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Team Finland clocks Phenom II to 6.5GHz

Team Finland clocks Phenom II to 6.5GHz

The liquid cooling system - which involved five hundred litres of liquid nitrogen and helium - helped keep the Phenom II X4 cool as it hit 6.5GHz.

If you're wanting to smash benchmark records like they don't exist, you might want to take a leaf out of Team Finland's book: take a Phenom II quad-core processor and overclock it to a blistering 6.5GHz and beyond.

As reported over on Engadget yesterday, the team – in conjunction with Pete Hardman and Sami Makinen from AMD – took an honestly-not-special Phenom II quad-core processor and started applying some major cooling before the overclock attempt. Well, I say 'major cooling': I mean five hundred litres each of liquid nitrogen and liquid helium.

By pushing the core temperature down to a nippy -232 degrees Celsius – that's 41.15 Kelvin, or just a handful of degrees above Absolute Zero – the team were able to tweak the processor to run at an FSB of 280MHz and a multiplier of 22.5, giving a whopping 6.3GHz speed across all four cores. This rather impressive feat allowed Team Finland – and AMD, of course – to snatch the world record for benchmarking suite 3DMark 05 with a mind-boggling top score of 45,474.

While the speeds achieved in this particular experiment aren't really within the reach of your typical gamer – unless your typical gamer works for CERN and has access to large quantities of liquid helium – it's a good indication of just what can be achieved from the new Phenom II chips if you really put your mind to it.

For the “pictures or it didn't happen” crowd, AMD has uploaded a video of the entire event to YouTube for your drooling pleasure. Just don't be tempted to ring around chemical supply shops looking for liquid helium or nitrogen – they have government watchlists for people like that these days...

Has this move finally put Intel in its place and moved AMD to the front for overclockers everywhere, or is it nothing more than a neat parlour trick that doesn't offer any insight into real-world overclocking? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

16 Comments

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p3n 27th January 2009, 09:31 Quote
Did they get it to POST 6.5 and nothing else or is there a typo somewhere?
perplekks45 27th January 2009, 09:33 Quote
Surely impressive but as I lost track of overclocking AMDs I have no idea how well you can transfer that to an overclocking experience the 'normal enthusiast' would get. It's definitely nice to see AMD top the charts for now, until someone gets an i7 high enough to beat them, but I don't think this'll mark AMD as the overclocking champion. During the last years Intel have overclocked easier and better as far as I remember.

//edit: Well, according to CPU-Z they reached 6435.62 MHz. So, surely there must be a typo somewhere in the article or they just didn't get it stable enough to validate via CPU-Z.
Gareth Halfacree 27th January 2009, 10:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
//edit: Well, according to CPU-Z they reached 6435.62 MHz. So, surely there must be a typo somewhere in the article or they just didn't get it stable enough to validate via CPU-Z.
According to reports circling the web, they hit 6.5GHz in the end - but the video only shows them hitting 6.3GHz, so that's the figure I used for the article. Aside from the blurb, which I must have had a brane fart during.
Multiplectic 27th January 2009, 10:27 Quote
Besides, according to HWBot, they do NOT have the 3DM05 WR...
FatMikel 27th January 2009, 10:41 Quote
90 minutes of overclock and they ran an old, obselete benchmark. :|

Tell me when they can get that speed 24/7 stable looping Vantage and then I'll be impressed.

Apparently that result wasn't allowed, Multiplectic, because they used a graphics driver that FutureMark hadn't approved or something... Lame.
Goty 27th January 2009, 13:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
//edit: Well, according to CPU-Z they reached 6435.62 MHz. So, surely there must be a typo somewhere in the article or they just didn't get it stable enough to validate via CPU-Z.
According to reports circling the web, they hit 6.5GHz in the end - but the video only shows them hitting 6.3GHz, so that's the figure I used for the article. Aside from the blurb, which I must have had a brane fart during.

The video shows them hitting 6.5GHz for a CPU-Z screenshot, but they only ran at 6.3 GHz for the 3DMark run.
AndyFielder 27th January 2009, 15:00 Quote
that is a truely awsome feat!!

Andy
http://www.ra3.co.uk
Multiplectic 27th January 2009, 16:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatMikel
Apparently that result wasn't allowed, Multiplectic, because they used a graphics driver that FutureMark hadn't approved or something... Lame.

True. I've just checked the ORB results.
mrb_no1 27th January 2009, 17:26 Quote
ah stop it all you haters, i say kudos to those boys for doing it...and vantage isnt as widely used yet so a slightly older version of 3d mark was definitely the wiser choice imo

peace

fatman
Chocobollz 27th January 2009, 18:20 Quote
At least it doesn't burn :p. Well, I myself were quite impressed with that achievement. At least they've showed us that their processor isn't too bad compared to Intel in term of clock speed ;-)
wafflesomd 27th January 2009, 18:23 Quote
It won't show up on ORB due to an unapproved driver? That's stupid.


I would like to comment on how I love my $109 Phenom Quad Core. I can't believe I only paid $100 for this thing.
HourBeforeDawn 27th January 2009, 19:51 Quote
This is awesome, overall this is a huge leap for AMD in general just in overclocking alone, if they keep on this track they will surely retake the crown again like they did for well almost 6years lol before the C2D finally rolled into town. This is simply awesome.
Multiplectic 27th January 2009, 20:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd
It won't show up on ORB due to an unapproved driver? That's stupid.

It does show up on ORB, but it says the driver isn't "FM Approved".
r4tch3t 28th January 2009, 05:56 Quote
Hmm, I have fairly easy access to LN2 since they make thousands of litres of the stuff on campus. So much fun to muck around with.
Sim0n 28th January 2009, 07:41 Quote
But LN2 (-192c or similar) didnt get cold enuff for them to get to 6Ghz+, hence the use of Liquid Helium (-270c or similar)
r4tch3t 28th January 2009, 08:21 Quote
I can get Liquid helium, but it is much more difficult, as a lot less is produced on campus.
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