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BenQ UNIVERSAL 144Hz->220Hz OVERCLOCK for 1080p 144 Hz

Posted: 12 Jul 2019, 18:56
by Chief Blur Buster
Successful Universal 144Hz -> 220Hz Overclock For BenQ
For BenQ/ZOWIE 144Hz 1080P Monitors

200Hz+ Overclock Successes So Far
- XL2720 at 220Hz
- XL2720Z at 220Hz
- XL2420G at 220Hz
- XL2420T at 230Hz
- XL2536 at 200Hz
- XL2430T at 215Hz via DP
- XL2411Z at 200Hz via DVI
- XL2411Z at 210Hz via DVI using ToastyX Pixel Patcher (uncap DVI)
Record: ~260-268 Hz (and a glitched 440Hz!) on an old BenQ XL2420T, see link to photos

No S-Switch Needed!
Credit to forum member loopy750 for discovering the S-Switch 220Hz Overclock Hack for BenQ 144Hz monitors!
However, it's possible to overclock without the S-Switch! You heard about this on Blur Busters first.
And, yes, it lowers lag to less than 144Hz

Potentially Supported Models
Most 144Hz 1080p BenQ / ZOWIE monitors with DisplayPort between 2013-2019.
XL2420, XL2420T, XL2420Z, XL2420G (Classic Engine), XL2420P, XL2411P, XL2430T

Requirements
-- You need 144Hz and 1080p and DisplayPort in your BenQ/Zowie
-- Easiest with NVIDIA GPU
-- This won't work with 240Hz BenQs
-- This won't work with 1440p BenQs
-- Works with DisplayPort (~220Hz) and DVI (~200Hz). Try both ports, one may overclock higher than other.
-- IMPORTANT: For old XL2720Z (V2) do NOT combine blur reduction with overclock unless you know what you're doing (strobe backlight voltage boost bug in pre-2015 firmwares). If you dare try, set Persistence / Strobe Duty to 5 or less BEFORE you overclock.. This risk doesn't apply if you are not using motion blur reduction.

The "Out Of Range" Defeat Trick
  1. You need two monitors to make this easy initially
  2. Set your BenQ/Zowie as primary.
  3. Download Entech Taiwan SoftMCCS
  4. Launch SoftMCCS onto 2nd monitor (the one you're not overclocking)
  5. Launch NVIDIA Control Panel onto 2nd monitor
  6. Select the 220 Hz custom mode in NVIDIA Control Panel (create it if not already created)
    Image
  7. Your BenQ will immediately go OUT OF RANGE
  8. Now in SoftMCCS (displayed on your 2nd monitor), click "OSD language - 0xCC" -> Activate
  9. Next, click "Display application - 0xDC" -> Activate.
  10. Doing both of the above will dismiss the OUT OF RANGE watchdog and your 220Hz will appear!
  11. For a long term fix, use an automatic utility such as www.github.com/hleVqq/OorBuster (this makes SoftMCCS unnecessary)
To Improve 220 Hz Colors And Sharpness
  1. In SoftMCCS, select "Movie" radio button (nothing will happen until step 3)
  2. Click "Display application - 0xDC" -> Activate.
  3. 220Hz becomes visible but sharpness will go out of whack. Slide "Sharpness" to "5"
  4. The picture looks much better color quality, and graident looks fully 8bit (via GPU soft-DRC)
You will have 6-bit color depth on the DisplayPort cable but the NVIDIA GPU will be automatically doing GPU-side temporal dithering (DRC) to convert 6-bit to 8-bit. It might not always be as good quality as the monitor DRC but much better looking than 6-bit color. The GPU DRC looks nearly as good as monitor DRC if using Movie Mode.

You will have to repeat the important "OSD language" -> "0xCC" -> "Activate" in SoftMCCS steps every time you switch back into 220Hz. To prevent having to do this too many times repeatedly, make sure you have SoftMCCS running on your 2nd monitor and make sure your Desktop is 220Hz before you launch your game in 220Hz. Then Windows/Game is not doing any mode switches. Do not Alt+Enter / Alt+Tab. The single most important step is SoftMCCS window open on 2nd monitor, and ready to click "OSD language - 0xCC" -> Activate .... whenever you see an OUT OF RANGE message pop up on your monitor.

TIP:
Also, another tip is to create a mode such as 1920x1079 whose only refresh rate is the overclocked Hz. That way, games automatically have to use the overclocked Hz, and also can help reduce the number of mode switches (which can cause the OUT OF RANGE issue to come back, and need resetting again).

UTILITY:
A utility was written by hleV to reset the OUT OF RANGE every time a mode switch occurs. The utility monitors for mode switches, and automatically dismisses the OUT OF RANGE via DDC commands: www.github.com/hleVqq/OorBuster

Disclaimer: Blur Busters disclaims responsibility for any damages. Do at own risk. It works on my BenQ XL2720Z, but your mileage will vary.

Post Your Success Reports Here

Re: BenQ UNIVERSAL 144Hz->220Hz OVERCLOCK for 144Hz 1080p

Posted: 12 Jul 2019, 20:23
by do0om
I tested with my XL2411P, OUT OF RANGE disappear but the monitor stays black.

