AMD FX Processor Breaks Overclock World Record

Company: AMD
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: September 13th, 2011

AMD FX Processor: New Guinness World Record for Highest Clock Frequency

Rage3D was in Austin, Texas at the AMD Customer Experience Center on August 31st, when the World Record for the highest frequency of computer processor was broken using an near-production AMD FX desktop processor sample.

Suddenly; FX Processors, everywhere

Since early in the morning Team AMD FX, featuring Sami Makinen and other overclocking notables, had been testing and screening piles of 'dozers. After being fed a delicious breakfast, enjoying some great information about the new Bulldozer design and marketing strategy, it was time for lunch and the demonstrations. With a final clock speed of 8.429GHz, Team AMD FX bested the previous world record of 8.308GHz, held by a single core Intel Celeron 352.

FX processor with Antilles

As part of a pre-release briefing about the upcoming launch of AMD FX processors, Rage3D witnessed several overclocking configurations and speeds. The lowest overclock was acheived using an Antec Kolher, around 5GHz for all threads with a modest bump in core voltage, nothing you wouldn't do to a Phenom II. On a Phase Change/Peltier cooling setup, more voltage could be safely applied and 5.9Ghz was desktop stable at about 1.6v.

Prescreening for OC attempt

AMD FX processors have no 'cold bug', meaning that the chip's tolerance for voltage is ultimately going to determine if the cores were as clockable as the design team hoped.

Liquid Nitrogen Cooling on FX

The show started out pretty swiftly with Liquid Nitrogen hitting 6Ghz, 7GHz and 8GHz fairly evenly. More voltage was not to be feared with temperatures around -185F, in fact the biggest problem was condensation build up on the mainboard and one attempt ended early as water built up around the memory DIMM. Swapping out for a new board, proc and using copious amounts of putty to get all the exposed interfaces sealed, it was time to hit the big boys toys - Liquid Helium.

Peering through the steam of liquid helium cooling

The new board and processor quickly cooled down to around -230F and more base clock and voltage was applied; the FX series' top multiplier was left behind long ago. As tricky as overclocking and cooling with LN2 was, moving to helium required all hands on deck to keep the levels right and participants safe, making for noisy and entertaining viewing.

Cooling pot with helium tray

Below, Sami describes how they hit the new World Record frequency for a computer processor:

AMD had plenty of samples that hit over 7GHz with ease, under LN2. The clockability is restricted by cooling and voltage delivery. This is what overclocking enthusiasts hope for, not to be limited by design or process bug, but by the laws on entropy and their bravery. ASUS Crosshair boards withstood the abuse admirably, and the TurboV tool proved very useful toward getting overclock attempts running quickly.

ASUS Crosshair, getting ready for sub-zero
ASUS Crosshair, post-OC attempt

Despite breaking the record quite early in the afternoon, Team AMD FX pledged that they would be playing with their toys until the small hours of the morning, testing each sample to see how far they could push it and what more could be done.

AMD FX Processor

We're looking forward to bringing you more information about the AMD FX series of processors, and how they compare with the competition. If you enjoy the challenge of wringing the most you can get out of a piece of hardware, AMD's FX lineup looks to have all the right options to keep you happy in your tweaking. Performance? We can't talk about that just yet, but trust us - AMD has every intention to win your hard-earned $$ fair and square.