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