The night before Intel went public with their absolutely mad 18-core i9 CPU, Asus were busy helping them break a world record by overclocking an i7 chip using the faintly dodgy liquid helium.
Overclocking’s all about pushing your CPU to the limit, but which silicon stands up best to the abuse? Check out our list of the best gaming CPUs to find out.
Taipei’s W Hotel was awash with smoke and lights last night as Asus’ Republic of Gamers overclocking team used liquid helium cooling to bring a 4.3GHz Kaby Lake-X Intel Core i7-7740X CPU down to −269°C. That’s how low you need to go to get the chip to clock in at an astounding 7.562GHz.
The director of HWBOT, the event’s hosts, was understandably pleased. “HWBOT is delighted to host this landmark event in front of the world’s top tech media,” he said. “Overclocking remains the truest test of absolute performance, validating the incredible work that Intel has done to make the latest HEDT platform attractive to enthusiasts.”
This blistering 7.5GHz speed is the fastest ever clock speed for an i7 chip, and it owes to the team’s use of liquid helium, as opposed to the more common liquid nitrogen method. Liquid helium is colder than liquid nitrogen, boiling at −269°C as opposed to nitrogen’s −196°C.
The trade-off is liquid helium is more difficult to store and use than liquid nitrogen, as well as being more expensive. Temperatures this low can also freeze components not built to stand up to the sub-zero kicking. Combine this with the fact you don’t really want −269°C liquid on your skin and it becomes obvious this is a job for the professionals.
So unless you have a highly-trained manservant and a bottomless wallet, maybe not one for your home rig, eh? Why not try some simple overclocking instead; let us show you how with our easy guide to overclocking without some expensive chilling shizzle.