A video leaked to HKEPBC that has been put up on YouTube states that Intel has confirmed that the upcoming mainstream Sandy Bridge CPUs have been designed to deliberately limit overclocking.
According to the information, the Sandy Bridge processors will be divided into two versions, a Fully Unlocked version and Partially Unlocked. Chips in the "Partially Unlocked" iteration will be limited in clock speed customization. The reasons cited for the limiting of overclocking are the simplification of production for non-enthusiasts.
Video below not in English, but the visuals presented are.
I have a feeling that distribution of the "partially unlocked" which is a cute way of saying "mostly restricted" chips will be more widespread and considerably cheaper. Seems like an unusual move for Intel, though.
I guess we will have to sit back and wait for more details/benchmarks. The other issue is the fact that SB is based off of socket 2011 so its going to cost an arm and a leg to upgrade (for those who already own LGA 1366) + add another stick of ram for quad channel configurations. Hopefully Intel can surprise us with some bang for buck options.
I also read about the motherboard manufacturers. With the integration of the PCIe bus into the CPU, I am not too hopeful.
I remember my first computer - 1978 TRS80 Model I. One clock ran everything: CPU, memory, video interface. CPU was no problem. And the RAM chips were fast enough. But trying to push the CPU faster broke the display. It took piggy backing chips, cutting PCB traces, and running jumpers to overcome that. ----------
Overclocking since 1978 - Z80 (TRS-80) from 1.77 MHz to 2.01 MHz
My guess would be that the "limited" CPU's will be offered and built in OEM solutions like Dell & HP machines that lock the BIOS's anyway, in other words, they were not going to be overclocked anyway.
The question remains, does Intel have some fast economical way to cherry-pick which CPU's are more capable of overclocking as opposed to ones that are not as blessed as every chip is different.
My guess is that they are seperating the OC-able CPU's from the not so OC-able ones, this may be a good thing, back in the day i would have gladly paid up to $30.00 or so for a Q6600 that guaranteed to hit 3.6+