Just a few weeks ago, we reported that some motherboard manufacturers had found a BIOS tweak to allow overclocking on “non-Z” motherboards. ASRock first released a BIOS update to let users overclock K-Series Haswell CPUs on its B85 and H87 products, shortly followed by ASUS and ECS. The exploit had to anger Intel, which meant for those chipsets to support almost no overclocking at all. H and B-series chipsets are obviously lesser featured products aimed at less expensive motherboards.
This week, it has been made public that Intel is working on a CPU microcode update aimed at restricting overclocking of K-series CPUs to Z87 motherboards for good. Intel probably plans to deploy the update by means of BIOS updates which would have to be pushed through motherboard vendors. The irony of the situation is not to be understated. If motherboard manufacturers still refuse to play by the rules, Intel could also ring old friends at Microsoft and call in the favor of having the microcode embedded in a Windows update. The combination of those two approaches ensures almost all users will see the overclocking features removed soon, unless you’re living under a rock with your latest Intel system.
The days of overclocking Core i7-4770K and i5-4670K processors on cheap motherboards will have been quite few and are already dawning.