Ivy Bridge-E and SSD Overclocking Features Incoming Next Month
August 27, 2013 12:32 PM
comment(s) - last by
Unlockable ability will boost flash controller speed for faster reads and writes
Overclocking your DRAM memory remains one of the most popular aftermarket tweaks of enthusiasts. The imperfect art of adjusting voltage and timings has long been able to offer snappier performance depending on your system's bottlenecks and the quality of memory sticks in the box.
While on the surface NAND flash storage resembles DRAM, it has thus far remained
unavailable for overclocking
ever since SSDs began to creep into the market in volume around 2003.
: Better Late Than Never
But that could soon change.
Intel Corp. (
) quietly posted about a Sept. 10 technical presentation "
AIOS001 - Overclocking Unlocked Intel® Core™ Processors for High Performance Gaming and Content Creation
" at the
2013 Intel Developer Forum
(IDF) in San Francisco, Calif. At the presentation, it's expected to unveil the tardy 22 nm
Core i7-4000 and X79 platform, and with it SSD overclocking. The presentation was
first noted by
, a Chinese language hardware site. A list of presentation topics comments:
Overclocking architecture of the Intel® Core™ i7-4xxx series processors on Intel® X79 Express Chipset based platforms
Overclocking architecture of the desktop and mobile 4
Generation Intel® Core processors
Live demonstrations and expert tips from an industry partner on how to push the limits of Intel® unlocked processors using software and hardware tools from the enthusiast ecosystem
One of the first public demonstrations of overclocking the Intel® Core™ i7 4xxx Extreme Edition processor
Demonstrating overclocking SSD technology
First public demonstration of AppTune beta based on Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility (Intel® XTU)
It's unclear whether the SSD overclock will be reserved for only the 22 nm
-E series chips, or will be open to
as well. Intel typically uses its "E" series to introduce Xeon multicore editions of its architecture, and higher clocked desktop consume Core i7/Core i7 Extreme branded chips.
platform is expected to be introduced at IDF, next month.
launch is a bit late -- Intel launched
in Nov. 2011, nearly eight months after the
's initial launch. By contrast, the 22 nm
launched in April 2012
, but has seen no "extreme" update in nearly a year and a half (17 months). At the head of the new consumer "Extreme" chips is rumored to be the Core i7 Extreme 4960X, a monster that packs 15 MB of L3 cache and is turbo-clocked to 4.0 GHz.
II. SSD Overclocking -- SATA on Steroids or Hype?
When it comes to the SSD overclocking, the upcoming platform is expected to allow you to apply more voltage to your SSD controller to bump your read, write, and IOPS speed. Performance will be capped at 4.8 Gbps (614 MB/s), though, due to the fundamental ceiling of the current SATA 3 standard implementation supported in Intel chipsets (The raw performance of SATA 3 is 6 Gbps).
Indilinx Barefoot 3 SSD Controllers [Image Source: OCZ]
That still would seemingly suggest that overclocking SSDs could offer some impressive gains.
Currently the fastest SSD in terms of read speeds is
from OCZ Technology Group Inc. (
), who boasts (under light load) a gaudy 547.3 MB/s (4.28 Gbps) read and 657.9 MB/s (5.14 Gbps) write; but there's a catch -- this pricey (~$2,800 USD) OCZ drive
uses PCI Express
. High end SATA 3 drives
and Samsung Electronics
Comp., Ltd. (
) score a more sluggish 290-320 MB/s (2.27-2.50 Gbps) read speed and 370-400 MB/s (2.89-3.13 Gbps) write speed, according to
the latest numbers
's benchmarking (again, light load).
While it's clear that the current real world performance numbers are far from the theoretical 4.8 Gbps spec limit, skepticism is warranted. It remains unclear whether simply how far current drives can be pushed with higher voltage and faster clock speeds to the controller. Regardless of the real gains, this does mean we will see upcoming enthusiast SSD packaging with a focus on controller cooling with flashy finned heat spreaders,
like we've seen in the enthusiast RAM market
(case constraints may limit creativity for now, though).
Intel is working on a new chipset, which is rumored to be dubbed the 9 Series (
Z97 and H97), which will support the fresh SATA Express standard, bumping transfer speeds to 8 or even 16 Gbps (819.2 MB/s or even 1.55 GB/s), perhaps. The bus improvement is expected to drop ahead of
Intel's planned 14 nm die shrink
With more breathing room on the bus and fresh overclocking abilities, enthusiasts and industry performance tuners may finally have the freedom to achieve something they long wished for -- overclocking their SSD.
will be reporting live from the Intel Developer Forum in two weeks, so hopefully we'll have more details for you shortly.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Sounds like a bad idea
8/28/2013 11:50:50 AM
The article is conjecture and my initial response plays along with this conjecture (you apparently didn't seem to get that). If Intel is intending to allow overclocking an SSD via the motherboard chipset, simply bumping past the current limit won't do it. The SSD's onboard controller itself (ie Indilinx, Sandforce, Micron controllers) needs to accommodate higher clock speeds and voltage it as well. I don't see any SSD manufacturers stepping up claiming to be working with Intel to make that happen, do you?
Until they do, this is all conjecture and based on that conjecture my response is perfectly valid. Overclock an SSD at your risk and assume your hardware life span will shorten drastically if you do (as ANY overclocker knows well). While manufacturers may build their hardware to accommodate overclocking, they will
accept liability for damages if you do - it is all on you if you leverage it.
RE: Sounds like a bad idea
8/28/2013 12:46:22 PM
While it wasn't explicit, I think it's safe to say that Intel will step up and support Overclocking with their own SSDs. From that point on it becomes a selling point that many other manufacturers are going to want to be able to add to their checklists as well, otherwise they're looking at losing market share, something no serious business wants to deal with.
I also think it's rather overkill to claim that it will
shorten the lifespan of your hardware. Overclocking your CPU or graphics card also shortens their lifespans as well, but it's only drastic in extreme cases of overclocking. There's really no technical reason to believe SSDs will be any different.
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