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Why MSI Z690-A WIFI DDR4 was chosen for Dasharo ?

Please read this extensive analysis contributed to Intel Reddit.

Will this work on my MSI PRO Z690-A WIFI DDR5 or MSI PRO Z690-A DDR5 ?

Not yet. The build is configured for the DDR4 only. It might be extended with the DDR5 variant in the future. Do not try that.

Will this work on my MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4 ?

Although we do not own that one and cannot give promises without testing, we believe that it should work the same as the MSI PRO Z690-A WIFI DDR4. This is almost the same board, just with no WiFi card.

Can I safely try this on my board?

If you are afraid of bricking the board and have no means of recovering from failed installation, we do not recommend trying it out until at least the v1.0.0 is released. Recovery process is not suitable for inexperienced users right now. We will be trying to make it easier, and if that happens, we may change our recommendation here.

Can I destroy my hardware by installing this firmware?

We give no warranty, although it is highly unlikely, provided that you use the supported board model and follow the installation manual. In the worst scenario, you might "brick" the board, rendering it unbootable. It can be fixed by following the recovery procedure.

How can I know if the board is "bricked"?

In such a case, you would get stuck with black screen on the display. There will be no beeping sounds from the buzzer as well. The only way to get some information on what's going on in that state is to use the Serial header to read out error information.

What can be the reason of board "bricking"?

The most common reason would be the fact that you DDR memory modules are not initializad properly.

The other reason might be improper or interrupted installation. Please make sure to follow the Installation Manual correctly.

How can I "unbrick" my board?

Please follow the recovery procedure.

Which CPUs are supported?

We can say the "supported" one is the one we have tested. It is the Intel Core i5-12600K and you can check that in the Hardware Configuration Matrix.

In practice, any Alder Lake-S Processor with integrated GPU (which means no F-series).

F-series is not supported because currently the PCIe ports are not initialized, so there is no other way to get video output (or any other signs of system being functional, unless you have a way to get logging from the Serial header) to know that it is actually working.

12900KS is rather unknown at the moment, because it was released later and may require more recent microcode.

Which DDR4 memory modules are supported?

We can say the "supported" one is the one we have tested. It is the Kingston Fury Beast KF436C17BBK4/32 part populated in all 4 slots, and you can check that in the Hardware Configuration Matrix. At that point it was not extensively tested either, though. Once the memory initialization goes through (we can see firmware logo on the display, and then boot into OS), we assume it is good enough at this stage.

No other memory modules or combination in slots were verified so far. This is on the roadmap for future releases.

You should not refer to the Memory Compatibility of the mainboard. It does not need to apply here due the difference on what memory initialization routines are used in the original MSI firmware and the ones in Dasharo firmware (provided by the Intel FSP).

What is the memory profile?

Currently, Dasharo firmware picks the highest standard SPD Profile, no support for XMP ones. This means that on the Kingston modules it is actually working at 2400 MHz, but it is expected to work all the way to 3200 MHz.

Why my GPU doesn't work on MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4 ?

Due to the fact, that there's no possibility to insert all available GPU drivers into the firmware, the solution in the form of the Option ROM is in use. Option ROMs are the drivers flashed in the GPUs non-volatile memory. These types of drivers can be divided into Legacy Option ROMs and EFI Option ROMs.

Legacy Option ROMs are only supported on legacy BIOS, such as SeaBIOS. Legacy BIOS checks the availability of Option ROM and if its signature matches, it executes its entry point. This option ROM initializes the graphics. The only way to support Option ROM in UEFI is through CSM, which we do not have implemented.

EFI Option ROMs are nothing more than EFI drivers which have the same form as the UEFI files (PE format). UEFI firmware scans the Option ROM space of the graphics card and if it finds a potential EFI Option ROM with PE signature, it executes the file. This option ROM initializes the graphics.

Considering the above, the firmware might have a problem with initializing older graphics cards - UEFI standard appeared about 15 years ago.

The problem might also be caused by an enabled Secure boot - because there is no certainty that EFI Option ROM is signed correctly.