OCNG5: Installation

Previous:  OCNG5: Introduction

Firmware is currently being distributed as part of USB drive image.
Pull from: http://darkswarm.org/sm-bios/ocng5-5.3-20151222.7z

The archive explodes to 64MB-large image which then needs to be transferred to the drive (larger drives are, naturally, fine).
The transfer can be accomplished with either RMprepUSB (Windows) or dd (Linux).

Click here for step-by-step USB drive setup instructions for Windows (opens in new window).
Click here for step-by-step USB drive setup instructions for Linux (opens in new window).

Once the drive is prepared, the process is as follows:
  1. Power-off the machine and disconnect AC power from the machine
  2. If using H8QGL-series board, disable IPMI/BMC by means of a jumper (JPB1)
  3. Disconnect all bootable media
  4. Plug the USB drive containing the firmware
  5. Power-on the machine (FreeDOS should boot and present command prompt; if it does not, you may need to enable booting from USB in the BIOS)
  6. Change directory (it is critical that you change to proper directory in this step):
    if using H8QG6 or H8QGi series board (all except LN4F variant!), type: CD QG63NG53.C16
    if using H8QG7 or H8QGi series board (LN4F variant only!), type: CD QG73NG53.C09
    if using H8QGL series board, type: CD QGL3NG53.C19
    if using H8DG6 or H8DGi series board, type CD DG63NG53.B25
    if using H8SGL series board, type: CD SGL3NG53.B25
  7. Flash the firmware:
    if using H8QG6 or H8QGi series board (all except LN4F variant!), type: FLASH.BAT QG63NG53.C16
    if using H8QG7 or H8QGi series board (LN4F variant only!), type: FLASH.BAT QG73NG53.C09
    if using H8QGL series board, type: FLASH.BAT QGL3NG53.C19
    if using H8DG6 or H8DGi series board, type: FLASH.BAT DG63NG53.B25
    if using H8SGL series board, type: FLASH.BAT SGL3NG53.B25
  8. Wait until the process completes.
  9. Once successful, power-cycle the machine but don't yet remove the USB drive
  10. If BIOS reports CMOS Checksum Error, press F2 to have BIOS load default values and continue.
  11. When FreeDOS boots and presents command prompt, change directory (it is critical that you change to proper directory in this step):
    if using H8QG6 or H8QGi series board (all except LN4F variant!), type: CD QG63NG53.C16
    if using H8QG7 or H8QGi series board (LN4F variant only!), type: CD QG73NG53.C09
    if using H8QGL series board, type: CD QGL3NG53.C19
    if using H8DG6 or H8DGi series board, type: CD DG63NG53.B25
    if using H8SGL series board, type: CD SGL3NG53.B25
  12. Flash memory holes -- type: HOLES.BAT
  13. Wait until the process completes.
  14. Power-cycle the machine
  15. Enter the BIOS (press Delete key during POST)
  16. Load Optimal Defaults (Press F9 key, then confirm with Enter)
  17. If needed, make additional adjustments; note OCNG-specific defaults:
    • Processor & Clock Options:
      Secure Virtual Machine Mode: Disabled
      C State Mode: Disabled
      C1E Support: Disabled
    • Hardware Health Configuration -> System FAN Monitor
      FAN Speed Control Modes: Full Speed / FS
  18. Press F10 (Save&Exit), the machine should reboot and boot FreeDOS yet again
  19. Power the machine off
  20. Unplug the USB drive containing the firmware
  21. Reconnect bootable media
  22. Power the machine on and boot the OS
  23. Download and extract new ocng-utils:
    Linux: http://area51dev.blogspot.com/p/ocng5-installation-of-ocng-utils.html (opens in new window)
    Windows:  http://area51dev.blogspot.com/p/ocng5-installation-of-ocng-utils-on.html
  24. Launch ocng-cu (as root -- prepend w/sudo if necessary, or as administrator)
  25. When asked whether to restore defaults, answer 'no'.
  26. When asked to provide refclock, enter desired value.

    I would expect every 6300-series chip to handle refclock of 240 MHz and 6200 chip to handle refclock of 230 MHz (with good cooling).

    Experiments are encouraged. If the machine fails to boot, try booting two more times; after third consecutive boot failure OCNG5 will restore stock settings.
  27. When asked whether to configure any of advanced options, answer 'no' unless you know what you're doing.

