ASRock Releases BIOS to Disable Non-K Skylake Overclocking

Subject: Processors | February 5, 2016 - 11:44 AM |
Tagged: Intel, Skylake, overclocking, cpu, Non-K, BCLK, bios, SKY OC, asrock, Z170

ASRock's latest batch of motherboard BIOS updates remove the SKY OS function, which permitted overclocking of non-K Intel processors via BCLK (baseclock).

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The news comes amid speculation that Intel had pressured motherboard vendors to remove such functionality. Intel's unlocked K parts (i5-6600K, i7-6700K) will once again be the only options for Skylake overclocking on Z170 on ASRock boards (assuming prior BIOS versions are no longer available), and with no Pentium G3258 this generation Intel is no longer a budget friendly option for enthusiasts looking to push their CPU past factory specs.

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It sounds like now would be a good time to archive that SKY OS enabled BIOS update file if you've downloaded it - or simply refrain from this BIOS update. What remains to be seen of course is whether other vendors will follow suit and disable BCLK overclocking of non-K processors. This had become a popular feature on a number of Z170 motherboards on the market, but ASRock may have been in too weak a position to battle Intel on this issue.

Source: Hexus

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February 5, 2016 | 01:32 PM - Posted by Jerry (not verified)

They did the same thing to a b85 board I bought a while back when Windows 10 came out. Had to stick with an older BIOS version to overclock my G3258

February 5, 2016 | 01:36 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

Well I just won't be updating BIOS/buying new boards with new BIOS in them F you Intel, pretty simple.

February 5, 2016 | 01:41 PM - Posted by Bri (not verified)

Seriously? I bought an Asrock motherboard predicated solely on this feature. Just filed a BBB report, let's see how they respond.

February 5, 2016 | 01:47 PM - Posted by James (not verified)

This really doesnt rise to the level of false advertising or a bait and switch. Unless board makers have found a way to force a BIOS update the easy solution is to simply not install it. Any boards sold with that firmware as stock however and whose packaging still advertises the OC feature would definitely be a problem. But right now if you have the board already just leave it alone. Theres no reason to update a BIOS unless it contains a bug fix for a specific issue you have.

February 9, 2016 | 08:43 AM - Posted by Bri (not verified)

I received a broken english response from ASRock. They said just because they are no longer advertising SkyOC doesn't mean they removed it from the mobo feature set. Unfortunately my motherboard is the Gaming K4, NOT the Gaming K6+, so the my BIOS doesn't actually say, "Removed SkyOC". Maybe Ryan and the gang can reach out to ASRock for official comment on the SkyOC thing.

February 5, 2016 | 02:09 PM - Posted by Bill (not verified)

We're starting to see the first signs of a monopoly right here and now. Does anyone really thing Intel would exert pressure on mobo makers like this if they had AMD as viable competition? Of course not but they are now Kings in the PC processor industry with no one to stop them. Dark times ahead for PC enthusiasts.

February 5, 2016 | 03:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Something is influencing OEM's to put AMD's Carrizo/other APU/CPU SKUs in very gimped down 15 watt mostly(laptop SKUs) Laptop and PC offerings with no chance of the APU being able to perform, like single channel memory, and not supporting Dual APU/Discrete Graphics working together in Gaming laptops! A Gaming Laptop without the driver support from the OEM to use integrated and discrete graphics at the same time for better gaming! WTF Lenovo!

Intel has been big on moving laptop computing down to the Ultraweak, and underpowered at the highest price points!Hopefully AMD's ZEN will get better OEM Treatment, hell it looks like AMD is going to have to build Laptop APUs on an interposer package with HBM just to prevent the laptop OEM's form pulling that single RAM memory channel nonsense, like they did with the first Carrizo APU SKUs! Single channel memory was supposed to be for Carrizo-L, and not full Carrizo. It's the season of the Gimping, and that is what is making the sales go into the crapper!

February 7, 2016 | 06:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Something is influencing OEM's to put AMD's Carrizo/other APU/CPU SKUs in very gimped down 15 watt mostly(laptop SKUs)"

Yeah, a common platform. You think an OEM is going to produce a niche 'high end' Carrizo laptop when they can take the low-end Carrizo platform and drop a high-end chip in it? They can't drop a low-end chip in the high-end platform, so they'll just go for the cheapest lowest common denominator.

