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Intel to limit overclocking on Sandy Bridge CPUs?

Posted on Friday, July 23 2010 @ 19:38:09 CEST by

Leaked information about Intel's LGA1155 Sandy Bridge processors reveal the clockspeeds of every bus (USB, SATA, PCI, PCIe, CPU cores, Uncore, memory, etc.) will be tied to a single internal clock generator, which basically means that you won't be able to overclock your CPU's base clock because increasing it by more than a couple of percent will result in corruption problems. Motherboard companies are developing work-arounds but currently the few asynchronous setups they tried don't work, and if they fail overclockers may have be limited to Intel's K-series CPUs which come with unlocked CPU multipliers.
We chatted about possible work-arounds but at the moment the few 'asynchronous' setups tried were currently not working. It's been claimed to use out-of-the-box the design was deliberately limited with the intention to simplify board design and lower costs. This obviously has the 'unfortunate' side effect that enthusiasts will be unable to manually overclock Sandy Bridge CPUs to their limits, but the CPU's own internal overclocking, TurboBoost, will still work and Intel will offer some controlled multiplier overhead for enthusiasts as a token gesture.

At the time of writing we are still talking to Taiwan's motherboard companies, but the few we have had contact with are certainly worried as Intel's move not only impacts enthusiasts, it also takes control and emphasis away from motherboard manufacturers. After all, why would you buy one board over another if they all overclock the same? On the plus side, if a company does crack the Base Clock limit, then it means a potentially huge advantage over the competition. It's no understatement to say the next few months are crucial for the motherboard engineering teams.

On the plus side though, memory strap limits are at present removed on sample Sandy Bridge hardware - Intel's slides claim 2,133MHz - which is nice to have, but since most of the performance comes from additional CPU MHz rather than memory speed, it's not the answer we were really looking for.
More info at Bit Tech.



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