MSI MEG Z690 Unify-X allows AVX-512 on Alder Lake

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Alder Lake doesn’t officially have an AVX-512, but MSI presents itself as a Gallic village and allows the function to be activated on the MEG Z690 Unify-X. And probably against the will of Intel. But more exciting than the AVX-512 is how the friendly saber-rattling among friends ends.

BCLK overclocking and AVX features are the big issues for motherboard manufacturers when it comes to setting themselves apart from the competition with the 600 series motherboards. They are exploring the possibilities of winning over customers in the rather homogeneous motherboard market, and MSI is taking this path with the MEG Z690 Unify-X. The Taiwanese company promises the user that they can activate the switched-off AVX-512 functional units at Alder Lake. And that was probably against the will of Intel, where, in the case of the AVX-512 in particular, the partners were asked not to make this accessible anymore.

MSI is playing the game, so perhaps the most intriguing question is how that affects its relationship with Intel. Probably not negative in the long term, because both partners are primarily in the business of doing business. So if you have the BIOS A22 on the MEG Z690 Unify-X, you can have AVX-512 tasks calculated again. For the average user, this is probably of no great concern, but if you have the need…

Meanwhile, the whole AVX-512 story at Intel remains a bit strange. Sure, for the moment this is not a big issue for normal users; except for headlines about power consumption. It’s also true that the hybrid design initially prompted the deactivation of AVX-512 on the P-Cores because the E-Cores couldn’t handle it. And the first mainboards could then also AVX-512 if you deactivated the E-Cores until Intel raised their finger. But a really satisfactory explanation is not yet officially known. At least the board manufacturers could have been left in peace.

It will probably be similar in the long term with BCLK overclocking, which enables non-K CPUs to be overclocked. At the moment it is hard to imagine that Intel will tolerate this in the long term. The question is how big the resistance of the mainboard manufacturers will be – certainly not endless because ultimately one is dependent on Intel as a partner.

In other news, although many people could expect Socket AM5 motherboards to arrive in the spring because of the Rembrandt SoC APU, that certainly won’t be the case. According to AMD partners, the problem is not that a start would not be possible, as the control bridges can be deployed, the chip codenamed Rembrandt itself is ready, but the shortage of DDR5 modules is so much that they are extremely overpriced. In this form, the release of Socket AM5 motherboards would be completely useless, and most users would not have access to DDR5 modules, which is an important component of the platform.