ASUS P6T Deluxe Crossflash to ASUS P6T WS PRO
Despite the fact the Asus P6T Deluxe, the X58-based LGA1366 motherboard, has been around for a very long time now, it is still holding its value thanks to the cheap and overclockable six-core Xeon processors which can be had for as low as $85. The board carries the word “Deluxe” in its name which does not only sound cool, but makes you think of the board as a high-class product. Well, it is (when it comes to X58), however, it seems to be plagued with some really annoying problems when it comes to high CPU overclocks. Do not get me wrong here, the motherboard overclocks just fine as long as you do not do it via your processor’s turbo multiplier. If you happen to do so, the motherboard seems to be unable to keep a CPU locked in the turbo multiplier under high load and, thus, hurts your overclock. The reason behind this kind of behavior lies in BIOS as ASUS has set some turbo TDP setpoints which, if exceeded, trigger a CPU to drop out of turbo multiplier (also called throttling). Back in 2009, when the X58 platform was in its prime, ASUS was urged to rectify this issue and released the “special” BIOS (version 0006) for enthusiasts which added the “Hight TDP Turbo Mode”, however, it was a non-official BIOS release. The first 6-core 32nm Gulftown/Westmere processors came out in March 2010 and were not supported by the “special” BIOS, so the throttling problem began ailing the P6T Deluxe users once again. This time ASUS did nothing as regards the issue. A bit later it was noticed the ASUS P6T WS motherboard does have the official support for “High TDP Turbo Mode” and, to make matters even better, it shares almost identical component and VRM (Voltage Regulation Modules) layout to its P6T Deluxe counterpart.
What Is a So-Called Crossflashing?
Crossflashing is a process of flashing one motherboard with a different model motherboard’s BIOS in order to gain the latter’s BIOS features. Once again, both motherboards should have an identical VRM layout as well as hardware controller set. Not to mention, you will never be able to magically unlock, say, USB3.0 or SATA3 functionality by performing a crossflash on the motherboards which do lack the respective controllers.
Are There Any Risks Involved?
This mod is known to work fine on the P6T Deluxe boards and I can confirm it myself, so if you follow my instructions closely, you will be OK. I recommend you use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) when flashing a BIOS if you have one at hand to rule out the possibility of power outage. If for some unearthly reason the flashing process fails and your motherboard refuses to POST, you are not so screwed as you may think. The P6T Deluxe can be cured from a bad BIOS flash by simply replacing or reprogramming the BIOS chip (pic. 3, highlighted in red). All the necessary tools for recovery can be bought cheap on Ebay.
Note: a lot of folks do seem to mistakenly think that this mod, apart from letting you lock in turbo multipliers under load, allows you to use the offset voltage, which is not true. The P6T WS Professional BIOS does not support the offset voltage!
The Crossflashing Steps
Please note the following steps not only do apply to the P6T Deluxe motherboard, but to P6T, P6T SE and P6T Deluxe V2 motherboards as well.
In order to get the “High TDP Turbo Mode” feature on your ASUS P6T Deluxe motherboard, do the following:
Step 1. Create a bootable USB drive. If you are not aware how to do it, follow this tutorial.
Step 2. Download and extract the engineering version of Afudos. Once done, copy the extracted tool to your USB drive. The engineering version is a must in this case, as it will skip the BIOS validity check and let you flash your motherboard with pretty much any BIOS file.
Step 3. Next, you need to download the ASUS P6T WS PRO BIOS file, however, I also suggest you download the ASUS P6T Deluxe BIOS file just in case. The latest BIOS files for both motherboards can be found below.
ASUS P6T Deluxe (ver. 2209) original
ASUS P6T WS PRO (ver. 1205) original
ASUS P6T Deluxe (ver. 2209) with TRIM support in SSD RAID configurations (read more)
ASUS P6T WS PRO (ver. 1205) with TRIM support in SSD RAID configurations (read more)
Step 4. Boot from a USB drive. If you have done everything correctly, you should see Windows98 loading screen for a few seconds before it is replaced with the black screen and a blinking cursor for further input (pic. 4).
Step 5. Enter the following command without quotes: “afudos /iBiosFileName.rom /pbnc /n”. Please note the first slash symbol “/” is succeeded by letter “i” and only then followed by the name of the BIOS file. Next, press Enter and wait until the flashing process is completed.
Step 6. Reboot your computer. It is also advisable to clear the CMOS and redo your BIOS settings afterwards. Now it is about the right time to check if the new TDP feature is present, which definitely is! (pic. 5)
A CPU I will use for testing the newly flashed BIOS is the Intel Xeon X5670 2.93GHz, featuring the maximum turbo multiplier of 24x across all six cores. The processor is overclocked to 4.2GHz and this operating speed is achieved by pushing the BLCK frequency to 175MHz and locking in turbo multiplier, which is 24x, thus 175×24=4200MHz. If we were still on the original ASUS P6T Deluxe BIOS, we would see throttling kicking in under high CPU load and dragging the CPU multiplier down to 22x, just like in the picture 6.
However, once ASUS P6T WS PRO BIOS has been crossflashed and the “High TDP Turbo Mode” has been activated, the aforementioned issue is gone (pic. 7).
Despite getting the ability to lock in turbo multiplier under heavy load on the ASUS P6T Deluxe board, there seems to be a little problem with the onboard firewire (IEEE 1394) controller as it is not being properly recognized anymore (pic. 8, highlighted in red).
Although the firewire controller is still “visible” to the BIOS, I could not get it to work by either enabling legacy mode or installing a whole bunch of different VIA IEEE 1394 drivers. In such case, I suggest you simply disable it in Windows device manager (pic. 9).
Apart from the firewire controller, the rest of the onboard controllers seem to work just fine.