As Intel's Core i7 "Sandy Bridge-E" processors in the LGA2011 package inch closer to their mid-November launch, there is already hectic activity among manufacturers of related components such as motherboards, memory, and coolers. By now, a large section of the industry has engineering samples to help design and test their components. OCWorkbench was witness to one such pre-release setup on which a Core i7 "Sandy Bridge-E" (unknown model, could even be quad-core for all we know), overclocked to 4.92 GHz with a "regular" air-cooler. The chip was idling at 45°C.
Sandy Bridge-E, as we know, can be effectively overclocked by increasing its base clock (BClk). On this particular setup, the BClk was set at 120 MHz, with a multiplier value of 41X, and core voltage of 1.51V. The memory used was DDR3-2400 MHz with CAS latency of 10T. This is particularly encouraging, not just to enthusiasts on a tight budget, but also the cooling products industry in general. Core i7 "Sandy Bridge-E" retail boxes don't contain a cooling solution, and Intel has been showing off its branded closed-loop water-cooling solution (to be purchased separately) as something that's "recommended" for Core i7 "Sandy Bridge-E". This gave many an impression that you need at least closed-loop water coolers for any hope of achieving decent overclocked speeds with these chips, and that perhaps these chips are bad overclockers in general. The likes of Xigmatek, Thermalright, Noctua, and Scythe can breathe a huge sigh of relief.