AMD Phenom II TWKR Black Edition Processor
Introduction and Test System
Within the enthusiast scene, there exists an elite group of overclockers who push the limits of hardware to the breaking point. With the help of phase change coolers, dry ice, liquid nitrogen and even liquid helium, these enthusiasts achieve the seemingly impossible. In this world, maximum frequencies and world records are the motivation behind the countless hours spent modding and tweaking PC hardware.
AMD recognized the blood, sweat, and tears that extreme overclockers put into their hobby by creating a very special, limited edition processor made specifically for them. The Phenom II X4 TWKR Black Edition processor is a hand picked CPU that performs above and beyond the normal parameters we're accustomed to seeing from the Phenom II line. Under the extremely low temps supplied by LN2 or LHe cooling, these chips are said to yield monster overclocks.
So what's the catch? First of all, AMD only made a few TWKR chips due to the extraordinary traits of of the product. So don't expect to find any at your favorite online retailer cause the TWKR is not currently for sale. At this time, they are distributed directly by AMD. Another disadvantage is the lack of warranty coverage on this product. Once its broken, that's all she wrote. At any rate, HotHardware recently got a chance to test out the TWKR and throw it on the test bench for some sub-zero overclocking.
AMD Phenom II X4 TWKR Black Edition Processor
AMD Phenom II X4 TWKR
Radeon HD 4870X2
Patriot TorqX 128GB SSD
Preparing your system for sub-zero cooling is a bit more involved than the typical air cooled or liquid cooled setup. The CPU socket area will be subjected to freezing temperatures and requires insulation to prevent damage from condensation. We used a couple of packs of art eraser and filled in the area around the CPU. While there are several techniques to choose from, but we prefer this method due to the effectiveness and easy removal of the eraser from the board. The insulation process seals the motherboard's components from moisture and is a mandatory step for those who use phase change, LN2, or dry ice. Before placing the insulated pot on the TWKR, we also laid down a couple layers of fabric to absorb any moisture around the socket.
Unfortunately, were not able to get a hold of any liquid nitrogen or helium, so we benched with dry ice. But, as you can see in the screen shot above, we were able to maintain temps in the - 50' C to - 60' C range throughout testing.