There are lots of extra settings for increasing the voltage to the chip to support faster overclocks, but for the purposes of this experiment, that’s all I changed. The on-board Turbo Boost technology is very clever – when extra performance is required it will increase the speed of the chip as far as possible without letting it overheat, up the maximum ratio set in the BIOS. By increasing the maximum ratio, I’ve basically asked the chip to run as fast as it can with everything else set to default.
To stress test the CPU I set HyperPi to repeatedly calculate the value of pi to 32 million places. That puts all eight CPU threads to work at their maximum load. Turbo Boost kicked in and took the chip to its fastest setting.
For the next 30 minutes, it ran all four cores between 3.8GHz and 4GHz. The top temperature reached was 85 degrees Celcius, which is a little hot, admittedly, but it dropped back down to the low 30s within three minutes of stopping the test. This screen is from Intel’s desktop tuning tool.
That’s pretty astounding. And in games, where the load is rarely 100% all the time, the result was even better. The 2600 regularly ramped itself up to 4.2GHz and stayed there.
All on a tiny, tiny heatsink.