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This could be the end of the line...

Are you a fan of Intel CPUs but also love overclocking? Then there may be a reason to not look forward to the upcoming Sandy Bridge.

According to slides shown by Hong Kong-based HKEPC's YouTube channel, Sandy Bridge will have a single single internal clock generator issuing the basic 100MHz base clock that'll run for the USB, SATA, PCI, PCI-E, CPU cores, Uncore, and RAM.

The clock generator will be a part of the P67 chipset and will transmit via to DMI bus to the CPU. This means that the user won't be able to tweak the CPU speed without affecting the entire system.

Bit-tech claims to have spoken to one of its Taiwanese motherboard sources, and early tests show that even upping the base clock by a measly 5 MHz caused the USB to fail and SATA bus to corrupt.

We're sure that motherboard makers are doing everything they can to come up with a way around this, which could make for a huge competitive point that'll cater to the enthusiast market.

edit: @ Seb, for the reports you made, the content was redistributed according to the authors rules, you must quote and source them so before you go reporting left and right, check the site and see what they allow first.

This post may not seem too much like a question but when users post an article they are generally looking for opinions or thoughts on it.

currently, Intel has not released any info to the motherboard makers on how to adjust any multipliers, but if they ever do, you will need to be able to control those other components in 1 MHz increments even when the base clock is adjusted. Even if multipliers can have a fine control that allows for 1MHz increments, that will all change once the base clock is adjusted. and remember we are talking about components that cant handle any overclocking so at best we will end up with an overclocked CPU and everything else underclocked and that's. even if intel ever allows control over those components

asked Jul 29 '10 at 01:31

Razor512's gravatar image


edited Jul 29 '10 at 20:12

I bet that AMD is loving this news.

Why is Intel making this move backwards?

I thought the new Core i3, i5, and i7 were designed for automatic overclocking.

(Jul 29 '10 at 03:16) r0bErT4u r0bErT4u's gravatar image

What is the question?

(Jul 29 '10 at 09:04) Feras Feras's gravatar image

Sorry... im struggling to see how this is a question...

answered Jul 29 '10 at 03:08

Headwards's gravatar image



Actually, this news should make you wonder WHY?

(Jul 29 '10 at 03:17) r0bErT4u r0bErT4u's gravatar image

If motherboard makers do not find a way around this, it will be a big problem for overclockers as users simply wont be able to overclock.

When buying a CPU, the product description never shows info on the inner workings of the CPU or how it interacts with the motherboard. so you can have many people building a PC with the "latest" intel CPU then wondering why they cant overclock.

The problem is will they be able to find a way around this?

If a single clock speed is linked to all of those parts of the system then how will they fix this. They may find a way to change the multipliers but that's usually not a fine enough control when overclocking as you in most cases end up with parts of the system being underclocked (as you will often end up in situation where you have 2 multiplier choices either underclocked or overclocked to a point where it is unstable or scale back the bus speed so the CPU cant hit it's full overclock in order to allow the other components to at least hit their default speed. Overall the customer loses with this move.

answered Jul 29 '10 at 04:10

Razor512's gravatar image


edited Jul 29 '10 at 04:20

You can overclock your CPU just fine WITHOUT ever touching the front side bus speed. All you need to do is get a processor with an unlocked Core Multiplier. This allows you to increase the number that the FSB clockspeed is multiplied by to create the CPU core clockspeed.

100MHz Base Clock * 20 Core Multiplier = 2000MHz (2.0GHz)

100MHz Base Clock * 30 Core Multiplier = 3000MHz (3.0GHz)

You just increased the speed by 1GHz without touching the base clockspeed at all. This is very simple and current processors already do it. The problem is, Intel usually charges a lot more for processors that have an unlocked core multiplier, because it makes them so easy to overclock.

answered Jul 29 '10 at 11:59

Leapo's gravatar image


the problem with that is you cant reach a proper overclock because simply adjusting multiplier leads to large jumps in clock speed. for example

Overclocks need to be fine tuned which is why even when people get black edition CPU's from AMD, they still end up using the FSB in overclocking. Also with that intel CPU, not all of the models will have an unlocked multiplier (they will most likely reserve that for the super expensive cores that most people will not be able to afford. and the ones that cant afford it will use the cheaper ones thinking they can just overclock purely on the FSB and other multipliers.

all in all, to reach a fast and stable overclock, you need to use both the multiplier and the FSB. There is more to a CPU than overclocking the main clock speed. To reach the highest clock speed, you will reach a point were you are between 2 multiplier settings, one is too slow and the other is too fast and thus you will pick the slow one and slowly increase the clock speed in smaller increments using the FSB.

You must also increase some of the other clock speeds. I will use an AMD cpu for this example as their clock speeds are easier to work with.

A phenom II x4 955 at 3.8GHz and a HT link speed of 2000 MHz will run games slower than a phenom II x4 955 at 3745MHz and a ht link speed of 2400MHz range (trust me then is generally the difference between the overclock giving you a 20% performance boost and a 25% performance boost)

The goal of overclocking is not purely core clock speed, it is finding a mixture of bus speeds and core clock speeds in order to get the best performance.

sometimes you will have to give up some MHz on the core clock speed but at least in this case, you are trading those few MHz for a boost in clock speed in another part of the CPU in order to get an even larger performance boost.