February 7, 2016 | 08:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You mean something as basic a dual channel memory is high end, and with chromebooks getting 1080P displays! What about the Lenovo Y700, the integrated GPU can not even be used for gaming with the discrete mobile GPU, and that has nothing other to do with it than the bad driver support from Lenovo! Something is definitely influencing the laptop OEMs to not offer AMD's Carrizo CPUs even in a normal treatment relative to Intel's offerings! Something is rotten in Denmark, the contra revenue, along with the illegal other tactics the have been proven in the courts previously!

It's definitely funny that Intel gets in loads of 35 watt laptops, while AMD gets Carrizo in the one Lenovo laptop at 35 watts that is using a single channel for RAM, and does not have the driver support to use the APU's integrated Graphics alongside the discrete mobile graphics for better gaming support on a laptop SKU that is marketed for gaming.

Who's Kool Aid are you drinking! Those OEMs are being influenced to do the improper treatment, and those old market tactics have never been changed by the big monopoly interest!

AMD needs to move to making only Interposer based laptop APU SKUs, so the laptop OEMs can not Gimp down the memory channels! AMD should move it all onto the interposer for Zen with AMD in charge of what memory paths get to the HBM stacks, and AMD in charge of what connects the Zen Cores to the on interposer GPU's die, with the interposer becoming AMD's design territory! AMD has the interposer as a way to make sure there is proper engineering to make the best use on memory, and also make sure the CPU core/s to GPU cores connection is wide just like the GPU to HBM memory paths are wide with plenty of available low power using high effective bandwidth channels. Let's see the laptop OEMs try and gimp the interposer module when AMD is the one in charge of the HBM, the CPU and GPU on the interposer module!

I hope AMD gets back into the server room, and makes enough money to tell the laptop OEMs to stuff it, and goes with some new laptop OEMs that will not do any gimping! AMD should focus on the Server Room SKUs, the desktop SKUs that the users build themselves, and cuts out any of the laptop OEMs that gimped Carrizo off at the knees, and only do business with the ones that took the time to provide dual channel RAM memory.

Bristol Ridge better get some better laptop OEM treatment, or its time for AMD to begin selling their own branded laptops, and only worry about making Server parts and PC parts for the consumer to build their own PCs, as well as the console/othe custom parts. I really wish AMD would start making user buildable laptops and let the users order the parts, including the laptop enclosures, mainboards, SOCs, and displays.

February 5, 2016 | 02:16 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Intel at it again, what a disgusting company.

February 5, 2016 | 02:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Intel deserves a customer uprising, as well as the OEM's that gimp their offerings, maybe a few fast falling sales quarters is just what the OEM/CPU/SOC industry needs to let them know what the consumer thinks! You Laptop OEMs with your gimping of AMD APU based laptop SKUs, and Intel with its reducing of advertised functionality on PC SKUs!

All this gimping before and after the sale, on laptops and PC SKUs and parts as well as shady advertising needs to be stopped! Let the lawsuits begin, as well as the complaints to the FTC, and other agencies! But most of all hit them in the profits/revenues with some consumer dissatisfaction! The motherboards sold because of the feature, need to be returnable if the original advertised terms/features are not met! RMA those boards!

February 5, 2016 | 03:17 PM - Posted by -- (not verified)

keep buying into guys.........

*eye roll*

February 5, 2016 | 10:49 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

SLURP IT UP INTEL FANS!!!!!!!!!! This is what you asked for right? when you bought your over priced chips?? you could have purchased AMD chips that perform the same....but no you went intel.

Enjoy intel inside..........

February 6, 2016 | 12:25 AM - Posted by tbonesan

Cool story

February 6, 2016 | 08:12 AM - Posted by onion uk (not verified)

lol funny

February 6, 2016 | 01:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Keep us up to date when it comes out.

Seriously, I would like a better performing AMD chip, but right now it doesn't exist.

February 6, 2016 | 03:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

hm ok pretty easy

i5-6600 : 224.00
FX 8300 : 129.00

cheaper, faster.


i7-6700k : 399.00
FX-9590 : 239.00

neck and neck speed...cheaper.

I can do this all day.

February 6, 2016 | 11:47 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

....yeah. Nice try though. I've been a longtime fan of AMD, but they really haven't kept pace as of late. The facts may suck, but they're...facts. Here's to hoping that the Zen chips will help AMD actually compete again.

