Sandy Bridge is poised to severely limit traditional FSB overclocking. However, Intel is releasing “K” series unlocked multiplier variants of upcoming Sandy Bridge CPUs targeted specifically at overclockers. At a demonstration at IDF 2010, Intel demonstrated that overclocking is alive and well, with a Sandy Bridge K sample overclocked to a whopping 4.9 GHz. Perhaps more impressive is that this result was achieve on air, with a stock cooler resembling the Core i7 980X heatsink.

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Sandy Bridge is poised to severely limit traditional FSB overclocking.
However, Intel is releasing “K” series unlocked multiplier variants of
upcoming Sandy Bridge CPUs targeted specifically at overclockers. At a
demonstration at IDF 2010, Intel demonstrated that overclocking is alive
and well, with a Sandy Bridge K sample overclocked to a whopping 4.9
GHz. Perhaps more impressive is that this result was achieve on air,
with a stock cooler resembling the Core i7 980X heatsink.

While the exact model of the CPU was not announced, it is most likely to be the Core i7 2600K, clocked at 3.4 GHz. This translates to an impressive 45% overclock. Using quality aftermarket coolers, we could see overclockers hitting clocks well in excess of 5 GHz on air. Intel tested for stability on Cinebench 11.5, though no scores were announced.

It is clear that Intel is not ignoring overclockers. However, any substantial overclocking will only be limited to K series products. Of course, these will cost more than the standard locked multiplier versions, but considering the benefits, a slight premium may be more than worth it. The two K series products planned are the Core i5 2500K and the Core i7 2600K. Rough price estimates are between $200-$250 for the 2500K and $300-$400 for the 2600K. Outside of these two CPUs, however, any significant overclocking is effectively dead. The days of buying cheap CPUs (like Pentium Dual-Cores) and overclocking them to the limit seem to be a thing of the past as far as Intel is concerned, though.

Reference: Expreview