Re: BenQ UNIVERSAL 144Hz->220Hz OVERCLOCK for 144Hz 1080p

Posted: 12 Jul 2019, 20:36
by crossjeremiah
XL2430T DVI - Tried CRU and Nvidia. Out of Range no message but full black

Re: BenQ UNIVERSAL 144Hz->220Hz OVERCLOCK for 144Hz 1080p

Posted: 13 Jul 2019, 00:29
by Vechs
What im testing : XL2420G[Works]
I did it with the S-Switch method, the OUT OF RANGE error has been bypassed.
Currently sitting at 155hz, but will overclock it to the limits whilst maintaining 8bit colors
Attaching a pic for proof. https://i.imgur.com/8qM9o6J.jpg
If someone would show a guide of disassembling xl24xx or xl27xx series of monitors, cuz i would like to add additional cooling.

Re: BenQ UNIVERSAL 144Hz->220Hz OVERCLOCK for 144Hz 1080p

Posted: 14 Jul 2019, 13:48
by hleV
Tested with XL2411Z DVI. The 8th point (Now in SoftMCCS (displayed on your 2nd monitor), click "OSD language - 0xCC" -> Activate) has no effect and the monitor keeps throwing Out of range.

Re: BenQ UNIVERSAL 144Hz->220Hz OVERCLOCK for 144Hz 1080p

Posted: 15 Jul 2019, 14:10
by Chief Blur Buster
200Hz+ Overclock Successes So Far
- XL2720 at 220Hz
- XL2720Z at 220Hz
- XL2420G at 220Hz
- XL2430T at 215Hz using S-Switch trick
- XL2411Z at 200Hz via DVI
- XL2411Z at 210Hz via DVI using ToastyX Pixel Patcher (uncap DVI)

200Hz+ Overclock Failures So Far
- XL2411Z 220Hz DVI (work with lower Hz)
- XL2430T 220Hz DVI (work with lower Hz)
- XL2411P (may work with lower Hz, untested)
do0om wrote:I tested with my XL2411P, OUT OF RANGE disappear but the monitor stays black.
Interesting observation. If you wish to try other lower overclock rates (155Hz, 160Hz, 180Hz, 200Hz), to determine the limits of overclocking, I'd love to hear!
crossjeremiah wrote:XL2430T DVI - Tried CRU and Nvidia. Out of Range no message but full black
There is a 215Hz overclock success for the XL2430T, see garetjax posts. Can you try dialing back to 215Hz and see if that works?

Re: BenQ UNIVERSAL 144Hz->220Hz OVERCLOCK for 144Hz 1080p

Posted: 15 Jul 2019, 16:51
by Notty_PT
How does the S Switch method work? Any guide? Want to try this on a XL2430T, thanks!

Re: BenQ UNIVERSAL 144Hz->220Hz OVERCLOCK for 144Hz 1080p

Posted: 15 Jul 2019, 17:12
by Chief Blur Buster
Vechs wrote:Currently sitting at 155hz, but will overclock it to the limits whilst maintaining 8bit colors
Your monitor is already 6-bit FRC.

The only thing that changed is you've switched to GPU-side FRC instead of monitor-side FRC. (Basically, NVIDIA GPU does temporal dithering GPU side instead of the monitor doing temporal dithering monitor-side).

So while the video cable is transmitting 6bpp, it's already pre-dithered by the GPU (8-bit effective). I personally confirmed NVIDIA GPU-side FRC during my overclock on an XL2720Z -- NVIDIA does this GPU-side FRC automatically when you're overclocking beyond the bandwidth limitations for "8bpp-on-the-wire".

It's simply relocating where the temporal dithering is done, to the computer side instead of monitor motherboard side. The appearance becomes surprisingly similar after I readjust the colors and use Movie Mode. I personally still get 8-bit look at Lagom Gradient at 220Hz, and it looks decent in Movie Mode -- you can get GPU-FRC pretty close to monitor-FRC.
Notty_PT wrote:How does the S Switch method work? Any guide? Want to try this on a XL2430T, thanks!
See the link at the very top: S-Switch 220Hz Overclock Hack, posted by forum member loopy750. Then I personally discovered a way to overclock WITHOUT the S-Switch.

Can you try it without the S-Switch first, to see if we can get it working using the "universal" method?

If 220Hz does not work, try 200Hz or 215Hz.

Re: BenQ UNIVERSAL 144Hz->220Hz OVERCLOCK for 144Hz 1080p

Posted: 15 Jul 2019, 19:18
by do0om
Interesting observation. If you wish to try other lower overclock rates (155Hz, 160Hz, 180Hz, 200Hz), to determine the limits of overclocking, I'd love to hear!
The monitor stays black for everything above 149hz

Re: BenQ UNIVERSAL 144Hz->220Hz OVERCLOCK for 144Hz 1080p

Posted: 15 Jul 2019, 20:56
by Notty_PT
do0om wrote:
Interesting observation. If you wish to try other lower overclock rates (155Hz, 160Hz, 180Hz, 200Hz), to determine the limits of overclocking, I'd love to hear!
The monitor stays black for everything above 149hz
Using displayport or dvi?