With intel's new core, users who don't spend an arm and a leg on the super high end versions will not be able to overclock at all and the ones that do will not get as good of overclocks as they are used to seeing from an intel CPU

(Jul 29 '10 at 15:14) Razor512 Razor512's gravatar image

You're assuming that only whole-multipliers are allowed, but that isn't the case. You can have half and quarter steps between each multiplier, and it's very possible to go more granular than that.

You could have 20x, 20.25x, 20.5x, 20.75x, 21x, and so on and so forth. You aren't restricted to just 20, 21, etc. This should give you a desirable range of clockspeeds with very little dead space in-between.

You're also assuming that the FSB is the only way to overclock certain components. This also isn't true. Components like the HT link speed, RAM clock, and PCIe bus clock do not run synchronous with the FSB. They all have their own separate multipliers and dividers that can be adjusted to control their clockspeed WITHOUT tinkering with the front side bus.

All a motherboard would have to do is provide granular control over these multipliers and dividers. Assuming the CPU core is unlocked, you'll have just as much (and in some ways, more) control than you ever did using the FSB to blanked-adjust everything.

(Jul 29 '10 at 17:10) Leapo Leapo's gravatar image

yep, in my previous posts I mentioned the other multipliers. the problem is you generally see .5x steps for the core clock and 1x steps for other things. Either way, it will make overclocking harder as you will still end up with some items being under clocked. For sensitive components such as the sata bus (some motherboards in the bast had them linked to the FSB with no changeable multiplier for them, eg the asus a8v ). Remember at in the case of the article, these are components that can not handle being overclocked. so even if they had a multiplier, it will be nearly impossible to to get a good overclock involving the CPU multiplier as well as a FSB change with out causing other components to run slower. you will basically be making one item faster while making many others slower. And this is something that overclockers hate to do.

the Other problem is these changes are in intels chipset, People will have to wonder, will intel even allow multipliers for these additional components to be adjusted (remember CPU makers don't have much motivation to allow users to overclock low and mid range CPU's as that will take sales away from faster and more expensive CPU's. For example, AMD has the phenom II x4 955 and the x4 965. the 965 barely sold because it had the same everything that the 955 had, only difference was the multiplier being slightly higher. Many stores charged more for the 965

Most people avoided it because the 955 could be overclocked to the same speed easily. and both CPU's had the same max overclock limits.

If you own a tv company and you sell a 40 inch TV and a 60 inch, the 60 inch is $1000 more than the 40 inch. People who want a 60 inch will spend more for it. but if it turned out that the 40 inch was also a 60 inch, the company just taped some cardboard over the edges then zoomed the picture out a little. and the 40 inch should easily become a 60 inch by removing the cardboard going into the options and changing the zoom settings. would people still spend the $1000 extra for the 60 inch or will they buy the 40 inch and just do the quick change to make it into a 60 inch?

CPU companies don't like overclocking for low cost CPU's as it takes sales away from their more expensive CPU's that use the same core technology.

for multipliers to work, they will have to be made in such a way that allows for each component to have 1MHz increments (no company has done that before in terms of multipliers)

(Jul 29 '10 at 17:46) Razor512 Razor512's gravatar image

I don't think you fully understand what I'm attempting to convey...

Just because a lot of boards these days only give you half-step, doesn't mean new boards can't give you more. If Intel really does fix the base clock to 100MHz, then I can guarantee you motherboards will start offering such fine tuning of multiplier values.

The components that cannot handle overclocking are a non-issue since, with the aforementioned highly granular multiplier control, you will NEVER touch the 100MHz FSB clockspeed. The only thing you'll ever need to adjust are Core multiplier, HT Multiplier, Memory Divider, PCIe Multiplier, and Northbridge Multiplier.

Let me make that very clear. The FSB does not need to change from 100MHz if multiplier control is granular enough.

Lets assume you had such a motherboard, where all multipliers and dividers can be controlled down to the nearest tenth (20.1x, 20.2x, 20.3x, etc). This means that all clockspeeds within the system can be controlled in 10MHz steps, which gives you control down to a hundredth of a gigahertz (2.01GHz, 2.02GHz, 2.03GHz, etc). That's perfectly fine, and you don't have to touch the FSB at all (which would overclock everything instead of just the components you want).

1MHz increments are pointlessly small. Do you really need control down to a thousandth (0.001) of a gigahertz?

(Jul 29 '10 at 18:11) Leapo Leapo's gravatar image

This will suck but my question would really be. WHY?

I'll wait till they release it and see what their game is.

Don't bother me. The only Pentium machine I had came with a locked mobo + my intel laptop is locked. Only ever tweaked my AMD PC.

answered Jul 30 '10 at 13:39

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Asked: Jul 29 '10 at 01:31

Seen: 1,437 times

Last updated: Jul 30 '10 at 13:39