Tuesday, March 8th 2016

ASRock Uses External Clock Generators to Circumvent Intel non-K BClk OC Limits

ASRock is implementing a novel workaround to Intel's recent base-clock overclocking restrictions for its 6th generation Core "Skylake" processors. The company announced the Fatal1ty H170 Gaming K4 HYPER and Fatal1ty B150 Gaming K4 HYPER motherboards, which are based on a common PCB, but differ with chipset - H170 Express and B150 Express. The two use an external clock-generator chip to give cadence to the CPU, circumventing the on-die clock-generator Intel has been using for the past several generations of Core processor chipsets.

With this contraption, you can increase base clock frequency on non-K Core processors in fine increments of 0.0625 MHz, as well as tweak memory clock. Its star attraction aside, the two "HYPER" series motherboards offer mid-range feature-sets, that are nearly identical to those of the Fatal1ty H170 Gaming K4 and the Fatal1ty B150 Gaming K4 boards.
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49 Comments on ASRock Uses External Clock Generators to Circumvent Intel non-K BClk OC Limits

#1
Ferrum Master
Hmm... looks fine to me...

I wonder if they wont be slapped by daddy Intel for borking their market.
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#2
buildzoid
I thought this was how they were already doing it. After all there are several ROG boards that have external clock gens in order to push the BCLK well over 300MHz.
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#3
hojnikb
Hopefully they will make cheaper board (like h110) with this aswell :)

Gotta have some fun, cheap celeron overclocking :)
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#4
Baum
I wonder if you not only get granularity control of bclk but also way higher without damage?

It means i can overclock my low end i3, fsb style like in the old days? :-P
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#5
Ahhzz
Now that looks promising... I've gotten pretty good mileage from my ASRock so far, wouldn't mind replacing it with another :)
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#6
hojnikb
I wonder if external clock gen OC still works after that microcode update....
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#7
wolar
hojnikb said:
I wonder if external clock gen OC still works after that microcode update....
I think thats the whole purpose of releasing these motherboard , to bypass that and be able to OC.
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#9
Sempron Guy
so when will intel finally cave in and just make overclocking free for everybody like it used to?
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#10
hojnikb
Sempron Guy said:
so when will intel finally cave in and just make overclocking free for everybody like it used to?
When amd will offer the same thing.
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#11
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
hojnikb said:
When amd will offer the same thing.
(Most AMD boards that aren't for pre-builts tend to support overclocking.)
Maybe you can enlighten us an tell us exactly what AMD CPUs can't overclock because I've seen even AM1 and Opteron CPUs overclocked. :wtf:
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#12
Sempron Guy
hojnikb said:
When amd will offer the same thing.
yeah pretty much what @Aquinus is saying
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#13
Ubersonic
Aquinus said:
(Most AMD boards that aren't for pre-builts tend to support overclocking.)
Maybe you can enlighten us an tell us exactly what AMD CPUs can't overclock because I've seen even AM1 and Opteron CPUs overclocked. :wtf:
I think the point is that AMD CPUs need to be overclocked to match stock Intel ones, because AMD are now 4-5 gens behind Intel there is no need for Intel to compete right now hence their overclocking being tied up and their "improvements" getting less and less with each generation.

The sad thing is if AMD do ever manage to catch up Intel can just stop dragging their feet and jump into the lead again so it's unlikely this cycle will ever break unless Intel end up with another design failure like the Pentium 4.
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#14
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
Ubersonic said:
I think the point is that AMD CPUs need to be overclocked to match stock Intel ones, because AMD are now 4-5 gens behind Intel there is no need for Intel to compete right now hence their overclocking being tied up and their "improvements" getting less and less with each generation.

The sad thing is if AMD do ever manage to catch up Intel can just stop dragging their feet and jump into the lead again so it's unlikely this cycle will ever break unless Intel end up with another design failure like the Pentium 4.
Perhaps but that wasn't the context of that quote. I quoted:
hojnikb said:
When amd will offer the same thing.
which quoted:
Sempron Guy said:
so when will intel finally cave in and just make overclocking free for everybody like it used to?
That's all about overclocking, not actual CPU performance. So no, the point is that Intel doesn't let you OC various parts and AMD does regardless of performance.
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#15
hojnikb
Amd locks their cpus just like Intel. Non K parts have limited overclockability due to being tied to system bus.
Same thing with intel.

Amd just allows OC on their chipset, that part is true though.
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#16
Ubersonic
hojnikb said:
Non K parts have limited overclockability due to being tied to system bus.
You can actually overclock a non-K i5/i7/Xeon by 4 multipliers (I.E an i7 3770 non-K can have it's turbo raised to 4.3GHz).
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#17
Schmuckley
Sempron Guy said:
so when will intel finally cave in and just make overclocking free for everybody like it used to?
Intel was first to lock chips down,with AMD quickly following suit.

