Actually, the discussion started with Devil’s Canyon, which takes us even further back to Core i7-4790K Review: Devil's Canyon Tantalizes Enthusiasts. The Core i7-4790K was the processor Intel introduced after causing consternation amongst power users when they saw Haswell's lackluster overclocking. Among the improvements cited in our review, a more efficient thermal interface material and additional capacitors to stabilize power delivery were the most notable.
Underneath that superficial summary, which in no way conveys the effort that goes into bringing a new product to market, I knew that Intel had its own engineers working on characterizing the -4790K’s frequency scaling in such a way as to facilitate more aggressive stock clock rates. It also needed to substantiate the claims it was making about a significant population of processors hitting 5GHz. We didn’t get that far in our review, though we did use a conservative maximum voltage and still had quite a bit of thermal headroom in our sample. I wanted the inside story, straight from the horse’s mouth.
And so Intel’s hooked us up with Paul Zagacki, principal engineer with the company’s client computing group, who walked us through some of what the team went through in bringing Devil’s Canyon up and subsequently optimizing the platform for higher stable clock rates.
During the course of our talk, Paul did hit us with a tip that we were quick to put to good use: around 80 °C is where the processor starts encountering a roll-off—it’ll actually overclock better under 80 degrees than if you let it continue climbing.