Thursday, July 25th 2013

Intel Cracks Down on Motherboard Vendors Offering Overclocking on non-Z Chipset

Over the past couple of months, motherboard vendors from across the industry offered BIOS updates for their motherboards based on Intel B85 Express and H87 Express chipsets, which enable CPU overclocking for Intel's unlocked Core processors denoted by "K" brand extension (Core i7-4770K, i5-4670K). This reportedly hasn't gone down well with Intel. Intel's Bxx and Hxx chipsets are significantly cheaper than its Zxx series chipset. Sensing a clear threat to its revenue, from the prospect of motherboard vendors coming up with high-end or overclocking-ready (strong CPU VRM) motherboards based on cheaper chipsets in the near future, Intel cracked down on them.

Intel is giving final touches to a CPU microcode update that restricts Core "K" Haswell processors from overclocking on chipsets other than Z87 Express. A microcode update can be deployed both through BIOS updates, and surreptitiously through Windows Update. Intel's used the tried and tested "stability" bogey to justify the update. While it's true that motherboards based on B85 and H87 tend to feature weaker CPU VRM, there's nothing to say that ASUS wouldn't have gone on to design its next ROG Maximus on H87 Express, and save on manufacturing costs. While it's purely hypothetical, something like that wouldn't be in Intel's commercial interests. What next? Intel will push this new microcode update on to motherboard vendors, instructing them to issue BIOS updates with it; and future batches of Intel "K" CPUs may not support overclocking. If that isn't enough to contain the problem, Intel may give Microsoft a ring, and ask it to push the update through Windows Update. It tried that once in the past.Source: Heise.de
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85 Comments on Intel Cracks Down on Motherboard Vendors Offering Overclocking on non-Z Chipset

#1
EzioAs
Who didn't see this coming...?
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#2
Over_Lord
News Editor
Just sad Intel. Boo you :nutkick:
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#3
MxPhenom 216
Corsair Fanboy
Knew this was going to happen right when shit went public about overclocking on non-Z boards.
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#4
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: over_lord
just sad intel. boo screw you :nutkick:
ftfy.
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#5
fullinfusion
1.21 Gigawatts
Yup leave it to Intel to pull this bullshit!

Amd is looking better day by day.
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#6
Stickmansam
Button Down

Well time to disable non-security Windows Updates and bios updates for everyone on those boards.

I am guessing though that a clean-install+re flashing to older bios could allow OC again?
Or is the code changed forever for that CPU?

Intel also took away the 4 extra OC bins for cpus with turbo boost for Haswell already and now this
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#8
draecko
Intel already has the best market position in high-end cpu's. In my opinion this move is completely unnecessary if not tyrannic. I think Intel would actually benefit from having cheap overclocking boards, using them to pull more AMD users in.
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#9
Jstn7477
I really don't see what the big deal is. If you're buying a $249-$349 processor, why buy a $68 POS motherboard to put it in? AMD isn't much better on the AM3 side since the TDP of their CPUs pretty much overwhelms the cheap boards even with just a mild OC, and many of the cheap boards like Biostar's even have BIOS limits that prevent bootup with a >95w CPU or end up throttling like the ASUS M5A97. $100 for a Z87 motherboard should be plenty affordable if the buyer is even remotely considering Intel CPUs.
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#10
LAN_deRf_HA
I didn't really understand it to begin with. They shouldn't have been doing it and Intel shouldn't need to block it with an update. All of this stuff should be locked down in the chipset licensing agreement.
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#11
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: Jstn7477
I really don't see what the big deal is. If you're buying a $249-$349 processor, why buy a $68 POS motherboard to put it in? AMD isn't much better on the AM3 side since the TDP of their CPUs pretty much overwhelms the cheap boards even with just a mild OC, and many of the cheap boards like Biostar's even have BIOS limits that prevent bootup with a >95w CPU or end up throttling like the ASUS M5A97. $100 for a Z87 motherboard should be plenty affordable if the buyer is even remotely considering Intel CPUs.
Because, $68 (cheap H87 board) + $350 i7-4770K = $418; and $110 (cheapest Z87 board) + $250 i5-4670 = $360 (i5-4670K + H87 is even cheaper, but irrelevant to my argument). Overclocking on H87 (cheaper motherboards) could lure people away from i5-4670K to i7-4770K at half the price difference (between the two CPUs). If only Z87 supported overclocking, that difference would effectively be $100.

