EVGA lets users turn up the BCLK on locked Skylake chips

ASRock and MSI already allow owners of their motherboards to overclock Intel's locked Skylake CPUs by adjusting those chips' base clock, or BCLK. EVGA is getting in on that game, too. Owners of the company's Z170 Classified, Z170 FTW, and Z170 Stinger mobos will be able to turn the screws on locked Skylake chips after a BIOS update.

EVGA has posted links to the appropriate firmware for the Classified, Stinger, and FTW boards on its forums, along with update instructions. As with all firmware updates, we'd advise a careful read of EVGA's instructions before carrying out the installation.

While the Core i5-6600K's present $264.99 e-tail price seems to have descended from the stratosphere a bit, the Core i7-6700K is still retailing for a whopping $419.99. Given that situation, it's good to see a path to overclocking more affordable chips on more Z170 motherboards. The lack of a Pentium G3258 equivalent in the Skylake CPU lineup also makes BCLK overclocking a welcome option. It remains to be seen whether Intel will let this trend keep on rolling, but in the meantime, we'll be testing the results of BCLK tuning with some entry-level Skylake chips soon. Stay tuned.

Comments closed
    • ozzuneoj
    • 4 years ago

    If TR does a BCLK overclocking review, I want to see power consumption numbers with different power saving features enabled (at stock clocks) vs overclocked when such settings are apparently going to be forced off.

    My 4.2Ghz OC on my 2500K isn’t exactly “extreme” but I’ve run it this way with EIST and other power limiting features enabled for years and never had any stability problems, so I’ve gotten used to having my system use less power at idle. Last I remember (its been a while) my system with a GTX 970 running an XFX 80Plus Gold 550W PSU would idle at around 70-ish watts.

    I’m not sure how much it matters with Skylake in general though. If you can run a locked i5 quad at 4.5Ghz with a BCLK mod and no down clocking without the idle power consumption going up significantly, I’ll be highly impressed.

    • orik
    • 4 years ago

    if you guys could compare the performance of overclocked i3’s with 3MB of cache vs the ones with 4mb of cache that would be great 🙂

    • jessterman21
    • 4 years ago

    Nice – black on black. Thank God we’re back to the days where color-coordination is my choice, vs the mobo manufacturer’s.

    And YAY Jeff! You test those 4+GHz i3s!

    • TruthSerum
    • 4 years ago

    Now how about a custom BIOS to disable the Intel Management Engine ring-0 spy package?

      • orik
      • 4 years ago

      did you know that overclocking a non-k chip disables the Intel Management Engine?

        • TruthSerum
        • 4 years ago

        I did read something about that. I wonder if it disables all of it or just parts?

      • Waco
      • 4 years ago

      Spy package? Nice try, but no.

      It’s remote management stuff that’s de-facto standard in server parts. I’m glad it’s making its way into desktop machines.

      If you leave your desktop at home open to the Internet, this is the least of your worries.

        • TruthSerum
        • 4 years ago

        “It’s remote management stuff that’s de-facto standard in server parts.”

        Not really, no. Servers don’t often come with backdoors to their original manufacturers.

        Nor do they do on-chip image and voice analysis typically without end-user control.

      • maxxcool
      • 4 years ago

      I hope not. I need that data to trim my work force …

      • maxxcool
      • 4 years ago

      Oh you forgot this part: AVOID ALL AMD HARDWARE for the same reason.

      Why is the latest AMD hardware unsupported in libreboot? #amd

      It is extremely unlikely that any post-2013 AMD hardware will ever be supported in libreboot, due to severe security and freedom issues; so severe, that the libreboot project recommends avoiding all modern AMD hardware. If you have an AMD based system affected by the problems described below, then you should get rid of it as soon as possible.

      [url<]https://libreboot.org/faq/#intelme[/url<]

    • baobrain
    • 4 years ago

    I wonder what Intel thinks about this

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      That post has been made about 75 times and it shows a lot of ignorance about the fact that Intel bent over backwards to redesign how Skylake’s clock domains work to make this possible in the first place.

      Hell, it was publicly documented that this type of OC would be possible MONTHs before you could even buy a Skylake system.

      Stop pretending like this is some crazy hack pulled off by some teenager in his garage who’s sticking it to some mythical “man”.

        • tfp
        • 4 years ago

        I somewhat doubt that Intel resigned the clock tree for overclockers, it is more likely that they remove the clock dependencies for power management reasons. Decoupling the PCIe clock would allow for them to shut off the clocks when not needed.

        If you have received feedback from someone at intel they did this for overclockers I’ll stand corrected.

          • TruthSerum
          • 4 years ago

          You’re no doubt correct, every mobo/chipset has its own integrated timing dependencies. Start raising one w/ dependent subsystems built on that not designed to go faster, crash.
          Extremely doubtful Intel went out of their pricing model way to enable overclocking BCLK.

          • chuckula
          • 4 years ago

          Whether Intel designed a specific feature solely for the purpose of overclocking is not relevant. I highly doubt that they did this solely for the purposes of overclocking just like almost all features that are added to chips are rarely for a single purpose.

          The fact is that if Intel was as supposedly hellbent on stopping overclocking as the conspiracy nutballs seem to suggest, then they sure wouldn’t have made changes to their chipsets that have been known to allow more overclocking.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 4 years ago

        The man got you down today?

          • TruthSerum
          • 4 years ago

          The -3 thumb-man named after a cereal sure has a hardon for me today…

        • TruthSerum
        • 4 years ago

        You infer and posit that Intel did that deliberately, without 1% of evidence of that.

          • the
          • 4 years ago

          It has been known that Intel would have separate clock domains for its CPU and PCIe controller. This is the key point for enabling bclk changes without wrecking system stability. For example, a quick bit of Google-fu I found the following ~6 months before Sky Lake release:

          [url<]http://www.tweakpc.de/news/34084/intel-skylake-prozessoren-mit-95-watt-tdp-und-bclk-overclocking/[/url<] I'm confident that that isn't the first reported instance either. I want to say that it was disclosed at IDF 2014, a year before release but I'm too lazy to do any more searching.

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