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Intel Pushes CPU Microcode Update which Cripples Overclocking Non-K Skylake CPUs

Intel pushed a CPU microcode update to its motherboard partners, which "plugs a loophole," which allowed people to overclock Core "Skylake" processors, other than those with the "K" brand extensions. The PC enthusiast community rejoiced what it felt was a comeback of base-clock overclocking on non-enthusiast Intel chips, with the advent of the company's 6th generation Core "Skylake" architecture. Apparently, Intel sees it as a flawed CPU micro-code which allowed overclocking, and which some motherboard vendors even built marketing campaigns around.

In an interview with PC World, a company spokesperson stated: "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." So how does this micro-code update work? For starters, it will work only if you want it to. If your motherboard currently supports overclocking, then it will continue to do so, until you update its BIOS. Intel will push the new micro-code to its motherboard partners, who in turn will deploy it on their latest production batches, and to their customers through DIY BIOS updates.

Source: PC World

Rejoice! Base Clock Overclocking to Make a Comeback with "Skylake"

Since Intel fully integrated the core logic (northbridge) with its processors, overclocking them by tinkering with the base-clock (BClk, the primary clock domain from which the CPU's clock speed is set using multipliers), became unstable, as it was used as a cadence for other key components on the chip, such as iGPU and PCIe root-complex. Apparently, with its 6th generation Core "Skylake" processors, Intel has de-linked base-clock from other clock domains, re-enabling overclocking using BClk, which is particularly helpful on non-K (upwards multiplier locked) SKUs.

Some of the first motherboards that enable BClk overclocking on Skylake CPUs come from Supermicro, the server/workstation motherboard maker that's dipping its toes into DIY enthusiast platforms these days. "Dhenzjhen," an overclocker from the Philippines struck gold by achieving a 5.00 GHz overclock on a Core i3-6320 dual-core chip, using a Supermicro C7H170-M motherboard (which is driven by an Intel H170 chipset). Shortly after news of this feat broke, ASRock fired an email to the press, stating that its Z170 Extreme7+ motherboard is able to support 4.50 GHz clocks on a Core i5-6600 quad-core chip, using an experimental BIOS. ASRock is validating this BIOS internally, and hopes to release it "very soon."

Source: The TechReport

G.SKILL Demos DDR4 4266MHz and DDR4 4133MHz Memory Kits

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory solid state storage, power supplies, and gaming peripherals, demos two ultra-fast DDR4 memory kits at DDR4 4266MHz 8GB (2x4GB) and DDR4 4133MHz 8GB (2x4GB) extreme speed at the Intel IDF 2015 event this week.

Featuring the latest 6th Generation Intel Core processors and Z170 motherboards, G.SKILL is pushing dual channel DDR4 speed to new heights. The DDR4 4266MHz 8GB (2x4GB) kit is demoed on the Intel Core i7-6700K processor and ASRock Z170 OC Formula overclocking motherboard, while the DDR4 4133MHz kit is demoed on the Intel Core i7-6700K CPU and ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero motherboard. Both kits represent the fastest DDR4 memory speed ever seen on live air-cooling demo systems.

G.SKILL DDR4 Achieves Memory World Record at 4795.8MHz

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory, solid state storage, power supplies, and gaming peripherals, proudly announces the world record memory frequency has been broken with the G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 at DDR4-4795.8 MHz.

Surpassing the previous records at a mind-blowing 4795.8MHz under liquid nitrogen, extreme overclocker Chi-Kui Lam overclocked Ripjaws 4 memory made from Samsung IC to achieve this stunning feat on the new ASRock Z170 OC Formula motherboard and the very latest Intel i7-6700K processor. Check out the world record validation on HWBOT (validation) in the screenshot below.

Some AMD GCN GPU Disabled Stream Processors Unlockable via Software

This is big. A new software is doing rounds on the forumscape, with lets you check exactly which GCN compute units (CUs) were disabled by AMD to carve out your "Pro" SKU graphics card (eg: R9 Fury non-X, R9 390, R9 285, etc.), and if you're lucky, re-enable some of those disabled CUs via a good old fashioned soft-mod. Called CUINFO, developed by OCN Forums member tx12, the tool has seen some success in unlocking disabled CUs in graphics cards based on "Fiji," "Hawaii," and "Tonga" chips.

