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Liquid nitrogen-cooled Haswell chip hits 6.5GHz

The guys from Asrock show how a 3.5GHz Intel Core i7-4770K CPU can be overclocked to 6.5GHz using a subzero cooling setup at Computex.

One of the many liquid-cooled PCs showcased at Computex. Philip Wong/CNET

TAIPEI -- The CPUs in most computers are usually cooled using a combination of fans and heatsinks. PC enthusiasts have gone one step further by using liquid cooling as shown in the rig above. This allows them to push the processor to run beyond its normal operating speeds so as to achieve better performance without overheating the chip.

The folks at Asrock cool a Haswell chip using liquid nitrogen. Philip Wong/CNET

Professional overclockers, however, use subzero cooling to achieve extreme processing speeds. In most setups, liquid nitrogen is used to chill the processor and has to be topped up regularly, while Vaseline is applied to the surrounding microchips. This prevents them from short-circuiting due to condensation.

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Using this technique, the team from Asrock managed to overclock a 3.5GHz Core i7-4770K to 6.5GHz at Computex. This high-end Haswell processor is paired with an Asrock Z87M motherboard, which supports 2,800MHz DDR3 memory modules (RAM). In comparison, Intel is officially supporting RAM modules of up to 1,600MHz.