Real CPU overclocking is possible on Non-K Alder Lake CPUs

Intel’s 65W 12th Gen CPUs are trickling into the market. They offer good value, and in particular they make strong gaming CPUs due to the impressive clock for clock performance of the Golden Cove P cores. Sadly, all non-K CPUs have locked clock multipliers, so cheap models like a 12400 or 12500 cannot be overclocked to any meaningful degree. Or can they? According to well known overclocker Der8auer, locked 12th Gen CPUs can indeed be overclocked. And not by a little, but by a lot, though there are some caveats. 

This isn’t a simple power limit tweak, but an actual overclock that takes a CPU like the i5 12400 and increases its clock speed from its default 4.4GHz maximum turbo speed to over 5.2GHz. This elevates a cheap CPU to i7 or i9 levels of gaming performance. Der8auer also tried this with the i5 12600 and achieved a slightly less impressive but still notable 5.1GHz all core OC.

screenshot of an i5 12400 operating at over 5.2 GHz

(Image credit: Der8auer)

According to Der8auer, certain Asus motherboards have a base clock OC option when a locked 65W CPU is installed. The ‘Unlock BLCK OC’ option appears in the Tweakers Paradise submenu of the BIOS of the Asus ROG Z690 Maximus Apex. The user can then modify the clock speed of the CPU, in this case, by a bit over 130MHz. This delivers an OC of over 5.2GHz with the 40X CPU multiplier of the 12400. Increasing the BCLK affects the RAM and cache speeds, so these will need to be multiplier adjusted to keep them functioning.

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