SUMMARY: Intel embraces the GPU overclocking market – how well remains to be seen.
This Inquirer article caught my eye:
“Intel used to lock down its chips to prevent overclocking, but the company’s mind-set has changed. Overclockers are now viewed as an important market segment, rather than troublemakers.
“There’s a very small segment that just love to play with this stuff,” Mentzer¹ said. “They’re very important to us because they are also the people who set the tone for what they think is a good chip set.”
“When we do that, inherently there’s a lot of margin. We know you can overclock and deliver greater performance, because effectively you’re tapping into the margins we’ve designed into the product. … But, of course, we can’t stand by that because we’d have to test to that” level of performance, Mentzer said.”
¹Intel’s vice president and general manager of the graphics development group
Intel apparently is taking a page from AMD:
“There were two neat tools that Intel was briefly showing off this time around, the Extreme Tuning tool and Extreme Memory. The Extreme Tuning is basically a clone of AMDs overdrive utility without some of the elegance. The demo included a reboot to change stats, unnecessary in the AMD version. That said, it is a really good thing, you can change BIOS settings on the fly and the autooverclocking tool is nice to get the gross settings down with no work on your part.
The other new tool is for memory, extremely so. It works with the Intel spec XMS memory, and can pin apps to settings in the NVRAM on the DIMM. Basically, your memory becomes app aware, and can be set to change profiles based on function. It is a good idea, let’s see how well it does in practice.”
Motherboards with these new chipsets should start showing up late June, so the extent to which these claims prove to be of real value to the oveclocking market remains to be seen. However, I find it really interesting to see Intel actively embracing a market segment that used to be seen as, at best, a nuisance.
Even so, all is not that great with these chipsets as “Unfortunately, they are not going to support Intel’s new Nehalem desktop chips, which are due to arrive at the end of this year.”
The intriguing thought in all of this: Will this “embrace” find its way to Intel’s CPU side?