The success is limited probably because AMD appears to be using two methods to disable CUs - laser-cutting them, and through firmware. Even in chips that let you unlock, you may not unlock all CUs, since some are genuinely damaged and disabled as part of the harvesting process, to maximize yield. There are no telltale signs of which chips let you unlock and which don't, and so you'll be playing a lottery. Cards with re-enabled CUs have shown increased performance, confirming that the soft-mod is real.
Sources: OCN Forums, SweClockers, and VideoCardz


MSI's brand new Z170 based motherboard, the MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION, just showed off its outstanding overclocking performance in dual-channel DDR4 memory by achieving world's highest DDR4 Memory Frequency at a staggering 4605MHz clock speed. Indicating just how effective MSI's new DDR4 BOOST technology is in optimizing memory performance on Intel's latest Z170 based motherboards. This achievement shows that the new Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION not only pushes the boundaries of single-channel memory speed but also performs amazingly in dual-channel memory.

The new MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION offers an arsenal of new features and improvements as well as technical ingenuity. This exceptional motherboard features the all new OC Dashboard, an independent panel for overclockers to tune settings. The new DDR4 Boost uses fully isolated circuitry to ensure memory signals stay pure for maximum performance and stability. Reinforced PCI slots with Steel Armor are forged to support the heaviest graphics cards in multi GPU setups.

ZOTAC Gives the GeForce GTX 980 Ti a Massive 25% Factory Overclock

A 25% factory-overclock is something you usually hear with entry-level graphics cards around the $60 mark; and the bigger the silicon, the more conservative VGA makers get with factory-overclocks. ZOTAC thinks otherwise. The company's GTX 980 Ti AMP Extreme graphics card ships with a massive 25% factory-overclock - something unheard of for a chip with 250W TDP, much less an 8 billion-transistor count.

The card comes with 1253 MHz core (vs. 1000 MHz reference), 1335 MHz GPU Boost (vs. 1076 MHz reference), and 7210 MHz memory (vs. 7012 MHz reference). The card is cooled by a meaty triple-slot IceStorm air-based cooler by ZOTAC; and a VRM that draws power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors keep the card fed. ZOTAC could ask a $100 premium over the base price of $649, offering performance which, we reckon, could be much higher than that of the $999 GTX TITAN X.

G.SKILL DDR4 Memory Achieves Fastest Air-Cooling Record at 4062 MHz

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and solid state storage, is proud to announce that its Ripjaws 4 DDR4 memory has achieved the fastest air-cooling frequency record at DDR4 4062MHz on the ASRock X99M Killer/3.1 motherboard.

G.SKILL has been dedicated to unleash the maximum performance of DDR4 memory since its launch in August 2014. Working closely with ASRock, G.SKILL DDR4 memory is capable of reaching a new height of DDR4 memory frequency at a whopping 4062MHz! It is the fastest DDR4 frequency ever seen with both CPU and memory under standard air-cooling.

ADATA XPG Z2 DDR4-3400 Overclocking Memory Breaks New Record

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash application products, is honored to announce that its XPG Z2 DDR4 3400 computer memory is able to clock up to 4034MHz when used with an air-cooled msi X99A XPOWER AC motherboard. This creates a new overclocking world record for production line DDR4 computer memory.

In cooperation with motherboard manufacturers, ADATA strives to achieve the best performance in DDR4 memory compliant with the Intel X99 architecture. The XPG Z2 DDR4 3400 breaks the record with extremely high clock frequency of 4034MHz, impressing both gamers and standard CPU clock users alike with outstanding sustained performance, cooling and stability.

G.Skill to Host 4th Annual OC World Record Stage at Computex 2015

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and solid state storage, is hosting two major extreme overclocking events at Computex 2015 (June 2~6): the OC World Cup 2015 and the OC World Record Stage 2015! 19 world-class overclockers, 5 motherboard vendors, and 3 hardware sponsors - all at the G.SKILL Computex Booth I0608, located at Nangang Exhibition Hall, 1F.

