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Intel Forcing Motherboard Makers To Disable AVX-512 Support Across All Alder Lake CPUs Through Upcoming BIOS

During our testing of the Intel Alder Lake Desktop CPUs, we discovered that AVX-512 support was left untouched and could be enabled with ease though this instruction set is all set to be disabled through an upcoming BIOS.

Intel Alder Lake Desktop CPUs To Lose Their AVX-512 Instructions With The Next Major BIOS From Motherboard Makers

While Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs are not officially stated to support AVX-512 instructions, they can be enabled by disabling the efficiency ‘Gracemont’ cores and leaving the performance ‘Golden Cove’ cores running.  This delivers slightly better performance and higher efficiency than the standard AVX2 instructions. While the E-cores have their own advantages in a number of workloads, it looks like the AVX-512 instructions net higher efficiency too.

But that’s all about to be changed as Igor’s Lab reports that Intel has been directing motherboard makers to remove support for AVX-512 on Alder Lake CPUs through an upcoming BIOS update. It’s no surprise that this move comes just a few days before Intel plans to launch its non-K Alder Lake lineup which will feature a majority of P-core-only models (Core i5 and Core i3 to be non-hybrid).

Intel AVX-512 vs AVX2 performance on Alder Lake CPUs. (Image Credits: Igor’s Lab)

These chips have the potential to be a hot item for entry-level servers and workstations where their AVX-512 goodness can be put to use. Intel doesn’t want that to happen and as such, they are trying their best to remove support of the instruction set from the equation. However, there’s more, Igors Lab explains that the standard AVX2 instructions have a very strict thermal throttling feature across all hybrid chips which is recognized within HWiNFO as ‘IA: Max Turbo Limit – Yes’.

Intel Alder Lake AVX512 & AVX2 Support / Limits in HWiNFO (Image Credits: Igor’s Lab):

The thermal lock results in limited clock speeds and a reason stated is to avoid electron migration degradation inside the new chips. Now there are a few systems that can hit the 5.2 GHz max clocks of the chip due to these throttles as many PCs won’t have adequate cooling to hit those high clocks.

Fortunately, there are already workarounds for both of these AVX hurdles, the throttling of AVX2 and the removal of AVX-512. For example, Asus has implemented a patch in their BIOS versions for “Maximus” series motherboards that disables AVX2 throttling. The only important thing here is that the clock must already be set in the BIOS at boot time. A subsequent change via in-OS software will otherwise get caught in Intel’s catch net again.

Fortunately, there are already workarounds for both of these AVX hurdles, the throttling of AVX2 and the removal of AVX-512. For example, Asus has implemented a patch in their BIOS versions for “Maximus” series motherboards that disables AVX2 throttling. The only important thing here is that the clock must already be set in the BIOS at boot time. A subsequent change via in-OS software will otherwise get caught in Intel’s catch net again.

via Igor’s Lab

Now you can hold on to your existing BIOS and retain AVX-512 instructions but the latest stock of motherboards are expected to carry these BIOS out of stock. Also, you’d definitely need a better BIOS from the one available at launch to have good stability and DDR5 compatibility of your Alder Lake CPUs but upgrading would mean saying goodbye to the instruction set. So it’s a really weird move by Intel and if they are being so furious about this one feature on consumer CPUs, then they shouldn’t have had it in the first place.

The post Intel Forcing Motherboard Makers To Disable AVX-512 Support Across All Alder Lake CPUs Through Upcoming BIOS by Hassan Mujtaba appeared first on Wccftech.

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