We recently got our hands on three coolers marketed directly to overclockers, so we clocked our 2.8GHz Core i7-930 up to 3.9GHz and hit it with Intel’s internal stress-testing utility, which has been known to physically damage motherboards and fry CPUs if used improperly. We cranked up the utility until our Hyper 212 Plus (our favorite inexpensive cooler) could barely keep up without throttling, and used that as our baseline. Can any of these coolers beat the heat?
NZXT isn’t the only company branching into CPU coolers. EVGA—better known for videocards and motherboards—recently released its Superclock cooler, with five direct-contact copper heat pipes, one clear 12cm fan with red LEDs, and a sharp-looking black finish to its skyscraper-style copper cooling fin stack.
At $50, the Superclock is around the midpoint of CPU cooler prices, but can its performance live up to its name?
We have to hand it to Thermaltake: Nearly everything about the Frio OCK is well thought out. The two 13cm fans are secured in a black, red, and blue cowling that clips on and off of the heatsink with ease, eliminating many of the installation frustrations inherent in two-fan (or one-fan) heatsinks. Are the Frio OCK's performance numbers as cool as its design?
NZXT is new to the cooler game, but if the Havik 140 is any indication, the company isn’t being dumb about it. The Havik 140 is a hefty cooler in the stacked-fins “skyscraper” style, with six copper heat pipes rising from the heat exchanger through 4.25 inches of nickel-plated‑copper heat-dissipation fins.
Once mounted, the Havik performed admirably, besting the Hyper 212 Plus in our stress test by nearly 18 degrees Celsius, but was it good enough to dethrone the Best of the Best?
A couple of Swiss overclockers set a pair of memory overclocking records using a 2GB dual-channel kit of Kingston's high frequency HyperX DDR3-2544 memory (KHX2544C9D3T1FK2/2GX). It's the fastest dual-channel memory kit around, and thanks to Roger Tanner "splmann" and Marc Voser "Besi," it's also the kit responsible for setting frequency records at CAS 6 and CAS 8.
Back in mid-September AMD turned its elite team of overclockers loose on one of its upcoming Bulldozer chips, the FX-8150, and ended up earning a Guinness World Record in the process. 8429.38 MHz was a pretty impressive feat, but as with anything in technology, it was short lived. The overclocking crown has officially been passed to Andre Yang, though luckily for AMD, he was still using the FX-8150.
Intel's Core i7 2700K processor is new in town and boy does she get around. We mean that in a good way, and it's totally with the blessing of her folks from Santa Clara who told her, "Hey, you're unlocked, go have a good time." The 2700K took those words to heart and, among other places, found herself hanging around Maingear where she's running laps at 5GHz and beyond.
It never takes long for system builders to capitalize on newly announced components, so it should come as little surprise that boutique system builder Origin PC is already pimping Intel Core i7 2700k-based systems overclocked beyond 5GHz. The chip just showed up today in an official capacity when Intel released an updated processor price list, and it's now being offered as an option in Origin PC's entire line of custom desktops.
Barring any last minute delays, AMD is expected to finally launch its Bulldozer processor line tomorrow, as was reportedly confirmed by U.S. retailer Micro Center just over a week ago. That's good news for AMD fans. Even better news is the fact that these chips should come with plenty of overclocking headroom, provided you're prepared to push the pedal to the metal.
There's reason to be excited about the upcoming launch of Intel's Core i7 2700K processor. News of this processor's existence and eventual release were leaked to the Web just a few weeks ago, and already engineering samples have fallen into adventurous hands. One person who got their mitts on one put the chip through its paces by overclocking it to 5GHz on air.