Very special thanks to Intel, Samsung, and Kingpin Cooling for sponsoring the OC World Cup 2015 and the 4th Annual OC World Record Stage extreme overclocking events. "Intel is pleased to be a sponsor of this year's G.SKILL OC World Cup & 4th Annual OC World Record Stage at Computex 2015," says Gregory Bryant, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Intel Corporation. "Intel processors and chipsets enable mind-blowing experiences and we are glad to be a part of this exciting event."

NVIDIA Back to Dirty Tricks with GTX 900M Series Overclocking

NVIDIA's driver team is at it again. The company drew outrage from the PC enthusiast community, for developing drivers that prevent GPU overclocking on its GeForce GTX 900M series notebook GPUs, in February 2015, with the introduction of its GeForce 347.29 WHQL drivers, blaming it on a "bug" that allowed overclocking on previous drivers. When called-out and under pressure from the community, it re-enabled overclocking on these chips, with the following GeForce 347.88 drivers, with an equally lame quasi-apology.

Hoping that nobody would notice, the company seems to have reinstated the overclocking block, or "clock-block" as the community is calling it; with its R350 and R352 drivers, such as the GeForce 352.86. Enthusiasts in notebook-centric communities such as NotebookReview, discovered that the latest GeForce drivers prevent overclocking if it reads a "lock-bit" in the video BIOS. Below are the two excuses the company exhausted by means of mutual-contradiction.

Kingston HyperX Achieves Fastest 128GB DDR4 Memory Kit

HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced that it has created the world's fastest DDR4 128GB memory kit running at an astounding 3000MHz. The kit consists of eight 16GB HyperX Predator modules (16GB x 8) motherboard in an eight module, quad-channel configuration along with an MSI X99 MPOWER motherboard in an eight module, quad-channel configuration along with an Intel Core i7 5820K processor.

During Computex en Taipei,HyperX will unleash a high-performance system featuring the upcoming 16GB modules powered by the recently released HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe SSD. The live demo will take place during the HyperX Roadshow Experience from June 4-7, 2015, at the ATT 4 FUN center, in Taipei. More details will be forthcoming about availability and pricing for HyperX Predator 16GB DDR4 modules and kits.

Announcing the TechPowerUp Winter's End WCG Challenge

With spring nearly upon us, it's time to give the old horses crunching overclocked through the winter one grand, last run. TechPowerUp World Community Grid (WCG) team, one of the world's top-10 teams, with over 4,000 years of aggregate CPU time, and over 20 million results submitted; brings to you the Winter's End WCG Challenge.

Simply crunch for the TechPowerUp WCG Team between 26th Feb (00:00 UTC) and 6th Mar (00:00 UTC), and multiple winners along the leaderboard stand to win some sick community-sponsored prizes, including an AMD FX-8350 CPU + ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard combo, a fully-built crunching rig, numerous SSDs, CPU coolers, and more. So what are you waiting for?! For more information, and to participate, visit this page.

MSI Unveils GeForce GTX 970 Gold Limited Edition

At its BeatIT 2014 event, MSI unveiled its limited-edition GeForce GTX 970 Gold graphics card. The card looks essentially similar to the GTX 970 Gaming, with the exception of a pure copper-stack heatsink, instead of aluminium, exposed copper heat pipes, and a golden-orange tinted cooler shroud applique. The back-plate features a unique vent pattern, with a golden "dragon" logo. MSI didn't disclose clock speeds, but we expect the card's design-focus to be on overclocking headroom, rather than factory-OC. The other thing that remains to be disclosed is just how "limited" the card's production run is, and in which markets it will be available.

Source: KitGuru

GIGABYTE Unveils the GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 G1 Gaming Graphics Cards

GIGABYTE, the world's leading premium gaming hardware manufacturer, today announced the release of GV-N980G1 GAMING-4GD and GV-N970G1 GAMING-4GD, two new graphics cards from the next generation G1 Gaming Series. Both cards are respectively powered by the highly-anticipated GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 Maxwell GPUs and combined with GIGABYTE technologies and innovations to outperform the reference.

