The Intel Alder Lake CPU overclocking method also works with less expensive motherboards (but there’s a catch)

As we’ve seen recently, Intel’s Alder Lake non-K CPUs can be overclocked – despite the fact that historically, only unlocked ‘K’ versions should be able to do so – and it’s now been discovered that this technique also works with mid-range motherboards.

Der8auer is an adept overclocker who has been juicing up Alder Lake CPUs like as the Core i5-12400 and even a cheap Celeron variant, which were previously considered to be overclocked only with a high-end Z690 motherboard with BCLK unlock capability.

You may remember that Der8auer postulated that B660 motherboards should enable non-K CPUs to be overclocked like way, and the German overclocker has finally proven this, as VideoCardz reported.

So, rather of spending a fortune on a Z690, getting one of these less expensive mid-range B660 versions and teaming it with an economical Core i5 (or Core i3) non-K Alder Lake CPU with a large overclock is a viable option.

Well, kind of, since, as we said in the headline, there’s a catch, and it’s a big one: Der8auer claims that he hasn’t discovered a DDR4-supporting B660 board that can overclock, only DDR5-ready versions.

The cost of DDR5 is astronomical – but don’t give up hope.

Because this seems to be DDR5-only, it poses a significant challenge in that this system RAM is difficult to come by and very costly, especially given that the new memory sticks are still in their infancy. When a new RAM standard is released, you may expect to spend a lot of money to get your hands on the memory modules.

So, if you’re looking for a Core i5 Alder Lake machine for a low price, the B660 approach is scuppered by the cost of the DDR5 RAM, which is the only option that will work with the motherboard.

Any optimism for a more budget-friendly overclockable non-K system isn’t lost, though, since it’s possible that a DDR4-supporting board with the ability to unlock the BCLK in the BIOS exists. Even if there isn’t – and let’s be honest, Der8auer doesn’t sound optimistic – we must keep in mind that DDR5 availability and cost will improve over time (and also when component shortages become less of a concern, which could hopefully happen later in 2022).

If everything works properly, we might be looking at some fascinating options for massive overclocking in small systems, perhaps with Raptor Lake CPUs. Intel’s next-generation processors, which are slated to come later in 2022 and are essentially a refresh of Alder Lake (but faster, of course), are likely to preserve this unlocking feature. However, Intel hasn’t indicated whether or not these overclocking options would be included in Raptor Lake.

We’ll have to wait and see, but in the meanwhile, it’s still intriguing to see the level of overclocking that non-K Alder Lake silicon can accomplish, which has already resulted in a world record overclock with the Core i3-12300 (absolutely destroying the previous quad-core record holder, the AMD Ryzen 5300G).