Intel Readies Performance Maximizer To Rival AMD Ryzen Master

Intel announced at its annual Computex keynote its soon-to-be-released Intel Performance Maximizer (IPM) overclocking software, which automatically overclocks your Intel 9th-generation unlocked processor.

(Image credit: Intel)

As we know, overclocking potential varies from processor to processor even if they come out from the same batch. In the last couple of years, motherboard manufacturers have been including predefined settings with their products that enable consumers to overclock their processor to a fixed frequency. These presets are often a hit or miss depending on the quality of the chip. Intel hopes to automate the overclocking process with the Intel Performance Maximizer tool.

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ModelCores / ThreadsBase Clock / Boost ClockCacheTDPRCP
Core i9-9900K8 / 163.6 GHz / 5.0 GHz16MB95W$488 - $499
Core i9-9900KF8 / 163.6 GHz / 5.0 GHz16MB95W$488 - $499
Core i7-9700K8 / 83.6 GHz / 4.9 GHz12MB95W$374 - $385
Core i7-900KF8 / 83.6 GHz / 4.9 GHz12MB95W$374 - $385
Core i5-9600K6 / 63.7 GHz / 4.6 GHz9MB95W$262 - $263
Core i5-9600KF6/63.7 GHz / 4.6 GHz9MB95W$262 - $263

The Intel Performance Maximizer software is still in diapers so it can only do its magic on  the current 9th-generation "K" chips. In Intel 's word, the tool examines the DNA of the processor to autotune it. It basically analyzes the processor's cores to find out the maximum speed that they are able to operate at without falling into instability. In Intel's demonstration, the Core i7-9700K processor was overclocked to 5.2 GHz on all eight cores in a matter of minutes. However, Intel is likely using a cherry-picked chip so your actual mileage may vary.

(Image credit: Intel)

One of the planned features consists of evaluating each core individually to find out the maximum speed for that core. Essentially, you'll have each core in a multi-core processor, such as the Intel Core X-series running at its fastest speed possible. The new feature should be implemented into the Intel Performance Maximizer utility towards the end of the year. 

Although overclocking brings great benefits, it also brings a certain level of risk. Operating a processor beyond its specifications may reduce its life or even kill it prematurely. So while Intel is providing you the Intel Performance Maximizer software to overclock your processor, you do so at your own risk, as the product warranty may not apply if your processor is damaged during overclocking. As a matter of fact, Intel recommends you purchase its Performance Tuning Protection Plan (PTPP), which grants you a one-time return if your overclocked chip dies. The protection plan only applies to retail, boxed processors, and its cost varies depending on the model of the processor.

The Intel Performance Maximizer utility will be available to download for free next month at Intel's website.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.