Ivy Bridge to have adjustable base clock, but not as we know it
Intel seems to have taken some of the criticism about Sandy Bridge limited base clock to heart, at least if we're to believe some rumours that have started to circulate online. In fact, we heard something similar ourselves from the horse's mouth so to say, but the person we spoke to wasn't overly specific as to what was going to change with regards to Ivy Bridge, but when you add one and one together, it all makes sense
Intel seems to have taken some of the criticism about Sandy Bridge limited base clock to heart, at least if we're to believe some rumours that have started to circulate online. In fact, we heard something similar ourselves from the horse's mouth so to say, but the person we spoke to wasn't overly specific as to what was going to change with regards to Ivy Bridge, but when you add one and one together, it all makes sense.
A blog called Flyingsuicide posted a story on Thursday stating that Intel will add adjustable base clock to Ivy Bridge and although that in itself is great news, it turns out that the company decided to muck around with things, instead of going back to the way its Lynnfield based processors worked. We'd guess that this is down to the fact that Ivy Bridge is so similar to Sandy Bridge that Intel couldn't just drop the internal PLL and its tie-in with the clock generator in the chipset.
Instead Intel has gone back to the dark ages of overclocking, well, ok that's not quite true, but near enough. If you've been hanging around computers for a decade or two you might remember that way back when there used to be a limited number of bus clock settings on a motherboard and this is apparently what Intel is going back to. As such we can expect a standard base clock of 100MHz that is said to have a "fine-tuning range" of +/-5MHz. It's not know what other base clocks Intel will implement, but a qualified guess would suggest that we're looking at 133 and 166MHz at least, but we'd also expect a few options in-between.
The Intel person we spoke to a couple of weeks ago made some suggestions with regards to changes to how Ivy Bridge will overclock, but refused to go into any kind of details and just said that we'd have to wait for the platform to launch. He also said that integrating the clock generator into the chipset was a mistake on Intel's behalf, although as Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge are platform compatible, it seems like Intel was unable to move on from the "mistake" to something better and as such we'll end up with an interim solution. One unanswered question is if a Sandy Bridge CPU in a 7-series chipset motherboard will be able to take advantage of this as well, as at least in theory, it should work.
In related news the same blog is reporting that Ivy Bridge will have official memory support for DDR3 2133MHz modules or PC3-17000 as they're also known as. As DDR3 2133MHz modules are now approved by JEDEC, there was no reason for Intel to not to implement support for faster memory. The only downside is yet higher latencies with standard DDR3 2133MHz modules having a latency of 12 or 13. Then again, the transfer rate is up by 4266MB/s compared to DDR3 1600MHz memory and the cycle time is down from 5ns to 3 3⁄4ns which should help to counter effect the increased latency.