Skip to main content

Want to overclock your notebook CPU? Intel will let you by the end of the year

Asus ROG G751JY DH71 review
Enthusiasts love to overclock processors, gaining “free” performance with just a few tweaks, but it’s traditionally been restricted to desktops (and considered one of that platform’s advantages). That will soon change, however, if Intel keeps its promise to bring an unlocked “K” series chip to mobile.

The announcement was made somewhat quietly at Gamescom, and generally overlooked in the noise of the more prominent desktop processor announcements.

Related Videos

Not much information is available. An official blog post by Intel PR manager Dan Snyder says only that Intel “announced plans to deliver an unlocked 6th Gen Intel Core processor “K” SKU for enthusiast notebooks later this year. This will be the first unlocked “K” SKU form mobile.”

Its arrival later this year at least indicates a limited timeframe. We won’t have to wait a year for this processor to come out. And while everything else is left up to speculation, to hazard a guess, I’d say it’s a good bet the chip will be a quad-core with a high base clock speed and plenty of cache.

Whatever the details, Intel’s decision to bring over-clocking to mobile is interesting, especially in light of the recent drama over Nvidia’s decision to disable overclocking in some laptops. The company said in a statement that “by overclocking a notebook, a user risks serious damage to the system that could result in non-functional systems, reduced notebook life, or many other effects.”

Intel apparently doesn’t have similar concerns, though to be fair, it likely has more say in how notebooks are designed than Nvidia. Personally, from recent experience with notebooks, I think that issuing a “K” series mobile chip makes sense. Some modern gaming laptops, like the Asus Republic of Gamers G751 are surprisingly quiet and cool at full processor load, suggesting headroom for even greater performance.

Of course, being able to afford a laptop so equipped may be an issue. An unlocked “K” series mobile quad would not come cheap. Intel hasn’t said a word about pricing, though, so we can continue to hope for a holiday miracle — and maybe a new, overclockable laptop under the tree.

Editors' Recommendations

USB-C charging laptops: Here’s what you need to know
Close up on the USB-C ports on a Macbook Pro.

The arrival of USB-C and USB-C laptop chargers has been a game-changer for many electronics. You can use the connection to charge devices and transfer media, and it's conveniently reversible. The best laptops no longer need a big power brick -- you can just use USB-C. But there are some precautions you should take when charging over USB-C. Here's everything you need to know.
USB charging and laptops

You have probably already used USB connections to charge smaller devices either from your computer or from an outlet. That works well because past USB connections had enough wattage to successfully power up those smaller batteries. Prior versions of USB could only handle a limited amount of power, which is why laptop chargers have typically retained their larger, bulkier cables.

Read more
PC gamers are flocking to Windows 11, new Steam survey says
Shadow of the Tomb Raider on the Alienware 34 QD-OLED.

According to the latest Steam Hardware and Software Survey, more PC gamers are switching to using Windows 11. Although Windows 10 continues to top the charts, it's slowly losing users to Microsoft's newer operating system, as Windows 11 now compromises over a third of all operating systems in Steam's monthly survey.

It's happy news for Microsoft as Windows 11 continues to inch forward in the Steam Hardware Survey. While the survey doesn't include the software and hardware utilized by each and every gamer on the platform, it still shows us some significant averages. Microsoft has continued to push Windows 11 for new PCs, and the latest survey from Steam suggests that the effort is working.

Read more
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D vs. Intel Core i9-13900K: only one choice for PC gamers
AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X3D inside of its packaging.

The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D and Intel Core i9-13900K are undoubtedly two of the best processors you can buy, but they aren't equal. We threw both of the CPUs on the test bench to answer the age-old question: is AMD or Intel better?

Based on our testing, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D wins this bout, mostly on the back of the excellent gaming performance AMD's 3D V-Cache technology brings. Intel's Core i9-13900K still holds up, particularly in productivity apps, but Team Red takes the win this time around.
Pricing and availability

Read more