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jmke 20th November 2008 19:35

6GHz Phenom II Overclock on LN2, 5Ghz on Dry Ice
As we all know, the Phenom II will be AMD's second 45 nm part (the first is officially the Shanghai server part) that is scheduled to hit Q1 09. This heavily redesigned processor based on the Phenom architecture has already showed some significant per clock performance gains over the older Barcelona product, and AMD considers this to be their best design ever in terms of performance, functionality, and eventual clockspeed. The first desktop products are expected to hit 3 GHz at the top end, but AMD has been hinting that the Phenom IIs can do a lot more in the hands of an enthusiast.

The first leaks were that the Phenom II could hit 4 GHz on air cooling alone, though we obviously wonder how extreme that air cooling is. Well today AMD had some actual demonstrations at their gathering, and the Phenom II was able to hit 5 GHz at 1.6v by using dry ice cooling. Dry ice is CO2, and it goes directly from solid to gas (sublimation) at a temperature of -109.3 F (-78.5C for the rest of the world) at 1 atmosphere. So with some pretty extreme cooling (non-LN) the Phenom II does show that it has some legs in the clockspeed department.

npp 20th November 2008 21:21

Heavily redesigned? Ah, come on... This reminds me of the 3Ghz Phenom AMD showed some many months ago, unfortunately it got lost somewhere on the way. 4Ghz shouldn't be a problem for the second version, I guess.

Massman 20th November 2008 21:47

The biggest problem is not the actual frequency (which is quite unbelievable as well, seeing 4GHz is still nearly impossible), but the scaling with temperatures. AMD's production process makes it close to impossible to run your cpu close to -50C, let alone -150C.

geoffrey 20th November 2008 22:57

High-K, or what they don't have :)

Massman 20th November 2008 23:39

Amd uses SOI, Intel uses High-K.

Kougar 21st November 2008 02:33


Originally Posted by Massman (Post 226670)
Amd uses SOI, Intel uses High-K.

AMD was talking about using their IBM/AMD version of High-K since 65nm, they've simply pushed it back repeatedly. Whether you believe them or not they stated the next chips after Phenom II will use it.

Oberon 21st November 2008 03:20

I sure am glad that all of you people saying this didn't happen were there to see it and everything.

Massman 21st November 2008 08:12

Well, apparently it IS true. Tony confirms the speeds and apparently Macci was controling the setup to, indeed, -196C ... no coldbug :-O.

Apparently it's CPC as fast as the i7 as well

AMD back in the game?

npp 21st November 2008 14:14

"Cameras weren't allowed at the event, and so no clear pictures were taken..." Then I guess they could have taken it to 7Ghz s well...

Kougar 21st November 2008 14:25


Originally Posted by Oberon (Post 226674)
I sure am glad that all of you people saying this didn't happen were there to see it and everything.

I never said it didn't happen. :rolleyes:


Originally Posted by Massman (Post 226676)
AMD back in the game?

Pure performance, no. Factoring in price, sure.

It required 1.9v to reach ~6GHz. That's supposedly better than Nehalem, which is neat. But for the 99.9% of users that don't use LN2 or dry ice, I'm waiting to see what typical overclocks are.

If 1.6V for 4GHz holds true then it is no better than Nehalem. AMD would still be playing the cost/performance game.

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