Update: After some initial issues getting contest entrants connected to their automatic CPU-Z submissions, we've changed this up a bit (and sent emails to the folks who expressed their desire to enter). Rather than simply submitting your validated CPU-Z link, we need the Submitted By: field to read FirstnameLastname THContest (for example: JohnSmith THContest). This will allow us to match the submission to the entry email. Of course, make sure that email has your name in it somewhere, rather than a username or handle, so it can be matched to CPU-Z.
If your first and last name exceed CPU-Z's character limit, use your first initial and last name (my screenshot below is CAngelini THContest, for instance).
In order to accommodate this change, we've extended the contest duration to September 30th. So, if you'd still like to enter, there's time!
For nearly a decade, the only multiplier-unlocked processors that Intel sold were its Extreme Edition chips. Of course, those $1000 processors have always been priced well beyond the budgets of most enthusiasts. The launch of the Core i7-875K and Core i5-655K CPUs changed that, bringing unlocked multiplier ratios down to price points power users can actually afford ($342 and $216, respectively).
Back in May, when these two chips launched, we had good luck overclocking them using air cooling. Our quad-core Lynnfield-based -875K was stable enough to complete our entire benchmark suite at 4.13 GHz, and the Clarkdale-based Core i5-655K peaked at an astronomical 4.66 GHz.
Core i7-875K Core i5-655K
We don’t think those processors necessarily topped out, though. The Core i7-875K was nearly solid at 4.26 GHz and the i5-655K finished most of our tests at 4.8 GHz. We were even able to get it to POST at 4.93 GHz. On air. At 1.45 V.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not that proud of ourselves. After all, we’ve seen Core i5-655K overclocks up above 7.3 GHz (and more than 2 V—ouch). But if you think you can do better than us, we certainly want to see what you can do.
Intel was kind enough to kick in a little summer sizzle to make the stakes a bit more interesting, too.
- If you submit the highest-frequency overclock on either CPU, you’ll win a Core i7-980X processor, an Intel DX58SO motherboard, and two Intel X25-M 80 GB SSDs to build a quick little RAID 0 array with.
- If your submission falls into second or third place, you’ll win a Core i7-980X processor and DX58SO motherboard.
- If you’re fourth through 23rd (the next 20 highest entrants), you’ll win two cases of Talking Rain Sparkling ICE water to tide you over until it gets a little cooler outside (hey, it’s still in the 90s down here in Southern California). That's 24 winners total.
Here’s what you need to do:
Once you’ve hit the maximum overclock on your Core i7-875K or Core i5-655K processor via any cooling technique you want to use, fire up the latest version of CPU-Z (1.55). Click the Validate button, and, using the Online mode, submit your results with Tom’s Hardware Contest (please see the update at the top of this post for more instructions on submissions) in the Name field. This will show Submitted by: online.
Your Web submission should look something like this.
You’ll receive a confirmation email within two or three days. Send your validated CPU-Z link to the address specified in that email. You’re then entered in the contest!
We’re running the contest from September 4th to the 25th. Good luck!
I have another special-ops overclocking project in the works that you should see online before the contest ends. Keep an eye out for that one, too!