Asrock Makes Non-K Skylake CPU Overclocking Official With 'SKY OC' Z170 BIOS Update

Yesterday we broke some exciting news about Asrock’s progress in overclocking non-K Skylake CPUs. The company demonstrated that it had made great strides in unlocking new-found potential in an i5-6600 Skylake processor while using a Z170 chipset motherboard. Today, ASRock released SKY OC, a new feature in the BIOS that allows anyone to do the same.

Asrock’s SKY OC is available on its Z170 motherboards and can be enabled with a simple BIOS update, which is available from the company’s website (See table below for links). It enables you to adjust the BCLK to overclock locked CPUs to their full potential. Asrock showed off CPU-Z screenshots of its i5-6600 overclock. The company also claimed to have attained a 60% overclock on an i5-6400, as well.

In our preview, Michael Justin Allen Sexton astutely noticed that Turbo Boost has been disabled on the i5-6600 overclock based on the clock speeds being attained. Asrock said that this is one of the limitations to overclocking non-K Skylake processors: Turbo Boost and C-State are disabled with SKY OC is applied. The company also explained that the integrated Intel graphics has to be disabled as well, meaning you’ll need a discrete GPU in the system.

The following motherboards are supported. You can find the link to their respective BIOS updates in the table.

Model 
BIOS 
Z170 OC FormulaL1.92
Z170 Extreme7+L2.17
Z170 Extreme6+L1.82
Z170 Extreme6L1.82
Z170 Extreme4+L2.01
Z170 Extreme4L2.43
Z170 Extreme3L1.61
Z170M Extreme4L1.35
Z170 Pro4L2.83
Z170 Pro4/D3L1.74
Z170 Pro4SL2.73
Z170M Pro4L2.23
Z170M Pro4SL2.23
Z170M-ITX/acL1.83
Z170A-X1/3.1L1.31
Z170 Professional Gaming i7L1.14
Z170 Gaming K6+L1.93
Z170 Gaming K6L1.92
Z170 Gaming K4L2.23
Z170 Gaming K4/D3L1.51
Z170 Gaming-ITX/acL1.54

Asrock said that SKY OC will work with i3, i5, i7 and Pentium non-K CPUs. Currently, only Z170 chipsets support the feature, but the company seemingly hinted at the possibility of that changing in the future: “…have faith in Asrock’s skillfull engineers, sooner or later, more Christmas gifts from Asrock are going to be delivered.”

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Kevin Carbotte joined Tom’s Hardware in early 2015. He writes GPU and VR hardware reviews and contributes to the news channel in the areas of computer graphics, water cooling, VR and other immersive technology. Kevin’s personal interests include technology advancements, fast cars and collecting video games that he doesn't have time to play.

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  • firefoxx04
    Ouch. Not being able to use the intel graphics is a deal breaker for me. I wanted to go with a cheep i3 and overclock it a bit for use in a home server.. or even a 2d cad workstation that does not require a dedicated card.

    I guess my server can run 'headless'. I prefer the overclock due to the demanding transcodes that plex does. No GPU makes it a paint to troubleshoot things if I cant remote in.
  • TechyInAZ
    That is a bummer that you need to disable the IGPU. However, being able to overclock at all is pretty sweet! Good Job AsRock!
  • stampedea
    Hey, losing the onboard video is no big deal. An HD5450 or similar is very very cheap, will work in a pcie 1x slot and let you use three monitors at once if you choose the right card.