Update: ASRock has released the latest BIOS for their Skylake motherboards which removes the SkyOC feature. This confirms that Intel has told vendors to disable overclocking support on their motherboards. Do note that removal of SkyOC feature not only limits users from overclocking their non-K chips, but also disables from non-Z series motherboards.
Intel might soon be blocking overclocking support on their non-K Skylake processors as they once did with their Haswell generation of processors. The report comes from several sources including XFastest and Benchlife who have pointed that Intel is soon going to roll out a new BIOS update that might just disable any sort of overclock support on Non-K Skylake processors.
Image Credits: XFastest
Intel Might Be Planning To Disable Non-K Skylake OC Support From LGA 1151 Motherboards
A few months after the launch of the latest Skylake processors, built for the mainstream desktop market, Intel’s board partners released launched a new BIOS for the motherboards which enabled a feature and was referred to as “Non-K OC”. Different manufacturers have given this feature a different name, ASRock calls it Sky OC and Biostar calls it Hyper OC but almost all vendors offer the same feature on their motherboards. The vendors that offer this feature for their motherboards include ASRock, MSI, EVGA, BIOSTAR and ASUS. Since all vendors are on board with this feature, there’s little reason to restrict them from offering Non-K OC features on their Z170 / H170 / B170 / B150 products.
Every processor aside from the top-end K-Series features a locked multiplier design which limits overclocking. The Non-K OC feature allows users to adjust BCLK (Base Clock Frequency) to overclock their Non-K processors. So far, Skylake users have seen some good results by overclocking their budget processors through this feature and reported some good performance increases. In our own performance testing for an upcoming review, we saw some decent results by overclocking a Core i3-6100 chip on a Z170 motherboard. The processor exceeds the single-threaded performance of an Haswell Core i7-4770K chip in Cinebench which is impressive and rocks a hyper-threaded design.
Intel also launched their new Celeron and Pentium chips which come at an incredible value. Overclocking these sub-$50 chips will offer decent performance to even budget PC builders.
While Intel has not yet released the BIOS to disable Non-K OC, the have definitely planned to release it some time soon as fragments of the code can be found in the current BIOS which was shipped to fix the Prime 95 bug that was found a few weeks ago on Skylake chips. This might be a disappointing decision by Intel but the chip giant has states that the overclocking feature may cause temperature detection and instruction set failure and prolong usage of a processor in overclock conditions may lead to non-stable conditions. I personally think that everyone who knows a thing or two about overclocking is aware of these downsides but at the same time, the advantages of overclocking their chips are plenty.
If Intel does ban Non-K OC on their Skylake chips, then this would be the same scenario that happened three years ago when they actively blocked Non-Z OC for their K-Series Haswell processors. Back then, Intel didn’t allowed Non-Z motherboards from offering overclocking on the K-Series Haswell processors. A person who owned a Z87 motherboard could only have overclocked their chips but vendors reverted that and offered the support on their budget H87 and B85 products. Right now, ASRock’s Sky OC does the same by not only allowing Non-K overclock support but also Non-Z overclock support for Skylake processors. But with Intel releasing their new BIOS fix, we might say overclocking on mainstream chips farewell once and for all.
For users who are using the new BIOS, there’s little need to update to a new revision as your current BIOS will allow you to overclock any Skylake Non-K series processor with ease.