GIGABYTE G1 Gaming graphics cards are crafted for perfection in pursuit of the ultimate graphics experience for gaming enthusiasts. Through GPU Gauntlet Sorting, the graphics cards are forged with only the top-notch GPU cores to deliver the maximum processing power for going Super Overclock. Further armed with the acclaimed WINDFORCE cooling system and innovative Flex Display technology(patent-pending), the G1 Gaming graphics cards ensure incredibly fast, cool and quiet performance, whilst providing gamers with greater flexibility in output connectivity options for multi-display gaming.

GamingPC Releases 4.4 GHz Core i7-5960X-Powered Gaming System, a leader customized water cooled gaming computers, introduces The Beast, a water-cooled 8 core Intel's new 5960X clocked at 4.4 GHz, 64 gigs of GSkill DDR4 memory and 4 x NVIDIA GeForce Titan Black in Quad-SLI built for the high end gaming market. Other specs include a custom water cooling solution, a 1 terabyte SSD, 8 terabytes of additional storage, the new Asus X99 Deluxe motherboard.

"Our customers demand the best money can buy so that's what we aim to provide," says Sebastien Piche, owner of GamingPC Canada. "The goal with this new system was to break all previous speed records and provide a smooth 4K gaming experience for our customers."

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Ares III

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the limited-edition Ares III, the world's fastest water-cooled gaming graphics card with a slim, single-slot form factor. Powered by dual AMD Radeon Hawaii XT R9 290X GPUs factory-overclocked at 1030 MHz, and boasting 8 GB of GDDR5 memory with a clock speed of 5000 MHz, ROG Ares III delivers blazingly-fast performance. In 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme testing, this monster card performs 15% faster and runs Battlefield 4 at frame rates 33% greater than GTX Titan Z in 4K Ultra High Definition (3840x2160) resolution.

Featuring a hand-carved EK water block, ROG Ares III has a premium, water-cooled design that provides 25% cooler temperatures than the reference Radeon R9 295X2. ROG Ares III is made with exclusive ASUS Super Alloy Power components for enhanced durability and cooling, and comes with GPU Tweak for overclocking and online streaming that is as simple as it is flexible.

G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 Achieves DDR4 Memory Record at 4004 MHz

G.SKILL International Co. Ltd., the leading high performance memory designer and manufacturer, is proud to announce breaking the DDR4 memory speed record at 4004 MHz extreme frequency.

G.SKILL never stops pushing the computing performance to the limits. Over the past few months, G.SKILL has been dedicated to develop the fastest DDR4 memory and test the performance boundary on the latest Intel X99 platform. All the hard work has finally paid off. G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 Series DDR4 memory broke the DDR4 4 GHz barrier under LN2 extreme cooling, using the ASUS ROG X99 Rampage V Extreme Motherboard and Intel Core i7-5930K CPU.

This incredible score has been validated by CPU-Z.

Corsair and ASUS Create World's Fastest Production DDR4 Memory Kit

Corsair, a worldwide leader in high-performance PC components and ASUS a worldwide leader in motherboards, today announced the availability of the Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 memory kits in 3300 MHz, 3200 MHz and 3000 MHz speeds - the world's fastest production memory kits. Corsair developed the new high-speed DDR4 memory in close collaboration with ASUS, tuning and validating the memory timings to take advantage of the optimized DRAM layout and UEFI firmware of ASUS's new X99 motherboards. The new Dominator DDR4 memory kits, when paired with the ASUS X99 Deluxe and Rampage V Extreme motherboards, creates some of the fastest, most stable enthusiast PC platforms available for the new Intel Core i7 processors (codenamed Haswell-E).

"Our rigorous validation with ASUS has enabled us to make Dominator Platinum 3300 MHz the fastest desktop DDR4 memory available at launch," said Thi La, Chief Operating Officer at Corsair. "Our OC team and engineers are excited to see such performance headroom the new Intel platform and are looking forward to releasing even faster kits in the near future."

