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
haswrong
by: AsRock
I do believe you read it wrong
nah, im merely pointing that its not optimal to buy expensive z-board + expensive k-cpu only to find an overclocking limitations very soon.

i have a 100$ z-board (even supports sli, lol) + 200$ ivy bridge overclocekd +4x to 3.5ghz and im satisfied with the price / performace ratio. i cannot find any satisfactory price / performance ratio in k-haswell + z-board. its just an arrogant price hike, nothing more. if you people love inflation, its your thing, but im seeking efficiency, not a reason to boast that i have the most expensive thing there is..
Posted on Reply
#2
cadaveca
My name is Dave
I'm sorry, but I find the complaints pretty funny. This doesn't even affect most people, and I knew this was coming, hence me having no interest in anything to do with OEMs doing this in the first place. Why anyone expected anything less, I dunno.
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#3
haswrong
by: cadaveca
I'm sorry, but I find the complaints pretty funny. This doesn't even affect most people, and I knew this was coming, hence me having no interest in anything to do with OEMs doing this in the first place. Why anyone expected anything less, I dunno.
well, if anyone expected generosity from intel, the expectations are gone for good. is all.
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#4
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: haswrong
well, if anyone expected generosity from intel, the expectations are gone for good. is all.
They are a business, and you should expect no less. They were very clear about what each platform this gen would offer, and it is only because OEM board makers did something they shouldn't have that people are upset. Why don't you blame the board makers for teasing you with stuff they should not have done? Nah, you'll follow like sheep to board maker's whims? WHUT!?!


Of course locking chipsets and such happens...has for many years. This is mainly done for quality control reasons...most chipsets, no matter who they are from, are just the same, same silicon with shit disabled. AMD or Intel doesn't matter.


It is stuff like this that is ruining the industry, actually. Some marketing people simply don't get it. I gotta bloody well quit doing reviews. Stuff like this, and people's reactions, are just ludicrous.
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#5
D007
The day intel locks me out of overclocking is the day I go AMD.
That is all..
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#6
EarthDog
So, who are the currently 11 people that bought "K" cpu and have it at stock speeds? :slap: :roll:
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#7
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: D007
The day intel locks me out of overclocking is the day I go AMD.
I am of the opinion that since Intel offers OC warranty, any comments anyone makes about Intel not supporting overclocking are mis-directed. Simply put, Intel DOES support OC, and that's why they have limited OC to certain platforms. Doing so allows them to ensure that you get the quality components, and the quality experience, that OC requires.


AMD doesn't warranty OC. Switching to AMD, who doesn't support OC in any fashion, just doesn't make sense. AMD might give you some options...but then tells you to never use them. :laugh: Intel says "go ahead, OC, buy the right parts, and if you don't feel comfortable with OC in that fashion, we'll also sell you an additional warranty to cover problems from OC".


THis is a pure attack at Intel by board makers, knowing that many would respond this way. And board makers have good reason to go on the offensive here, but that's not something I'll personally comment on.
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#8
shovenose
by: EarthDog
So, who are the currently 11 people that bought "K" cpu and have it at stock speeds? :slap: :roll:
Yes, and I'm one of them. I'm still deciding on a cooler for my i7-4770K.
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#9
shovenose
by: cadaveca
They are a business, and you should expect no less. They were very clear about what each platform this gen would offer, and it is only because OEM board makers did something they shouldn't have that people are upset. Why don't you blame the board makers for teasing you with stuff they should not have done? Nah, you'll follow like sheep to board maker's whims? WHUT!?!


Of course locking chipsets and such happens...has for many years. This is mainly done for quality control reasons...most chipsets, no matter who they are from, are just the same, same silicon with shit disabled. AMD or Intel doesn't matter.


It is stuff like this that is ruining the industry, actually. Some marketing people simply don't get it. I gotta bloody well quit doing reviews. Stuff like this, and people's reactions, are just ludicrous.
Thank you for being one of the first people in this thread to understand why Intel is doing what they're doing - the right thing, in my opinion.
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#10
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: shovenose
Thank you for being one of the first people in this thread to understand why Intel is doing what they're doing - the right thing, in my opinion.
I'll say this:

I don't attend Intel Press briefings. IN fact, I have ZERO contact with Intel. I spoke to a reviewer who WAS at the Haswell Press briefing, and he complained about the lack of enthusiast focus in that meeting. I mentioned a few things, things that aren't really in the public domain, and that reviewer, said "Yes, yes, that talked about that. Yes, that too".


