Intel’s 12th-generation non-K desktop CPUs are among the best mainstream and budget-tier chips on the market today, offering the best overall performance at a standout price. Recently, motherboard vendors like MSI and ASRock have unveiled their new B660 series designs that rock external ‘BCLK’ clock generators that allow users to overclock their non-K CPUs, but it seems that Intel isn’t happy with these products & wants them to. effectively ensure that such products do not exist on the market.
BCLK ‘Non-K’ OC motherboards offer nice performance boost for 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs, but Intel says they will void your warranty
Currently, there are only two products on the market that enable BCLK overclocking on Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake Non-K CPUs. These include the MSI MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 & ASRock’s B660M PG Riptide. These are not quite expensive motherboards and as they are both DDR4 variants they have the potential to attract a wider audience in the budget segment as DDR5 prices are still way too high. The other major attraction of these motherboards is the fact that they support BCLK overclocking on non-K Alder Lake CPUs.
MAG B660M Mortar MAX WIFI DDR4
DDR4 with clock gen
— chi11eddog (@g01d3nm4ng0) June 19, 2022
MSI MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 Motherboard
Starting with the motherboards, the MSI MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 comes with a 14-phase VRM design with a comprehensive heat sink solution. The board is powered by dual 8 pin connectors and has a nice black and silver aesthetic. The main feature, of course, is the OC Engine design with an external BCLK generation, allowing for motherboard overclocking for Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs. We recently showed you a 5.1 GHz Core i5-12400 OC demo on the same motherboard you can see here† The motherboard is expected to launch in July and will be priced in the US segment under $200.
ASRock B660M PG Riptide Motherboard
ASRock on the other hand has its 15 phases B660M PG Riptide which is powered by an 8 and 4 pin power connector configuration. The motherboard also comes with all the essentials you would expect from a mainstream Riptide motherboard and has a nice dark black aesthetic with blue color and RGB add-ons. This motherboard is also expected to be available this month.
Both B660M motherboards are very capable in their own right, with the MSI Mortar Max WiFI giving users a slight edge in the power configuration thanks to the dual 8-pin connectors that can help support higher clocks on the top non-K CPUs like the Core i9. -12900 or the Core i7-12700. For regular users, pairing something like a Core i3 or Core i5 ‘F’ series Alder Lake CPUs and some DDR4 memory will be insanely good value compared to competing AMD Ryzen CPUs, as also shown by Steve on HardwareUnboxed using the MSI MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 motherboard:
But the main thing I wanted to point out in this post is also one of the main reasons why these motherboards took so long to reach the consumer segment. Motherboard vendors were very excited about the potential of non-K CPU overclocking and their new designs for Alder Lake and future generations of CPUs, but this same level of excitement is not shared by Intel. In fact Intel’s opinion is simple, if you do any kind of overclocking on the non-K CPU, you void the warranty†
Intel believes that the non-K Alder Lake CPUs are not designed to handle overclocking and can reduce performance or even kill the CPUs after extended use. MSI and ASRock may have gotten away with their Non-K OC designs for now, but Intel can bolster tighter parameters 13th Gen ‘Raptor Lake’† This is the same case since Skylake’s Non-K CPU Lineup†
Intel should know that by keeping such designs public, the company can generate significant market share in the highly competitive mainstream and budget PC segment. Intel’s concerns are justified, as the non-K OC produces higher temperatures and pushes ‘higher-than-spec’ power into the chip, but it’s nothing so rampant that would lead to long-term damage to the chip. Hopefully Intel will look into this, and instead of blocking non-K designs, allow them in the future.