Intel processors have a set of nomenclature to denote its type. The processor name is indicated with a suffix which denotes how the processor is optimized. The popular processor suffixes used in desktop chipsets are K, KF, and F.
K-type processors are overclockable and have an integrated GPU. Whereas F-type processors lack an integrated GPU and they cannot be overclocked. The KF-type processors combine the features of both K and F-type processors.
Therefore, in this article, we will discuss whether KF processors can be overclocked and what things you should consider before doing it.
Can you Overclock a KF Processor?
Yes, you can overclock a KF processor because it combines the overclocking feature of K-type processors and lacks the iGPU similar to F-type processors. KF processors are unlocked and they can be overclocked without any issues. But there are some key factors you should consider and set up with your PC before you decide to overclock the KF processor.
Factors to consider before overclocking a KF processor
These are key points you must know before you perform an OC (Overclocking) on your KF processor. This will help you understand what happens when you OC and how you should prepare your PC for it. With these key points, you can prevent some major issues that may happen with improper OC.
Overclocking only for CPU cores
A typical OC is done by increasing the base clock multiplier of the processor. This means that if you have a CPU with a 3.2GHz base clock speed, its multiplier is 32. When you OC, this multiplier can be increased to 35 and you can get a speed of 3.5GHz.
In the case of K processors, the OC is done to both CPU and iGPU (integrated GPU) cores. But with a KF processor, you can only OC CPU cores due to the lack of iGPU.
This is an important factor you should keep in mind because you should not expect any performance boost in terms of graphics when you OC a KF processor. Although the OC of the CPU will aid the increase in overall performance, a discrete boost is not available.
Suitable Motherboard is Crucial
You cannot overclock your processors in any motherboard. There are motherboard types that enable OC and you must have them if you want to OC your KF processor.
Intel processors can be overclocked only with Z-Series Motherboards. It is a high-end motherboard designed for gaming PCs and houses a Z-series chipset that is suitable for Intel K processors.
KF processor can also be used in the Z-Series motherboards and if you want to OC, then it is a must to have this motherboard. Without this board, you cannot OC any intel processor.
High Power Consumption
When you OC your processor, it takes more power than usual. Because you are increasing the speed of your CPU cores which need more juice to perform the tasks faster than usual.
So, you have to consider the presence of a suitable PSU before performing OC in your KF processor.
When building the PC, you will consider the TDP of your CPU and use a PSU for it. But while overclocking it may consume more power than that and you should make sure to have a suitable power supply for it.
Another major factor is the need for stability during OC. When you overclock your CPU, you need high voltage to maintain a stable performance with your CPU. So, without a suitable PSU, it is impossible to get a stable performance with OC.
Robust Cooling System
Naturally, when performance increases, there will be more heat generated from the processor. When your CPU is overclocked, it will spend more energy which releases more heat than usual.
So, you will need a robust cooling system to combat the heating and gain a stable performance in OC mode.
It is crucial to have a proper liquid cooling system with ample cooling fans to support your overclocked CPU. Only then you can have the expected performance from OC.
Silicon Quality Affects OC performance
Having a good quality silicon in your processor is something that will affect the performance drastically. And the sad thing is that you cannot choose the quality of silicon you get in your processor.
When manufacturing processors, the chip is printed onto the silicon wafer. The silicon wafer is a large disk and there will be inevitable defects in it. So, the wafer that has defects in it will have slightly lower performance.
You cannot know what kind of wafer was chosen for your chipset and due to this, your OC performance will be affected.
Generally, wafers in the center of the disk will have the least defects, and having a chip out of it will give you a better performance. But only through luck you can get such chipsets and no one can govern it.
Increased Performance in CPU-based Apps
Overclocking a KF processor will benefit CPU-based tasks and applications more. You can see a significant difference in how those apps behave and perform after OC.
Programming, video editing, multitasking, and similar CPU-based tasks and apps will have a considerable increase in performance.
Stress on CPU
OC will stress your CPU a lot and if you don’t perform it properly, it will damage your CPU’s life. Since you are manually increasing the performance, it naturally stresses the CPU. But with proper cooling and power supply, you can have a stable performance.
When you fail to perform the OC properly and don’t aid the CPU with cooling and voltage supply, it will drastically reduce the life of your chipset.
