In a nutshell: Overclockers are a curious bunch. Much like automotive enthusiasts, they're obsessed with squeezing the absolute most performance out of a given piece of hardware or platform, even if it means going beyond what is practical or efficient.
Renowned German overclocker Roman “der8auer” Hartung recently revisited an old CPU to see if a newer motherboard and a voltage controller could help him squeeze even more performance out of his already impressive AMD FX-8350 processor.
The particular CPU der8auer used came from his own personal collection – a chip he bought himself and describes as one of the best samples he had ever seen. As you likely know, not all CPUs are created equal, even if they come from the same wafer. Such exceptional performers – factory freaks – are highly sought after by overclockers due to the extra headroom they may afford.
This time around, der8auer used an Asus 970 Pro Gaming / Aura motherboard alongside Corsair Vengeance 2,666MHz DDR3 memory and an Elmore EVC2 PCB which let him manually tweak voltages.
Things got off to a rocky start, however, as the processor got stuck to the stock cooler and attempting to remove it from the socket resulted in some bent pins (been there, done that). Fortunately, he was able to bend the pins back in place using a tiny screwdriver and continue on with testing.
Once confirming everything was golden, der8auer prepped and insulated the motherboard and installed a liquid nitrogen cooler then started pushing things. In the end, he got up to 8,127MHz (single core) at a core voltage of 1.920V at nearly -180 degrees Celsius. It's not a world record or anything but it's still very impressive given the chip's age. At these temperatures, the stress on the hardware is evident as the motherboard started to warp.
Curiously enough, when conducting a Cinebench R15 single-core run at around 7.5GHz, the CPU only turned in a score of 172 points which is just barely faster than an Intel Core i7-4770K CPU.
Masthead credit: Val3ri0