits. The ultimate advantage is opportunistic performance improvements in both multi-threaded and single-threaded workloads.

Turbo Boost 2.0 ensures proper distribution of the available power budget among the CPU and Graphics cores depending on the workload. So, if you have a heavy graphics-dependent workload and no CPU load, it will decrease the CPU frequency and boost the Graphics frequency higher.

Of course, knowing the power budget of the Graphics portion of the Alder Lake CPU is only 7.5W for the UHD 730, we don’t expect this power budgeting to impact our overall system performance significantly.

Intel Extreme Memory Profile 3.0

Intel Extreme Memory Profile, or XMP, is an Intel technology that lets you automatically overclock the system memory to improve system performance. It extends the standard JEDEC specification that allows a memory vendor to program different settings onto the memory stick.

Intel Extreme Memory Profile 3.0 is the new XMP standard for DDR5 memory. It is based mainly on the XMP 2.0 standard for DDR4 but has additional functionality. I won’t discuss the details of XMP 3.0 here as that falls outside the scope of this overclocking guide. If you’re interested in more information about XMP 3.0, feel free to check out my Alder Lake launch blog post.

However, what’s important to note is that the Intel integrated graphics relies exclusively on the system memory for its performance. We saw a significant uplift in performance on previous platforms like Rocket Lake when running higher memory frequency.

With Alder Lake, it’s the first time we’re running integrated graphics with DDR5. DDR5’s main performance benefit is vastly improved memory bandwidth and higher operating frequencies. Both should help us achieve better out-of-the-box performance than with DDR4.

Upon entering the BIOS

  • Enter the Extreme Tweaker menu
  • Set Ai Overclock Tuner to XMP I
  • Set ASUS MultiCore Enhancement to Enabled – Remove All Limits

Then save and exit the BIOS.

We re-ran the benchmarks and checked the performance increase compared to the default operation.

  • Geekbench 5 OpenCL: +0.75%
  • Geekbench 5 Vulkan: +0.37%
  • Furmark 1080P: +0.16%
  • FluidMark 1080P: +0.00%
  • AI Benchmark: +0.75%
  • 3DMark Night Raid: +1.29%
  • Unigine Superposition: +2.52%
  • Spaceship: +1.69%
  • CS:GO FPS Bench: +1.83%
  • Final Fantasy XV: +2.43%
  • Handbrake: +1.13%
uhd graphics 730 mce + xmp benchmark performance

As we saw with the UHD 770 graphics, increasing the memory frequency using XMP doesn’t do that much in terms of performance uplift. We see a maximum performance increase of only 2.52% in Unigine Superposition.

When running Furmark GPU Stress Test, the average GPU Slice clock is 1450 MHz, and the GPU Unslice clock is 1250 MHz with 0.929 volts. The average memory clock is 3100 MHz. The average GPU temperature is 39 degrees Celsius, and the average GPU power is 7.58 watts.

uhd graphics 730 mce + xmp furmark

Now, we move on to actual overclocking.

I assume everyone watching this channel is familiar with Intel’s processor and chipset segmentation. In short, only specific CPUs and chipsets are enabled for overclocking. Generally speaking, the CPU SKUs include those with the suffix K or X (and their variants). Only Z and X chipsets allow for overclocking, though since the 500 series chipsets, memory overclocking is also available on the H and B chipsets.

The main difference between the CPUs enabled for overclocking, or “unlocked,” and those that are not, is the ability to change the ratio multipliers of various parts inside the CPU, including the CPU cores, Ring, integrated graphics, and so on. Furthermore, on “locked” or non-overclockable parts, the base clock frequency is restricted to 103 MHz. That effectively limits the CPUs to run up to 3% higher than the default specification.

OC Strategy #2: Conventional BCLK Overclocking

In our second overclocking strategy, we overclock the Core i5-12400 processor and its UHD Graphics 730 integrated graphics using the BCLK frequency with the conventional restrictions in place.

BCLK Governor

By “conventional restrictions,” I’m referring to a specific feature of Intel CPUs that controls the BCLK frequency.

In 2015, Skylake included a new feature called BCLK Governor. The BCLK Governor is an integrated circuit that calculates BCLK in real-time and issues a machine check error if BCLK is higher than the allowed limit. Since Skylake, the maximum permitted BCLK frequency on locked non-K CPUs is 103 MHz.

The BCLK Governor monitors the integrated clock generator, formerly inside the PCH, but since Tiger Lake embedded inside the CPU and, if present, the external clock generator.

