Intel’s Response to 7700K Overclocking Makes Us Laugh (and cry a little)
Oh, Intel! Couldn’t you at least PRETEND you care a little for your enthusiast customer base? It looks like complaints about the 7700K having heat issues went farther than even I knew. If reports are true, some users have tried de-lidding, running at stock, and placing their CPUs under liquid to still see spikes go up in the 90s with minor tasks. I have to say I can believe it though, but it’s Intel’s response that is almost laughable, at least until you think about the true ramifications.
I finally got a hold of a 7700K so I could review a couple of Z270 boards during CES. I’ve complained a number of times about the abnormally high temps, especially since I like to test overclocking on a day-to-day use, rather than simply going for the absolute highest clockspeed possible. In my testing, I would see massive temperature swings during idle periods, but didn’t think too much of it because they weren’t quite as extreme as what other users are reporting. In short, while the cheap thermal interface material between the chip and the heat spreader is a big part of the problem, it could be something to do with the architectural design as well.
Intel finally decided to give an official response to the reports and while some of this can be expected, the whole package is kind of hard to swallow. They basically say that the chip is designed to run this way, to adjust dramatic changes in fan speed by using your motherboard fan curves, and that they don’t recommend overclocking a “K” series chip! Look, I’ll give a company the benefit of the doubt when they say overclocking will void a warranty, but why even make overclocking CPUs if you are going to officially state that users should settle with stock frequencies. It feels like Intel is angry with any user that gets any extra performance that they didn’t “pay” for. Even though that response is somewhat expected, combining that with saying temp spikes are normal and throwing the problem to motherboard manufacturers makes it look like Intel doesn’t quite understand their own processors, which is kind of funny.
I’ve long tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I should’ve have known something was wrong when an Intel rep at CES 2016 told me the reason their chips were priced so high was, “Because we can.” At the time, I accepted that statement because why shouldn’t a company charge what a consumer is willing to pay, especially if that revenue helps pave the way of the future? Unfortunately, the future of Intel CPUs has been more of the same, with minor performance increases and decreases in production quality. Blue used to be an exciting color for the team that had high performance, but lately it represents what we feel when it looks like a technology company that puts making an extra buck over innovation.
Hopefully, AMD will continue to push Intel to care about their CPU performance and quality again. Some could argue that Intel does care and I could partially agree since their single-thread performance is phenomenal. On the other hand, if Intel started making more cores more accessible, say a 3 core 6 thread i5 CPU, a while ago, that could’ve helped push the software side of things ahead to even further boost program performance. For now, it looks like enthusiasts are red-headed step children in Intel’s mind. Check out the link below for the full press statement and remember that in spite of the doom and gloom, things are looking much brighter moving forward!