Named all motherboards with support for Intel Alder Lake overclocking

Named all motherboards with support for Intel Alder Lake overclocking with a locked multiplier – mostly flagships

Thanks to the users HWBot Communities All motherboards that support overclocking of Alder Lake processors with a locked multiplier (without the suffix “K” in the name) became known. Unfortunately, the list turned out to be very modest. At the same time, almost all models belong to the premium segment and do not support DDR4 RAM, which makes it impossible to build a relatively cheap system based on Alder Lake with overclocking potential.

Image source: Asus

Image source: Asus

ASUS has the widest range of motherboards that can overclock non-overclockable processors. The list includes ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Formula, ROG Maximus Z690 Extreme, ROG Maximus Z690 Hero, and ROG Maximus Z690 Apex models with Intel Z690 chipsets, as well as Strix B660-G models Gaming WiFi and B660F Gaming Wi-Fi based on Intel B660 chipset.

MSI has three such boards. These are advanced models MSI Z690I Unify, Z690 Unify X and Z690 Ace. Gigabyte only has one board that supports overclocking on Alder Lake processors without the “K” suffix, and that’s the Aorus Z690 Tachyon. The same applies to ASRock – only the flagship model ASRock Z690 Aqua OC has this feature.

The HWBot forum also provides a list of all known BIOS versions for the above boards that support overclocking on chips with a locked multiplier. It is very likely that in the future Intel will release new versions of microcode and remove the ability of motherboards to overclock chips that are not designed to do so.

Overclocking Alder Lake processors without the “K” suffix in the name is only possible on the above boards because they are equipped with external clock generators. Installed on the boards as a separate component, they are responsible for the operation of the BCLK bus – increasing its operating frequency overclocks the processor.

Not all motherboards come with external clock generators, as Alder Lake processors themselves come with built-in BCLK buses. The difference between internal and external clock is that the former cannot be clocked above 103MHz. Attempting to do so will introduce instability on other interconnect buses. The processor can only be overclocked by about 3% with this method. Bypassing this limitation allows an external clock generator.

Technically, there is nothing wrong with board manufacturers equipping every model with an external clock generator. Buildzoid notes in his video that some of the cheaper boards based on the Intel Z690 chipset even offer slots for it on the PCB. However, installing a generator increases the cost of the motherboard, which is why this component is not available on budget models.


About the author

Dylan Harris

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

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