    For description of all ocng-cu options, see README.txt located in ocng-utils package.
  28. Power-off the machine -- on Linux, run as root (prepend w/sudo if necessary): poweroff
  29. Wait a moment, then power-on the machine.
  30. Confirm CPU parameters.

    On Linux: run as root (prepend w/sudo if necessary): clockspeed
    On Windows launch your favorite CPU diagnostic utility (CPU-Z, HWiNFO, etc.).

    On test Gi machine I get:

    user@box-003048ff3044:~$ sudo clockspeed
    Clockspeed (OCNG5.3)
    Family 15h
    Turbo is supported. 2 boost state(s).
    Running, please wait...
    Refclock: 231.951 MHz
    Clockspeed: 2899.447 MHz
  31. Apply your favorite load to test the OC
In case of issues/questions/doubts/comments, feel free to reach out!

Previous:  OCNG5: Introduction


  1. Great firmware to run...
    I have this firmware on 2x H8DGi series boards now.
    I also find the firmware very good for the person that just want bios stability as well.

  2. Now, I'm no pro with server hardware, so I submit this with a grain of salt.

    My H8SGL+F with a 6272 and 128GB of DDR3-1333 REGECC (8x16) is a testbed, non-production.

    Installed the latest BIOS wizardry from you guys, set SATA to RAID/Adaptec. Set up RAID in Adaptec BIOS util. No RAID detected in Server 2012 setup, just disks.

    Restarted, set to DOTHILL. Configured RAID in DOTHILL BIOS. Same deal, 2 empty drives seen once 2012 setup is reached.

    Is it me? Is the RAID not working properly? Am I missing something?

    I have a second (H8SGL / 6378) one of these with AMD RAID set up and working properly, running SBS2012 Std and some VMs.

    1. OCNG keeps all option ROMs intact so theoretically everything should work exactly same as with stock ROM.

      Which BIOS version are you using on the 6378 machine?

      Also, is AMD RAID same as DOTHILL or is it yet another distinct option? (it's been a while since I played with them and don't have a board handy at this time)

    2. Not a pro here on these server systems, but I believe DOTHILL may be another name for the AMD RAID, but I will check that. I have not actually looked at the BIOS control on the stock SuperMicro (w/ 6378) board for a long time (ideal, right?)

      After rebooting and rebuilding the RAID with DOTHILL, the system was finally able to see the RAID array. I believe the BIOS option was not setting correctly, or configuration was being reset by PIBKAC.

      But also to mention, sometimes with the system reboots, the BIOS screen text is garbled. I can send a picture once I'm able to get back to work with this thing again.

  3. I'm running with H8SGL-F and 6380. After I ran flash.bat, FreeCom got stuck at arduous e! NX /B /N /C /R /L2
    Can you tell what the problem is?

    1. No idea. It shouldn't hang; you may want to disable BMC (if your board is equipped with it) and try again.

    2. Yes, I disabled BMC jump and it didn't solve the problem

    3. That's weird.

      One important thing about disabling BMC is that one needs to disconnect AC power completely from the system (and then reconnect AC power after few moments) in order for the setting to take effect.

      To confirm, your command line is:

      flash.bat SGL3NG53.B25

      is this correct?

    4. Yes, the command is okay and I'm trying to disconnect the power cable for longer time

    5. Didn't make it after several trials. I think "e!" means error. I will leave it there. Thank you all the same!

  4. I was trying to install the new bios. At the very beginning when I reboot from power-off with all hard drives disconnected and the USB installed, the computer says no BIOS is installed. Should this be the correct status?

    1. Which step of the procedure is this?
      What is the exact message and where do you see it -- can you take a picture and share it?

    2. This is before I do anything with the USB drive and when the system is self-checking

    3. This is step 5, after I powered on and fefore freedos showed up. I could not upload the pic but type the content below:
      Adapted embedded SATA RAID controller BIOS v5.0-0 B2406
      (C) 1998-2011 PMC-Sierra, inc all rights reserved

      Press Ctrl +a for Adaptec RAID configuration utility
      Controller #00: supermicro at PCI bus:00, Devon:11, Fuc:00
      No logical drives found
      No int 13 drives to support
      BIOS not installed!

    4. Ok, the "BIOS not installed" is reference not to board BIOS but RAID controller BIOS (an option ROM) so that is normal when no drives are connected/configured.

