Asus Breaks the Lock . . .

Asus is one of the largest motherboard makers in the world, and they were also the company that first brought PAT-like features to the 865 chipset. It is probably apropos that Asus is also one of the companies that has apparently broken the Intel Overclock Lock. We say "apparently" because there are still questions after our tests as to whether the lock is completely bypassed by Asus or anyone else.

To complicate matters further, the rumor mill has it that the overclock lock only affects retail locked chips, and not the unlocked Engineering Samples that Intel supplied with their press evaluation kits. Fortunately, we have a retail 3.2 chip in addition to the 3.6 ES supplied by Intel. This allowed us to determine if this rumor has any merit, or if it is just speculation.

To test whether or not Asus has broken the lock, we benchmarked both the 3.2E and the 3.6 ES on the Asus P5AD2 Premium motherboard. The 3.2E was overclocked to the highest overclock that we could achieve adding no more than 0.1V to the stock 1.3875V voltage. We then found the highest overclock we could achieve with the 3.6 ES at the base speed of 3.6 (18x200). We also tested for the highest overclocks at lower multipliers to see if the overclock lock is truly bypassed.

 Asus P5AD2 (Intel 925X) - Highest Stable Overclock - Retail 3.2
 CPU  Multiplier  Voltage  Highest FSB  CPU Speed  % Overclock
3.2 Retail 16 1.425V 992 (248) 3968 24%

Asus certainly cracked the 10% overclock lock with their P5AD2. In fact, at first glance, it appears that taking a 3.2 to over 4Ghz is allowing the CPU to do all it is capable of doing with air cooling.
Index . . . or Do They?
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  • Fr0zeN2 - Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - link

    #2 - An all-out clock lock? It'll be funny to see how many people actually buy Intel after that. Actually, it'll be funny to see how many people still buy Intel after THIS.
  • MAME - Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - link

    Intel sucks like that but mobo manufacturers have no choice; Intel is #1 by a long shot
  • overclockingoodness - Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - link


    The motherboard companies have to support Intel. The motherboard makers know that they are useless without Intel. Intel is the top chip maker in the world so they can't just leave Intel even though they hate their starategies so much. It's called business. As much as you hate one of the key players in the industry, you still have to work with them. These motherboard makers might lose close to 50 percent (just guessing) of their profit, which is not good for them.

    When AMD did not introduce new processors for 1.5 years (except for new models of Athlon XP), motherboard makers still supported them with new motherboards. Of course, after a while mobo makers don't have much to add as they already have all the new features out so they develop something unique.

    That's how the industry lives on. :-)

    To answer the above two posts, Intel is definitely a loser this year in the desktop market. Their mobile market is secure, BTW. The prescott core is a failure, the new chipsets and technologies are a failure. And I am already scared about the BTX technology. It would be funny if BTX technology doesn't show high performance margins.

    To conclude...Intel has failed in the year 2004.
  • dvinnen - Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - link

    What I don't understand is why the mobo makers take so much crap from Intel. First intel keeps charging more, then R&D for BTX, R&D for this new socket, they are going to have more returns because of this new socket, now the new crap that got to spend R&D to figure out how to get around. I keep thinking one of the big boys over there will grow a pair and stand up to intel and stop making their boards. I would inmagin their margins on intel boards are more than a 5th of what their margins are on a SIS or VIA board.
  • ViRGE - Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - link

    A thought: Last time we got "clever" and bypassed an Intel clock-lock mechanism, it was the B21 trick, which resulted in Intel removing the 66/100 multiplier lock, in favor of the constant multiplier lock we deal with today. If we get "clever" again, who's to say Intel won't repeat history, and implement an all-out clock-lock?
  • Zebo - Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - link

    Slower, generates more heat, uses more power, enthusiast unfreindly, no memory controller, no 64 bit future....why are people catering to this company again?

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