I think it reads more that they cannot come factory overclocked. If not I'm sure there will be bios that can walk around this. If this is going to be a 'super' mining card on gddr5 memory, i don't see why they would gimp the ability to modify volts and speeds in any way. If anyone buys one of these cards at 399$ I'd love to see a screenshot of it.
I can't even bring myself to care. My 1060 maxes everything I play out at 1440p with 100+ fps. I haven't overclocked a card for anything besides benching fun since I had a GTX 580. Gaming for years now has been about how quiet I could get the card rather than how fast.
I think the rumors are getting things twisted. The original rumor was that all the cards would ship with the same base and boost speeds and none would be oced from the factory. That was clearly done so none of the out of the box 1070 ti cards would touch the 1080. This is likely nothing more than nonsense about not being able to overclock the card yourself.
I still find it hard to believe a 1070 ti exists. The Vanila 1080 is already close in cost to 1070s with mining inflation factored in. What product gap is it filling? There isn't really that much room between a 1070 and 1080 price or performance wise to justify a new card.
The only thing that makes sense to me in regards to an overlocking lock is that the card is just a highly overclocked 1070 with no wiggle room...... or that clocks needs be locked to keep the 1080 relevant because they are so close in performance.