One of the primary highlights of Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake-S processors is the renewed focus on budget SKUs. With these chips, you can for the first time overclock even the cheaper non-K CPUs using the BCLK offset in the BIOS. This has allowed enthusiasts to push the boost clocks on these parts up to 5GHz. MSI has gone a step in this regard, equipping some of its motherboards with something called the “OC Engine”.
This feature is enabled using a special IC embedded on the motherboard, namely the Renesas RC26008 which is a programmable clock generator for overclocking and PCIe Gen 5. This generator has allowed the vendor to push the boost clocks of the Intel Core i5-12400 as high as 5.1GHz across all cores, yielding a performance gain of 26% in Cinebench R23.
The said figure was achieved by increasing the BLCK of the CPU to 127.5MHz (from 100MHz) which nets a gain of 16% in peak boost clock. The Core i5-12400 has a single-core boost clock of 4.4GHz and an all-core boost of “just” 4GHz. The stock processor scores 12,525 points in the multi-threaded Cinebench benchmark which gets pushed to 15,843 points when overclocked to 5.1GHz. That’s a net performance gain of 26% in a heavily threaded workload like Cinebench. Quite impressive.
The Core i5-12400F is presently priced at $169 while the MSI MAG B660M Mortar is going for $159.99 which should allow you to build a highly capable gaming PC for $1,000 if you throw in a high-end GPU such as the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti.