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Something to look forward to: According to a notorious leaker, MSI plans to release B760 motherboards that will allow BCLK overclocking of Intel Core non-K CPUs. With this feature and a bit of effort, users could get a massive performance uplift without having to splurge on an unlocked processor and a Z-series board. The same source also revealed the MSRPs of MSI's upcoming mid-range motherboard lineup.
The leaker provided a couple of images of the unreleased MSI B760M Mortar Max motherboard equipped with a Renesas RC26008 clock generator. There's also a screenshot showing an Intel Core i5-12400 reaching 5GHz on the board, a 14 percent improvement over its stock 4.4GHz boost frequency. This board will reportedly be available in both DDR4 and DDR5 variants.
The chipmaker doesn't shy away from disabling features to encourage consumers to opt for more expensive SKUs so hopefully, this overclocking method will still work on locked 13th-gen processors.
i5-12400 OC 5.0GHz (125MHz x40) on MAG B760M Mortar Max WiFi featuring Renesas RC26008 clock generator. pic.twitter.com/6f5Hgb28jh--- chi11eddog (@g01d3nm4ng0) December 28, 2022
For a quick recap, overclocking Intel Core processors is usually done by increasing the core multiplier, and that's only available on unlocked CPUs and the flagship Z-series chipsets. However, about a year ago, overclocker der8auer discovered that motherboards equipped with external clock generators allowed raising the bus clock significantly without crashing. This turned out to be an unofficial way to overclock non-K processors and avoid Intel's 'unlocked' tax.
The MSRPs of MSI's B760 motherboards were also leaked. These range from $169 to $229, ending up about $10-$40 more expensive than their B660 variants. According to Expreview, the only thing the B760 chipset brings to the table is extra PCIe bandwidth (10 PCIe 4.0 + four PCIe 3.0 lanes vs. B660's six PCIe 4.0 + eight PCIe 3.0).
MSI B760 price''''--- chi11eddog (@g01d3nm4ng0) December 27, 2022
MAX is in list🧐🧐🧐 pic.twitter.com/rDs0kSxoxH
Luckily, Raptor Lake CPUs will work just as well with older 600-series motherboards, meaning you could get a more feature-packed Z690 board for the same price as a new B760 board.
Intel will officially announce its non-K Raptor Lake lineup and accompanying mid-range motherboards at CES next week with availability starting soon after. Judging by recent rumors, Team Blue might also release a refresh of its Raptor Lake lineup late next year, potentially giving the LGA 1700 platform a three-year lifecycle.