Intel forbade overclocking Raptor Lake processors without the K

Intel forbade overclocking Raptor Lake processors without the “K” suffix on the bus, even on dedicated boards

Intel has exempted the 13th generation Core processors without the suffix “K” from manual overclocking via the BCLK bus. Remember that the 12th Gen (Alder Lake) Core processors have this ability. Information about the lack of possibility of manual overclocking in this way for younger Raptor Lake processors was confirmed by the Tom’s Hardware portal.

    Image source: Tom's Hardware

Image source: Tom’s Hardware

All Intel Core processors without the “K” suffix do not officially support manual overclocking. In addition, the manufacturer even once issued a statement that an attempt to overclock such chips could damage them. In reality, however, officially non-overclockable processors, including those from the Alder Lake family, could be overclocked on some motherboard models. To do this, the board must have an external clock generator that allows you to change the frequency of the BCLK bus through the BIOS settings.

It is curious that Intel created this gap themselves, although not intentionally, of course. During the development of Alder Lake processors, it provided motherboard OEMs with early versions of microcode. It contained settings that allowed the BCLK bus frequency to be changed via motherboard BIOS. In the final version of the microcode, Intel removed this feature, but enterprising OEMs created their own versions of BIOS that could load not only the new version of the microcode, but also the old one with the ability to manually change the BCLK bus frequency. Initially, the feature was only available on expensive Z690 motherboards with DDR5 memory support. But soon it appeared in cheaper motherboards based on the Junior B660 chipset and with support for DDR4 memory.

Tom’s Hardware decided to look into the possibility of changing the BCLK frequency of the 13th gen Intel Core processor without the “K” suffix on motherboards with an external clock generator: MSI B660M Mortar Max, ASUS ROG Strix B660-G Gaming and ROG Strix B660- F Games. You can easily overclock the same Alder Lake-series Core i7-12700 on these boards. The image below shows the BIOS settings of the MSI B660M Mortar Max board with the legacy microcode select feature that allows the processor to be overclocked via the BCLK bus.

However, with the Core i7-13700 from the new Raptor Lake series on the same board, such a feint no longer works. The BIOS simply does not need a line to select the microcode version, as can be seen in the photo below.

According to Tom’s Hardware, Intel “This time I just didn’t make the same mistake and didn’t release pre-enabled microcode.”. Because of this, motherboard manufacturers don’t have their hands on a BIOS version that would allow changing the BLCK bus frequency on Raptor Lake chips without the “K” suffix.

About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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