The humble Intel Core i3-12300 is the world's fastest quad-core processor as measured by its Y-cruncher benchmark time. The result comes not just from Korean overclocker Phantom K's hard efforts, but also the fact that enthusiasts have recently found a way to unlock BCLK overclocking on all-new Intel Alder Lake-S processors, whether they have a factory unlocked multiplier (K suffix) or not.
Unlocked BCLK Non-K ADL-S Overclocking Recap
In case you missed it, overclocking aficionado der8auer this weekend shared two videos showcasing overclocking techniques that can be applied to non-K ADL-S processors, as long as your motherboard BIOS supports the 'unlock BCLK' function in its advanced settings. There aren't many of these motherboards confirmed, but several within the Asus Maximus Z690 line seem to support it. We also have recently spotted the Asus Strix B660G, Asus B660F and the ASRock B660 Steel Legend. This is a developing topic, and we are sure more compatible boards will be confirmed in the coming days.
In his videos on this overclocking feature, der8auer mentioned that he thought the unleashed quad-core ADL-S chips would soon start making inroads into the HWBot world record tables. Factory locked quad-core chips would be especially interesting to push to the extremes, he noted, as Intel's ADL-S K-series as it stands don't reach down as low as the 4C chips. The lowest tier factory unlocked CPU in the current generation is the Core i5-1200K/KF, and you will see these are prominent in various 6C benchmarks.
The rise of the Core i3-12300
Over recent hours there has been a flurry of record-breaking scores targeting the quad-core Y-cruncher world record. For months the AMD Ryzen 5300G and its brethren held this benchmark record comfortably, with the best score being a little over 52 sec by overclocker Safedisk. However, Phantom K's score with the Core i3-12300 slashes this time by finishing the benchmark calculation in 33.3 sec.
Many other extreme overclockers have been testing non-K ADL-S chips against this benchmark, and it looks like the Intel Core i3 12100/F is another excellent choice. However, the top two times are held by the Core i3-12300.
So, how did Phantom K achieve this record? First of all, the 'silicon lottery' may have helped. Other essential hardware in the system was an Asus ROG Maximus Apex Z690 motherboard and 32GB DDR5-6736 RAM with CL30 timings. The other system components, such as a GeForce RTX 3090 and 250GB SSD, were probably not of any importance here.
Interestingly, Phantom K didn't use LN2 for cooling; dry ice caused the ice and condensation seen in the system pictures. Under these cooling conditions, the Core i3-12300 was pushed to 5,442 MHz and saw a peak temperature of 90 degrees Celcius.
Before signing off, we would like to say congrats to 'Rookie League' overclocker Phantom K, but they might rightly be worried that this HWBot world record is still very much in play. There is a good chance that another overclocker and/or another quad-core will shortly wear that Y-cruncher 4C crown.
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Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.