MSI MAG B660M Mortar Will Let You Overclock Locked Intel Alder Lake 12th Gen CPUs

If you are someone who has been an overclocking enthusiast for a long time, there is a high chance you will remember the good old days of achieving the processor’s ‘FSB’ or the ‘Front Side Bus’ overclock. This meant achieving one of the biggest gains in overclocking. This term might have seemed to die down a bit. This, however, doesn’t mean that FSB overclocking doesn’t exist anymore. Since FSBs don’t exist anymore, this target is not exactly called the same way anymore.


We now have the base clock on modern systems, mostly referred to as the BCLK. This helps to get to all other clock rates on the motherboard eventually. The nominal reading for the base clock is mostly 100 MHz, as the rounded off number makes it easier to work with for further calculations.

Sometimes, it is almost impossible to get meaningful overclocking done using the base clock as many devices are not that friendly for overclocking purposes. These mostly include USB controllers, SATA controllers, and PCIe cards. Most boards will only go as far as a few MHz and their components will start to give up soon enough. Nobody wants to risk the system getting flakey putting an additional pressure of an extra 100 MHz. This is why the BLCK overclocking isn’t so popular anymore.

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This problem doesn’t apply to all motherboards though. Some come with extra clock generators for some of their components which allow for the ‘BLCK’ overclocking without messing up with the overclock readings on other components. This gives one big advantage; those processors which are technically locked from overclocking will be overclocked easily.

This has been put to test already on the current-generation Alder Lake processors. Expert overclocker Der8auer was able to take a Core i5-12400 to 5.2 GHz all-core. This is the same clock rate which the Core i9 12900K is capable of hitting on a single core. With these numbers, anyone would think that there is likely a catch and they would be entirely correct. The catch here is the use of the more pricey ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Apex motherboard.

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According to a Twitter user, chi11eddog’s (@g01d3nm4ng0), an upcoming MSI motherboard “MAG B660M Mortar MAX WIFI DDR4” which is an Intel LGA 1700 motherboard for Alder Lake will be an integrated clock generator for BCLK overclocking.

This motherboard will be a revised version of the MAG B660M Mortar WIFI DDR4. According to chi11eddog, it will be cheaper than the high-end Z690 models that will support BCLK overclocking. The MSI board will be available in July.