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Sep 22, 2011

Intel's Upcoming Core i7-3960X CPU Gets Overclocked to 5.5GHz

If rumors are true, in a little less than two months time Intel will launch its first desktop processors based on the high-performance Sandy Bridge-E architecture and recently an overclocker has taken an engineering sample of such a CPU to 5.5GHz from the stock 3.3GHz.

The chip used for these overclocking tests was none other than Intel's top of the range LGA 2011 processor, the Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition.

When working at its default settings, this six-core chip with 15MB of Level 3 cache has a base clock of 3.3GHz and a maximum Turbo Boost speed of 3.9GHz, so going to 5.5MHz represents quite a significant frequency increase.

In order to achieve this feat, the overclocker had to use dry ice for cooling the Intel CPU and to increase the core voltage to 1.572V, as reported by CPU-Z, during these tests.

The chip's OC potential using only air-cooling was also put to the test, and during this attempt it managed to achieve a respectable 5GHz with a slightly lower voltage that on DICE.

After both of these overclocks, the Intel processor had its performance tested in the single-core SuperPi benchmark where it managed to finish the test in less than 7 seconds when working at the faster clock speed. 

Before judging this result, please keep in mind that the CPU was an engineering sample chip, so its performance as well as overclocking potential could change until it gets officially launched.

Together with the Core i7-3960X, Intel will introduce two other Sandy Bridge-E chips, the Core i7 3930K and the Core i7-3820, the first one of these coming with six computing cores, 3.2GHz base, and 3.80GHz Turbo clock speeds, while the latter uses a quad-core design.

Intel's first LGA 2011 desktop processors are expected to make their debut in mid-November and pricing for the Core i7-3960X will be set at $999, or 999 Euros depending on where you live. (via XtremeSystems)


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