Recently, Intel released a number of slides with details of their upcoming Sandy Bridge CPU platform. Unfortunately, some of what these slides show could spell out to be a spot of trouble for hopeful overclockers.
Unlike current generations, the Sandy Bridge platform has all of its buses (USB, SATA, PCI, PCI-E, CPU cores, Uncore, memory etc) tied to the base clock. This is good for Intel as it eliminates the need for an external clock generator and makes general design easier/cheaper. However, from an overclocker's point of view, this creates an extremely limiting factor.
This is because most of the non-CPU/RAM buses, particularly the USB and SATA ones, are very sensitive to clock adjustments. Testing by Taiwanese motherboard company showed that even a small clock adjustment of 5MHz led to the USB failure and SATA bus corruption.
Still, all hope is not lost. Intel will continue their current trend of releasing K series processors with unlocked multipliers. While the tweakability may not be quite as in depth, multiplier clocking can still be effective. In addition to this, many will recall similar limit rumors before Nehalem came out. It's still too early to say for sure what is in store for us. Intel representative Francois posted the following comments on XtremeSystems, hinting that the southbridge is the key:
"WE will have plenty of overclocking fun with SandyBridge, there are tonnes of fun coming your way, some amazing new stuffs ... when putting together a so complex chip, some challenge emerge ... then, there are two kind of people, 1st Kind: "OMG, this is the end of the world" ... 2nd Kind "Cool, some challenges and new stuff to understand and use" ...
you guys choose your camp, But just know what we have many many people working on making sure you guys can have fun with our CPUs ..."
"And let's put it in plain words: "A sandyBridge overclocked will pulverize anything else on CPU performance, and will surprise you on other areas" ... "
in each segment, SB will do well.
what make people react is the way the article is written, there are very good technical reasons why things are the way they are (No nobody is trying to get rid of overclocking, otherwise, they would be dead drying in my attics by now ... lol litteral translation from French ... lol ), and SB will lead, everywhere, including on Overclocked performance, and for the moment, i am the only one with real Perf data in hands ... So, no need to worry, trust me on this.
Later on, people will realize how silly that was.
Human nature trend to be affraid of change or differences, this is one more example ... I am extremely pleased with SandyB.
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