The remarkable thing about the launch of the new Core i7-875K and Core i5-655K processors with unlocked clock frequency multiplier is indeed their launch. I have to admit that the release of inexpensive LGA1156 Intel processors specifically designed for overclocker platforms has the significance of a small revolution. If even Intel acknowledged the existence of overclocking, then it has obviously become a publicly accepted global trend rather than an underground phenomenon. And its adherents have got yet another ready-to-go and simple tool that will allow them to conquer new overclocking heights on the one hand, and win new fans on the other. And in this respect the launch of Intel Core i7-875K and Core i5-655K is an excellent marketing move.
At the same time it is important to understand that processors with unlocked multipliers are merely niche products rather than a mainstream solution. Yes, the use of CPUs like Core i7-875K and Core i5-655K does make it a lot easier to overclock and eliminates special requirements to the rest of the platform. But on the other hand, overclocking regular processors with a locked frequency multiplier when you have to raise the clock generator frequency is also quite fruitful. Therefore, in a general case it doesn’t make real sense to pay extra for unlocked processors, because the only difference between them and overclocker models is in fact in the possibility (or impossibility) to change the multiplier. Especially since overclocking by raising the base clock frequency also provides slightly higher performance.
However, there are specific situations when unlocked processors like Core i7-875K and Core i5-655K can become an irreplaceable part of your system. First, these CPUs will undoubtedly become the users’ first pick for extreme overclocking experiments. Very often when we use advanced cooling methods it is the LGA1156 mainboards that limit significant CPU frequency increase because they can’t ensure system stability at high clock generator frequencies. In this case the unlocked clock multipliers of the new processors are simply a panacea. Second, we can recommend Core i7-875K and Core i5-655K to all commencing overclockers, who do not feel like diving into the depths of system fine-tuning right from the start, which would be the case during overclocking by raising the BCLK clock. And third, unlocked multiplier may come in very handy if the system is based on a mainboard with limited options for worthy overclocking.