Located in the heart of Texas, the city of Austin is known for many things. Nicknamed Silicon Hills, the state capital accommodates an army of tech companies including the one and only Advanced Micro Devices, better known as AMD. From May 20th to the 22nd, AMD brought in some of the biggest names in the extreme overclocking scene with the goal of breaking world records. Armed with AMD's latest Black Edition processor, the Phenom II X4 955, a steady flow of liquid nitrogen (LN2), and several vats of liquid helium (LHe), the stage was set for one of the most impressive overclocking exhibitions of recent memory.
The best of the best were on hand to push AMD's new silicon to the limit. Pictured from left to right - Vince Lucido (K|ngp|n), Brian McLachlan (chew*), Chris Morrell (Gomeler), and Matthew Sembinelli (Slappa).
As with all extreme activities, the bar is constantly raised as competitors find new ways to gain an edge. Until recently, liquid nitrogen was used exclusively by top overclockers to reach approximately -185 degrees Celsius in order to break records and set new high scores in benchmarks. Now, liquid helium is being used to bring temps down to about -235 degrees Celsius, enabling overclockers to push hardware even further than before.
K|ngp|n used a custom made LHe pot that is more efficient with the extreme coolant than more common LN2 pots. Pictured above is a look at the internal design of the LHe cooler as well as a temp indicator showing -230 degrees during the event.
AMD also showcased the world's first see-through LN2 pot. This radical new design is made of two Lexan cylinders and uses grain alcohol as the insulator between them. As liquid nitrogen boils within the inner cylinder, the alcohol insulation allows you to see the LN2 in action.