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AMD’s highly anticipated Zen 4 “Raphael” CPUs are launching next week, and now we have some overclocking numbers direct from the company. The big caveat here is the Ryzen 9 7950X does appear to run hot, as we reported previously. So there will be no free lunches this time around. The days of a high-end, AMD CPU running cool and quiet seem to be long gone. If you want to do some serious overclocking, you will need an exotic cooler, and possibly even a chiller.

The tests were conducted using an off-the-shelf AIO cooler, reportedly a Corsair 280mm unit. AMD’s overclocking team completed four separate benchmark runs, using a different hardware config for each, according to HotHardware. All feature the flagship Ryzen 9 7950X. As previously reported, this 16/32t CPU has a base clock of 4.5GHz and a boost clock of 5.7GHz. In Cinebench, the CPU was able to run with an all-core boost of 5.4GHz, hitting a score of 40,498. That’s a world record for a 16-core CPU. Surprisingly, the 7950X was only running at 87C and 226W. That’s hot but tolerable. This test was run on an ASRock X670 Extreme Taichi with 32GB of Kingston DDR5.

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Next up was the older version of Cinebench, version R20. AMD also took the world record in this test, hitting 15,771 points. Although clocks were a bit lower than the previous test at 5.35GHz across all cores, the CPU ran a bit hotter at 93C. Power consumption was about the same at 219W. It was run on a Gigabyte Aorus Master X670 Extreme with 32GB of G.Skill DDR5.

The final Cinebench test was run on the even older version, R15. It was able to take the top spot with a score of 6,900 points on an Asus ROG Crosshair board. This setup ran at 5.5GHz all-core, with 16GB of G.Skill DDR5. It ran surprisingly cool at 63C and consumed 209W.

So far, so good. Now for some bad news. The company was also able to ascend to the top of the podium in 7-Zip. However, to get there it had to let the CPU run at a smoldering 108C. That’s reportedly fine, as the CPU’s T-junction is 115C, but we don’t know anyone who would want to run that temp on the regular. This run required 244W of juice with all cores running at 5.45GHz. It was accomplished on an MSI MEG X670 Extreme ACE board with 32GB of DDR5.

All in all, this is a decent sampling of promising overclocking results across a wide variety of hardware. The takeaway is that temps are a bit high, so it seems like an AIO or a beefy air-cooler will be required. You probably won’t be able to get away with a Cooler Master Hyper 212 if you want to overclock Zen 4.

APISAK on Twitter is having some fun with this Ryzen 9 7950X – golden sample perhaps?

If you want to go even more extreme, an overclocker has done just that with some kind of exotic cooler. A Twitter user named TUM_APISAK has posted a screenshot of the 7950X running at 5.8GHz on all cores. The dead giveaway that it’s using a chiller or something of that nature is it’s running at 39.5C at 1.4V. The same overclocker then went even further and hit 6.5GHz on all cores at 1.465V. If that’s still not enough for you, he also hit 7.247GHz on a single core at 1.5V as well. Clearly, he’s got a pretty insane cooling setup.

For comparison, we’ve also reported on some exotic cooling for Raptor Lake overclocking. A Chinese tech journalist named Extreme Player was able to hit 5.8GHz on all eight P-cores for the Core i9-13900KF. He was also able to juice it to 6.2GHz on all P-cores, but only for one test. To achieve this, he used an expensive and rare liquid chiller.

It seems the overclocking wars are back on for this round. Both Intel and AMD are devoting resources to showing off their respective chips’ maximum potential ahead of launch. And so far, the results have been quite impressive. Whether average users will be able to achieve these types of gains with off-the-shelf equipment remains to be seen, but AMD’s numbers are promising. We’ll find out more next week when both Zen 4 and Raptor Lake officially launch.

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