Overclocking non-K Alder Lake CPUs is possible with the right motherboard

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,141   +154
Staff member
In a nutshell: Renowned overclocker der8auer has managed to squeeze a 57 percent overclock out of an Intel Celeron G6900 Alder Lake CPU. This is a non-K CPU, so how is this even possible, you ask? As it turns out, if you have the right motherboard, it's very doable.

der8auer in a recently published video discovered a setting in the BIOS of his Asus motherboard under the Tweaker’s Paradise section that allows users to unlock BCLK (base clock) frequency manipulation. You’ll also need to adjust other settings accordingly, like the CPU core voltage, to accommodate your target OC.

Why hasn’t anyone else found out about this yet? der8auer believes the reasons is rather simple. He is using an Asus Maximus Z690 Apex, a high-end motherboard. Most people that opt for such an expensive board are likely going to be using a K series CPU, and when you install a K series chip in the board, the BCLK unlock option disappears from the BIOS.

In short, nobody has noticed yet because it's rare to use a low-end CPU with a high-end motherboard.

In testing, der8auer was able to push the Celeron G6900 CPU from its base clock of 3,400 MHz up to 5,337 MHz. That’s a healthy 57 percent overclock without too much effort and is rather impressive, but at the end of the day, it’s still just an entry-level, dual-core Celeron without HyperThreading. It's not going to set any performance records, although it might break some overclocking records with more extreme cooling.

der8auer also tested an Intel Core i3-12100 with a much stouter 4C/8T configuration and was able to surpass 5,400 MHz on all cores.

Permalink to story.

 

nodfor

Posts: 246   +438
Nothing to see here
If this was available on b660 sure, but on Z690 and only on select (expensive) models?
Who is gonna give 500 USD for a mobo to put in a i5 12400?
 

theruck

Posts: 548   +345
Nothing to see here
If this was available on b660 sure, but on Z690 and only on select (expensive) models?
Who is gonna give 500 USD for a mobo to put in a i5 12400?
anyone who needs 2x 2,5 GbE with intel chip on it
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,210   +4,248
This is starting to remind me of the Pentium G3258: Everybody loved to rave about it, overclock it and yes I remember there was a lot of people back in those Haswell days claiming budget gamers also "only really need" that 2/2 chip because of the overclocking capabilities.
 

Achaios

Posts: 383   +1,051
Had a look at the younger sibling of my Z87 Lynx Point Maximus VI Hero (200 EUR), the "Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero Motherboard ATX".

Costs 597 EUR here, shipping not included.

That's one of the mobos Derβauer used to overclock the 12400.

If overclocking is only available at such ridiculously priced motherboards, then it makes no sense.
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,779   +4,209
Nothing to see here
If this was available on b660 sure, but on Z690 and only on select (expensive) models?
Who is gonna give 500 USD for a mobo to put in a i5 12400?
It's an experiment, it doesn't have to translate to real world scenario.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 412   +333
It's the 300A all over again! Too bad most software/OSes today run better with at least 4 cores.


No, this has no previous equivalent! The last time Intel enabled overclocking on-the-cheap on a dual-core, they unlocked all motherboards:

https://www.ukgamingcomputers.co.uk/blog/overclocking-a-pentium-g3258-on-h81-b75-h87-h97-chipsets/

The 300A had similar universal overclocking to the G3258! I paid only $115 for my Abit BH6, to take my 300A up to 450MHz at 2.1v! You could even use pins to override your OEM motherboard's lack of software OC!
 
Last edited:

Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,522   +2,767
Be nice to go back to the good old days where you could go nuts with a $100 Pentium or low end Core 2, making it run as fast as the highest end models with overclocking. 20 percent gains were a lay up. You didn't even need a crazy board.

To me now though overclocking is virtually dead for enthusiasts. You have to pay strong money for the top chipset boards and coolers, then a premium for an unlocked CPU. Only to realise you would be lucky to see more than 5 percent gains. It makes sense the manufacturer leaves little on the table especially at the higher end, but closing it off for all the lower parts was always anti consumer really.

