Intel to Restrict Overclocking on Sandy Bridge


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After all the overclocking triumphs with the Core line of processors, it is hard to believe that the latest Sandy Bridge CPUs from Intel will be more difficult to overclock. Bit-Tech.net is reporting that Intel has “designed the CPUs to deliberately limit overclocking” according to slides prepared by Intel:

A video to HKEPC and posted on YouTube (see from 2mins onwards) confirms the fact that only a 2-3 per cent OC via Base Clock adjustments will be possible. This is because Intel has tied the speed of every bus (USB, SATA, PCI, PCI-E, CPU cores, Uncore, memory etc) to a single internal clock generator issuing the basic 100MHz Base Clock.

This clock gen is integrated into the P67 motherboard chipset and transmits the clock signal to the CPU via the DMI bus. This means there’s no need for an external clock generator that used to allow completely separate control of all the individual hardware.

When you’re overclocking, you want to be able to push certain frequencies, such as the Base Clock and memory clock, but leave others, such as SATA, completely stable as they’re very sensitive to adjustment. Current motherboards allow multiple bus speeds because external clock generators are programmable via the BIOS.

Intel Slide (Courtesy Bit-Tech.net)

The report continues with more technical information and analysis. This fundamental design change will impact casual overclockers all the way to highly-regarded extreme benchmarkers. Don’t panic and switch to AMD just yet, motherboard manufacturers are looking for ways to circumvent the locked frequency. As Bit-Tech points out, locking the frequencies will essentially level the playing field among all motherboard manufacturers. By taking overclocking out of the equation, there is less reason to purchase a higher-end motherboard.

If the past is any indication, this may not be as much of an issue as anticipated. Intel was expected to carry out a similar plan to limit overclocking before the release of the Nehalems core.

Worst case scenario, Intel will still manufacture the unlocked K-series chips. End-users will pay a premium for those CPUs, but their overclocking potential will probably make up for the extra cost.

Will AMD reclaim the overclocking crown? Will motherboard manufacturers discover a workaround? All this remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

For more information visit Bit-Tech.net: Intel Plans to Deliberately Limit Sandy Bridge Overclocking

-mdcomp

About Matt Ring 142 Articles
Matt Ring has been part of the Overclockers.com community for 20+ years. He built his first computer at age 12 and has been hooked on computer hardware and overclocking ever since. For the past 10 years, Matt has worked in technology for internet and software companies. These days, Matt focuses on editing and behind the scenes work to keep Overclockers.com humming.

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xoke

Member

2,188 messages 0 likes

Hmmmm, this will really surprise me if it goes down like this. You take overclocking out of the power users hands, well, AMD is about to gain some new fans.

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Randyman...

Member

3,198 messages 0 likes

We are such a small percentage of the overall market that it really wouldn't hurt Intel's bottom line - BUT - we are also the ones that recommend parts to numerous potential buyers based on our own perceptions. AMD will welcome any gains in the "Enthusiast" market with open arms :)

I doubt Intel will be as restrictive as rumored - and we'll still have the K series with higher but not outrageous pricing for our OC'ing enjoyment. However - locking the DMI/QPI will indeed hamper some of the benefits of overclocking (at least in my uses for low-latency audio production). I seriously doubt Intel wants to hand over the reigns to AMD for the Price-vs-Performance Overclocking Crown...

:cool:

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Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use

32,634 messages 38 likes

Well, depending on that, I may just go AMD then. :shrug:

That is, unless Intel is insanely fast at stock. That really hurt saying that word.

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xoke

Member

2,188 messages 0 likes

Agreed...it seems like I have heard this story before..."Intel stops overclocking" but it never comes to pass.

I'm just saying, if they did...and there was no easy way around it...I bet half this forum would jump ship to AMD.

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Mr.Guvernment

Member

14,866 messages 0 likes

they claimed the same thing on the i7 series, Nahlem, didn't happen, they have said this a few times, never happened.

But even then, sure we recommend things, but dell , HP and other OEMs still count for i would say %90 of their sales so it still wouldn't make a dent if they did it, sure people would run to AMD, but most people look at a computer on dell, look at the price and hit buy.

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DumpALump

Member

972 messages 0 likes

they claimed the same thing on the i7 series, Nahlem, didn't happen, they have said this a few times, never happened.

But even then, sure we recommend things, but dell , HP and other OEMs still count for i would say %90 of their sales so it still wouldn't make a dent if they did it, sure people would run to AMD, but most people look at a computer on dell, look at the price and hit buy.

Exactly, though I don't see how overclocking would hurt them if most of their sales are through the channels where people aren't overclocking. The enthusiasts would just go to AMD, which would be worse off for them. This could very well be just a way to entice investors by saying some individuals will now pay more for the same performance rather than buying a cheaper processor. Lots of companies like to fluff their stocks at certain points.

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Archer0915

"The Expert"

4,958 messages 79 likes

This sucks:( I just got hold of 2 1156 boardz:cry:

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Bobnova

Senior Member

20,964 messages 1 likes

They (intel AND amd) already tried, hard, once. All cpus used to have an unlocked multi.

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Archer0915

"The Expert"

4,958 messages 79 likes

They (intel AND amd) already tried, hard, once. All cpus used to have an unlocked multi.

I guess that was when you did the OC with a jumper for the multi and the Bus:rock:

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Randyman...

Member

3,198 messages 0 likes

200MHz to 233MHz Core Speed by swapping a jumper. Oh the good old days :p

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