Intel Core i9-12900K Alder Lake CPU Gets Cranked To 6.8GHz, Annihilates World Records

Intel Core i9-12900K Overclock
Sometimes things don't go quite as planned, but the trick is to not give up. If anyone needs reminding of this, Intel's InnovatiON event yesterday should suffice. About 40 minutes into the event, Intel tried to demonstrate its newly unveiled Core i9-12900K Alder Lake processor setting a world record while heavily overclocked and under extreme cooling. The attempt fell a little short during the live demo, after having been successful in multiple test runs the day prior (so Intel says). Intel stuck with it, however, and has now set multiple world records with its Core i9-12900K speeding along at 6.8GHz.

That's quite the overclock, and it requires exotic cooling to get there. That is, exotic compared to air and traditional liquid cooling. More precisely, the Core i9-12900K took a bath in liquid nitrogen, with one of the world's top overclockers, Allen Golibersuch, periodically pouring LN2 into the pot that was sitting atop the CPU.

Intel's Gregory Bryant posted a short video on Twitter of Golibersuch setting a new XTU 2.0 overclocking world record at 12,632 marks. Check it out...
Accompanying details were rather light, though according to Tom's Hardware, where Golibersuch often contributes content, this was achieved on an ASRock Z690 Aqua OC Edition motherboard. Other components included DDR5-4800 memory overclocked to DDR5-6200, and an EVGA SuperNova 1600W power supply.

It's said he was able to push the Core i9-12900K's Golden Cove P-cores (Performance cores) to 6.8GHz, while the Gracemont E-cores (Efficiency cores) raced along at 5.3GHz. At stock settings, the P-cores and E-cores hit turbo clocks of 5.2GHz and 3.9GHz, respectively. In other words, both were overclocked more than 30 percent past their rated turbo frequencies.

That world record didn't stand long, apparently. However, it was Intel and Golibersuch that set a new one, with the same chip—it's said a subsequent attempt managed 12,765 in XTU 2.0. The overclocked CPU also posted record Geekbench single-core and multi-core (16-core) scores. Here's a look...
  • XTU 2.0: 12,675
  • Geekbench 5: 2,740 (single-core) / 26,649 (multi-core)
  • Geekbench 4: 11,669 (single-core) / 93,232 (multi-core)
In Geekbench 5, Intel's own Core i9-11900K held the single-core record with 2,309 points, while AMD's flagship Ryzen 9 5950X owned the multi-core (16-core) record at 20,929 points. So the Core i9-12900K broke the single-core record by 18.7 percent, and the multi-core (16-core) record by a staggering 27.3 percent.

Neat comparison on core and thread counts are going to be tricky because of the hybrid nature of Alder Lake, and also because only the Golden Cove cores support Hyper Threading. The makeup of the Core i9-12900K consists of 8 P-cores with Hyper Threading and 8 E-cores, so it's a 16-core/24-thread CPU when you add it all up.

In comparison, the Core i9-11900K is an 8-core/16-thread CPU, and the Ryzen 9 5950X is a 16-core/32-thread chip. That highlights how impressive this is, though obviously cooling a chip with LN2 is not practical for anything other than extreme overclocking attempts and runs at world records.

We'll have our own benchmark data to share in due time, under normal (read: no LN2) testing conditions. Stay tuned!