ASUS Overclockers Break the 9 GHz Barrier With the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex

Dec 21, 2022

Taking a 13th Gen Intel Core CPU to its limits, ROG overclockers set a savage record:

  • 9.008 GHz: ASUS overclocking teams drove an Intel® Core™ i9-13900K CPU to the brink with liquid helium and smashed their own previous record
  • Best tools for the job: ROG Maximus Z790 Apex, Intel Core i9-13900K, ROG Thor 1600W, and ThermalRight TFX compound
  • Overclocker insights: Shosho Chang interviewed ASUS overclockers Jon ‘elmor’ Sandström and Peter Plaisier after the session
  • Two more records: ‘safedisk’ also used the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex to break the PiFast and SuperPI 32M world records
  • Record champion: Including these scores, the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex has been used for 14 World Records, and 29 Global First Place scores

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced that its overclocking team has officially set a new world record, pushing the 13th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-13900K processor past the 9 GHz barrier to 9.008 GHz using an ROG Maximus Z790 Apex motherboard.

This marks the second CPU frequency record set by ASUS overclockers in less than three months, both times by pairing the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex with an Intel Core i9-13900K processor, and freezing them with a healthy supply of liquid helium. Due to the intense conductivity demands of liquid helium (LHe) cooling, they used ThermalRight TFX compound, and to give their setup massive power overhead, they used an ROG Thor 1600W Titanium PSU.

For this session, the team had found a particularly special CPU: it could nearly reach the previous record of 8.8 GHz on liquid nitrogen alone, and it was also able to maintain consistent performance even at the harsh extremes of -250°C.

In conditions like that, most motherboards would fail, but the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex is perfectly suited for the task. It has an entire Overclocker’s Toolkit that helps maintain stability during cryogenic cooling while driving frequencies up and temperatures down, and its built-in condensation detection sensors give alerts at high-risk locations while the ice thaws. This team of Apex veterans made a unique mod on one of the motherboard’s features: they built a hand trigger for the Slow Mode control, so they could stay at a distance but quickly shift the system into safe frequencies during setup.

Despite having the best tools for the job, the run was not without challenges. A limited supply of liquid helium forced the team to accomplish this historic feat within one hour. They had initial success reaching 8.9 GHz, but the target of 9 GHz was always in their sights. In their first attempts, they just could not get it to validate. Adding to the pressure, one of the USB ports froze up, disabling the system’s keyboard and wasting precious time.

After a number of close calls, the stakes got raised: the team only had enough liquid helium for one more try. They set their system up for a final run, reached their planned frequency, and waited for final confirmation. Their faces all lit up when they realized that their file saved correctly, and they had done it.

Intel Tech Evangelist Shosho Chang interviewed overclockers Jon ‘elmor’ Sandström and Peter Plaisier after the session. In this conversation, they explain some of the basics of overclocking and gave some insights about this record-breaking run. Watch the full interview here.

Alongside this milestone, ‘safedisk’ used the same setup during that session to rack up two additional world records: PiFast was completed in just 6.85 seconds, and SuperPI 32M was finished in 3 minutes, 3.788 seconds.

These records join the long list of overclocking accomplishments set by the extended ASUS overclocking team. The ROG Maximus Z790 Apex has now been used for 14 world records and 29 global first place scores, securing its place as the motherboard of champions for overclocking 13th Gen Intel processors. See here for the full list of ranked benchmarks using the ROG Maximus Z790 Apex.

ASUS would like to congratulate and thank all the overclockers who have helped throughout this journey.

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