BCLK overclocking tricks may not work with Intel 13th Gen Core non-K series

Published: 20th Jan 2023, 09:48 GMT   Comments

Intel 13th Gen Core non-K “Raptor/Alder Lake” series can no longer be overclocked

Tom’s Hardware has now confirmed that Intel’s newest 13th Gen Core non-K series are locked from overclocking.

For previous generation of LGA1700 processors, Intel mistakenly released a microcode update that allowed board partners to manipulate BCLK (Base Clock Speed). With BCLK adjustment, users could increase the frequency of their locked CPUs. This feature was disabled in later microcode, but some motherboard makers eventually developed BIOS tools that would enable it back.

The BCLK overclocking was only possible on motherboards with built-in clock generator. This included some premium ASUS and some MSI motherboards. MSI later released an affordable board called Mortar MAX, which is presented below. In this case, the board supports microcode hack for Core i7-12700 processors, but this feature is disabled for Core i7-13700.

[…] Intel’s ‘locked’ Non-K 13th-Gen Raptor Lake models are not overclockable like the previous-gen Alder Lake chips. We verified that the previous-gen non-K chips can still be overclocked, but unfortunately, the newer 13th-Gen models cannot. According to our industry contacts, it doesn’t look like the situation will change any time soon.

— Paul Alcorn, Tom’s Hardware

MSI BCLK unlock for 12th/13th Gen CPUs, Source: Tom’s Hardware

When it was discovered that 12th Gen Core series can be overclocked this way, Intel released a statement which basically said that non-K CPUs are not designed for overclocking and Intel “does not warranty the operation of processors beyond their specifications”. Of course this statement meant nothing to enthusiast because even overclocking the K-series will void the warranty.

It is worth noting that for some time, the company offered a service called “Performance Tuning Protection Plan”, which was a one-off payment of 20 to 30 USD that ensured replacement in case of overclocking damage. That program is no longer available.

This limitation will not affect another method of ‘overclocking’, which is ‘Tau’ adjustment. Most motherboards allow users to extend the time in which the CPU remains in the higher turbo state. As long as appropriate cooling is provided, the CPU will offer higher performance for a prolonged time basically locking the CPU in the higher power state.

Source: Tom’s Hardware

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