Intel’s 12th generation Non-K desktop CPUs are among some of the best mainstream and budget chips on the market right now, providing the best overall performance at an eye-catching price. Recently, there have been motherboard vendors such as MSI and ASRock that 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 is not happy with these products & actually wants to ensure that such products do not exist in the market.
BCLK ‘Non-K’ OC motherboards offer good performance enhancement for 12th generation Alder Lake CPUs, but Intel says they void your warranty
Currently, there are only two products on the market that allow BCLK overclocking on Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake Non-K CPUs. These include MSI MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 & ASRock’s B660M PG Riptide. These are not very expensive motherboards, and since they are both DDR4 variants, they have the potential to attract a wider audience in the budget segment, as DDR5 prices are still far too high. The other main 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
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MSI MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 motherboard
Starting with the motherboards first, the MSI MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 comes with a 14-phase VRM design that has an extended heatsink solution. The board is powered by two 8-pin connectors and has a nice black and silver aesthetic in progress. The main feature, of course, is the OC Engine design, which has an external BCLK generation that allows overclocking on the motherboard of Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake CPUs. We recently showed you a 5.1 GHz Core i5-12400 OC demo on the same motherboard as you can see here. The motherboard is expected to launch in July and will be priced in the US $ 200 segment.
ASRock B660M PG Riptide motherboard
ASRock, on the other hand, has its 15-phase B660M PG Riptide, which is powered by an 8- and 4-pin power socket configuration. The motherboard also comes with all the essentials that you would expect from a regular Riptide motherboard and has a nice dark black aesthetic with blue color and RGB additions. This motherboard is also expected to be available within this month.
Both B660M motherboards are highly capable alone with the MSI Mortar Max WiFI, which provides a slight advantage to users in the power configuration thanks to its dual 8-pin connector, which can help maintain higher clocks on the top Non-K CPUs, such as Core i9-12900 or Core i7-12700. For regular users, pairing something like a Core i3 or Core i5 ‘F’ series Alder Lake CPUs and some DDR4 memory would be an insanely good value compared to competing AMD Ryzen CPUs, which were also showcased by Steve at HardwareUnboxed using of MSI MAG B660M Mortar Max WiFi DDR4 motherboard:
But the most important thing I would point out in this post is also one of the main reasons why these motherboards took so long to reach out to the consumer segment. Motherboard vendors have been really excited about the potential of Non-K CPU overclocking and their new designs for Alder Lake and future generations of CPUs, but the same level of voltage 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 cancel the warranty.
Intel believes that the Non-K Alder Lake CPUs are not designed to handle overclocking and may degrade performance or even kill the CPUs after prolonged use. MSI and ASRock may have gotten away with their Non-K OC design for now, but Intel may reinforce more stringent parameters when the 13th generation ‘Raptor Lake’ arrives. This has been the same case since Skylake’s Non-K CPU lineup.
Intel should know that by keeping such designs open to the public, the company can generate a lot of market share in the highly competitive mainstream and budget PC segment. Intel’s concerns are valid, as non-K OC produces higher temperatures along with pushing ‘higher than spec’ power into the chip, but it is nothing so violent that would lead to long-term damage to the chip. Hopefully Intel will take a closer look at this, and instead of blocking Non-K designs, allow them in the future.