What is "Game boost" setting in the bios (Z590 Unify-X)?


New member
Sep 3, 2022
Probably a noob question but I am new to MSI motherboards (my first one). I know that this is some kind of overclock to the CPU but I would like to know exactly what it does.
How much frequency does it add? will it apply to all cores at once? is it based on BCLK overclock all just by multiplier? Does it affect the memory as well?
I run 11900K, is Game boost better than intel's own Adaptive boost (5.1 ghz all cores)?



Oct 12, 2016
GameBoost is purely detrimental, see here, so i would definitely not use that. It only uses multiplier OC and doesn't affect the RAM, but it's bad all-around.

ABT (Adaptive Boost Technology) is essentially overclocking by Intel. Since the 11900K is configured extremely aggressively from the factory, adding ABT on top is just a bad idea all-around, it simply kills the little bit of efficiency that this CPU still had. They only introduced ABT last-minute before launch (literally in the last week or so), just to win important benchmarks when compared to certain AMD CPU models.

I've explained it here before: https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?...msi-z590-ace-motherboard.361936/#post-2054207

The 11900K can't really be overclocked or tweaked in any kind of meaningful way, because it is a very extreme CPU as it is. They used a very high VCore to squeeze that amount of performance out of it, the silicon in this manufacturing process is already not very happy running at such frequencies. Any further increase and the CPU basically starts screaming for mercy, the power draw will immediately shoot up, and performance increase is very minimal.

All the Intel silicon since a couple of years runs the most comfortable in the mid-4GHz-range. By the time you get to the models that boost to 5 GHz and above, Intel are already pushing it a lot. So with a lot of the CPUs of the 10th/11th/12th-gen series, there is literally almost no headroom left, unless you're willing to accept a huge hit in efficiency for a measly performance increase (if any at all, see the GameBoost explanation).

On the plus side, Intel really has managed to get 99% of the potential out of this CPU already. So an overclock is not really necessary.
The only way to make the 11900K a better CPU is to improve its efficiency (for example by restricting the power limits). Performance-wise there is not much left to exploit.

So instead of CPU OC, i would focus more on tuning the RAM, optimizing the RAM settings and timings. This is a real science, yes, but doesn't really have any downsides about power consumption/heat/efficiency if you verify the stability, and the performance gains from that are real even in everyday scenarios such as gaming.