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What just happened? With Intel's Rocket Lake-S desktop processors launching tomorrow (March 30), enthusiasts are pushing the line's Core i9-11900K to its limits. While one overclocker forced the chip to 6.5 GHz using liquid nitrogen, someone else managed to hit 7 GHz.
According to the CPU-Z Validation website (via VideoCardz), the flagship Rocket Lake-S CPU was clocked at 7,048 MHz. An overclocker called 'ROG-Fisher' achieved this feat by adjusting the voltage to 1.873 volts and using an ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Apex motherboard along with some exotic liquid nitrogen (LN2) cooling.
ROG-Fisher holds the top three overclocking records for the Core i9-11900K, which has a base frequency of 3.5GHz, on the CPU-Z Validation site. Their second- and third-place clocks reach 7,034 MHz and 6,898 MHz, respectively.
Those weren't the only high overclocks recorded on the chip. Indian YouTube channel PC Wale managed to reach 6.5 GHz on the same processor. Again, LN2 was the preferred cooling solution, though the voltage was a lower 1.678 volts and the motherboard was a ROG Maximus XIII Hero.
The channel used a custom XOC BIOS from SafeDisk, an overclocker from South Korea who works for ASUS. It unlocks the voltage to 2V.
You may remember the Core i9-10900K reaching a monstrous 7.7 GHz soon after it was released back in May last year, so we can expect the current top Core i9-11900K overclocks to be broken once the processor is launched officially. Hopefully, it will surpass its last-gen equivalent's record, which was achieved using an Asus ROG Maximus XII Apex motherboard and a core voltage of 1.194.
If you intend to buy a Core i9-11900K and overclock the CPU to within an inch of its life, it's worth remembering that Intel discontinued the Performance Tuning Protection Plan (PTPP) service earlier this month. The program, which protected against the risk of damaging a CPU when overclocking, ended due to an overall decrease in demand. According to Intel, "customers increasingly overclock with confidence."