A method to increase the performance of the non-K Intel Core processor on B460 and H470 motherboards is being advertised by motherboard makers.
Technically… this is not overclocking
Yes, the non-K Intel processors will still remain, so to speak, locked. However, by adjusting the time these processors remain in an increased power load scenario, it is possible for the core clock frequency to remain higher for a longer period of time. This method is not new, it has been widely used (or some say abused) by motherboard makers for the “Z” series. However, it now becomes mainstream for mid-range motherboards as well.
What is TDP, PL1, PL2 and Tau
There is a reason why Intel Core processors are almost always consuming more power than official TDP values. The TDP (thermal design power) only refers to the base frequency, which most of the Intel Core processors never run at. Modern Intel Core processors will automatically run at turbo frequency and as a result, this increases the power consumption above official TDP figures.
The maximum power limit is defined by PL1 and PL2. The PL1 basically copies the TDP, while PL2 is the maximum allowed power limit. This value has changed for Comet Lake-Series. The Core i9-10900K has a PL2 of 250W which is a 2.0 multiplier, as opposed to Coffee Lake-S’ (9900KS) of 1.25. Intel has not released the whitepaper for Comet Lake-S yet – only a datasheet for Xeon Series has been published (attached below for visual presentation). Both PL1 and PL2 can be changed by motherboard makers.
More importantly, the duration turbo state is allowed to continue is defined by Tau. For the 10th Gen Core K-series, this value is 56 seconds. In reality, Tau is just a recommendation. Motherboard manufacturers can set this value to, let’s say, 999 and basically allow the turbo to persist for an infinite time.
By adjusting Tau, PL1 and PL2 manufacturers are allowed to keep Intel Core processors run at higher power for a longer period of time. This feature is being used by manufacturers with B460 and H470 motherboards. These are the chipsets designed for non-K Core processors (overclocking locked). It means that despite not being able to change the clock of the processor, an increased power limit will still make them run with at higher turbo frequency.
ASRock BFB technology modifies the PL1 to 125W (from 65W), while MSI’s PL1 increases it up to 255W. In MSI’s case, this essentially means all-core turbo frequency is a new base frequency. Although only two motherboards have a 255W PL1 setting. ASUS has one motherboard up to 210W, while the rest has a 125W PL1 setting. ASUS has not released the expected frequency for Intel processors when this technology is applied, but ASRock and MSI did, and this is illustrated in the chart below.
|Intel non-K Core Processor PL1/PL2 “Overclocking”|
|SKU||Base Clock||Turbo Boost Max 3.0||All Core Turbo||PL1/PL2|
|ASROCK||125W: H470 Steel Legend, H470 Phantom Gaming 4, H470M Pro4, H470M-ITX/ac, B460 Steel Legend, B460 Phantom Gaming 4, B460 Pro4, B460M Pro4, B460M Steel Legend, B460M-HDV, B460M-ITX/ac (list does not include Z490)|
|MSI||255W: MAG B460 Tomahawk, MAG B460 Mortar (WiFi)|
135W: MAG B450M Bazooka
|ASUS||210W: ROG STRIX B460-F|
125W: ROG STRIX B460-H, ROG STRIX B460-G, ROG STRIX B460-I, ROG STRIX H470-I, TUF B460-PRO (WIFI), TUF B460-PLUS, TUF B460M-PLUS (WIFI), TUF H470-PRO (WIFI)
|All clocks in comparison to 10900 5.2 GHz in Thermal Velocity Boost mode|
Intel package power settings for last, current and upcoming (rumored) architectures:
|Intel PL1/PL2/Tau Values|
|VideoCardz.com||Coffee Lake||Comet Lake||Rocket Lake|
|8-core 95W (11700K-class)||–||–||–||–||–||–||95W||215W||56s|
|6-core 95W (11600K-class)||–||–||–||–||–||–||95W||173W||56s|
|8-core 65W (11700-class)||–||–||–||–||–||–||65W||251W||28s|
|10-core 125W (10900K)||–||–||–||125W||250W||56s||–||–||–|
|8-core 125W (10700K)||–||–||–||125W||229W||56s||–||–||–|
|6-core 125W (10700K)||–||–||–||125W||182W||56s||–||–||–|
|10,8,6-core 65W (10900-10500)||–||–||–||65W||125W||?||–||–||–|
|8-core 127W (9900KS)||127W||159W||28s||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|8-core 95W (9900K)||95W||119W||28s||–||–||–||–||–||–|
Based on HardwareLuxx chart