Sunday, August 7, 2022

Locked vs. Unlocked CPU – What is the Difference?

If you are building a new PC and confused about whether use a locked or unlocked CPU? Check this out Locked vs. Unlocked CPU.

Do you know what the difference is between a locked and unlocked CPU? If not, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many people are confused about the two different types of CPUs. In this blog post, we’ll break down the differences between locked and unlocked CPUs so that you can understand which type is right for you.

What is a locked CPU?

A locked CPU is a type of CPU that can only be used with a specific type of motherboard. Locked CPUs are usually less expensive than unlocked CPUs, but they offer less flexibility in terms of upgrades and overclocking.

What is an unlocked CPU?

An unlocked CPU is a type of CPU that can be used with any type of motherboard. Unlocked CPUs are usually more expensive than locked CPUs, but they offer more flexibility in terms of upgrades and overclocking.

What is overclocking?

Overclocking is the process of running a CPU at a higher speed than its rated speed. Overclocking can increase the performance of a CPU, but it can also lead to stability issues and a shorter lifespan.

The breakdown between locked or unlocked CPU

There are 3 major differences between a locked and unlocked CPU. Those 3 differences are:

Performance

A locked CPU will have a slightly lower performance potential than an unlocked CPU. This is because unlocked CPUs can be overclocked, which gives them a performance boost.

This is a difficult category to call because many CPUs are sold with locked and unlocked variants that otherwise have identical or nearly identical specs. In those cases, the only real difference is whether or not you can overclock the CPU.

In other words, if you’re looking at two CPUs and one is unlocked, it’s probably going to offer slightly better performance potential than the locked version.

So the winner in this category is Unlocked CPU.

Pricing

Locked CPUs are usually less expensive than unlocked CPUs. This is because they offer less flexibility and the potential for overclocking. This is usually in the range of $20-50 for mainstream CPUs. Furthermore, Intel Z-Series motherboards are significantly more expensive.

In any case, unlocked CPUs offer better performance potential and flexibility, so they’re generally worth the extra cost.

Compatibility

Locked CPUs are only compatible with specific types of motherboards. For example, Intel K-Series CPUs can only be used with Intel Z-Series motherboards. This is because locked CPUs need a specific type of BIOS in order to work properly.

On the other hand, Unlocked CPUs can be used with any type of motherboard. This is because they don’t have any special requirements in terms of BIOS support.

Overclocking

As we mentioned earlier, overclocking is the process of running a CPU at a higher speed than its rated speed. Overclocking can increase the performance of a CPU, but it can also lead to stability issues and a shorter lifespan.

There are two main ways to overclock a CPU: Adjusting the clock speed and Adjusting the voltage.

The clock speed is the rate at which the CPU processes information. It is measured in hertz (Hz). The higher the clock speed, the faster the CPU can process information.

The voltage is the amount of power that is supplied to the CPU. The higher the voltage, the more power the CPU has to work with. Overclocking can lead to increased heat and noise, so it’s important to make sure that your CPU has adequate cooling.

It’s also important to note that not all CPUs can be overclocked. In general, only unlocked CPUs can be overclocked. Some locked CPUs may have a limited amount of overclocking potential, but it’s usually not enough to make a significant difference in performance.

In conclusion, the main difference between locked and unlocked CPUs is that locked CPUs can only be used with specific types of motherboards, while unlocked CPUs can be used with any type of motherboard.

What are the drawbacks of having a locked or unlocked CPU?

Drawbacks of Locked CPUs:

  • First, they have less potential for overclocking, which means that their performance is slightly lower than that of unlocked CPUs.
  • They are only compatible with specific types of motherboards, so you’ll need to make sure that your motherboard is compatible with your CPU.
  • Locked CPUs tend to be less expensive than unlocked CPUs, so they may not offer as much value for your money.

Drawbacks of Unlocked CPUs:

  • First, they can be more difficult to install and configure than locked CPUs.
  • They may require more cooling than locked CPUs because of the increased heat and noise generated by overclocking.
  • Unlocked CPUs tend to be more expensive than locked CPUs, so you’ll need to make sure that you’re willing to pay the extra cost for the increased performance potential. 

How to unlock your CPU if it is locked?

If your CPU is locked, you’ll need to purchase an unlocked CPU. You can find unlocked CPUs from various sources, including online stores and computer hardware manufacturers. Once you have an unlocked CPU, you’ll need to install it on your motherboard. 

Installing an unlocked CPU is usually a straightforward process. However, you may need to update your BIOS in order to support the new CPU. 

Once your unlocked CPU is installed, you’ll be able to overclock it by adjusting the clock speed and voltage. 

How to lock your CPU if it is unlocked?

If your CPU is unlocked, you’ll need to purchase a locked CPU. You can find locked CPUs from a variety of sources, including online stores and computer hardware manufacturers. Once you have a locked CPU, you’ll need to install it on your motherboard. 

Installing a locked CPU is usually a straightforward process. However, you may need to update your BIOS to support the new CPU. 

Once your locked CPU is installed, you won’t be able to overclock it. You’ll need to run it at its default clock speed and voltage.

Our Opinion

The main difference between locked and unlocked CPUs is that locked CPUs can only be used with specific types of motherboards, while unlocked CPUs can be used with any type of motherboard.

Locked CPUs have less potential for overclocking, which means that their performance is slightly lower than that of unlocked CPUs.

Unlocked CPUs also have a few drawbacks, including the fact that they can be more difficult to install and configure than locked CPUs. They may also require more cooling than locked CPUs because of the increased heat and noise generated by overclocking.

In general, locked CPUs are less expensive than unlocked CPUs, so they may offer more value for your money.

However, if you’re looking for the best possible performance, you’ll need to purchase an unlocked CPU.

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