LAB501

Overclocking study – Intel Core i7 4790K & Intel Pentium G3258 – air, water, phase-change, DICE & LN2

This is LAB501, house of world champions overclockers and die-hard overclocking fans, so normally I wouldn’t explain to you guys what overclocking is. However, this time, and only this time, I am thinking that maybe we have new readers interested in overclocking, or guys who only used air so far, and are reading this story to learn about alternative cooling methods. So… the die-hard bunch can skip this page. Newbie overclockers, this page is for you. Pay attention!

You wouldn’t believe this, but actually I often get asked “what is overclocking”. Be it at an event where we do a live show (like Dreamhack or LSE), be it when some of my newer friends ask me exactly what we do for a living, or what was it about in the contest they saw we won… And the answer is always the same – overclocking can be defined as pushing the limits of a PC component, beyond the speed planned by the manufacturers.

Basically, everything in a computer runs at a certain speed (frequency), even if we talk about the CPU, graphic card, memory, PCI devices, S-ATA controller or USB controller. With some of those speeds you don’t want to mess because the system will stop working properly (for instance S-ATA, PCI, etc), but there are also those speeds that you can slightly adjust without causing problems. That is the case with the CPU, the VGA (graphic card) and the memory. You can increase the clock beyond the factory specs and gain performance while you do that.

Of course, it is very easy to overclock nowadays, but this was not the situation many years ago. In fact, manufacturers would try anything possible to stop you from doing it, because you wouldn’t need a more expensive PC if you could overclock. However, the funny part is that some of the first “overclocks” were done in 1983 by none other then… Intel. I’m not kidding – they would sell their Intel 8088 to IBM, who would set the CPU clock in their PC at 4.7MHz, while Intel was offering the same 8088 model clocked at 8MHz.

However, hardware aficionados didn’t have an easy ride overclocking back then, since most of the times you would need some hardware knowledge in order to modify the parts needed for overclocking, because most of the parts in a PC would run at the same clock, mainly the BUS speed. The first big breakthrough came in 1992, with the introduction of 486DX2 (or i486DX2), when a concept we all know and use today was introduced – the multiplier.

This allowed the CPU to run at higher speeds then the bus speed (2x in this case), and many people “upgraded” their 486SX to DX2 speeds (from 25MHz to 33MHz) by moving a jumper on the board. But one other thing also got introduced to later 486 models, and that was the fan mounted on the radiator. Until then, all CPU’s were passively cooled with a small aluminum or copper radiator.

1998 brought another important breakthrough – the birth of Celeron 300A (a 300 MHz Mendocino core CPU, based on a 66MHz FSB and a locked 4.5 multiplier) and Abit BH-6. Celeron 300A was one of the first real overclockable CPU’s, and motherboards like Abit BH6 made that possible. You could ran Celeron 300A at 450MHz simply by using the 100MHz FSB, and most of them would actually be stable at those clocks.

But the introduction of the Abit BH6 board meant something else – it was the first motherboard that would allow you to make all the settings in BIOS, without any need to move jumpers or dip switches on the motherboards. And I think that with this combo, 15 years ago overclocking started to become something mainstream, something that most of the PC enthusiasts could enjoy, and not only the hard core engineer bunch.

64 comments la: Overclocking study – Intel Core i7 4790K & Intel Pentium G3258 – air, water, phase-change, DICE & LN2

    1. 1 – At what frequency did the Pentium G3258 ran fully stable using extreme water cooling?
      5126MHz
      2 – What maximum frequency did we achieve on Intel Core i7 4790K using LN2?
      6346MHz

      Reply
    2. Salomiea Marius wrote on:

      1-5250MHz
      2-6346MHz

      Reply
    3. Augustin Carnu wrote on:

      5126 Mhz fully Stable on extreme WaterCooling
      6346.53 Mhz maximum freqeuncy on 4790K LN2.

      Reply
    4. Ionita Bogdan Constantin wrote on:

      1) 5126MHz fully stable
      2) 6346MHz LN2

      Reply
    5. Dulgheriu Alexandru wrote on:

      1 – 5126MHz
      2 – 6346MHz

      Reply
    6. Ungureanu Lucian wrote on:

      1- 5126MHz
      2- 6346MHz

      Reply
    7. Prisecaru Gabriel wrote on:

      1. 5352 MHz
      2. 6346 Mhz

      Reply
    8. Ovidiu Bonte wrote on:

      1 – At what frequency did the Pentium G3258 ran fully stable using extreme water cooling?

      Answer: 5126MHz !

      2 – What maximum frequency did we achieve on Intel Core i7 4790K using LN2?

      Answer: 6346 MHZ!

      Reply
    9. Zacchaeus Lim wrote on:

      Hi there my answers are
      1.5250.91 mhz on ewc for G3258
      2.6346.53mhz on ln2 CPU-Z validated

      Reply
    10. Raul wrote on:

      1 – At what frequency did the Pentium G3258 ran fully stable using extreme water cooling? Answer is : 5250MHz
      2 – What maximum frequency did we achieve on Intel Core i7 4790K using LN2? Answer is : 6346MHz

      Reply
    11. Halian wrote on:

      1) 5126 MHz
      2) 6346 MHz

      Reply
    12. Giancarlo Dalmedico wrote on:

      1 – At what frequency did the Pentium G3258 ran fully stable using extreme water cooling?
      A: 5126 MHz

      2 – What maximum frequency did we achieve on Intel Core i7 4790K using LN2?
      A: 6346 MHz

      Reply
    13. Aurelian Niculita wrote on:

      1. 5126 MHz.
      2. 6346 Mhz.

      Reply
    14. Georgiana D wrote on:

      1 – 5126MHz
      2 – 6346MHz

      Reply
    15. The contest has ended, we will announce the winner tomorrow

      Reply
    16. You had to go up to like 1.35V or higher to get your 4790k to almost 4.8ghz?
      I set my BCLK has high as it would go at stock (101.5), set voltage to 1.30 fixed, set multiplier to 50, knocked it down until it would boot (48), knocked it down to temperature within operating ranges (47), and then tweaked the voltage down until it stopped, then set it to Adaptive, with a max of just above where it stopped.

      result: 1.23V 4770.5MHz

      Then I bumped CPU Cache till it wouldn’t work anymore, at 45x.

      Max temp at 86 degrees. No matter what I set voltages to I can’t get it to operate at 48x without it constantly going into thermal throttle. Works fine at 47x.
      I can even get it to do 48x on one core, so long as I don’t start up GTA V.

      Reply

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