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Own An Intel K-Series CPU? Win A Core i7-980X!

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.

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Core i7-875K

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. If your submission falls into second or third place, you’ll win a Core i7-980X processor and DX58SO motherboard.
  3. 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.

Read and then fill out our entry form to indicate your intention to participate in the contest.

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!

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • chickenhoagie
    above 7.5ghz? holy balls..that'll need a 10 foot radiator + an air conditioner to keep cool


    or i suppose that sparkling juice could do the trick....oh that looks thirst quenching...
    Reply
  • someguynamedmatt
    *sigh*
    How about one for AMD Phenom II Black Edition Owners? :D

    /off topic self pity
    Reply
  • kyeana
    chickenhoagieabove 7.5ghz? holy balls..that'll need a 10 foot radiator + an air conditioner to keep coolor i suppose that sparkling juice could do the trick....oh that looks thirst quenching...
    Liquid Nitrogen!
    Reply
  • chickenhoagie
    someguynamedmatt*sigh*How about one for AMD Phenom II Black Edition Owners? /off topic self pityi'm right there with u ;)
    Reply
  • dtemple
    This is great! They're giving away what, $4500 worth of CPUs, $400 worth of SSDs, $800 in motherboards. Say they get 10,000 applicants and 1% (100) fry their CPUs in the process of overclocking... then they buy a replacement that costs $342 or $216... meaning they at least make $21,600 off this.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    someguynamedmatt*sigh*How about one for AMD Phenom II Black Edition Owners? /off topic self pity
    Remember that one time when we gave away the AMD Phenom II X4 42 Black Edition TWKR CPUs? No? Here's the link ;-)

    And of course, we're not looking for anyone to fry their hardware. Just show us what you've already done with your K-series chip. There's a good chance that you'll at least walk away with the water just for entering!

    If you guys don't have a K-series processor, please allow me to show you to the System Builder Marathon giveaway going on right now! Three full systems being awarded, no strings-attached!
    Reply
  • dlochinski
    Why not for us older i7 users?? :(
    Reply
  • cangelini
    And for what it's worth guys, I'm going to try to keep contests running so there will always be a chance to win some new gear just for reading the site. Much love!

    Chris
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    someguynamedmatt*sigh*How about one for AMD Phenom II Black Edition Owners? /off topic self pity
    I think they could easily do it IF AMD gave them free CPUs and mobos to give away. Remember, Intel gave THG the parts to give away.

    But thats all because Intel is pretty good at marketing. Maybe AMD will do it soon.
    Reply
  • surfer1337dude
    how about one for an older amd XD (lets say athlon 64 X26400) *sorry had to try....dont have the cash while in college for anything better*

    For those who can enter, good luck :-D
    Reply