ASRock kills unique BIOS feature that could overclock any Intel processor

asrock killed overclocking intel skylake nonk gaming motherboard
After announcing it with a bang, ASRock has removed its Sky OC overclocking function from its firmware with little more than a whimper.

Intel is careful to allow overclocking only on its high-end processors, and has seemingly pressured motherboard manufacturers to help enforce this. Which is why Sky OC, a feature announced by ASRock, made headlines back in December. The company announced the firmware update including the feature with a page full of screenshots of seemingly miraculous results. For example: taking a Core i5-6400 from 2.7GHz with a bus speed of 100.9MHz all the way up to 4.3GHz with a Bus speed just shy of 160MHz.

But users enjoying this feature who upgrade their ASRock motherboard firmware will find that it’s now missing entirely.

“Remove SKY OC Function,” the release notes for the update say, without much in the way of an explanation. And the page that once loudly announced the feature’s capabilities is gone. Trying to open it redirect you to the ASRock homepage. All this just two months after the feature was announced.

Hardware blog Hexus reports suspects Intel is behind the change.

“There has been talk about Intel pushing motherboard vendors to remove the overclocking of non-K Skylake processor capabilities from their feature lists,” wrote Mark Tyson, “Now we have seen the first evidence of this pressure.”

Overclocking lets users get more power by accepting the risk, as opposed to paying for a more powerful processor. It makes sense that Intel wouldn’t like this. The bottom line depends on selling more expensive processors. Tests have shown that an overclocked i3-6100 could out-perform an i5-4430 in Cinebench.

“That’s obviously not an appealing comparison for Intel which charges considerably more cash for its i5 chips than their i3 bretheren” wrote Tyson.

Older versions of the firmware that include Sky OC are still available, if you know where to look, but they won’t be getting any other updates.

There’s been no word on this from ASRock or Intel, so the motives are just speculation at this point. We’ll be interested to see if an official explanation pops up.

Product Review

Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe (late 2017) review

As our Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe (late 2017) review shows, adding an 8th-gen Intel Core processor to an excellent thin and light chassis makes for a great combination.
Computing

New Apple MacBook may appear in September at $1,200

Apple may reveal new products in September including an entry-level 13-inch MacBook based on Intel’s seventh-generation processors. Apple originally intended these units to rely on Intel’s now-delayed 10nm “Cannon Lake” processors.
Computing

Intel teases new dedicated graphics card slated for 2020 release

Intel has confirmed plans to launch a dedicated graphics card in 2020. Although precious few details exist for the card at this time, it was silhouetted in a recent Intel video showcased at Siggraph 2018.
Computing

Intel serves up ‘Bean Canyon’ NUCs revved with ‘Coffee Lake’ CPUs

Looking for a super-compact PC for streaming media that doesn’t break the bank? Intel updated its NUC family with its new “Bean Canyon” kits. Currently, there are five with a starting price of $300 packing eighth-generation Intel Core…
Product Review

Dell's classic 4K P2715Q monitor still holds up today

The Dell P2715Q might not be the most modern of 4K displays, but its IPS panel, extensive connectivity, and easily adjusted stand make it more than competitive with the newest crop of screens.
Computing

Style up your MacBook Air with one of these great cases or sleeves

Whether you’re looking for added protection or a stylish flourish, you’re in the right place for the best MacBook Air cases. We have form-hugging cases, luxurious covers and padded sleeves priced from $7 to $130. Happy shopping!
Computing

Art-inspired face blurring can obscure identity without losing humanity

Researchers have developed an AI-generated anonymity system that “paints” over video frames, using inspiration from masters like Picasso and Van Gogh to reimagine a person’s appearance. The goal is to minimize outer resemblance but…
Cars

Nvidia ‘more than happy to help’ if Tesla’s self-driving chip doesn’t pan out

After Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the intention to use an in-house Autopilot chip, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang responded to an analyst's question, saying that if the Tesla chip doesn't work out, he'd be more than happy to help.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: inflatable backpacks and robotic submarines

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

Dell's XPS 15 is the PC every laptop wishes it could be

Not everyone needs the power that a laptop like the Dell XPS 15 provides. But if you need a computer that can handle the heavy workload you use every day, the XPS 15 might be the best you can buy.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for something without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses with one of these handy services.
Computing

Both the Razer Blade and XPS 15 are capable laptops, but which is better?

We pit the latest Dell XPS 15 against the latest Razer Blade 15 to see which machine meets the needs of most people. Both are a fast, attractive, and well-built, but they still appeal to different users.
Computing

Use one of these password managers to stay safe online

The internet can be a scary place, especially if you don't have a proper passcode manager. This guide will show you the best password managers you can get right now, including both premium and free options. Find the right password software…
Computing

Logitech’s distinctive new ergonomic mouse looks as good as it feels

Logitech's first true ergonomic mouse sports an interesting tilted design that encourages less muscle strain. We spent some time with the MX Vertical to see how comfortable it is and determine whether or not we'd prefer it to a standard…