As you know, over the years Intel and AMD have been trying to prevent users from overclocking their processors. Essential overclocking can be abstracted into three essential things: the BCLK of the processor (multiplier), the clock speed of the bus, and the voltage of the processor.
How did it overclock?
The clock speed is obtained by multiplying the bus with BCLK, for example, 40 x 130 MHz = 5.2 GHz, but in order for the processor to run at a higher clock speed, it is necessary to provide more current, so the voltage is one of the key things that affect stable work at higher frequencies. Of course, we should not forget that changing the bus changes the speed of memory, as well as the fact that you need adequate cooling for higher frequencies and higher voltage because the processor heats up significantly more and consumes more electricity.
By locking the BCLK, or multiplier, Intel effectively limited the overclocking potential of its processors, except for the K series, which was unlocked and where you could change the multiplier to get the desired frequency.
Roman Hartung, better known as der8auer, has shown how the new Intel Core i5 12400 can be easily booted even though it is not a model with an unlocked multiplier. With the introduction of the Alder Lake processor, Intel introduced a number of advanced controls and capabilities for overclocking processors, such as independent overclocking of E and P cores, with special adjustment of parameters such as voltages, cache frequencies, graphics, BCLK and the like. Most of these options are in the BIOS section of the new motherboards, but also in Intel XTU software from v7.5 onwards.
Core i5 12600 faster than Core i9 12900K
In the video, der8auer showed the steps for overclocking the Intel Core i5-12400 / F and i5-12600 processors on the Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Apex motherboard. The procedure is not complicated and requires certain parameters to be set in the BIOS section in order to boot the system stably. All steps and parameters you need to set, including operating clocks and voltages, are covered so you don’t overdo it. Of course, whether it will work on your processor is just a lottery, because each core behaves differently, so there is a good chance that you will have completely different ranges with your copy than der8auer had .
The most important settings are in the Extreme Tweaker> Tweaker’s Paradise options where you can switch Unlock BCLK OC to Enabled and actually unlock the locked processor. In the recording, the Core i5 12400 had a BCLK set to 40, the bus speed was 131 MHz, with a voltage of 1.37 V, with the resulting stable operating clock being 5.2 GHz. This means that thanks to the same architecture, the Core i5 tuned in this way will leave behind many times more expensive processors such as the strongest Core i9 12900K in most dusty games.
Der8auer showed that in testing a large number of different processors, the Core i5 12400 / F showed the greatest potential, of course, if you hit a good example. As you can see in games, such a high clock speed has shown that it can make a nice difference in games, compared to much more expensive processors such as Core i7-12700K or Core i9-12900K.
Of course, keep in mind that it is not wise to try something like this if you do not have really good cooling like Noctua high-end coolers or water blocks with a very good pump, because processors heat up much more by raising voltage and frequency.
Not on every board
We will also mention that not every board was “in the mood” to unlock the multiplier, and that the Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Apex and Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero proved to be the best, while the Asus ROG Strix Z690-I Gaming Wi-Fi and Asus TUF Gaming B660M -Plus D4 did not prove successful.
It is very likely that it is a so-called external clock generator that has individual motherboards that allow you to successfully unlock BCLK on ordinary processors. On the other hand, Intel stated in October 2021 that an external clock generator would not be required for ADL-S overclocking, introducing a synthetic BCLK to adjust the BCLK on boards that do not have the aforementioned hardware.
We have an interesting period ahead of us
What is certain is that the development of events will be very interesting in the coming period, especially when new versions of the BIOS start to arrive, which will apparently restore overclocking as an important item when buying new processors. And users are left to rub their hands because, for good gaming computers, it seems that it will no longer be necessary to separate three monthly salaries and the left kidney.