I think this is the most technically challenging thing ever!
…. this year, we decided to go all the way with the massive 28-core, 255W Intel Xeon W-3175X, a rare CPU gem that costs at least $3,000 — if you can even find one. Our goal was to break the chip’s records at the time: pushing it from its 3.1GHz base frequency to beyond 5.68GHz on Cinebench R15, or at least beyond 6.5GHz via the more lightweight CPU-Z validation.
Depending on the benchmark, the W-3175X had to be lowered to between -100°C/-148°F and 120°C/-184°F. That gave us more leeway compared to last year’s i9-7980XE, which would stop functioning — hitting a “cold bug” — if it went below -104°C/-155.2°F.
After spinning up CPU-Z, we made some some fine adjustments on the clock speed and voltage in between pours, eventually stopping at 6.1GHz. That was still some way away from the 6.5GHz world record at the time of writing, but we had to make-do with the piece of silicon we got.
But the benchmark that we cared more about was Cinebench R15, which pushed all 28 cores and 56 threads to run at 100 percent — as opposed to around 10 percent or less for the CPU-Z validation. That’s tough. We even sought help from another top overclocker, Hiva “Hiwa” Pouri, but the PC kept ending up with a blue screen whenever we went beyond 5.5GHz. Dismantling and cleaning the kit didn’t help much, either, so we settled with a score of 7,865 cb at 5.5GHz — not far off from the 8,391 cb (at 5.68GHz) record.
According to Stepongzi, this was really impressive, considering that his i9-7980XE last year reached 5.6GHz on “just” 18 cores, and now we have a similar 5.5GHz speed but on 28 cores. That is to say, Intel has come a long way with the W-3175X’s stability when overclocked. Stepongzi added that this easily blows away the i9-9900K, Intel’s recent octa-core flagship, in the same benchmarks (though the i9-9900KS announced at Computex should see much improved performance).