The non-K overclocking capabilities unlocked by six motherboard vendors (ASRock, ASUS, Biostar, GIGABYTE, MSI and SuperMicro) have enabled a new spark of hope among the PC enthusiast community. The record-high traffic to HWBOT is solid proof that budget-overclocking is a big deal and it's what many people have been waiting for. For Intel, things might be a bit less rosy.
The K-SKU program is a very nice part of the desktop business. It is therefore not surprising that Intel would prefer to have things the way it's been since Sandy Bridge: only K for specific models. The main business concern with unlocking the non-K processors is not that overclocking is now available for everyone - really, the RMA rates are not a problem - it's that buyers could possibly spend less on hardware. One of the concerns are the system integrators like Overclockers UK. In a press release, OCUK announces the availability of gaming bundles featuring the non-K Core i3 6100 and Core i5 6400. Both processors are the cheapest in their product range. Note that in order to get the overclocking ability and the issues that come with it, you will need to flash the beta BIOS yourself.
It's great to see system integrators take the flight forward and use the non-K overclocking ability, with all its drawbacks, and turn it into an opportunity. Will customers accept the drawback of lack of power management, low AVX performance and disabled integrated graphics for additional frequency? Will this affect Intel's strategy for Kaby Lake and Cannonlake? Time will tell, but it certainly looks like we have a very interesting future ahead of us!