The 7960X and 7980XE feature base clocks of 3.8GHz and 3.6GHz respectively, and we were able to push them to 3.9GHz and 4.1GHz respectively (across all cores) in our testing using air cooling. However, those results pale in comparison to what famed overclocker Vince “K|NGP|N” Lucido was able to achieve with an 7980XE, an EVGA X299 DARK motherboard and an EVGA SuperNOVA 1600 T2 Power Supply. Oh, and we should add that FOUR EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti K|NGP|N Edition graphics cards were used in the rig.
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Using liquid nitrogen (LN2) to keep both the processor and graphics cards from going nuclear, K|NGP|N was able to overclock the 7980XE (all cores) to a mind-numbing 5.7GHz. In addition, the four GPUs were overclocked to obtain a 2,354MHz core clock and a 12,656MHz memory clock. Needless, to say, these outrageous overclocks were enough to break four world records, hitting news high in the following benchmarks:
- 3DMark Time Spy - 37,596
- 3DMark Fire Strike - 58,024
- 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme - 49,352
- 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra - 31,946
This are some impressive numbers, and no doubt show that despite having 18 cores in play, the 7980XE has plenty of overclocking potential. That is, of course, as long as you have the requisite hardware (and cooling) to make it happen. However, we have the feeling that replicating this feat would be out of reach for most enthusiasts. After all, the Core i9-7980XE alone retails for $1,999, and you'd have to add an X299 motherboard, which could easily run you $300 or more. What about those four GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards; that's another $2,800+. And that’s not counting the cooling hardware needed.
With that being said, we're happy to have enthusiasts around like K|NGP|N that allow us mere mortal to live vicariously through him and his overclocking travails.