Overclocking study – Intel Core i7 4790K & Intel Pentium G3258 – air, water, phase-change, DICE & LN2
Well first of all, I know – we didn’t test all cooling methods. Indeed, we only tested the most convenient ones and the best performing ones. We didn’t talk about TEC (thermoelectric cooling using the Peltier effect) because it is a thing of the past and it cannot be used very successfully on today’s CPU’s. We didn’t test a cascade because there is no actual difference between a cascade and single stage units except the temperature and loads they can keep. And we didn’t test liquid helium because it is pointless when it comes to most CPU’s (aka the ones that have cold bug at one point). And yes, there are many more ways in which you can chill water but we chose to show you the one that gets the best results.
Other than that I think we pretty much covered the whole array of cooling methods from air to LN2 and you also got to see how Core i7 4790K and Pentium G3258 react and scale with different cooling solutions. As you can see, the frequency reached with both CPU’s are pretty similar if we talk about single-threaded applications or validations. When we talk about full stability using all available cores then things change drastically because Core i7 4790K is limited by the heat. The little Pentium G3258 doesn’t have this problem because it has only 2 cores to begin with and only 3MB of cache.
Note that our samples are random, not hand picked… this means that your experience at home can be completely different. As a side note I can say that the G3258 we have is an above average sample, while the 4790K is just mediocre at best. Anyway, the Pentium G3258 is very fun to play with judging by its excellent overclock potential and also the very friendly price tag of only 72$. Also, the Core i7 4790K comes at the same price with the 4770K but with better TIM and with a healthy 500MHz frequency boost, which is quite a lot for home users.
Well, we hope you enjoyed our test and you find the results useful. If you are a beginner, hopefully we managed to shed some light on the difference between cooling methods. If you are an expert, at lest you know what to expect from some random samples. In the end, this is also a thing of luck, because there are CPU’s out there that get past 7GHz and there are those ones that cannot get past 6GHz. Even so, if you want to give overclocking a shot and want to start using air or something a bit stronger, chances are you are going to see some nice numbers both from the Pentium and the Devil’s Canyon.