      The machine should eventually boot from USB (unless USB boot was disabled in BIOS setup) and you should see FreeDOS prompt (C:\>) .

      Then it should be possible to carry on with the procedure -- step #6...

    5. Yes I can get into freedos finally

  5. I'm having problems with the OCNG5.3 utility in Windows 7 Ultimate with H8SGL-F flashed with OCNG5 Firmware, it does not recognize the board and saids "Unsupported Board". Any ideas?

    P.S. are you gonna be making a custom bios where the utility is integrated into the BIOS?

    1. That's very strange.

      Have you upgraded to ocng-utils-5.3 (utility version needs to match OCNG version) ?

      If you did but you are still receiving the error, please take a screenshot of the error and share it (here or over e-mail -- see contact link).

    2. To answer your other question -- at this time there are no plans to integrate OCNG setup with BIOS setup...

    3. http://imgur.com/a/L68dB

      I'm using Opteron 6172 on this board.

    4. That's strange. Looks like we may need to add this one to the list of supported boards in ocng-utils.

      Just to confirm, you have already flashed OCNG firmware, correct?

      Until new version is available, you can use -f command-line switch to override this check. Open command line windows as administrator, change to proper directory and run: ocng-cu -f
      This should take care of your issue. Please let know if it doesn't.

    5. I did flash it with the OCNG Firmware, and it works with the -f command, but I can't adjust voltage

    6. Thanks for the feedback. We'll add H8SGL-F to the list.
      Re voltage

      Voltage can be adjusted upwards on certain CPUs only. That includes preproduction units (ES -- any adjustment) and most low-power units (HE -- limited adjustment) units.

      Unfortunately, voltage on 6172 cannot be cranked up from OCNG...

    7. BTW is there anyway that you can raise the limit for FSB?

    8. Currently there's no way to go beyond 262 MHz of reference clock.

      This was chosen somewhat to keep NVRAM footprint small (6 bits for refclock) and somewhat to reflect what the test hardware could do (under full load -- OCCT/Prime95/BOINC/whatnot).

      Beating "OC records" was never intended application of OCNG.

      As it is, extending beyond 262 MHz requires additional development:
      - reflock configurations have been prepared only up to 300 MHz -- would need to prepare configurations to cover add'l frequencies
      - adding extra bit in NVRAM would allow going up to 326/327 MHz (oncg-utils would need to be adjusted to mirror that)
      - analysis of other CPU components would need to be done so proper tuning of memory, HT, and others is performed (not to exceed their rated speeds)
      - functional testing would have to be done as well

  6. Hello tear , I have a board the type is H8DGU-F, can I flash H8DG6 or H8DGi series OCNG5 in it?

    1. No, you should not do that (unless you're equipped with recovery tools).

      While H8DG6/H8DGi may work with very specific revisions of H8DGU (Rev 1.4 has been found to be partially compatible), it will almost certainly not POST on any other revision.

      Stand by for H8DGU support. Board is en route and about a week away from me.

  7. Hi,

    I have a H8DG6/H8DGi with 6376's installed. I'll wait for you to give the thumbs up for this model! It is listed as ver 1.0.

    Is it really necessary to disconnect bootable drives, as opposed to making sure the USB gets booted? Or is there something sensitive about the flashing...

    Not being pedantic, but this is a monster server, and disconnecting anything kinda of makes me nervous...


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. [deleted comment about H8DGU]


      It's not really necessary to disconnect bootable drives; ensuring the USB gets booted is enough.

      Let know if you run into issues (here or via e-mail -- see Contact page) but I hope everything works out just fine.

  8. Hi,

    Thanks. Well the latest bios from supermicro (3.5c) was only released 17Mar2016... Does your bios have any major differences to theirs?

    Just in case they did something in the new version, I might try yours before I try theirs - I have 3.0 now...


    1. Sorry , I have 3.5 now....wasn't sure what they changed...

    2. OCNG5.3 is based on SM 3.5 releases (2013/11/25).

      Not sure as to the changes between 3.5 and newer drops -- SM doesn't share release notes with general public and there was no motivation to reverse-engineer the code to learn what exactly was changed...

      Initial tests of newer 3.5 drops (I didn't check any of 2016 releases though) on H8QGi demonstrated poor stability even at stock speeds which made me abandon the idea of porting OCNG to newer code base.

      Let know if you run into issues that are solved by 3.5a/b/c.

