Intel’s latest range of enthusiast-grade processors are set to launch in a few weeks and Chinese site, HKEPC have published their preliminary testing results. Despite using an early BIOS version on the new Z170 chipset, their sample managed to reach a stable increase of 1200MHz over stock and performed at 5.2GHz. Even more impressive is this was achieved through a fairly modest air cooling setup with 1.35v applied to the vcore. This would be virtually impossible on the Z87 or Z97 chipset which requires an extremely beefy cooler given the huge temperature increases as you apply more volts. Ideally, to achieve over 4.8GHz, you need a 240mm watercooling unit as a starting point to tame the temperatures under extreme load. Even then, many CPUs hit a point of no return and voltage alternations have too much impact on the operating temperature.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the core reaches 5.2GHz with a multiplier of x52. However, we do not know the exact temperatures whilst using benchmarking software to stress the chip. It is said to be within operating parameters, but I would obviously like to see the exact figures. We also have to analyze these results with a logical perspective. It’s possible this could be a dream golden-chip and reflects 1% of the manufactured range. CPUs are bound by the silicon lottery meaning the most reliable results come from an average across user testing.
Nevertheless, the results from HKEPC are promising and suggests the new mainstream flagship should offer a significant boost in overclocking headroom. In the past, the differences have been very iterative and focused on power reduction. Perhaps Intel wants to aggressively sell their new chipset design through large clock boosts over the last generation. Personally, I remain cautiously optimistic.