Overclocking Intel's Core i7 Extreme With Liquid Nitrogen

There are a lot of people out there who are very excited when they can use the full potential of a computer. When Intel released the monster 3.33GHz Core i7 975 processor, the Intel 3.2 965 was the highest performing desktop CPU on the market. The Core i7 975 brought with it the new D0 stepping which brought slightly cooler temperatures, tightened up memory timings and lowered operating voltage requirements . But that was not enough! The enthusiasts also noticed another plus of the new CPU: higher overclocking capability.

Intel's Extreme Edition processors are designed and sold to a very small segment of the market because it just don't make much sense for everyday use. People who buy Intel's Core i7 tend to push their hardware a lot harder than we do. These are the kind of people that usually spend more time overclocking and tweaking the system rather than operating it. The 975 features small speed bump at its stock settings. Let's not forget about the unlocked multiplier which provides coveted flexibility to overclockers as they push core speeds to new heights.

The team that overclocked the CPU decided to leave the safe confines of air cooling and enter the precarious world of sub-zero chilling. Liquid nitrogen, or LN2, is commonly used as a coolant within the overclocking scene and can reach much lower temperatures than air, water, or the phase change cooling you may be accustomed to.

While we are used to seeing processors operate in air-cooled settings of around 40'C, the use of LN2 will allow us to push clock speeds all the way down in the -80'C range in order to unlock the overclocking capabilities of both the motherboard and CPU. We paired a Core i7 975 processor with the EVGA X58 Classified motherboard to find out just how far we can go with the X58 platform and Intel's current flagship CPU.

Check out the final results

Experiment Source: HotHardware