GIGABYTE EasyTune Simplifies Overclocking of Pentium Anniversary Edition CPU

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards announced a new version of its overclocking assistant EasyTune has been released just in time for the new Intel Pentium Anniversary Edition CPU, an unlocked CPU designed to bring overclocking to the mainstream. The new EasyTune application allows users to get the highest level of overclocked performance from their CPU and GIGABYTE Z87 / Z97 series motherboard, and with one click automatic overclocking, even novice users can experience enhanced computing performance right from the start.

With a stock frequency of 3.2 GHz, the Intel Pentium AE can be easily overclocked using the revamped EasyTune application so that users can experience faster system performance without having to buy a more expensive CPU. The Smart Quick Boost function within EasyTune comes pre-configured with set overclocked profiles which have been tested by GIGABYTE's experienced engineers, to ensure no matter what the hardware configuration, users can enjoy 24/7 stable system performance. To enable different levels overclock, users just need to click "Light", "Medium" or "Extreme", with the expected CPU frequency being highlighted in the upper right corner of the settings tab.

ASUS Unveils the Strix GTX 750 Ti OC Graphics Card

ASUS today announced Strix GTX 750 Ti OC, a new graphics cards powered by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics-processing unit (GPU) and designed for players who like to game on the edge of instinct.

Taken from the ancient Roman and Greek word for owl, Strix is the brand name for the stunning new ASUS gaming-gear series. Strix means the keenest hearing and sharpest eyesight and the ability to feel the environment, enabling the player to detect and react to even the slightest movement. Strix means survival on the very edge of instinct. Strix is in gamers' blood, just as it is in ours.

Pentium 20th Anniversary Edition G3258 Reaches 6861.7 MHz on MSI Motherboard

The world's largest semiconductor manufacturer Intel officially announced the unlocked Pentium 20th Anniversary Edition G3258
processor (nicknamed Pentium K by enthusiasts) at the Computex Taipei 2014 where it was finally made available to the eagerly waiting commercial market. The world-renowned motherboard manufacturer MSI also officially released a new version of BIOS simultaneously, allowing all MSI Z97/H97 motherboards to fully support this new CPU. However, only the Z97 products can overclock this CPU. In addition, MSI persists in searching for the limit and has already broken the world record for the Pentium 20th Anniversary Edition G3258 processor by reach 6861.7 MHz.

Moreover, MSI also made optimized BIOS adjustments for three motherboards that are widely popular among consumers, including Z97 GUARD-PRO, Z97-G43 and Z97 PC Mate. These motherboards are equipped with six-phase power control components, which are able to stably overclock the Pentium 20th Anniversary Edition G3258 processor. They can automatically overclock the CPU to 4.3GHz from its original 3.2GHz through MSI's exclusive technology OC Genie 4, increasing its performance by 34%, so even a beginner will be able to overclock a computer stably to high performance through a single action without any complicated skills and configurations.


GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced its latest overclocking contest hosted on, the GIGABYTE CATZILLA OC Contest. The main focus will be centered on the latest GIGABYTE 9 series motherboards with two stages running the CATZILLA benchmark on air/water cooling and LN2 cooling. A $500 cash prize and a GIGABYTE motherboard will be offered to the winner of each stages. An additional raffle will take place on each Friday for the opportunity to win a GIGABYTE T-Shirt.

To celebrate its new custom made skin on the Catzilla 720P benchmark, GIGABYTE is inviting the overclocking community to participate in GIGABYTE CATZILLA OC Contest. Open to all HWBOT members from June 23rd 2014 until July 21st 2014, GIGABYTE invites all Overclockers to suit up for one epic cat fight and take on the following stages using any hardware platform on a 9 Series GIGABYTE motherboard.

ASRock Z97 OC Formula Pushes Intel Core i7-4790K CPU to 7003.38 MHz

ASRock Inc., one of global leading motherboard manufacturers keeps breaking new world records! Last week, we just saw two new world records of 7181.23 MHz and 1601 marks in Intel XTU achieved by John Lam, an overclocker from HKEPC OC with ASRock Z97 OC Formula motherboard and Intel Core i7-4770K CPU. Today, the legendary overclocker Nick Shih also has reached an incredible 7003.38 MHz with ASRock Z97 OC Formula and the latest Intel "Devil's Canyon" unlocked 4th Gen Core i7-4790K CPU, ranking the top 1 at!
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