New Intel Core i7 processor breaks records with monstrous 7.5GHz overclock

Gigabyte has shattered some world records for overclocking and benchmarking, after pulling off a rather spectacular overclock on an Intel Core i7-7740K quad-core processor, reaching 7.5GHz using liquid helium cooling.

In fact, this was the effort of a team of overclockers led by Gigabyte’s own HiCookie, working with the 7740K – one of Intel’s beastly new Core X-Series CPUs revealed at Computex – using the firm’s own X299-SOC Champion motherboard.

As mentioned, they used liquid helium to achieve temperatures of around minus 250 degrees Celsius, allowing the processor to be cranked up to a scarily fast 7.5GHz.

The team also managed to post new world records for the 3DMark06 benchmark, with the CPU running at 7.1GHz (with liquid nitrogen cooling) in conjunction with an Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition graphics card, hitting a score of 71,928 (over 1,000 points clear of the previous record holder). Doubling up with a pair of GTX 1080 Ti cards in SLI, they again achieved another global top score – 71,176.

A new Aquamark record was also set (737,222 – using a pair of GTX 980 Ti graphics cards) and a new 3DMark03 high score as well (356,678 using a single GTX 1080 Ti), again with the CPU at 7.1GHz.

Core X-treme

It’s an impressive set of achievements, then, and bodes well for the overclocking potential of these new Core X offerings, which are headed up by a mighty beast of an 18-core processor (the flagship Core i9 model). A model that just outdoes the new Threadripper top-end CPUs revealed by AMD, the flagship model of which has 16-cores.

Speaking of Ryzen, it wasn’t so long ago that we saw the initial reveal of the processors, whereupon the Ryzen 7 1800X set new Cinebench records with a liquid nitrogen-driven overclock to 5.2GHz.

Of course, these super-cooled overclocks are all well and good, but it’ll be more interesting to see how these new Intel models perform when it comes to the sort of turbocharging the average PC owner will apply (i.e. with air cooling, or perhaps water).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).