February 7, 2016 | 03:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

nice try? CPU boss is all over the place.. if you toss a chip with intergrated graphics, vs a chip with no graphics... it skews the results like hell

CPU boss isn't a great source.... so lets try this again!

AMD FX 8300 - Passmark score: 7580
i5 - 6600 - Passmark score: 7540

could have used an 8350, but im keeping them close

AMD FX 9590 - 10255
i7 6700k - 11000


yea facts.... fact is intel isn't untouchable as everyone blindly believes.

February 7, 2016 | 06:02 PM - Posted by -- (not verified)

yea cpuboss sucks unless you know exactly what you are looking for

example of feeding it junk data

looks like the A10 wins! LOL

February 8, 2016 | 11:52 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

lol yeah, listen to CPUboss and you believe that Skylake only supports DDR3L.

No mention of DDR4.

But yes, let's use CPUboss as a source of "reliable" info about CPUs.

I'm an AMD fan and the thought that an A10-7870K is a better CPU than an i5-6600 is laughable.

February 8, 2016 | 12:58 PM - Posted by -- (not verified)

The people that visit this site probably build 1 system every few years.
and they sit on their soap box like they are some kind of expert.

90% of the comment boxes here are fools.

Not enough hardware crosses their path for them to even understand the difference. The fact that they used "cpu boss" for some kinda validation backs it up.

instead... do you have any REAL world exp with those processors..... cause I do.

All of them.

February 6, 2016 | 01:30 PM - Posted by Deified (not verified)

Seems like the complainers are those too broke to buy something decent. You want the workaround instead of just getting what you paid for. Tell your mom to hold off on that hot pocket and get off your ass and make some money so you dont have to worry about why your cheap product is not performing better than something you should have bought in the first place. I bet 90% of you arent even running genuine windows. You should be thanking Intel for having a nice product in the first place. When you put your big boy pants on and get that K sku processor you should thank them again for even allowing you to overclock it. You should be looking at the motherboard manufactures trying to put out something they shouldnt have in the first place.

February 6, 2016 | 01:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Please tell me and everyone here that you are trolling.

February 7, 2016 | 04:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why do I get the feeling that you're voting for Trump?

February 9, 2016 | 08:38 AM - Posted by Bri (not verified)

Apparently your mother never taught you the difference between being frugal and being cheap.

February 6, 2016 | 03:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Evidently having a monopoly on chips and abusing your customers with shit prices is pretty ok and awesome around here.

But seriously do not bring up anything windows, oh hellllllllll no that is totally unexceptable and evil get linux and put down that evil OS right now.


Bi-polar people around here

February 7, 2016 | 06:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Eh, not a surprise. Stability issues with baseclock fiddling are well-known, and people have gotten used to 'auto-OC' features. Adding in a feature that's basically an auto-stability-breaker is not going to sit well with Intel, because it's Intel who will get blamed for the instability. You can bet your ass that "don't expose BCLK as a user-modifiable parameter" is in Intel's agreement with OEMs for access to their platform. ASRock gambled that if they seeked forgiveness rather than asked permission, Intel would turn a blind eye and not cut them off. Intel called their bluff.

February 9, 2016 | 01:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Stability issues with BCLK changes was due entirely to the fact that, since Sandy Bridge, the BCLK and the PCI-E clock were tied together. Changing the BCLK more than 1 or 2 MHz skewed the PCI-E clock so badly that "unstable" is an understatement.

With Skylake, however, they decoupled them. And the reviews at launch all noticed it. Back when Skylake first came out, and nobody could find them because the supply was so dried up, all of the reviewers who I read made mention of the fact that it looked like BCLK overclocking is back again, unless Intel disabled it.

Literally months went by before Intel finally decided to try to lock it down. If they had never intended it to begin with, why didn't they lock it down as soon as the reviewers started talking about it? Why did they wait until NOW to start pressuring the motherboard manufacturers to disable BCLK overclocking?

I'll tell you why - money. They looked at their sales and they saw their K-sku sales suffering because everyone was buying non-K chips and BCLK overclocking them. If people were getting 5% overclocks, I doubt Intel would care. But people were taking 3.2GHz chips and BCLK overclocking them to 4.4 to 4.6, easily, on air.

Intel's not stupid. They know perfectly well that nobody is going to buy their K-skus when the non-K chips overclock that well.

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