After initial disappointment with the original Phenom processors, AMD showed off
its upcoming 45nm ‘Deneb’ desktop chip – now confirmed as Phenom II – for reviewers at an event in Texas this week, and overclocked the second-generation quad-core part to what some observers said was 6.3GHz.
The company reached such clock speeds by using liquid nitrogen at an amazing -196C to cool the processor – apparently the new AMD design works flawlessly from -200C to +100C. Of course not many people have access to such extreme cooling methods but the demo should at least show that the new Phenom II processors are scalable when it comes to clock speeds and quite stable at high frequencies.
The Phenom II parts were also able to hit 4GHz with air cooling and 5GHz with dry ice cooling. By comparison, Intel's top Core i7 processor listed as a 3.2 GHz part has been overclocked to 4.5 GHz on air cooling alone and some claim to have taken it to 5.7GHz using liquid nitrogen. The top Phenom II chip, due out sometime in the first quarter of 2009, will reportedly list as 3.0 GHz off the shelf.