Intel Shuts Down Non-K Skylake Overclocking

When Intel first launched Skylake, one of the first changes we noticed was the uncoupling of the BCLK from other system clocks. Not surprisingly, this led to speculation that overclocking non-K chips using the BCLK would become possible. This eventually happened and many motherboard vendors started advertising the ability to OC non-K CPUs on their Z170 motherboards, allow chips like the i3 to be overclocked. Unfortunately, it looks like Intel is unhappy with this and is forcing motherboard vendors to issue a new BIOS update to remove the ability to overclock non-K chips.

Ever since Sandy Bridge, Intel has tied the BLCK with other clocks like the PCIe and DMI, limiting the ability to overclock as the other buses wouldn’t be able to hit higher speeds. This meant overclocks generally hovered about 3-5Mhz, minuscule compared to the 50% overclocks achieved using the FSB or even with Westmere. In order to access the ability to overclock, Intel made users purchase more expensive K-series CPUs which often had certain features disabled and enforced the use of pricier Z/Q series motherboards.

When Skylake came out with overclocking and heavy advertising support from motherboard vendors, many had hoped that Intel was changing its policies. It appears that motherboard vendors acted on their own though as they have quietly taken down any mention of Skylake overclocking on non-K chips. This is unfortunate for those who bought the Z170 motherboard with the promise of overclocking as they will not be unable to and their resell value has gone down.

For those who want to circumvent the new BIOS, older BIOS version with OC-enabled still exist for now. However, upgrading to the new BIOS may be irreversible so motherboards shipping from the factory now are probably locked down. New BIOS revisions may also feature bug fixes so there is also that to consider. Furthermore, if Intel wanted to, it could ask Microsoft to issue a Windows update to change the microcode of the CPU to disable overclocking. Given that the automatic nature of Windows 10 updates, that may be reason enough to hold off upgrading.

HP Announced Professional DreamColor Z32x 4K and Narrow-Bezel Monitors


HP announced a new monitor that professional artists and other creative people will love, the DreamColor Z32x 4K monitor. The 31.5-inch 4K UHD IPS monitor can display a resolution up to 3840 x 2160 at 60 Hz and features the award-winning HP DreamColor technology for exceptional color precision and consistency straight out of the box on a wide 10-bit color spectrum and with 100% sRGB/BT.709 and 99.5% AdobeRGB color coverage.

You can connect a wide array of devices straight to the monitor, including mobile devices via the Mini-DP, DisplayPort, MHL, and two HDMI ports. It also has a built-in four-port USB 3.0 hub and audio out connectors.

It has 4-way, customizable tilt, height adjustment, swivel, and pivot settings to adjust from landscape to portrait to give you the right option for your work. The panel has a 178 degree viewing angle, both horizontal and vertical, a 300cd/m2 brightness, and an 8ms grey to grey response time.

Availability for the HP Z32x DreamColor Display is planned for this summer, but no official word on the pricing yet.

HP Also announced five new monitors in the HP Ultra-Narrow Bezel series. The models HP Z27n (quad-HD), Z25n (quad-HD), Z24n (16:10 aspect ratio), Z24nf (full-HD), and Z24nq (quad-HD), offer edge-to-edge viewing experiences to enhance productivity. The HP Z Displays are also color-calibrated right out of the box and offer a cool and flexible daisy-chain connectivity for up to four displays as well as picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture functionality. All models provide an adjustable swivel, tilt, height, and pivot stand and the displays can be used equally side-by-side in either landscape or portrait mode.

The ultra-narrow bezel display planned availability begins in June and pricing is as follows: The HP Z24n costs $379, the HP Z25n costs $429, the Z27n costs $649, the Z24nf costs $299 and finally the Z24nq will cost $379.