Read More Posts:
- Is Ryzen 7 better than Intel 12th gen?
- Why is my i7 Processor not compatible with Windows 11?
- How do I know if my AMD CPU supports virtualization?
- Can I upgrade my CPU without changing motherboard?
How much performance gain can you get from overclocking KF processors?
A good CPU can show a 20% increase in performance with OC. Provided that you have a good silicon quality, cooling system, power supply, and best OC method. This is quite ideal and not everyone can achieve this performance gain.
Gaming, multitasking, video editing, programming, etc. can show you significant increases in performance after an OC. But you must have all the factors in your favor provided that you choose an optimized setting to OC your CPU. Your OC performance heavily depends on it.
What is a safe voltage range for overclocking KF processors?
CPUs can stay safe up to a maximum of 1.4V. While overclocking you must stay lower than 1.3V and during idle below 1.4V. You must never exceed 1.4V if you want your CPU to avoid degradation.
While OC, you have to increase the Core Voltage (Vcore) of your CPU so that you can supply the sufficient power required for the CPU cores to run the tasks faster. During this adjustment, you cannot go beyond 1.3V to keep your CPU safe and have a better life.
Also, in this voltage range, the CPU can provide a stable performance without overheating or throttling.
Do I need a CPU cooler or liquid cooling for overclocking?
It is a must to have a CPU cooler, particularly a robust liquid cooling system to aid overclocking. Because the OC performance depends on how well you manage your CPU’s thermals.
While OC, your CPU demands more power which in turn expels more heat due to the faster performance of each core. So, due to this CPU thermals are way high. Without a robust cooling system, you cannot gain the required performance after OC.
Also, a good liquid cooling system will keep your processor safe and aid in the longer life of the CPU.
What motherboard chipsets allow overclocking KF processors?
Intel KF processors can be overclocked only with the help of Z-series motherboards. A Z-chipset motherboard has the hardware to support OC and can withstand the high voltage and thermal stress from OC.
Since Z series boards are designed for gaming, they have relevant accessories to install a robust cooling system which aids in better OC performance.
Other Helpful Articles:
- Is Ryzen 9 Better than i9 for Gaming?
- Why is my CPU so high for no reason?
- How can I increase my CPU overclock speed?
How do I stress-test an overclocked KF processor for stability?
A CPU stress test helps you to know the maximum potential of your processor. You push the limits of your processor to 100% and find out whether it can hold or not.
Similarly, you can do this stress test when the CPU is overclocked. You can perform a CPU stress test for your OC KF processor with the help of software like Prime95. It is one of the widely used software for stress testing.
There are three settings in the Prime95 software for a stress test. They are:
- Small FFT
- Large FFT
Small FFT is great for beginners who are experimenting with OC and it also does a minor RAM test. Large FFT pushes the CPU limits to the maximum and it aims to get 100%. Blend does more RAM testing and a bit of CPU testing.
You can choose any of these settings and do a stress test. But you should also make use of monitoring software like MSI Afterburner. This software helps in monitoring your PC’s vitals and you can find out how your processor behaves when pushed to the maximum limit.
Does Overclocking Void My Processor Warranty?
Overclocking can void your warranty even though Intel provides you with an unlocked processor suitable for overclocking.
You can find a detailed procedure on how to overclock on Intel’s website. But they also have a disclaimer saying,
“Altering clock frequency or voltage may void any product warranties and reduce stability, security, performance, and life of the processor and other components.” – Source
Therefore, OC voids your warranty and you must be careful when you plan to do it. If you don’t have experience with OC, then it is better not to take the risk.
Is Overclocking Safe for 24/7 Usage?
It is not recommended to keep the processor overclocked for a long time. Because it will degrade the cores fast and you will have to replace the processor soon.
Since you are pushing the limits to the near maximum threshold, you cannot keep it in the same manner 24/7.
With proper settings, you can achieve an error-free OC that performs with high stability. However, maintaining it with the same settings is not healthy for the processor.
KF processors from Intel can be overclocked. But without a suitable setup and knowledge about OC, you must not try it. Since it can damage the processor and void the warranty, beginners must not try without proper supervision or guidance. Even though a proper OC gives you an extra boost in the performance of the CPU, you should not risk it without experience.