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Intel Puts The Lock On Overclocking

Intel Stakes Its Vision of the PC Future with 775 Launch
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Maybe you've already heard rumors that Intel's new platforms do not offer much leeway for FSB overclocking. As VIA is currently fighting to get both AGP and PCI Express x16 working in their PT890 and K8T890 chipsets, insiders assumed that the implementation of PCI Express would cause these limits.

Nothing could be further from the truth, as we have been able to verify over the last days. The motherboard folks in Taiwan have been exceptionally smart - they ran the 845 chipset with DDR333 memory long before Intel, and they also disenchanted 875P by enabling the same type of accelerating memory bypass for 865PE (Asus was the first to do that). Also, the E7205 chipset, aka Granite Bay, offered a huge overclocking margin and had people coming very close to FSB 800 months ahead of the 865/875 chipset launch.

Intel does not want history to repeat itself. A common approach for avoiding undesirable situations is to do away with all unnecessary options, such as additional multipliers, but this strategy doesn't seem to be enough any more. This time, the chip giant not only cuts away functions that are regarded as non-essential, but it is actively adjusting hardware in order to prevent the industry (and as a consequence, the users) from anticipating upcoming features like DDR2-667 and FSB 1066.

Of course we tried to get some DDR2-667 DIMMs in order to see what they can do. The small memory makers do not have these chips yet, while the big ones claimed not to have any samples for the press. Interesting, however, is the fact that a well known memory specialist will launch its DDR2-667 memory as early as July 7.

Anyways, as long as there is no chipset that supports DDR2-667, these fast DDR2 DIMMs only make sense if users can overclock their systems. What Intel did is implement an overclocking limiter to the MCH chips: If the CPU clock exceeds the threshold (we determined that this is 10% over specification), the required PLL (Phase Lock Loop) will reset and won't refuse to lock that frequency. Basically that is a very simple way of throwing a spanner in the works, as it causes a system crash. Decent motherboards automatically restart and you may try again. The easy way would be to limit all overclocking ambitions to 10% max, but now that Intel added this extra obstacle, I somehow felt compelled to break some barriers.


Summary
  1. Intel's 775 Launch Mixes Ambition With A Strong Aftertaste
  2. First Contact
  3. Obstacles And Hurdles
  4. More Findings
  5. New Socket: LGA 775
  6. LGA 775 Processor Installation
  7. LGA 775 Processor Installation, Continued
  8. LGA 775 Processor Installation, Continued
  9. MSI's CPU Installation Tool
  10. Transitional Products
  11. Poor Thing: Intel Reference Cooler
  12. New Processors: P4 Prescott Up To 3.6 GHz
  13. Specification Overview
  14. Model And Pricing Information
  15. Processor Overview
  16. New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV
  17. New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV, Continued
  18. 925X Express Chipset
  19. 915G Express Chipset
  20. 915G Express Chipset, Continued
  21. 915G Express Chipset, Continued
  22. 915P Express Chipset
  23. Chipset Devices
  24. Intel Puts The Lock On Overclocking
  25. How To Unlock The Overclocking Lock
  26. New Memory: DDR2-533, Continued
  27. DDR2 Memory Vendors
  28. Intel Flex Memory Technology
  29. New Interlink: PCI Express
  30. More SATA, More RAID, More Ports
  31. Matrix RAID
  32. Creating A RAID Array
  33. More HD Performance For Free: Command Queuing
  34. More Networking: Intel Wireless Connect Technology
  35. New Audio: High Definition Audio
  36. Asus P5AD2 Premium
  37. Foxconn 925A01
  38. Test Setup
  39. Benchmarks And Settings
  40. Platform Benchmarks
  41. DirectX 8 Benchmarks
  42. DirectX 8 Benchmarks, Continued
  43. DirectX 9 Benchmarks, Continued
  44. Video Benchmarks
  45. Video Benchmarks, Continued
  46. Application Benchmarks
  47. Application Benchmarks, Continued
  48. Synthetic Benchmarks
  49. Synthetic Benchmarks, Continued
  50. Processor Power Consumption
  51. Integrated Graphics Benchmarks
  52. Game Benchmarks
  53. Halo
  54. Far Cry
  55. Video Performance
  56. Networking Benchmarks
  57. Storage Subsystem Benchmarks
  58. Conclusion
  59. A Final Note
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    Anonymous , June 25, 2011 4:58 PM
    So how do you unlock it?