ASUS Skylake Non-K Overclocking BIOS
ASUS Non-K Overclocking BIOS
Published: 23rd December 2015 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
Non-K overclocking? But that's impossible. Actually, thanks to ASUS, it isn't. It truly is a Christmas miracle.
To say that giving us the capability to overclock our regular, non-K, Intel CPUs would be the kind of thing that would change the game is understating how important this could be. Our ability to overclock has always been heavily reliant upon the type of processor we have, and the Intel K series CPUs have justified their extra cost by providing boat-loads of overclocking potential.
ASUS boffins have been beavering away and have brought a BIOS to their Z170 chipset motherboards that promises to unleash this overclocking performance regardless of the processor we have installed.
Before you get too excited there are some fairly major caveats. However, with some CPUs and an ASUS motherboard to hand we had to try it out for ourselves and see if such witchcraft was actually possible.
Show Me The Results!
We know you'll all be impatient, so here they are. Yes, you can overclock a non-K series processor using these BIOS'. Our i5-6500 squeezed past 4.5GHz to a staggeringly impressive 4.6GHz. That's not the only good news as the Core i3-6320, already a corking processor for a low cost gaming option, hit 4.5GHz. Who wouldn't want one of them beating at the heart of their affordable system? Exactly.
Shall I Flash It?
As you can see the ASUS non-K overclocking BIOS definitely does what it promises. Before you rush off to download it and flash your own ASUS Z170 motherboard there are some hefty caveats in its current state. Firstly, it's an extremely early BIOS. We could spend half this "look at" just explaining the things which no longer work. Secondly the CPUz screenshots might show high clock speeds, and indeed they do, but the actual benchmarks don't remotely echo the expected level of performance. So it's not remotely something you should run 24/7. It's a "flash, muck about, lick your lips at the potential capabilities once it's more mature, flash your regular BIOS back on" state of affairs.
Now it might seem that those are some heavy warning signs, but don't confuse our natural desire not to leave you with a system which is only useful for 'suicide CPUz's with us being negative about the theory behind this. In the future this could really unleash massive performance potential across millions of computers. The non-K processors are massively popular, and quite how ASUS R&D people have managed to free them up for overclocking speaks volumes both about their technical expertise and their desire to bring huge performance to the masses. We have been in touch with 8Pack at OCUK and on the Asus Z170-E he hasnt had the same levels of issues we had with bench scores but after a hefty discussion we agreed that it does really 'feel' and 'sound' like early BIOS. We tested our Z170-A as it is the board we have tested all Skylake CPU's on but it may come to the point we try other boards when any newer BIOS get released assuming Intel let this all carry on. One thing we would advise is run some benches before you flash your bios, after at stock and then with an overclock, this will give you some really useful information on how your scores are changing.
You'll also need to make sure you make these changes in the BIOS:
- Boot Performance Mode -> Turbo Performance
Advanced\CPU Configuration\CPU Power Management Configuration
- Intel(R) SpeedStep(tm) -> Disabled
- CPU C states -> Disabled
These are the known issues with the non official BIOS to be considered.
* No IGPU
* No dynamic change of CPU frequency
* No C-states
* No Turbo Mode
* CPU temperature reading is incorrect
* AVX instructions have very low performance
* Windows XP ACPI not supported
BIOS Files available right now:
Right now this is just a proof of concept BIOS, but once it's been matured into one that you can run all the time then suddenly the enthusiastic overclockers who have been slowly dying off with ever easier overclocks will return to the fold. Anything that brings a new generation of tweakers has to be lauded. We can't wait to get our hands on the newer version.