Ever wonder how long Intel's 11th Generation Rocket Lake processor can survive without a CPU cooler? Well, famous chip photographer Fritzchens Fritz (opens in new tab) has killed a Core i5-11400 for the sake of science.
The Core i5-11400, which is the current budget CPU king, arrives wielding six Cypress Cove cores clocked at 2.6 GHz. The hexa-core chip features a 4.4 GHz boost clock and a 65W TDP (thermal design power). Bear in mind that 65W is the PL1 (Power Level 1) rating, which is the Core i5-11400's power consumption at the base clock. In reality, the processor is rated with a 154W PL2 (Power Level 2) that corresponds to the power draw during boost.
Fritz mentioned that it was impossible to run the Core i5-11400 at stock because Rocket Lake isn't designed or optimized for low power consumption. The author had to modify the processor's operating parameters to prevent it from going into an emergency shutdown.
The author started by fixing the operating clock speed to 800 MHz. He then disabled Hyper-Threading, the iGPU and AVX altogether. Additionally, he also lowered the VCCSA with a -200mV offset and drop the memory speed down to DDR4-1333. Fritz performed a couple of single-and multi-threaded tests to evaluate the Core i5-11400's thermal behavior.
If you zoom into the thermal camera, you can see how each core inside the Core i5-11400 reacts differently to the type of workload. It's pretty cool to see the Cypress Cove cores jump around during the single-threaded test.
The point of the experiment is to see how the Core i5-11400 operates without a heatsink. In case you're curious, the Core i5-11400 at 800 MHz with Hyper-Threading and AVX scored 106 and 116 points in the single-and multi-core tests, respectively, in Cinebench R15.
The Core i5-11400, which retails for $188.99 (opens in new tab), obviously didn't survive Fritz' torture. However, the dead chip will be put to good use as Fritz will likely delight us with some beautiful die shots of the Rocket Lake-S part pretty soon.