Upon entering the BIOS

  • Enter the Extreme Tweaker menu
  • Set Ai Overclock Tuner to XMP I
  • Set BCLK Frequency to 102.9
  • Set ASUS MultiCore Enhancement to Enabled – Remove All Limits

Then save and exit the BIOS.

We re-ran the benchmarks and checked the performance increase compared to the default operation.

  • Geekbench 5 OpenCL: +4.38%
  • Geekbench 5 Vulkan: +4.96%
  • Furmark 1080P: +3.28%
  • FluidMark 1080P: +2.99%
  • AI Benchmark: +4.10%
  • 3DMark Night Raid: +4.94%
  • Unigine Superposition: +5.64%
  • Spaceship: +5.08%
  • CS:GO FPS Bench: +4.12%
  • Final Fantasy XV: +6.97%
  • Handbrake: +2.87%
uhd graphics 730 1492mhz benchmark performance

Up until this point in the video, we’ve used performance tuning options that should be available on any Intel 600 series motherboard. Therefore, the performance increase is very much the definition of free performance. We’re a maximum performance uplift of +6.97% in Final Fantasy XV.

When running Furmark GPU Stress Test, the average GPU Slice clock is 1492 MHz, and the GPU Unslice clock is 1286 MHz with 0.928 volts. The average memory clock is 3189 MHz. The average GPU temperature is 43 degrees Celsius, and the average GPU power is 7.95 watts.

uhd graphics 730 1492mhz furmark

OC Strategy #3: Non-K BCLK + No Voltage Increase

In our third overclocking strategy, we will finally use the Alder Lake non-K BCLK OC feature to overclock the integrated graphics. However, for now, we stick with the default IGP voltage.

CPU Microcode 0x9

I extensively covered the topic of Alder Lake non-K overclocking in SkatterBencher #37.

In short, overclocking of non-K Alder Lake CPUs is possible due to a design oversight in an early, pre-release Alder Lake CPU microcode. When using this microcode, a specific CPU Power Control Unit feature is not working correctly. This feature is the BCLK Governor.

On the specific non-K OC microcode, the BCLK governor works correctly for the integrated clock generator but not for the external clock generator. Using this CPU microcode in combination with an external clock generator means you can increase the base clock frequency on a locked non-overclockable part beyond the artificial limitation of 103 MHz.

Newer microcode versions don’t have this oversight, and non-K BCLK overclocking is again restricted even when using the external clock generator.

The ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme motherboard 0801 BIOS comes with two microcodes: the latest version, which when the BIOS was released was 0x15, and the non-K BCLK enabled 0x9. By enabling the “Unlock BCLK OC” option, the BIOS will load the 0x9 microcode. If this feature is disabled, it will load the latest microcode.

Just as a reminder: while on microcode 0x9, you have essentially unmonitored BCLK overclocking with an external clock generator, it does not provide access to many of the other overclocking tools included with the unlocked K-SKU processors. So even though there’s the ability for non-K overclocking, we are severely restricted in the options we have at our disposal to make it work correctly for a daily system.

Xe-LP Overview

I extensively covered the Alder Lake clocking topology in my Alder Lake launch video and SkatterBencher #33.

The Xe-LP integrated graphics has three parts: the “Slice,” the “Unslice,” and the display block.

  • The Slice is a cluster of sub-slices, each of which contains the actual graphics compute engine elements like the execution units. The Slice is the part of the integrated graphics that powers your games and any compute tasks.
  • The Unslice holds the elements with fixed-function geometry capabilities and fixed-function media capabilities. So, if you’re encoding or decoding a video or simply watching Netflix, this part ensures proper video encoding. It also contains the connection to the ring bus via which the IGP can send and receive data from the system memory.
  • The display block contains support for the display outputs like HDMI or DisplayPort.

When it comes to clocking, the base clock frequency, or reference clock, drives the graphics frequency. By default, the BCLK is 100MHz, but it can be increased when overclocking. For the integrated graphics, the base clock frequency is first halved, then multiplied by the Graphics Ratio to obtain the final operating frequency.

Unlike Rocket Lake, on Alder Lake, the Slice and Unslice are decoupled. That means they’re running at different frequencies. The default maximum boost frequency of the Slice is 1450 MHz, and the default maximum frequency of the Unslice is 1250 MHz. However, like on Rocket Lake, we control only the Slice frequency using the Graphics Ratio.

While On Alder Lake CPUs the maximum Graphics Ratio Limit is 42, since we are using a locked non-K processor, our highest available Graphics Ratio is 29. That means we can increase the frequency only via BCLK overclocking.