Having always bought stuff with the intention of overclocking I'm seriously considering just buying a locked chip and a cheap board for my next upgrade. Financially I could go for something unlocked and on a nice board etc but maybe it's also my old age that keeps nagging, seemingly little incentive to do so.
 

nodfor

Posts: 246   +438
Be nice to go back to the good old days where you could go nuts with a $100 Pentium or low end Core 2, making it run as fast as the highest end models with overclocking. 20 percent gains were a lay up. You didn't even need a crazy board.

To me now though overclocking is virtually dead for enthusiasts. You have to pay strong money for the top chipset boards and coolers, then a premium for an unlocked CPU. Only to realise you would be lucky to see more than 5 percent gains. It makes sense the manufacturer leaves little on the table especially at the higher end, but closing it off for all the lower parts was always anti consumer really.

Having always bought stuff with the intention of overclocking I'm seriously considering just buying a locked chip and a cheap board for my next upgrade. Financially I could go for something unlocked and on a nice board etc but maybe it's also my old age that keeps nagging, seemingly little incentive to do so.
I run an i5-750 OCed to 4.0 ghz (original boost clock for all cores was below 3 Ghz) until 2019.
Ironically it was one of the reasons I went for AMD twice later, since Intel nowdays charges a premium for unlocked skus...

Overclocking the 5600X didn't give me any serious gains but undervolting gave me stock performance for way less wattage/heat. Not as fun as the old days but still it was fun to play around.
 

Vanderlinde

Posts: 141   +101
Had a look at the younger sibling of my Z87 Lynx Point Maximus VI Hero (200 EUR), the "Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero Motherboard ATX".

Costs 597 EUR here, shipping not included.

That's one of the mobos Derβauer used to overclock the 12400.

If overclocking is only available at such ridiculously priced motherboards, then it makes no sense.

It's due to the use of a external clockgenerator. With that you can increase the "Baseclock" or simply said FSB. With non-premium boards you cant.

With AMD boards this works the opposite. If you do increase your BCLK chances are big your NVME SSD woud'nt boot or even be recognized at all at beyond 103Mhz. Even NIC's cant stand a slight change in BCLK as well.

Timings do change and at some point you even get worse scores. The only thing BCLK is good at is raising the maximum boost clock of the AMD cpu in this case. You can go beyond 4.45Ghz rather then the stock 4.35Ghz on a 2700x.
 

flee2020

Posts: 29   +26
CPU overclocking days are numbered because the the AMD X series and Intel Z series motherboards have exponentially inflated prices these days. Furthermore, most high performance AMD and Intel K series CPUs only offer a limited frequency boost when overclocked.

Overclocking only makes sense if you can get additional performance from standard components through fine tuning your settings and CPU cooling. It does not make sense if you have to shell out motherboards that cost 3X (or more) the price of standard motherboards.

If I can overclock an i3-12100 or i5-12400 using a $140 B660 motherboard - that would be great. But if I had to get a $500 Z690 board to do so, no thank you!
 

Nintenboy01

Posts: 217   +174
I actually wonder why they left so much performance on the table in the old days. Used to have a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo that I could take over 3GHz easily.
 

BadThad

Posts: 1,039   +1,193
CPU overclocking days are numbered because the the AMD X series and Intel Z series motherboards have exponentially inflated prices these days. Furthermore, most high performance AMD and Intel K series CPUs only offer a limited frequency boost when overclocked.

Overclocking only makes sense if you can get additional performance from standard components through fine tuning your settings and CPU cooling. It does not make sense if you have to shell out motherboards that cost 3X (or more) the price of standard motherboards.

If I can overclock an i3-12100 or i5-12400 using a $140 B660 motherboard - that would be great. But if I had to get a $500 Z690 board to do so, no thank you!
I would add that it's not like the old days anymore. Even today's lower-end processors are powerful enough do get anything you want done quickly. They will overclock themselves as needed - smart approach IMO. Overclocking the last few years is just a fun tech game - I was addicted to it for a long, long time but didn't "need" too OC. It was a hobby.

The need to overclock is NOTHING like it was back in the day. The 300A OC took us from Celeron performance to faster than Pentium for free. Everything you did back then was a LOT faster and it was very noticeable! Today, not so much IMO, especially with CPU's like my 10850.