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Intel Arrow Lake leak suggests overclocking is exclusive to the most expensive Z890 motherboards

A new leak has surfaced for Intel‘s incoming Arrow Lake desktop processors that puts forward the notion that overclocking will only be officially supported on the highest-end (Z890) motherboards. 

As spotted by Videocardz, some purported specs for the Intel 800 series of motherboards have surfaced on X courtesy of @jaykihn.

According to the specs table provided – add your own skepticism, as ever around any leak – only the Z890 platform will feature voltage and base clock adjustments for overclocking. The other chipsets – Intel’s H810, B860, Q870 and W880 – won’t have this capability, and on top of that, it’s claimed that there will be no H870 motherboards at all.

So, Arrow Lake desktop processors will be supported across a total of five platforms. Traditionally, the Zx90 series of motherboards are the top-end options with the B models being the budget-focused offerings, so having overclocking locked to purely the premium platform isn’t entirely surprising – if this leak holds water. It will be a first for Intel, though.

The leaker believes that you will be able to overclock the memory on the more affordable B860 motherboards, but you won’t be able to push the CPU’s voltage as will be possible with a Z890 board. This means those looking to push their system to the limits will have to shell out for the priciest Intel motherboards available.

Another interesting detail is the total amount of high-speed PCIe lanes. The base configuration for the H810 is 33, whereas the B860 supports 45, and the Q870 pushes to 56. However, both the server-focused W880 and the Z890 are slated to support 60 high-speed PCIe lanes as standard.

The Intel Core Ultra 200 CPU family is expected to debut by the end of 2024, so it’s likely to be something like three to four months before Arrow Lake hits the scene. It will be the first time that Team Blue’s ‘disaggregated architecture’ arrives on desktop, following on from Meteor Lake (and there’s also the upcoming Lunar Lake for laptops, too).

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Intel’s desktop computing landscape is changing

Arrow Lake represents the most significant change for Intel since the launch of Alder Lake in 2021 (which brought in hybrid tech, meaning efficiency cores). Not only is there an entirely new socket, LGA 1851 (changing from LGA 1700), but the Intel Core Ultra 200K is the first desktop processor line to include more powerful and sophisticated versions of the NPU seen in Meteor Lake. 

The entire computing world is embracing AI, and soon not just laptop chips (like Meteor Lake), but desktop CPUs will also have onboard acceleration for AI workloads (in the form of that NPU).

The Intel 800 series platform is more advanced than prior versions as you’d expect, even if it lacks Thunderbolt 5 support. It remains to be seen exactly what level of overclocking capabilities will be available on the new Arrow Lake CPUs, as we can’t take this rumor at face value, as noted. What we do expect is that Arrow Lake processors could have slower clock speeds than their Raptor Lake Refresh equivalents, although they’ll still be faster (of course – they’ll have to be) due to architectural improvements and other tuning.

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