Note that a separate fixed clock frequency drives the display output and is unaffected by BCLK frequency changes or the graphics ratio.

BCLK Overclocking

In terms of the clocking topology, Alder Lake inherits the CPU internal clock generator from Tiger Lake. The standard Alder Lake platform has a 38.4MHz crystal as a reference clock to the PCH. The PCH then generates three clocks:

  1. 38.4 MHz reference clock for the CPU internal clock generator
  2. 100MHz PCIBCLK for PCIe, DMI, and I/O
  3. 24MHz frequency for TSC, display, and SVID controller

The CPU internal clock generator then generates the 100MHz base clock frequency used for all the parts inside the CPU. That’s different from Rocket Lake, where the PCH PLL would generate the 100MHz base clock frequency with no interference from the CPU.

However, just like Rocket Lake, you may still find an external clock generator feeding the 100MHz BCLK frequency to the CPU on high-end desktop motherboards. Whichever way you get the 100 MHz BCLK, this base clock frequency is multiplied with specific ratios for each of the different parts in the CPU.

The GT frequency or graphics frequency is based on the same 100MHz BCLK but is first divided by two and then multiplied with the GT ratio. As mentioned before, the Slice and Unslice are decoupled, meaning they run at different ratios. However, both still use the 100MHz-divided-by-two base clock frequency.

As you can see, increasing the base clock frequency will impact many parts inside our CPU. So apart from adjusting the Graphics Ratio, we may also need to change the default CPU ratios, Ring ratio, and DDR5 memory ratio to maintain stability at elevated BCLK frequencies.

Upon entering the BIOS

  • Enter the Extreme Tweaker menu
  • Set Ai Overclock Tuner to XMP I
  • Set BCLK Frequency to 113
  • Set ASUS MultiCore Enhancement to Enabled – Remove All Limits
  • Set DRAM Frequency to DDR5-6102MHz
  • Set Performance Core Ratio to Sync All Cores
    • Set ALL-Core Ratio Limit to 40
  • Enter the Tweaker’s Paradise submenu
    • Set Unlock BCLK OC to Enabled
  • Leave the Tweaker’s Paradise submenu
  • Set Max. CPU Cache Ratio to 40
  • Set Max. CPU Graphics Ratio to 29
  • Set CPU Core/Cache Voltage to Manual Mode
    • Set CPU Core Voltage Override to 1.2

Then save and exit the BIOS.

We re-ran the benchmarks and checked the performance increase compared to the default operation.

  • Geekbench 5 OpenCL: +13.55%
  • Geekbench 5 Vulkan: +14.24%
  • Furmark 1080P: +13.28%
  • FluidMark 1080P: +12.80%
  • AI Benchmark: +14.09%
  • 3DMark Night Raid: +14.10%
  • Unigine Superposition: +14.22%
  • Spaceship: +14.41%
  • CS:GO FPS Bench: +14.51%
  • Final Fantasy XV: +14.27%
  • Handbrake: +11.75%
uhd graphics 730 1683mhz benchmark performance

We can improve the frequency by 13% without increasing the graphics voltage. The Unslice portion of the integrated graphics is the main overclocking limitation as it will quickly fail the Handbrake benchmark. The performance scales pretty much linearly with the increased frequency. We see the highest performance increase of +14.51% in CS:GO.

When running Furmark GPU Stress Test, the average GPU Slice clock is 1683 MHz, and the GPU Unslice clock is 1413 MHz with 0.922 volts. The average memory clock is 3051 MHz. The average GPU temperature is 45 degrees Celsius, and the average GPU power is 8.62 watts.

uhd graphics 730 1683mhz furmark

OC Strategy #4: Non-K BCLK + Voltage Increase

In our fourth and final overclocking strategy, we will increase the voltage of the integrated graphics and further increase the graphics frequency.

VccGT Voltage Rail

In my Alder Lake launch blog post, I extensively covered the Alder Lake Voltage Topology. Alder Lake resembles Rocket Lake more than Tiger Lake from the voltage perspective.

Alder Lake transitions away from using FIVR for the Cores, Ring, and integrated graphics compared to Tiger Lake. Instead, Alder Lake uses power gates. However, unlike Rocket Lake, some parts of the Alder Lake CPU are powered utilizing FIVR.

If we only consider the Alder Lake CPU and disregard the chipset, there are seven different voltage inputs. The one relevant for overclocking the UHD Graphics 730 is called the VccGT. This voltage powers the GT or integrated graphics, including the Slice and Unslice.

The voltage rail supports both override and adaptive voltage mode.