I don't think they ever will.Maybe if AMD new chips are great performers they might.
Only time will tell.
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#18
medi01
I wonder how long it will take until Intel's wrath will pwn ASRock for misbehaving.

Sempron Guy said:
so when will intel finally cave in and just make overclocking free for everybody like it used to?
Well, why did they introduce K / non-K things? To get more $ from those into o-clocking. (and how much more expensive it is was at any particular moment, doesn't change this).

I don't see the reason for Intel to stop asking more for overclocking EVEN if AMD magically manages to deliver competitive performance with Zen.
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#19
tabascosauz
Ubersonic said:
You can actually overclock a non-K i5/i7/Xeon by 4 multipliers (I.E an i7 3770 non-K can have it's turbo raised to 4.3GHz).
No you cannot. That is not and has not been the case since Ivy Bridge. +4 bin partial OC is a thing of the past.

Also, even with Ivy Bridge Xeons could not be overclocked. A 3770 can be upped 4 bins, the 1230v2 cannot. Turbo table is the law for Xeon E3.

So no. Intel does not allow OC and has not allowed true freedom to do so since first gen Core. Skylake gave us a spark of hope until they shut it down again.
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#20
Sempron Guy
Ubersonic said:
I think the point is that AMD CPUs need to be overclocked to match stock Intel ones, because AMD are now 4-5 gens behind Intel there is no need for Intel to compete right now hence their overclocking being tied up and their "improvements" getting less and less with each generation.

The sad thing is if AMD do ever manage to catch up Intel can just stop dragging their feet and jump into the lead again so it's unlikely this cycle will ever break unless Intel end up with another design failure like the Pentium 4.
It's never a performance thing. It's a matter of getting your moneys worth. I paid for the hardware. I own it. I have the right to do whatever I want with it. Overclocking used to be a right now it's a privilege.

hojnikb said:
Amd locks their cpus just like Intel. Non K parts have limited overclockability due to being tied to system bus.
Same thing with intel.

Amd just allows OC on their chipset, that part is true though.
All current FXs are black ed. ( unlocked multiplier ). You can overclock an FX even on a lowly 960g chipset motherboard. The only locked AMD cpus are some of the apu variants but you can still overclock them via bclk and bclk headroom is more flexible than the non-k intel chips.
Posted on Reply
#21
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
hojnikb said:
When amd will offer the same thing.
AMD platforms still rely on external clock-gen chips. Even Intel used them, until they integrated it to the CPU die with Sandy Bridge.
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#22
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Aquinus said:
(Most AMD boards that aren't for pre-builts tend to support overclocking.)
Maybe you can enlighten us an tell us exactly what AMD CPUs can't overclock because I've seen even AM1 and Opteron CPUs overclocked. :wtf:
Anything that doesn't have a unlocked multiplier on FM2/AM1 has the same limitation as Intel. Yes you can technically overclock them by raising the BCLK, but you can technically overclock any Intel in the same way. However, you won't get very far before things like the PCI-E Bus or SATA ports start to get unstable.

medi01 said:
Well, why did they introduce K / non-K things? To get more $ from those into o-clocking. (and how much more expensive it is was at any particular moment, doesn't change this).
The K chips were just an answer to the small niche market of people that overclock. Integrating the northbridge onto the CPU and running both off a single clock generator meant good overclocking by raising the BCLK was no longer possible. AMD faced the same problem with their designs when they integrated the northbridge completely. AM3+ was the last platform to have an external northbridge, and the last platform that could seriously be overclocked by adjusting the FSB/BCLK.

Sempron Guy said:
All current FXs are black ed. ( unlocked multiplier ). You can overclock an FX even on a lowly 960g chipset motherboard. The only locked AMD cpus are some of the apu variants but you can still overclock them via bclk and bclk headroom is more flexible than the non-k intel chips.
AMD does have a lot more unlocked CPUs, but that is kind of their marketing gimmick. The entire FX line is unlocked but ironically that are the only ones that didn't need to be. And I wouldn't say the BCLK headroom on AMD's APUs is that much more than on Intel, a small amount maybe, but not a lot.
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#23
EarthDog
wolar said:
I think thats the whole purpose of releasing these motherboard , to bypass that and be able to OC.
But there are external clock generators on many boards already... but, they are of the Z170 flavor. And the microcode updates prevent them from overclocking the locked chips...

... what is different?
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#24
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
EarthDog said:
But there are external clock generators on many boards already... but, they are of the Z170 flavor. And the microcode updates prevent them from overclocking the locked chips...

... what is different?
More than likely how the external clock generator is wired to the CPU.
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#25
Rauelius
Sempron Guy said:
yeah pretty much what @Aquinus is saying
Yeah, you can OC all AMD chips, but when a Max overclocked FX-9590 can barely match an i3-6100 at stock, then overclocking on AMD is at best a pyrrhic victory.
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