Older CPUs would simply fail if they started to overheat, but modern CPUs adjust their frequency based on temperature (among other things) to prevent a dramatic failure. Because of this, it stands to reason that once you reach certain temps, you will no longer be getting the maximum performance from your CPU because it will be busy protecting itself. But what is that temperature? And do you really need a high-end liquid-cooled system to get peak performance?
For more than a decade tech-savvy users on a budget would commonly buy a sub-$100 CPU and achieve performance comparable to $200-$300 chips by overclocking. These days Intel locks down its lower end parts, but to mark the 20th anniversary of its Pentium brand, they've released a fully unlocked dual-core Pentium G3258 for $72 -- just what the overclocking community has been waiting for. We'll put it through its paces in a couple of builds of our own.
Intel says overclockers can rejoice over the newest revision of its 4th-gen Core processor, codenamed Devil's Canyon, it promises a few improvements including updated packaging materials, more capacitors for smoother power deliver, and a boost in operating speeds up to 4.4GHz with Turbo Boost.
Gigabyte Radeon R9 290X OC & R9 290 OC Review: Immense potential lost to GPU shortages and inflated prices
AMD's Radeon R9 290 and 290X made a strong case against Nvidia's GTX 780 and Titan late last year, but that position soon weakened with unexpectedly high prices and limited options from board partners. This time we'll revisit the cards with actual production units from Gigabyte so we can weigh in on third-party performance at actual market prices.
Recently we compared 10 of the best CPU air coolers and while we didn't think twice about stamping the NH-U14S with our Outstanding Award, we've since wondered how it would fare against a basic water cooling setup. On paper, closed loop systems simplify the process of diving into water cooling, being about as safe and easy to work with as air cooling while delivering much of the performance you'd expect from an elaborate custom loop at a fraction of the cost.
As if it wasn't already fast enough, Gigabyte has armed its GTX 780 Ti with a massive air cooler that allows its variant of Nvidia's newcomer with a 17% overclock. The company has also been working on other overclocked GTX 780s, including a "GHz Edition" allowing a core clock of 1.02GHz or 18% higher than the standard version of the card.
We've only previously seen water-cooled GTX 780 cards pushed this far. However, Palit's GTX 780 Super JetStream is no ordinary graphics card as its massive heatsink and three large fans keep its core cool when under stress -- a solution that allows the card to outpace the Titan, according to the manufacturer.
In our review we put those claims to the test, in addition to testing triple monitor resolutions in GTX 780 Super JetStream SLI cards, standard GTX 780 cards and on the almighty Titan.
Celebrating Tahiti's "half birthday" last month, AMD relaunched its Radeon HD 7970 with a "GHz Edition" that increased the reference design's core clock speed from 925MHz to 1GHz with the intention of allowing the company to claim it offered the world's fastest GPU. But the festivities were short-lived for several reasons.
Now Gigabyte has taken matters into its own hands with what seems to be a far more interesting solution. Armed with five fans, nine heatpipes and a huge vapor chamber, one might consider the HD 7970 SOC to be overkill, and to that we say "hell yes!"