I really DO understand what Intel is doing. What is shocking to me that many do not, and some marketing reps are taking advantage of consumer's lack of knowledge about the subject to make them look like the good guy...when in fact, they couldn't be further form that.


When I saw news of this stuff, I seriously considered dropping doing all board reviews, and shipping boards back to the board OEMs. That was a bloody stupid move to do that, and they have simply cut their own necks with that. It's hard for me to support board vendors when they pull crap like this. I simply don't get paid enough to shut up about it, either.
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#11
andresgriego
Whatever. I've got two balls: one for intel and one for nvidia. I'll start feeling sympathy for lost profits and dictatorial practices when these crooks stop evading their taxes.
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#12
Hilux SSRG
So if you don't download the "microcode update" within a new bios update [I assume?], current board users are ok? Or will intel just mandate all future motherboards include this update through revision?
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#13
Hood
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.
I agree - even some of the Z87 boards are marginal, so why push your luck? Intel is within their rights, and maybe even ethically obligated to their customers, to enforce limitations. They don't want to be like AMD and get a reputation for shoddy hardware and buggy firmware. If the end user manages to circumvent the limitation using a custom BIOS, that's one thing, but the motherboard partners doing it is a shot across Intel's bow - they had to react, and nobody should be surprised at their reaction. So all you cheap fockers out there, spend the extra $20-$30 for the real deal and quit trying to be like an AMD customer.
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#14
lemonadesoda
I'm just really pleased they didnt do this with chipset 865, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to run my AsRock s775 Q6600 with AGP HD3850 and DDR1 for the many years I did.

I understand quality control. And I'm OK with guidelines, limitations and controls BEFORE the purchase. But I don't like retrospective control beyond and after the sales through kill switches and micro code etc. that changes the product capability AFTER you bought it.
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#15
EarthDog
Again, this is the mobo makers fault (outside of MSI). They are the ones that exploited this known 'feature' and published it. They also knew that BEFORE motherboards were released that Intel was going to lock this down.

The blame does not lay on intel, but, Asrock, ASUS, Giga, etc for advertising something that was already known to them to be limited. See my post earlier in the thread.
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#16
tigger
I'm the only one
I have to say I am in total agreement to what cadaveca said.

The OEM's found a loop hole, and let the cat out of the bag, Intel found out and is blocking it. The OEM's should have either kept it to themselves or not done it in the first place, so stop whining about something that was pretty obviously going to be stopped.

Both Amd and Intel are no angels, so hate one, hate the other.
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#17
a_ump
by: 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.
yes and no. Some people, such as myself, have a budget of say 400-600 bucks. So they get a great processor, with intentions to upgrade the mobo later on down the road. So get a cheap H board and overclock mildy to get a feel for how many volts it takes to achieve a mild oc; and then go to the max later.

I did something similar with my current build only backwards. i got a rather decent GPU, but cheap cpu but plan on upgrading this winter to a better CPU. There are reasons for such decisions, just depends on the situation.
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#18
tigger
I'm the only one
by: a_ump
yes and no. Some people, such as myself, have a budget of say 400-600 bucks. So they get a great processor, with intentions to upgrade the mobo later on down the road. So get a cheap H board and overclock mildy to get a feel for how many volts it takes to achieve a mild oc; and then go to the max later.

I did something similar with my current build only backwards. i got a rather decent GPU, but cheap cpu but plan on upgrading this winter to a better CPU. There are reasons for such decisions, just depends on the situation.
I'm running my 560ti with a q8200 and it's fine tbh.

I see were your coming from, with the good cpu, cheap board/better board later, but apart from turb, there should really be no overclocking on a H/B board, aside from the fact the regs probs won't handle it anyway.
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#19
theoneandonlymrk
by: cadaveca
They are a business, and you should expect no less. They were very clear about what each form this gen would offer, and it is only because OEM board makers did something they shouldn't have that people are upset. Why don't you blame the board makers for teasing you with stuff they should not have done? Nah, you'll follow like sheep to board maker's whims? WHUT!?!


