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Intel Confirms: Overclocking Non-K Skylake Processors Not Recommended – Motherboard Vendors To Voluntarily Issue BIOS Update


Last week, we reported that Intel might disable overclocking support on Non-K Skylake processors. The guys over at PCWorld seem to have an official update on the matter directly from Intel. Several motherboard AIBs have started rolling out latest firmware which disables overclocking support which was previously enabled to offer overclocking support to users running Non-K processors and Intel has now officially stated why they have restricted overclocking on such processors because they aren't designed to be overclocked.

Intel Responds On Skylake Non-K Overclocking Support: "Company does not warranty the operation of the processor beyond its specifications"

When we heard rumors that Intel was disabling overclocking support on Non-K processors, it reminded us of a similar case that happened with Haswell processors when motherboard vendors pushed out new BIOS updates that allowed overclocking of unlocked Haswell processors across all motherboards. Intel later released updates that disabled overclocking support and limited it to their Z87 chipset based boards. This feature was enabled once again when Intel launched Haswell Refresh generation and several 9-Series motherboards allowed over-clock for Devil's Canyon processors.

Back in 2015, Intel faced a similar situation where motherboard vendors allowed overclocking support on Non-K Skylake chips soon after they launched in the market. This allowed users to overclock their Celeron, Pentium, Core i3 and Core i5 chips on a support Z170 motherboards. ASRock, one of Intel's partners, went one step ahead by offering their SkyOC feature that allowed not only Non-K overclocking support but also supported overclocking across their entire 100-series motherboard family (Non-Z OC).

Folks running low-cost and budget oriented Skylake chips were really enjoying overclocking support for these processors as they allowed better performance at the fraction of a cost compared to a high-end K-Series Core i7 or Core i5 processor. A review we posted just yesterday showed the significant gains a Core i3-6100 CPU had delivered once it was overclocked.

However, after months of overclocking support, ASRock was the first to disable their SkyOC feature after the reports emerged that Intel could forcefully try to ban the unofficial overclocking support. Now, PCWorld, in an exclusive interview with Intel has received an update on the matter:

”Intel regularly issues updates for our processors which our partners voluntarily incorporate into their BIOS,” an Intel spokesman said. “The latest update provided to partners includes, among other things, code that aligns with the position that we do not recommend overclocking processors that have not been designed to do so. Additionally, Intel does not warranty the operation of the processor beyond its specifications.” via PCWorld

It seems like the update isn't being forced down to motherboard vendors but is voluntarily. This means that vendors have the choice to either release the latest firmware to disable overclocking support as of whole or let the audience overclock their chips but in that case, Intel won't accept any warranty as they have officially stated that they don't warranty any processor that is running beyond its specification unless or unit it is intended to do so. The K-Series processors from Intel are the only series which come with official overclock support. Anything aside from these wouldn't apply for warranty from Intel and I think this much a user already knows.

ASRock is the first vendor to disable overclocking support and it remains to be seen just how many more vendors voluntarily accept Intel's update. There are still a couple of board vendors in the market that allow overclocking support for Non-K processors including MSI and EVGA. In any case, if you have the older BIOS which allows overclocking and you want that support, then simply don't update to the latest firmware. But do note that your processor won't be applicable for warranty if it is affected during the overclocking procedure.

An Intel Core i3-6100 CPU Overclocked to 4.5 GHz on an MSI Z170A Motherboard: