Another Intel Alder Lake motherboard capable of overclocking locked, non-K processors has been discovered. The latest entrant to the short but glorious list is the ASRock Z690 Taichi Razer Edition, as verified in an in-depth review by HKEPC Hardware. Given the identical specs (the Razer version has a minor visual makeover), we fully expect the regular Z690 Taichi to offer the same unlock baseclock (BCLK) overclocking capabilities. We reviewed the regular ASRock Z690 Taichi motherboard in late November, but that was before non-K processors became available.
In its review of the ASRock Z690 Taichi Razer Edition, HKEPC performed several tests using the flagship Intel 12th Gen Core processor, the Core i9-12900K. With the K-suffix, this is obviously an unlocked processor and any Z690 motherboard can indulge in BCLK overclocking shenanigans with this chip.
When the reviewer decided to try Intel Core i5-12400 processor testing, things got more interesting. This mainstream processor is not advertised as supporting BCLK overclocking, and it usually isn't. However, like the previously discovered motherboards with this facility, the ASRock UEFI provides a toggle to enable "Non-K BCLK OC."
With this unlocking option enabled, the reviewer managed to successfully ramp the BCLK value from 102.9 MHz to 131.25 MHz using a multiplier value of 40. The result was a Core i5-12400 running at 5.25 GHz on all cores. HKEPC says that this overclocked 6C/12T chip scored 16205 in Cinebench R23 multicore, which almost ties with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 16C/32T processor. When pushed, the Core i5 never got hotter than 89°C, but it was cooled by the very capable Cooler Master MasterLiquid PL360 Flux AiO cooler.
While the above results are promising, overclocking entry-level and mainstream non-K processors requires a select high-end Z690 motherboard with DDR5 support. Unfortunately, this high cost of entry doesn't change with the ASRock Z690 Taichi (Razer Edition). Remember that the ASRock Z690 Taichi costs $589.99, while the Razer Edition adds an extra $30.
Adding the above two motherboards to the non-K Alder Lake CPU BCLK overclocking compatible list, you can see the newly verified ASRock boards below:
- Asus Maximus Z690 Formula, Extreme, Hero, Apex, Strix B660 G and F Gaming WiFi,
- MSI Z690I Unify, Z690 Unify X, and Z690 Ace,
- Gigabyte Aorus Tachyon,
- ASRock Z690 Aqua OC, ASRock Z690 Taichi (and Razer Edition).
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Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.