If you’re an amateur who can recall a few of the most memorable overclocking-friendly CPUs or a specialist vying for a top spot in the 3DMark Time Spy Extreme Hall of Fame, certain professionals just enjoy pushing current silicon to its very limits to see how far it can go. It also approaches the realistic, such as demonstrating that Doom Eternal will travel at a demonic 1,000 frames per second.
Last year, we saw an overclocker drive an old Intel Celeron D 347 CPU to 8.36 GHz, while another pushed a comparatively new Intel Core i9-10900K to 7.7 GHz. Earlier this month, a Chinese overclocker demonstrated that DDR4 RAM could reach 3,578 MHz (DDR4-7004). It was only a matter of time before anyone attempted a new GPU overclock record.
Der8auer (Roman Hartung), a popular overclocker and YouTuber, set a new GPU core frequency record with PowerColor’s Liquid Devil Radeon RX 6900 XT Ultimate and liquid nitrogen cooling. This is because it has a binned chip (Navi 21 XTXH) with a 4 GHz clock speed, while other RX 6900 XT cards have a 3 GHz limit. The best clock obtained during testing is just below the possible 4 GHz maximum, but it is still a remarkable 3,225 MHz, setting a new world record.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti was previously the undisputed champion with a 3,024 MHz result, but this was only possible by modding the printed circuit board to circumvent its voltage locks. In contrast, the RTX 3090 can only reach 3,015 MHz, but you can load Crysis 3 on its VRAM and still have enough left over to play the game.
Running a GPU this hot is not a good idea for gamers trying to get more value out of their graphics card. However, AMD is providing AIB partners such as PowerColor and ASRock with improved chips that can improve up to 2.4 and 2.5 GHz on air and liquid cooling, respectively—all out of the box. It definitely leaves space for additional profits, based on your success in the silicon lottery.