Besides, these cheap B85 and H87 boards manage reasonably good overclocks.
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#12
Jstn7477
I wouldn't doubt that they overclock fine on the B85/H87 boards due to the low TDP of Haswell chips, but many the boards usually have rather stripped down features anyway such as crappy Realtek audio codecs from 2008, 2 memory slots, etc. Perhaps I just care too much about the integrated features vs. simply running a processor, a GPU, two DDR3 modules and that's it.
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#13
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: Jstn7477
I wouldn't doubt that they overclock fine on the B85/H87 boards due to the low TDP of Haswell chips, but many the boards usually have rather stripped down features anyway such as crappy Realtek audio codecs from 2008, 2 memory slots, etc. Perhaps I just care too much about the integrated features vs. simply running a processor, a GPU, two DDR3 modules and that's it.
When Z68 was launched, most high end LGA1155 motherboards for overclocking were based on P67. Motherboard vendors made variants of their motherboards running Z68 (because it was pin-compatible with P67 and cost the same, while offering FDI and SRT). What's to say that the same motherboard vendors won't launch H87-based variants of their existing high-end LGA1150 motherboards, and save $10-15 on production costs per board, given that H87 and Z87 are pin-identical? That is what Intel fears.
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#14
haswrong
seriously, whos gonna buy a z-board with a k-cpu that prevents itself from ocing :confused: waste of money..
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#15
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
nothing to see here, intel being a douche like usual.
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#16
Strider
Underhanded move. Hardware does not come with an ToS or EULA like software, Intel retains no similar rights to the hardware once I buy it, if I choose to OC any CPU I buy, it's my right and my risk.

Trying to block this by hindering tools at my disposal, in this case the MB's, just to enhance their sales in a market they almost entierly dominate as it is? Sorry, but this is pure greed.

I may be an AMD power user myself, but as a business, I use just as many Intel chips. This will most definitely impact my future recommendations, away from Intel for cost saving processors where overclocking is concerned.

Intel rules the CPU market, save for one location, the inexpensive performers and overclockers. This is where AMD does indeed have a strong foothold, and a place where Intel could make more money if they really wanted too. Especially when it comes to "general use" and gaming builds.

I left Intel a long time ago once I realized that I can get top notch general, gaming, and overclocked performance out of AMD processors at a lower cost, and this still hold true today. This is now how you win customers, this is how you drive them away.

=/
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#17
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: fullinfusion
Yup leave it to Intel to pull this bullshit!

Amd is looking better day by day.
Meh it's their product, they can do as they please with it. Vote with your wallet etc.
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#18
NC37
Really Intel...really...you've got the entire industry on your finger, do you really have to go all Apple on people? Well, I guess since Apple is suckling at your teet you kinda do. Whatever :rolleyes:.
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#19
NutZInTheHead
I managed to overclock my i5 3470 to 4.0GHz with ease on a Z77-M Pro board that is only 99 AUD.
That board is super cheap and allows overclocking with the Z77 chipset.

Overclocking a K or non K chip should really not be done on B85 and H87 board.

In other words if you can afford a K processor then you certainly can pay for a $99 or more motherboard.
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#20
AsRock
TPU addict
by: LAN_deRf_HA
I didn't really understand it to begin with. They shouldn't have been doing it and Intel shouldn't need to block it with an update. All of this stuff should be locked down in the chipset licensing agreement.
Maybe they forgot or trying to be cheap like back in the day when AMD started using the INTEL socket AHAHA..

Ooh they were the days that's for sure.


by: haswrong
seriously, whos gonna buy a z-board with a k-cpu that prevents itself from ocing :confused: waste of money..
I do believe you read it wrong
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#22
Jack1n
Some people told me this wouldent happen,guess some one was wrong again.
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#24
tigger
I'm the only one
I knew Intel would do this, I told my mate, I bet lintel is spitting chips over this and I was right.

It was inevitable.
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#25
95Viper
by: Strider
Underhanded move. Hardware does not come with an ToS or EULA like software, Intel retains no similar rights to the hardware once I buy it, if I choose to OC any CPU I buy, it's my right and my risk.
However, they do have them on the code that makes that hardware work... Unless you write your own or get some that is written by someone else (open source or similar).

However, it is still a shame they must impose their will in this fashion.
In my opinion... they should just learn from the exprience and apply it to future licensing and leave what is as is.
If they allow this, maybe, they will sell more of those $900+ dollar processors.
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