  • In Override voltage mode, the voltage will remain constant. When using Adaptive voltage mode, the graphics voltage will dynamically change depending on the workload.
  • When overclocking and using adaptive voltage mode, the CPU will interpolate the required voltage for a given frequency between the base frequency and our set maximum frequency.

Typically, you can set the adaptive voltage directly—the adaptive voltage maps against the configured boost frequency. Alternatively, you can use a global adaptive voltage offset, which offsets the entire voltage-frequency curve.

In this case, we’re using a voltage offset of 350mV, which increases the maximum graphics voltage from 0.90v to 1.24v. This allows us to further increase the Slice and Unslice frequency to 1800 MHz and 1550 MHz. Again, we are limited by the Unslice frequency.

Upon entering the BIOS

  • Enter the Extreme Tweaker menu
  • Set Ai Overclock Tuner to XMP I
  • Set BCLK Frequency to 124.15
  • Set ASUS MultiCore Enhancement to Enabled – Remove All Limits
  • Set DRAM Frequency to DDR5-6210MHz
  • Set Performance Core Ratio to Sync All Cores
    • Set ALL-Core Ratio Limit to 36
  • Enter the Tweaker’s Paradise submenu
    • Set Unlock BCLK OC to Enabled
  • Leave the Tweaker’s Paradise submenu
  • Set Max. CPU Cache Ratio to 36
  • Set Max. CPU Graphics Ratio to 29
  • Set CPU Core/Cache Voltage to Manual Mode
    • Set CPU Core Voltage Override to 1.2
  • Set CPU Core/Cache Voltage to Offset Mode
    • Set Offset Mode Sign to +
    • Set CPU Core Voltage Offset to 0.35

Then save and exit the BIOS.

We re-ran the benchmarks and checked the performance increase compared to the default operation.

  • Geekbench 5 OpenCL: +24.27%
  • Geekbench 5 Vulkan: +25.09%
  • Furmark 1080P: +24.38%
  • FluidMark 1080P: +23.46%
  • AI Benchmark: +29.48%
  • 3DMark Night Raid: +22.73%
  • Unigine Superposition: +23.46%
  • Spaceship: +25.42%
  • CS:GO FPS Bench: +24.85%
  • Final Fantasy XV: +23.17%
  • Handbrake: +21.16%
uhd graphics 730 1800mhz benchmark performance

Unsurprisingly, further increasing the graphics frequency translates into a further performance increase. The scaling is still near limited, and we see a maximum performance increase of +29.48% in AI Benchmark.

When running Furmark GPU Stress Test, the average GPU Slice clock is 1800 MHz, and the GPU Unslice clock is 1552 MHz with 1.240 volts. The average memory clock is 3103 MHz. The average GPU temperature is 56 degrees Celsius, and the average GPU power is 15.30 watts.

uhd graphics 730 1800mhz furmark

Intel UHD Graphics 730: Conclusion

Alright, let us wrap this up.

As I said at the beginning of this video, this piece is more of a short addendum to SkatterBencher #37, in which I overclocked the Core i5-12400 non-K Alder Lake processor. Since I have the processor still on hand, I figured why not also have a quick look at overclocking its integrated graphics.

The overclocking experience was a combination of SkatterBencher #33 where I overclocked the integrated graphics of the unlocked 12900K and SkatterBencher #37 non-K overclocking.

The limitation of the integrated graphics is the Unslice portion which maxes out at around 1550 MHz. That was also the case on the UHD 770 Alder Lake and even UHD 750 Rocket Lake. Since we have no control over the Unslice ratio – neither up nor down – there’s not much we can do once we hit the limit.

The Slice portion overclocked very easily to 1800 MHz. Of course, the limit is the lack of available ratios higher than the maximum default ratio. The Core i5-12400 is still a locked CPU, after all. We know from the UHD 770 overclocking video that the overclocking headroom should be much higher as we surpassed 2.3GHz.

In the end, overclocking the integrated graphics of a locked non-K Alder Lake CPU requires a motherboard with an external clock generator and one where there’s a BIOS available with the proper microcode. Likely, you’ll end up paying a premium if you want these features. Overclocking the integrated graphics does give about a 25% performance increase, but I doubt this is enough to warrant paying a premium for non-K overclocking features.

Anyway, that’s all for today!

As I said, this was a short piece that came together in less than a day. I am working on a couple more exciting videos, so feel free to subscribe if you’re keen on more overclocking content.

I want to thank my Patreon supporter, Coffeepenbit, for supporting my work.

As per usual, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.  See you next time!

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