    3. Ah, one more thing -- just FYI.

      SM encodes BIOS release date in the last character and the extension of ROM file name. The scheme is: mmmmmmmY.MDD where 'mmmmmmm' is the board model/series, 'Y' is the last digit of the year, 'M' is a hexadecimal digit representing the month ('A' is October, 'B' is November and 'C' is December, rest is straightforward) and DD is the day.

  9. I contacted my vendor and they got the release notes. if you send me an email, I'll tell you verbatim...so we don't break any rules.... I haven't had any issues really, apart from not being able to exploit turbo cores - I can get 2.6G using tpc, but not 3.2.

    I am a molecular modeller, so I would use 8/16 cores for FPU..

    1. Phil, I don't have your e-mail address (can you drop me a note via address under 'Contact'?).

      Turbo is generally unreliable on these CPUs. All-core turbo (2.6 on 6376) is achievable, as you noticed, using TPC (though it should work by itself without resorting to any "tricks'). Some-core turbo (3.2 on 6376) gets engaged when specific conditions are met (certain numbers of compute units is in CC6) but it is also spotty in practice.

    2. To evaluate some-core turbo you'll need to make sure that CC6 is enabled in BIOS, *not* run tpc -psmax 1, confirm that freqency scaling is enabled in the OS (== tpc -CM reporting highest possible P-state on an idle system, e.g. HW P-state 6) and, for starters, load a single core. That should get you one CU in HW P-state 0 a.k.a. some-core turbo (3.2 on 6376).

    3. Replied some hours ago, check spam folder? :-)

  10. First of all, great work on the firmware. Truly impressive stuff here.

    I was able to install it just fine, but I've now noticed that out of the box it's overclocking my Opteron 6276 to 2.6GHz. Running the OCNG utility and resetting to stock leaves it at 2.6GHz.

    1. 2.6 GHz isn't technically 'overclocked' -- it's 'some-core' turbo frequency (see http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Bulldozer/AMD-Opteron%206276.html).

      If you made adjustments in your OS w.r.t. minimal CPU frequency (Windows) or changed scaling governor (Linux), this could explain seeing 2.6 GHz with no load.

      Which OS are you using and which tool do you use to measure the operating frequency?

      OCNG-specific defaults (listed under #17) shouldn't affect OS P-state switching but you could take a closer look at them in case they do make a difference on your system.

    2. Oh, I see. I actually missed the turbo information on the page you linked to. In that case, everything seems to be operating perfectly. I had time to play with it and it's just great. With all 16 cores, I'm running at a stable 3.1 GHz right now.

      I'm not sure if I said something wrong, but I'm not getting 2.6GHz with no load. I use CPU-z and HWMonitor.

      But anyhow, thanks for the response and really all I want to say is great work; it's all working very well.

  11. Hello. I flashed my H8QGi-F your firmware, then decided to revert to the original. But for some reason, RAM continued to work together in 1333 to 1900 Mhz. How can I fix it?

    1. If stock firmware was flashed successfully, there is no way for any OCNG configuration to have an effect on memory clock frequency.

      DDR3-1333 is the maximum for this platform and anything beyond that doesn't make sense to me at all.

      Where are you observing the frequency? BIOS post screen? Some sort of H/W monitor utility? If you can, please provide a link to a screenshot/pic.

  12. What is everyone using to cool their opteron processors? I was hoping a AIO water cooler would be good enough to overclock? Would a 120m water cooler be good enough?

    1. AIO water cooling should be fine. I'm using deepcool gammaxx S40 coolers.
      opteron 6276's on an H8DGU-F (no ocng for me), and they run at about room temperature (22c) at slightly above idle, and never go over 40c under full load (these are 115w chips @stock).

  13. I got the firmware installed on an h8dgi-f, but it only appears to oc the clock if I set max p state to yes, otherwise it's stock. Any ideas?

    1. How do you measure the clock?
      Linux will almost certainly report original frequencies (in, say, /proc/cpuinfo or /sys/.../cpufreq/). Turbostat (Linux) *should* be fine. Alternatively, you can try 'clockspeed' (Linux), an utility bundled with ocng-utils.
      Usual Windows tools should be OK (cpu-z, hwinfo).
      Side Q -- what is your CPU?

    2. I checked against clockspeed and I do see an increase. I was also able to use cpupower frequency-set -g ondemand.