Exclusive: BCLK overclocking non-K Intel Skylake CPUs is now possible, tested here

By Julio Franco · 34 replies
Dec 11, 2015
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  1. It feels like forever ago now but there was a time when you could buy a reasonably affordable Intel processor like the Core i5-750 and overclock the snot out of it to achieve Core i7 level performance. That was 2009, and it was the last time you could overclock a non-K Intel processor or a Core i3 processor of any specification (until now).

    In overclocking circles it was recently noted that BCLK (base clock) overclocking might become a possibility in Skylake processors, but it would be up to motherboard manufacturers to circumvent Intel's restrictions. Last night Asrock contacted us and told us they had an updated BIOS that could enable this condition. We jumped at the opportunity and have tested and confirmed this.

    Read the complete article.

  2. hojnikb

    hojnikb TS Enthusiast Posts: 33

    I wonder if this would be achievable on non Z boards. It makes little sense to buy i3 and then spending 100$+ on a mobo.

    Afaik this was first observed on a h170 supermicro board. So there might be a chance for that.
  3. deemon

    deemon TS Addict Posts: 253   +70

    Oh great. more reason to hate intel now. seriously.
  4. This is incredible, seeing 'low-mid end' processors perform so well. There are going to be some hastily called meeting at Intel as this wrecks their processor hierarchy.
    FWIW I just got an Asus Z170 Deluxe, in the bios there are more overclocking settings than I have ever seen or even know what to do with (pages of them), although I admit I know little of how to OC, especially as my last cpu was i7-2600K at 4 GHz 'turbo boosting' to 4.4, which was simply and easily done (like one setting changed).
    Steve likes this.
  5. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 474   +84

    I really have to appreciate a really good job on Julio's behalf, but it was nice to add the top of the line motherboard for AMD, something like 990X and some testing of Intel processors with DDR3 2133 or AMD with DDR3 2400 for an exact comparison.There should be also some system prices compared and it's worth mentioning that AMD processors are made on 28 or 32 nm tech.
  6. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    This is so awesome, it makes me want an inexpensive ITX board and processor combo like an i3 or low end i5 to see what I can do. Imagine a cheap i5 overclocked to 4.5ghz!!!
    Steve likes this.
  7. costeakai

    costeakai TS Rookie

    If overclock them, you need a BIG cooler , so good bending...
    mosu likes this.
  8. danwat1234

    danwat1234 TS Rookie

    Would be kickass is MSI, Alienware, Asus, Toshiba, HP, updated the BIOSes in their laptops to allow to base clock overclocking too! Some of those laptops have very good cooling systems, so it's fine to overclock if you keep track of temps.
  9. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    If you knew anything about overclocking, you would know that the principle of conservation of energy applies. Steve's excellent article states that the OC'ed i3 requires 110W. That same number is the amount of heat dissipation required of the cooler.
    Even low profile coolers such as Cryorig's C7 can easily dissipate that kind of energy and more. And of course, if the worry is about damaging the Skylake substrate - an issue completely overblown by certain groups with their own agenda- rest assured, using this example, Cryorig are (along with many other heatsink manufacturers) Skylake compatible.
    cliffordcooley and Steve like this.
  10. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 272   +88

    This is f***ing awesome news! Great article, thanks Techspot!
    Raoul Duke and Steve like this.
  11. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,035

    The AMD 970 chipset was used in favour of the 990FX because it is cheaper and helps improve the value of the 8320E package. Moreover you won’t achieve greater overclocking performance with the 990FX using this processor while memory speeds and overall performance aren’t impacted either.

    The 8320E will only work with DDR3-2133 memory, it is very rare and extremely difficult to get it working with 2400MHz memory. The Intel Haswell processors on the other hand are easy to setup with DDR3-2400 memory. This is not an article about AMD processors, the budget comparison has already been made at TechSpot (Twice) so there is no need to discuss AMD pricing or the nanometre tech that they use :S

    As I said in the article smaller cheaper coolers will work well with an overclocked Core i3-6100, the same is not true for the 8320E.
  12. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 404   +84

    Is it reasonable to wonder if this will apply to the big boys as well, or am I missing something obviously important? I guess I'm asking if the skylake i7s can be BCLK boosted as well..
  13. Aleks 2013

    Aleks 2013 TS Rookie

    "now possible"? seriously?! how do you think we used to overclock before K series unlocked CPUs? Anyone remembers the apparently "impossible" bus overclocking with the right memory frequency ratios / hyper transport (yes, back in time AMD was cool) settings?
  14. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,035

    Did you read the article? Your comment strongly suggests you haven't. Give it a go.

    You can apply this base clock overclock to any Skylake-S processor on an Asrock Z170 motherboard. So you could save $70 and get the Core i7-6700.
    dividebyzero likes this.
  15. Aleks 2013

    Aleks 2013 TS Rookie

    I did. The new board makes it more convenient but nothing close to "impossible" to "possible" miracle.
  16. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,035

    Really, the best we could get out of any non-K Skylake processor previously was 1 - 3MHz on the BCLK. What were you able to do?

    Previously it was not possible to overclock our Core i3-6100 past 103MHz and that seems to be the case for everyone, an 81MHz overclock isn't very impressive despite being possible.

    Now it is possible to reach 127MHz resulting in a 4.7GHz clock speed, that is a small miracle for Skylake Core i3 owners.
    dividebyzero likes this.
  17. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Indeed. I love to hear how our very new member Aleks managed his overclocking feat. Virtually all i3 Skylake overclock/benchmark records (aside from that achieved on the Supermicro C7H170-M that hojnikb mentioned above) are all 102MHz and change - including the SuperPi, Cinebench, wPrime and every other benchmark.
    Steve and Peter Farkas like this.
  18. durableduck

    durableduck TS Rookie

    Can anyone comment on the feasibility of combining base clock and multiplier overclocking?

    In other words, if I have a K Skylake processor running on a Z170 board, would it theoretically be possible to not only turn up the BCLK significantly, but also tweak the multiplier at the same time, for an even greater OC?
  19. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,035

    Yes this could be done, you might not achieve a greater clock speed but the memory bandwidth at said clock speed could be greater with a higher base clock and therefore some programs will see slightly better performance.
  20. FF222

    FF222 TS Booster Posts: 93   +33

    Why is the Base CLocK (BCLK) constantly called the BCKL throughout the article?
  21. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,035

    Probably because it was finished at 2am or maybe we were just trolling you. Either way the fun's over and I have fixed the typos thanks.
  22. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 474   +84

    My rig for multimedia is an AMD FX8320E on MSI 990FXA-GD80 currently at 4.5 GHz stable with DDR3-2400 CL10 at 1.55V memory and 1.325 V processor .Never benchmarked, maybe sometime next year.And works cool at 47 degrees Celsius, max, when transcoding large video files.
  23. pmds25

    pmds25 TS Rookie

    What kind of insane cooling do you have to achieve those kinds of temperatures. I've got nothing against AMD, but it's well known that their current FX generation runs pretty hot, at least compared to Intel's current lineup.
  24. mosu

    mosu TS Guru Posts: 474   +84

  25. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +649

    The last CPU I overclocked, was the old Celeron 300, to 450.
    Now, if I want a faster processor, I just get one.
    It's probably changed since the "old" days, but as I understood it,
    Processors are manufactured, benched/tested. The ones that make the
    grade are marked at a set frequency. The ones that fail, are tested again
    at a lower rate. If they pass, they are marked/locked at that rate. So it would
    make sense that some could push higher. But, how stable are they at the higher
    rate over time?

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