Intel Haswell Processors to Further Improve Overclocking

Next-Gen Intel Core Performance-Mainstream Platform to Offer LGA2011-Like Tuning Capabilities

by Anton Shilov
09/19/2012 | 04:03 PM

Next year Intel Corp. will provide enthusiasts brand new capabilities to tune up performance of their code-named Haswell microprocessors. Many of the new features promise to be rather revolutionary for Intel Corp.'s modern mainstream platforms.


While currently-available Intel Core i-series "Ivy Bridge" microprocessors and supporting platforms already support respectable amount of capabilities for performance tuning and overclocking, with the next-gen Intel Core "Haswell" platforms the chip giant plans to offer even more flexibility when it comes to boosting performance. In particular, some of the features only available on high-end enthusiast-class LGA2011 platforms will be supported.

At the Intel Developer Forum last week the world's largest maker of central processing units (CPUs) revealed that its fourth-generation Core i "Haswell" chips will feature even more "knobs" for relevant frequency and voltage domains of the chip as well as higher core ratios than today for those, who want to set-up clock-speed records using extreme cooling methods like liquid nitrogen. But the main improvement of Haswell platform over current Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge will be support for variable DMICLK/BCLK [base clock] coarse ratios supported currently only by the high-end desktop (HEDT) LGA2011 platform.

Nowadays there is virtually one safe way of overclocking Intel Core K-family LGA1155 microprocessors with unlocked multiplier: by adjusting the latter, which generally means poor frequency granularity. When processor system bus is overclocked, other busses within a PC also change clock-speed (since BCLK ratio is locked) which usually causes errors. Meanwhile, Intel Core Extreme LGA2011 platforms support various BCLK, e.g., 125MHz and 166MHz, in addition to default 100MHz, which allows to play with both multiplier and bus speed without overclocking of other components (like input/output controllers, PCI Express bus and so on).

With Core i7 "Haswell" K-series LG1150 central processing units, Intel will bring variable BCLK coarse ratios to the mainstream platforms, which will provide more flexibility to overclockers. Intel platform will still not allow independent clocking of processor bus and other components, but one can be rest assured that for enthusiasts Haswell may provide more than existing chips.