Of course locking chipsets and such happens...has for many years. This is mainly done for quality control reasons...most chipsets, no matter who they are from, are just the same, same silicon with shit disabled. AMD or Intel doesn't matter.


It is stuff like this that is ruining the industry, actually. Some marketing people simply don't get it. I gotta bloody well quit doing reviews. Stuff like this, and people's reactions, are just ludicrous.
Whilst I fully understand your reasonable and correct stance I do dissagree with one point.
That is that board makers should be forced to abide by what is essentially mearly a Supplier stated restriction clearly not a physical one and something that's easily possible ,,thats the different some crave.

Not at dave,Some are sounding like fecking noobs on here ocin eEverything is what I like to do and ive ocd Every pc ive sat at for more than an hour wtf are you on about you shouldn't be Allowed to oc cheap shit, its still a hundred odd dollars and ive ocd thirty quidders most of the last 20 years out.

You do realise the only way its changeing is if you stop passing them your money.
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#21
eidairaman1
betya board makers will still have overclocking on non k chips on the lower chipsets
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#22
Jstn7477
Say, you pay $60 for a game, e.g. Battlefield 3. One month passes, and someone releases speedhacking software for free, and it gives you an unintended advantage in the game. EA/DICE issues a mandatory patch to the game that prevents said exploit some time later. Time for everyone to say "f**k EA/DICE" for removing your right to use an unintended "feature" in the game?

We're on the 4th generation i-series processors and boards, and everyone should know that H/B series is for cheap boards/prebuilts, P series is for mainstream chips without integrated graphics, Z series is the top-end mainstream chipset and X series is the enthusiast chipset. Why should we be angry about a publicized exploit of Intel's microcode being patched when everyone has known what chipset is used for what for the last few years? Why should this exploit make someone who had all the intentions to buy a Z series board all of a suddenly buy a terrible B series board instead?

I'm going to laugh if all the OEMs except MSI (smart move) have been churning out boxes, manuals and silkscreening boards with "no-Z OC" features only to have the exploit patched and now they are falsely advertising a feature that is no longer available.

This actually reminds me of the whole Phenom II/Advanced Clock Calibration fiasco that started with the 7xx chipsets. The 8xx chipsets had ACC removed, but then OEMs designed "UCC" chips for their boards that emulated the ACC function. I'm not entirely sure AMD could have stopped people from unlocking their processors via AGESA updates or not, but OEMs prevailed here.

Radeon HD 6950s were also exploited heavily since many of them could be unlocked to HD 6970s with a new BIOS and for over $100 less than a real HD 6970. OEMs then made some of their EEPROMs read-only or removed the backup EEPROM so people were SOL if they had a bad flash. AMD has locked down their GPU BIOSes even further with each card generation (starting with Overdrive limits back in the 4xxx series being signed in the BIOS) and here we are with the 7xxx series and the complete inability to change the clocks in the VGA BIOS period.
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#23
1c3d0g
by: haswrong
well, if anyone expected generosity from intel, the expectations are gone for good. is all.
Well, from your username alone, we're sure you don't have an ax to grind, do ya?!? Oh, wait... :rolleyes:

Anyways, this gets a big yawn from me. Any serious overclocker worth his salt won't bother with non-Z chipsets anyways, and most who buy non-Z chipsets are going to the average clueless consumer/corporate environment, so no harm is done. :)
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#24
xorbe
by: EzioAs
Who didn't see this coming...?
Yup. The instant I saw those boards ... anyone who bought that was in for future trouble.
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#25
trickson
OH, I have such a headache
LOL! Intel just put the LOCK DOWN, LOCK DOWN on you all! LOL! I would have thought this was going to be done from the GATE! LOL. Too funny!

So if you want to OC then just get the right chipset is all what is the big deal any way? 99.9% of the every day user is not even affected by this move. Shouldn't Intel be working on other things like say there ARM chips and crap for smart phones and ipads any way? The Desktop is dead. Hell the laptop is almost archaic! Every Desktop I see in a home now is in a dark corner sitting there off collecting dust! We are the last vestige of the desktop era suck it up folks not much time left till they are all gone any way.
R.I.P.
PC.
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