Intel 13th Gen Non-K CPUs Have “BCLK” Overclocking Completely Locked Out

Jason R. Wilson
Intel 13th Gen Non-K CPUs Have "BCLK" Overclocking Completely Locked Out 1

Intel seems to have completely disabled overclocking on Non-K 13th Gen CPUs which is bad news for motherboards that support BCLK overclocking.

Intel 13th Gen Non-K CPUs will not be able to use the BCLK overclocking capability, but that does not stop motherboard makers from looking for alternatives

During the last generation (12th Gen Alder Lake), users could alter the BCLK, or Base Clock Speed, on a few specific motherboards that featured an external BCLK generator. BCLK allowed users to boost the locked frequency of the processor and use that capability to overclock their CPUs.

But looks like Intel isn't fond of such a bypass for overclocking and issued a microcode update that halted the use of BCLK overclocking on all 13th Gen Non-K CPUs including those based on the new Raptor Lake and the older Alder Lake designs.

Motherboards with integrated clock generators are capable of the BCLK overclocking enablement. Board partners that added this to their products were MSI, ASRock & ASUS. There were only found in particular products, mostly premium or overclocking-ready motherboard designs. MSI had more cost-friendly motherboards for overclocking enthusiasts under its Mortar Max series which retain the feature in its latest B760 generation, which users can enable for 12th Gen CPUs. Unfortunately, the most recent generation of Intel processors is incapable of this feature.

[…] Intel’s ‘locked’ Non-K 13th-Gen Raptor Lake models are not overclockable like the previous-gen Alder Lake chips. We verified that the previous-gen non-K chips can still be overclocked, but unfortunately, the newer 13th-Gen models cannot. According to our industry contacts, it doesn’t look like the situation will change any time soon.

— Paul Alcorn, Tom’s Hardware

Intel did offer an overclocking service plan called the "Performance Tuning Protection Plan," where users could pay between $20 to $30 to replace the processor should it become broken during the overclocking process. Intel has canceled that service, and no plans have been created to reinstate a similar program for enthusiasts.

Another technique that can be used to overclock the Intel processors is called the "Tau" or power limit adjustment, which allows users to adjust the power limits of their chip for a higher base and boost clocks but it also necessitates the use of better cooling equipment. With this functionality, overclockers can keep the elevated power levels during the overclocking process and, in turn, find a workaround for Intel and its overclocking locks on the Non-K CPUs.

This won't be the first time that Intel hasn't been happy about Non-K overclocking and tried to ban it altogether. We heard from various motherboard makers that Intel was actively trying to force board makers from not giving out this functionality to consumers and even warned users from not overclocking their Non-K CPUs. We have heard similar statements all the way back during Skylake generations too but instead of just forcing locks, Intel should for once hear the consumers out and allow such features to be enabled.

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News Sources: Tom's Hardware, VideoCardz

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