How overclockers beat the elusive 9GHz in new world record

Asus announced that its team managed to break another world record, this time by overclocking the Intel Core i9-13900K to an extreme level.

The CPU managed to reach a staggering 9.09GHz, surpassing the previous 8.8GHz record. Intel shared a video explaining the whole process with some very innovative solutions.

Intel Technology / YouTube

Intel’s recent Raptor Lake CPU, the Core i9-13900K, is undoubtedly one of the best processors on the market right now. Most of us will use it for gaming, work, and everything in between – but when such a beast falls into the hands of extreme overclocking enthusiasts, the results can be incredible. The CPU was paired with an Asus ROG Maximus Z790 motherboard, and reaching that 9GHz milestone required the team to improvise and get creative.

First, overclockers turned off all efficiency cores (E-cores) and disabled hyperthreading. This means that the CPU only runs eight performance (P) cores and eight threads. Overclocking at this level is usually done with the help of liquid nitrogen, but that wasn’t enough to break the 9GHz limit. The team resorted to using a mixture of liquid nitrogen (LN2) and liquid helium.

Liquid helium can be misleading, as it operates around -269 degrees Celsius. This was necessary to keep the Core i9-13900K stable, and in the video shared by Intel, SkatterBencher states that the chip handles pressure well. However, the team also encountered other problems, such as the USB ports freezing and the motherboard getting too cold. In the end, they had to cool the CPU while heating the motherboard to break the 9,009GHz record. The processor was able to run the PiFast at this frequency for 6.85 seconds and the SuperPi 32M for a total of 3 minutes and 3 seconds.

The 9GHz CPU frequency barrier has been tough until now. Many pro overclockers have tried hitting 9GHz, but so far only Asus’ team seems to have reached this milestone. Still, achieving extremely high clock speeds is not a first for the Core i9-13900K.

The CPU also recently set a new world record hitting 8.8GHz, but as we now know, the victory was short-lived. Fun fact: The latest Core i9-13900K win belongs to Elmor, which is also included in today’s 9GHz success. Prior to that, the title for the highest CPU frequency belonged to the unimpressive AMD FX-8370 with a clock speed of 8.722 GHz. While this line of processors has nothing on AMD’s later Ryzen tech, it seems to respond particularly well to liquid nitrogen and overclocking in general.

It’s impressive that it took this long for AMD to lose #1 for top clock speed. The 8.722 GHz record was broken in 2014, and until October of this year AMD remained in the lead. Finally, Raptor Lake raided and broke the record, and now both first and second place belongs to the Intel Core i9-13900K, thanks to Asus’ efforts.

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