Asustek Computer, Biostar and Gigabyte Technology this week unveiled new BIOS versions for their mainboards based on Intel B85 and H87 core-logic sets that allow overclocking of Intel Core i5-4670K and Core i7-4770K by changing their multipliers. As a result, virtually all big mainboard makers now support so-called “non-Z” overclocking capability.
Officially, Intel provides extensive overclocking capabilities only on mainboards based on Z-series chipsets and for K-series microprocessors with unlocked multipliers, such as Intel Core i5-4670K and Core i7-4770K. Naturally, both Intel and its partners charge more for Intel Z87-powered motherboards and Core i-series 4000K-family central processing units. However, a backdoor in Intel’s mainstream B85 and H87 chipsets allows to change CPU multipliers on “unlocked” chips (a feature only officially offered by Z87 platform).
Virtually all leading manufacturers of mainboards, including Asustek, Asrock, Biostar, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) and Gigabyte Technology now support so-called “non-Z” overclocking capability. The only noteworthy motherboard maker that have not implemented multiplier-based overclocking on Intel B85- and H87-based platforms is MicroStar International.
While the BIOS capability lets enjoy unlocked CPU multipliers on mainboards that are not supposed to support such feature, it should be noted that Intel H87 and B85 chipsets do not support a number of other enthusiast-oriented capabilities (e.g., proper multi-GPU support) that are available on Intel Z87 platforms.
It should also be noted that because “non-Z OC” is related to Intel’s chipset, central processing units and firmware, no mainboard maker can guarantee the availability of “non-Z” overclocking feature in the future.
Intel did not comment on the news-story.