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The Sky OC Is Falling: Asrock Removes Feature With BIOS Update

Not long ago, Asrock canceled its plans to produce non-Z170 motherboards with the ability to overclock non-K CPUs with base clock manipulation because of a lack of support from Intel. Now, Asrock is further removing support for overclocking non-K CPUs by removing its Sky OC feature from its Z170 motherboards.

When Sky OC was announced, countless PC enthusiasts were excited about the prospect of being able to overclocking non-K Intel CPUs again, which is something that has not really been possible for the last several years. Sky OC enabled this feature again by using base clock manipulation.

The technology wasn’t perfect. If you raised the system base clock above 100 MHz, you instantly lost the ability to use C-States, Turbo Boost and support for some instruction sets. These were sacrifices that many users were willing to make, though, as enthusiast overclockers that want to get the most performance out of their CPUs typically aren’t concerned with energy efficiency and typically disable power saving features to attain higher clock speeds. Losing Turbo Boost also wasn’t a major problem, as  you would get a higher clock speed after you overclocked the system, anyway.

Asrock enabled this feature on numerous Z170 motherboards when it initially announced the feature, but after the latest BIOS update Sky OC has been removed. Users can opt to keep the latest BIOS version that supports Sky OC, but the latest BIOS also includes an update to the CPU’s microcode, which may improve performance and stability. As further BIOS updates come out, this will only push users further away from using the Sky OC feature, essentially killing it off.

We can’t help but wonder what has prompted Asrock to remove this feature, but at this time we don’t have a definite answer. We speculating that it has something to do with an Intel policy. We have reached out to both Intel and Asrock for comments but have not received a reply at this time.

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  • junkeymonkey
    seem's like I brought this up in your first article announcing it how intel may look at this ??


    ''Intel is careful to allow overclocking only on its high-end processors, and has seemingly pressured motherboard manufacturers to help enforce this''

    Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/asrock-killed-overclocking-intel-skylake-nonk/#ixzz3zK9wid00
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    If a guy has it he may best hang on to whay ever valid copy/file/download he has of it - kind defeats the reason intel charges extra for a ''k'' chip and that don't fly
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    Can you say class action lawsuit?? Heavily advertising a feature to sell motherboards, only to take it away is asking for a lawsuit.
    Reply
  • junkeymonkey
    ya,lol.. intel slapped a cease and desist order on them I bet
    Reply
  • thor220
    It's almost certain that Intel ordered them to stop. The CPU market is so bad right now that Intel in bickering with it's own board partners about value-added features and it's pathetic.

    Zen cannot come soon enough.
    Reply
  • Quixit
    Do you think Intel's new Microcode update kills the feature? Hey, it's possible.
    Reply
  • NightHaveN
    First, the user is not forced to update the bios. Something like the bios which may bring issues or even break your hardware should only be upgraded if you are getting something in return (stability, or OC).

    Those new bios comes with the Intel 0x74 microcode which provide the prime fix for those having stability issues with their chips. I personally didn't have any.

    NEW SKYLAKE BIOSes RELEASED INTEL 0x74 FIX
    Those bioses are available in the regular release channels. Only beta unsupported bios had the Sky OC. It may be intentional, or Intel pressure. But no surprise supported bios lack the feature as they had done in the past.

    But 2 important things to consider:
    ■ Still the beta OC images are available to download.
    ■ Until someone is brave enough to actually install a new bios (which lacks OC), and roll back to the old beta Sky OC one we will be able to point fingers at Intel microcode for blocking the hack.
    Reply
  • NightHaveN
    In my board the Asrock Z170M Extreme 4, apparently the new microcode landed in bios 1.40, with a revision labeled 1.50. The previous official version was 1.30. The betas with Sky OS were 1.32-1.35, which are still available for download if you choose the Beta section.
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    17451585 said:
    First, the user is not forced to update the bios. Something like the bios which may bring issues or even break your hardware should only be upgraded if you are getting something in return (stability, or OC).

    Those new bios comes with the Intel 0x74 microcode which provide the prime fix for those having stability issues with their chips. I personally didn't have any.

    NEW SKYLAKE BIOSes RELEASED INTEL 0x74 FIX
    Those bioses are available in the regular release channels. Only beta unsupported bios had the Sky OC. It may be intentional, or Intel pressure. But no surprise supported bios lack the feature as they had done in the past.

    But 2 important things to consider:
    ■ Still the beta OC images are available to download.
    ■ Until someone is brave enough to actually install a new bios (which lacks OC), and roll back to the old beta Sky OC one we will be able to point fingers at Intel microcode for blocking the hack.

    http://www.asrock.com.tw/support/download.asp?cat=BIOS

    It is actually microcode revision 0x76. Not sure what it changes, I asked Intel, hoping to get an answer.
    Reply
  • Emanuel Elmo
    Can you say class action lawsuit?? Heavily advertising a feature to sell motherboards, only to take it away is asking for a lawsuit.

    Possible. But sony did the same thing with there backwards compatibility on the first gen PS3. nothing every came of it.
    Reply
  • junkeymonkey
    they could make the beta non functional and claim ''well it was just a beta -your own risk'' lol were the bios with the sky oc all ways in beta or now called that after the fact ??
    Reply