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MSI’s B760M Mag Mortar Motherboard Attempts To Overclock Non-K CPUs

There is evidence that MSI is preparing to release some next-generation mid-range motherboards that will enable overclocking on Intel Core processors without the K suffix. Chi11eddog, a hardware leaker, discovered two MSI MAG B760M Mortar Max Wi-Fi motherboards with Renesas RC26008 clock generators. With this generator installed on the PCB, BCLK overclocking is made possible. Using this motherboard, a modest Core i5-12400 appears to have been overclocked to 5.0GHz (125MHz x40) (see screenshot below).

PC enthusiasts and do-it-yourselfers interested in Intel CPU overclocking have been directed towards high-end ‘K’ suffixed CPUs and Z series motherboards for several generations. Some non-K CPUs could still be overclocked using BCLK adjustments on motherboards with discrete clock generators, it was discovered earlier this year. Sadly, only high-end motherboards typically include these optional components. As a result, the most likely i5-12400 customers are those interested in market value and midrange.

This technique for overclocking Intel’s 12th Generation Core ‘Alder Lake’ processors were identified for the first time in January 2022, when the 12th Gen non-K processors were relatively new to the market. Overclockers and other hardware tinkerers have observed that some motherboards have an “Unlock BCLK OC” option. Intel was quick to warn against enthusiasts overclocking in this manner as word spread that enthusiasts were achieving incredible feats such as overclocking a Pentium Gold chip to 5.8GHz and a Core i5-12400 to 5.2GHz.

We have been awaiting the release of more cost-effective B-series motherboards to make BCLK overclocking of Alder Lake non-K processors worthwhile for the general public. MSI appears to have prepared at least two ‘MAX’ B760 boards (DDR4 and DDR5 variants) with the necessary discrete clock generator for BCLK overclocking, as Intel’s 13th Generation Core ‘Raptor Lake’ non-K processors are nearly ready for release.

Yesterday, we reported on a leak of the MSI B760 motherboard lineup, which indicated that these motherboards will be priced at around $200. Consequently, they will not be priced significantly differently than previous-generation MSI (B660) motherboards where an equivalent exists. Assuming a clock generator is present on the motherboard, Raptor Lake non-K processors will be able to be overclocked using the BCLK method once these new PC building blocks are released.

Overclocking for improved performance arguably shouldn’t be limited to purchasers of “special” CPUs and high-end motherboards, so we hope that other motherboard manufacturers will follow MSI’s lead by releasing mainstream B760 + clock generator products.

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