What happens when a brand new chip is pumped up with voltage, propped up with top notch hardware, and then injected with a healthy serving of liquid nitrogen? It goes really fast, as Russian site OCLab discovered when reviewing the Maximus V GENE motherboard from ASUS.
OCLab achieved a 6.74GHz overclock by powering the chip with an insane 1.944v vCore, using a 110.5MHz BCLK and 61x multiplier. The setup was stable enough to run PiFast 32M and achieve a time of 10.59s, which is mighty impressive.
As awesome as their achievement is, it isn't the fastest clock rate. Korean overclocker NAMEGT used a Biostar TZ77XE4 with physical modifications to achieve the record clock rate of 6822.2MHz!
We haven't heard the name Biostar in a while (no doubt due to its local scarcity), but apparently it can pull a mean punch under LN2! As more components move from motherboards and onto the CPU die, we can expect that the difference between one board and another will narrow significantly. This means more competition, cheaper prices, and a higher level of innovation to retain differentiation.
One such example is the new T.Topology technology introduced by ASUS for the z77 platform. It allows for parallel access of memory modules by handling synchronisation at a hardware level, instead of relying on delays. It is claimed that this improves memory overclock headroom - something we're yet to test, but certainly keeping an eye on.
We're glad that Ivy Bridge can hold its own in the extreme overclocking arena, particularly after reports that the chips can't quite match Sandy Bridge on clock rate with air based coolers.